•CU Ski Bus — Cheap transportation for students to ski areas: colorado.edu/ecenter/transportation/bus/ski-bus-program.
•Boulder Freeride — A CU student-run, non-profit organization that promotes skiing and snowboarding: boulderfreeride.org
Head for the hills
Steamboat Ski Resort, Steamboat Springs
Breckenridge Ski Resort, Breckenridge
Aspen Snowmass, Aspen
Monarch Mountain, Monarch
Ski Cooper, Leadville
Copper Mountain Resort, Copper Mountain
Crested Butte Mountain Resort, Crested Butte
Sunlight Mountain Resort, Glenwood Springs
Keystone Resort, Keystone
Loveland Ski Area, Georgetown
Telluride Ski & Golf Resort, Telluride
Ski Granby Ranch, Granby
Silverton Mountain, Silverton
Aspen Highlands, Aspen
Beaver Creek Resort,Beaver Creek
Purgatory Resort, Durango
Winter Park Resort, Winter Park
Arapahoe Basin Ski Area, Keystone
Vail Mountain, Vail
Snowmass, Snowmass Village
Eldora Mountain Resort, Nederland
Wolf Creek Ski Area, Pagosa Springs
Serious skiers may be braving the winter winds and bitter cold out on the slopes right now, while others may be waiting for sunnier slopes. And although the spring months may bring some slushy snow to the state, Colorado is also known for its epic spring powder.
"(Spring skiing) is definitely a lot more fun, a lot more laid back," CU sophomore Kyle DeLong said. DeLong, a member of CU's ski and snowboard club, Boulder Freeride, and a competitive freestyle skier, said he began skiing when he was 9 years old.
Boulder Freeride boasts it's one of the largest clubs on the CU-Boulder campus, as well as the largest collegiate ski and snowboard club in the world with a couple thousand members.
And for students who have even just a hint of interest in snowsports, the club attracts students who have never skied before up to serious athletes.
Boulder Freeride plans three major trips a year — the first one just wrapped up after a trip last week to Jackson Hole, Wyo. A trip to Colorado's Crested Butte is scheduled for Jan. 15-18 and the club will plan a trip for CU's Spring Break (week of Monday, Mar. 21)to Park City, Utah — the largest ski resort in North America. Organized trips are fee-based using insurance cost, lodging and lift tickets. The fee also covers transportation and usually a few meals.
Boulder Freeride recruits students in the fall — you may have seen it with a practice rail set up on campus to promote the sport and get people interested. Then in the winter, the club hosts a weekend in Breckendridge every month for members.
"It's a great way for college students to go out and explore the mountains and take advantage of beautiful Colorado," DeLong said.
Colorado's resorts generally open in November and close up shop in April, DeLong said, but snowfall has stayed strong over the past winters and some resorts remain open through summer months — like Arapahoe Basin, which has a summit elevation of 13,050 feet.
Colorado's ski industry generates $4.8 billion annually, according to a release from Colorado Ski Country and Vail Resorts.
"A lot of Coloradans know to ski or snowboard," DeLong said. "After being inside watching a fireplace or TV for so long you want to get outside and do something with your friends."
And although lift passes can be pricy, students have options to buy various passes — some of which can help save some cash. To save money, most CU students opt for Epic Passes — an option that could pay for itself if you ski at least five times a season at places like Breckenridge, Keystone, Bear Creek and Vail. Passes are no longer being sold this season, but Epic Lift Day tickets can be purchased. Find out various packages and more information: skicolorado.com. Of note: January is "Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month," and some Colorado resorts are offering deals.
Jennifer Rios: twitter.com/Jennifer_Rios