Leadville News – January 5

Cooper’s 75th Birthday Cake, More “Icing” To Come

It’s seems appropriate that Ski Cooper would mark its “diamond” Anniversary, its 75th Birthday, with a moonlight torch parade on New Year’s Eve. It was certainly a worthy tribute to their 10th Mountain Division heritage. And with fresh snow on the way this weekend, the cake will be fully iced for the 2017/18 season.Cooper Anniversary

“Despite the drier season, we have great skiing on the backside of Cooper, off the Piney Basin Triple Chair,” stated Dana Tyler Johnson, Ski Cooper’s Director of Marketing & Sales. “There is also snow headed our way this weekend,” she forecasted, “wetting” the appetite for season pass holders, which increased by more than 200 this year.  

Add to that, the growing number of weekday skiers Cooper is seeing and the buzz on the slopes this season is CROWDS: “I’ve never seen it that busy at Cooper!” And the BIG snow hasn’t fully arrived – yet! But when you offer slope and fun deals like these to Front Range Colorado newcomers, they will come!  

$30 Thursdays – Stop by for $30 Thursdays with live music and $30 lift tickets. Ski Cooper has their 2018 music lineup for Thursdays and Saturdays all dialed in for the season, so pick your favorite live show and plan your slope time accordingly! $30 Thursdays run through the end of March.

2Fer Tuesdays – Cooper’s 2Fer Tuesdays offer 2 lift tickets for the price of one adult ticket ($54). This deal is valid through the end of February. That’s a $27 lift ticket for each person- a price you won’t find anywhere else in the high country.


There’s a full line-up of Apres Ski Live Music planned for the 2018 season at Katie O’Rourke’s Irish Pub in the Ski Cooper Lodge. Photo: Leadville Today/Brennan Ruegg.

New This Season!

Moonlight Mountaintop Yurt Dinners – Take a snowcat ride to the top of Cooper for a delicious gourmet meal on the top of the mountain. Your meal will be a pairing of locally sourced ingredients & local wines served in a cozy yurt. Return to the base by snowcat transportation. It’s an unforgettable experience! For details on dates and reservations: CLICK!

Wondering what else is on tap for the 2017/18 season at Ski Cooper? Then check out this Leadville Today video featuring Cooper’s Marketing Director Dana Johnson’s presentation from Cooper’s Annual Community Meeting held October 21, 2017. From 75th Birthday celebrations to Twofer Tuesdays, find out what’s happening at Leadville’s ski hill this year!

The future at Ski Cooper

While snow-pack levels got off to a slow start this season, the future looks bright – and a bit steeper – for Cooper’s Wayback Pod Improvement Project. While it might sound like something out of That 70s Show, it’s actually part of the original Master Plan created by Ski Cooper back in 2000.

“A couple of things to keep in mind,” Torsell explained at the annual Community Meeting held every fall to keep residents informed of the neighboring ski area’s operations. “What we are actually doing on this Wayback Pod Improvement Project is much smaller in scope than what was originally presented.”

Secondly, Torsell re-iterated, please note the term “improvement,” not expansion. And while that might seem like a battle of semantics, it actually demonstrates Ski Cooper commitment to staying within the boundaries of their contract with the US forest Service, all while maintaining its distinct pay-as-you-go philosophy of ski hill management – a concept that still is held in high regard by a majority of Lake County residents.

In this Leadville Today video the Wayback Pod Improvement Project is described in more details by Torsell. The project is anticipated to be doing the “ground” work by 2020. Other details, including how the community can weigh in on the project can be found in the video.

And finally, if you’re looking for a good read when you’re kicked back after a day on the slopes, then consider the recently self-published book from former Ski Cooper employee Patrick Torsell: “Snow Guns Before Sunrise.”

The new read chronicles a behind-the-scenes look at ski resort operations. Locals will find anecdotal stories from Leadville’s Bob Casey (Ski Cooper Board member), Ski Patroller George Gipson, current GM and the author’s father Dan Torsell, as well as two Leadville’s Colorado Mountain College ski area operations instructors Jason Gusaas and Curt Bender. Torsell recently left Leadville to pursue other ski operations interests, including this book which is now available on eBook ($8.99) with the paperback ($14.99) to follow shortly.


New this season at Ski Cooper is their mountaintop yurt which will offer everything from lunch with an incredible view, to moonlight snowcat tours. Photo: Leadville Today/Brennan Ruegg

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