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MONARCH

HESPERUS HILL

800 ACRES | 6 LIFTS | 64 TRAILS

60 ACRES | 1 LIFT | 26 TRAILS

Independently owned, Monarch Mountain sits at the top of the Continental Divide. Rarely crowded, powder can last days instead of hours like at more popular resorts. HIGHLIGHTS If backcountry is more your speed, the guided snowcat

operation will wear out any expert skier with an additional 1,635 acres of steep, technical terrain. EVENTS Every Friday in December, January and February visitors can ski with a naturalist who will talk about the ecology of the area.

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Minutes from downtown Durango, Hesperus is a relative minnow at 60 acres, but good things often come in small packages, particularly if you want to avoid the crowds at larger resorts. HIGHLIGHTS This resort may be small, but it’s quite popular and well

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ECHO MOUNTAIN

SUNLIGHT MOUNTAIN

60 ACRES | 1 LIFT | 3-4 TRAILS

680 ACRES | 3 LIFTS | 67 TRAILS

Echo Mountain has changed hands several times since it opened in 1960, including periods when it wasn’t even open to the public. In October 2016 it returned back to its original purpose as an affordable (season passes are $249) public ski area less than an hour from downtown Denver.

HIGHLIGHTS Echo Mountain Ambassadors are ski coaches that can be found all over the beginner area and throughout the mountain. They offer coaching and tips at no extra charge. There is also an expanded beginner area with twice as much terrain as last year. Also new this season is a tubing hill.

Sunlight Mountain has 67 trails (which all lead back to the lodge), free parking and, according to the resort at least, you’ll never have to stand in line. And the lack of crowds means the powder lasts for days. About 50 percent of Sunlight’s terrain is rated as beginner or intermediate, perfect for those just starting out.

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HIGHLIGHTS Sunlight’s East Ridge has a particularly steep run for those looking for something more challenging. EVENTS SnowShoe Shuffle | Feb. 17, 2019 The five-mile snowshoe race benefits Colorado Animal Rescue.

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ELDORA

SILVERTON

680 ACRES | 10 LIFTS | 64 TRAILS

1,819 ACRES | 1 LIFT

Conceived in the 1960’s, Eldora has been serving skiers in and around Boulder for decades; it is now part of the Ikon Pass. HIGHLIGHTS Eldora is the only ski area served by the RTD public transportation system. You can get from downtown Boulder to Eldora in about

40 minutes. Parking is free at several RTD stops in the area, too. EVENTS Denver’s 10 Barrel Brewing is holding a series of events at Eldora including several Pray for Snow parties that include DJs, games, giveaways and 10 Barrel beer specials.

Silverton Mountain’s one chairlift grants access to a high alpine environment of 1,819 acres of amazing descents in every direction including bowls, chutes and cliffs. Silverton Mountain is also the highest and steepest ski area in North America with a peak elevation of 13,487’ and no easy way down.

Photo: Monarch Mountain

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known for its night skiing. Hesperus Hill also allows ski bikes at the resort, (guests must have a retention device for the lift). Tubing is another activity on offer (no personal tubes are allowed so the resort offers rentals) as is the growing sport of uphill skiing (read more on page 17).

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HIGHLIGHTS Heli skiing is available seven days a week at Silverton Mountain and it is the only ski area in the US that offers single heli drops. EVENTS Silverton Whiteout | Feb. 9, 2019 The 10-hour fat tire bike race has a variety of associated events

Profile for West of 105 magazine

West of 105 Magazine, Winter 2018 - 2019, Issue 2