For skiing and snowboarding CU students, no car is no problem.
Even if you're not grabbing the CU Ski Bus or trying to save a friendship by not bumming yet another ride from a pal, local businesses are there to shuttle you from Boulder to the mountains anytime you need a fresh powdering. By bus, van or a new friend's car, if you need a ride you can find one.
Whether you're carless or just going greener, here are five places to start looking for rides, carpool buddies and maybe even a new ski friends along the way.
CU Ski Bus
Exclusively for students, faculty and staff, the CU Ski Bus will take you to five mountains: Arapahoe Basin, Breckenridge, Keystone, Beaver Creek and Vail.
But book in advance.
"Our first trip of the year we had one empty seat," said Brandon Smith, the sustainable transportation program manager at CU. "If you're interested in a ticket and it's sold out, go on the standby list. To this date, we haven't left anyone at the curb who wanted to go."
Riders can buy or sell tickets and check out the schedule at cuskibus.com. Follow the CU Ski Bus Facebook page, https://facebook.com/cuskibus, for ticket availability, too. Cost: $15 round-trip, $5 for CU Herd members.
What to go to whatever mountain you and your friends want whenever you want? Lee Olliffe bought the Boulder Lift from his friend last year with aim to get people to the mountains via a slightly more private option — a van that sits 10. This year, though, the Lift is only available for personal charters, not on a regular schedule.
"This year I am doing charter service — a person can hire the van for the day," Olliffe said. "I'm still going to the mountains and I'll go to any mountain, doesn't matter — no set list."
The van books at $300 a day. Arranged pick-ups can be discussed with Olliffe upon rental. Check it out at theboulderlift.com.
Ski n Ride
If you're planning to get in midweek turns at Eldora this winter, RTD has a convenient way to get there.
"Buses are available seven days a week during ski season, with frequent departures to accommodate either a full or half day of skiing, snowboarding or snowshoeing," said RTD's Lisa Trujillo.
Riders can be picked up at The Boulder Transit Center on Walnut Street in downtown Boulder. Find the schedule at http://rtd-denver.com/skiNRide.shtml. Cost: $5 one-way regular fare, $2.50 discounted fare.
Don't ride alone! A non-profit organization started by Glenn Lieberman, the social networking website allows a person to find a ride to any mountain they want. The goal was to prevent congestion on Interstate 70 by providing free access for people who want to find carpooling partners.
"If you meet a few people and ride with them the rest of the year, then you can quit using the site," Sue Prant said, a board member of SkiCarpool.com. "That is a good reason to not use it — if you meet a great ski buddy."
Boulder Free Ride
For members only, the world's largest collegiate ski and snowboard club (they say) is right here at CU, and they will help get you to the mountains anytime you want. Freeride's come one, come all attitude includes weekend trips for the X-Games and single days in the mountains. An inexperienced shredder can join, too; they hook learners up with a club member willing to teach anyone who wants to learn how to have a great time on the snow.
But back to getting to the mountain.
"All of our trips sell out really quick. There are a lot of people who are really dedicated and are always riding with us," said Kevin Martin, a member of the board of directors. "Being in the club gets you discounts on gear around Boulder with the membership card, access to car pool list and condo weekends."
Get more info at boulderfreeride.org. Cost: $70 for five years, $40 for one year.
Contact Gavin B. Griffin at email@example.com