It's hard to beat Copper Mountain
Where's the best place in the world to ski? We asked our readers to share their favourites. James Broadbent says Copper Mountain in Colorado, USA, has something for everyone.
Copper Mountain, Colorado USA, has a good claim on the title of best snow slopes.
Obviously it's horses for courses, and I know a few little powder stashes in Canada which could claim deeper powder. But for something-for-everyone skiing, it's hard to beat Copper.
Close to Denver airport, a major international hub, the I-70 interstate gets you there with minimal fuss.
There is good quality accommodation right on the slopes (literally "ski-in, ski-out") or pretty much across the road from the lifts. Bars and restaurants in the village are good, and being the USA, the service is excellent.
Copper is inland, which means colder temperatures than the more coastal ski areas, and thus colder, drier, more powdery "squeaky" snow.
We went in January which is after the Christmas busy season, but perfect for snow. It seemed to drop a few centimetres each night but dawn was fine on most days.
On the days it snowed it just drifted down softly, and the trees provided good definition and visibility.
Unlike New Zealand, even when it's snowing you don't get wet. You need a good jacket, but the cold is not as intense as other places I have been to in Canada.
One of the best things is the layout of the mountain. The right hand side is easy "green" runs from top to bottom, serviced by chairlifts. No rope tows or T bars for the beginners here!
The left hand side of the mountain is all expert "black" runs from top to bottom. This means an expert doesn't have to join green trails at the bottom just to get back to the lifts, and beginners are not put off by experts dropping in on them.
The intermediate runs are in the middle of course.
And right in the centre of the ski field is the Solitude Station cafe, where the whole team can meet for lunch.
All manner of food is available for lunch, but being Kiwis we went with the cheap option and carried instant coffee, powdered soup and bread buns in our pockets. There is free hot water in the cafe to make up the soup.
Another feature is the "sniffle stations" which are facial tissues in the lift queues to blow your nose on (it runs in the cold).
The only queues we encountered of any length were on Martin Luther King's birthday weekend. The rest of the time the queues were minimal.
The ski instruction is world class of course. And there are the Nastar races. You time yourself on a pre-set ski race course, so you can set times for your mates to beat, and can score awards for your performance.
Great fun place for all.
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