Sometimes the best place to apres-ski is on a bus.
"I love the fact that the end of a ski day, I don't have to worry about trying to drive," said Vici Dehaan, Boulder organizer for the Eskimo Club's ski bus to Winter Park. "And we have food and wine that goes up and down the aisles of the bus" on the way back to the Front Range.
"If it's going to be a nasty day, we don't have to worry about the driving," she said. "We all just relax and know it's going to be a good trip."
The club's ski bus is one of several alternatives to driving solo to the slopes from Boulder.
Making an effort to go to a ski area en masse isn't just more relaxing, not to mention greener. If everyone did it, there would be less traffic, and it would be quicker, said Sue Prant, director of Boulder's Walk and Bike Month and a board member of ridesharing site SkiCarpool.org.
"Anything like the ski bus or SkiCarpool, any other way to get there other than people going in individual cars, you'll get there faster," Prant said.
And isn't speed what skiing's all about?
CU Ski Bus
The University of Colorado's ski bus picks up students, faculty and staff from three locations around campus nearly every weekend when school is in session. Destinations include Arapahoe Basin, Keystone, Breckenridge, Vail and Beaver Creek.
"It's pretty popular," said Peter Roper, program manager with CU's sustainable transportation program. "We've been completely sold out since we started the season."
Book early in the week to secure a reservation.
Cost: $15 round-trip, $5 for CU Herd members.
Glenn Lieberman started SkiCarpool about eight years ago when he couldn't find fellow skiers and snowboarders to carpool with from Denver to the mountains. He was a Web programmer, so he made his own resource.
Now the Boulder-based nonprofit group connects skiers and snowboarders for carpools to any resort, and it's growing every year, Prant said. Last winter, the site hooked up more than 1,400 carpools last winter, she said.
RTD's route N buzzes between downtown Boulder's Walnut Street Station and Eldora Mountain Resort seven days a week during the ski season.
"The buses are packed on the weekends because of skiing," said Daria Serna, spokeswoman for RTD. "We always have an extra bus ready to go in the morning to pick up the extra people who wouldn't fit on the first bus."
On weekends, the bus goes every two hours, with a bonus run hourly in the afternoon.
Cost: $4.50 one way from Boulder to Eldora
Brad Doran started this shuttle service from Boulder and Denver last year after a frustrating day in ski traffic. He carts skiers and snowboarders into the mountains in a van that seats 10.
Book a custom trip, or follow the 2010 winter schedule: Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday to Loveland, Arapahoe Basin, Keystone and Breckenridge; Friday and Saturday to Copper and Vail.
Cost: $35 one-way, $45 round-trip
Eskimo Club Bus
The Eskimo Ski Club has been bussing it to Winter Park for a long time.
"We've been going for 50 some-odd years," Dehaan said.
Club membership is not required. A lot of the midweek skiers (the bus runs Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays) are retired, Dehaan said, but anyone can go. The Saturday bus is for kids and families in the club's ski school.
Carpool from the Table Mesa Shopping Center to the bus pick-up at Exit 259 on Interstate 70.
Cost: $35 round-trip, optional $39 lift ticket for Winter Park
Info: Call 303-494-1782 the day before to reserve a spot