Jeremy Papasso / Staff Photographer
Cliff Grassmick / Staff Photographer
Helen H. Richardson / The Denver Post
Brian Brainerd / The Denver Post
RJ Sangosti / The Denver Post
Colorado Department of Tourism: coloradoski.com
Boulder Freeride: boulderfreeride.org
Eldora Mountain Resort: eldora.com
Epic Passes: epicpass.com
The M.A.X. Pass: themaxpass.com
Route 40 Pass: bit.ly/2w4IU9x
CU Ski Bus
The ski bus is an awesome way to hit the Summit County slopes with a few dozen of your best pals. It’s cheap, and you can either nap or be that guy that does funny/mean things to people while they’re napping. (Be nice.) Go to colorado.edu/ecenter/transportation/bus/ski-bus-program or the Ski Bus Facebook page, facebook.com/cuskibus, for details. Plan ahead — it fills up quick. The schedule goes up about a month before the bus starts bussing.
Boulder kicks ass for many reasons. One of the best? Within 45 minutes and a $5 bus ride, you can be face down in some of the purest powder on the planet.
Eldora Mountain Resort is this town’s hometown resort. And after some much-needed upgrades — a new chair lift, logo and motto: Drive less, ski more — it’s looking better than ever.
This year, the resort tore down its ’70s-era single and double chair lifts and installed a brand-spanking-new, six-person, high-speed replacement. The Eldo Express will go from base to tip faster than your mother last night, Trebek: a lightning-quick 4.5 minutes.
The $5 million upgrade will be finished in time for the 2017-2018 season. Buffs can get an Eldora pass for $309; real adults will shell out an extra $100 for the same privilege.
If 1,600 vertical feet is too tame for you, head into the high country for some of the country’s best skiing. All that’s left now is how to convince your parents that a ski pass should be counted toward your education expenses.
Here are your options for the upcoming season. Many of the college passes require valid student identification and course schedules, among other things. Check the websites for details. As always in skiing and boarding, there are no guarantees for price, weather or gaper levels. Shred smartly.
Unlimited access to Eldora, Winter Park and Copper Mountain, plus six days at Steamboat Springs and three at Crested Butte will run you $479 with valid student ID, $599 without.
Epic Pass: A bit spendy at $859 (no discount for Buffs), but this provides unlimited access to Colorado resorts Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone, Arapahoe Basin. No blackouts, no restrictions. Visit epicpass.com.
Epic Local College Pass: A cool $589 gets you unlimited days at Breckenridge, Keystone and Arapahoe Basin and 10 days at Vail and Beaver Creek, you fancy fuck.
College Summit Value Pass: The perfect Summit County deal, this pass is for unlimited days at Keystone and Arapahoe Basin, favorites of the locals. It also gets you into Breckenridge, with some holiday restrictions. Breck tickets on blackout days are half-price. Full pass is $439.
The M.A.X. Pass
No student discount for this one, but with 44 resorts and five days at each — that’s 220 days of total skiing/boarding for you liberal arts majors — it’s a great deal. Eldora, Winter Park, Steamboat, Crested Butte and Copper Mountain are representing Colorado on this pass, plus dozens of others from the East Coast to the West and in between. Scoop it up for $679. Visit themaxpass.com.
Route 40 Pass
This pass is named for the highway connecting the Winter Park and Steamboat resorts. Unlimited days at Winter Park plus four at Steamboat will run adults $489 and college students $399. Visit bit.ly/2w4IU9x.
Well worth the trek, Steamboat is also home to Strawberry Park Natural Hot Springs. Shuttles run regularly from town, and the springs are clothing optional after dark. Watch out for bat wings.
Shay Castle: twitter.com/shayshinecastle