What’s Happening on Leadville’s Ski Hill
It’s been quite a January for Leadville’s local hill, Ski Cooper. Not only did the October snow and cold temperatures set things up for an early start to the 2018-19 season, but the consistent winter storms keep rolling in, resulting in a 168” base of all-natural snow as of Monday, Jan. 28. And if that isn’t motivation enough to take the extra drive off of I-70 onto Highway 24 or via Highway 91, then Cooper’s sweet #weekdaydeals and their February event line-up might just do the trick.
Known as one of the best deals in high country skiing, from now through the end of February, Cooper offers 2-Fer Tuesdays. Yea, it sounds a bit ridiculous that folks can ski miles and miles of varied terrain for only $28, but it’s true. Grab a friend and get up to Cooper for 2-Fer Tuesdays, when you get two adult lift tickets (regular window price $56/each) for the price of one! Offer good through February 26, 2019.
If you’re more into doing some solo turns and working on your style and speed, then $30 Thursdays might be the deal for you. Every Thursday adults can enjoy a $30 lift ticket (at the window). Tickets are also available for purchase up until two days prior to arrival.
When you’re done taking advantage of all the fresh snow, plan to stop into Katie O’Rourke’s Pub in the lodge for some après ski and live music. This Thursday, Jan. 31 George Finnell and Sam Galey will be entertaining the crowds, starting at 3 p.m. Join this local duo as they kick up the good times with some sweet acoustic tunes for your listening and dancing pleasure!
Senor Ski Days. Cooper is seeing more skiers with a little snow-on-top and maybe that’s because of the relaxed, friendly feel on the mountain. But it also could be because the more mature skier can get a discounted lift ticket on Wednesdays through the end of February 2019. It’s only $30 for a day of skiing if you are between 60-69 years of age, that price drops to $20 if you’re in the 70-79 year set. And well, if you’re still hitting the slopes in your 80s, good for you and know that the lift ticket for all Octogenarians is always free at Ski Cooper.
The Ski with a Ranger program takes place at Ski Cooper every Sunday afternoon through April 7. Meet at the base of the mountain at 1 p.m. The program lasts approximately one hour. Participants need to be comfortable with intermediate runs, specifically Trails End and Homestake, but the tour also includes beginner runs. Topics include: identifying animal tracks in the snow and discussing the wildlife and different tree species found at Ski Cooper; a brief history of the 10th Mountain Division; the relationship between the Forest Service and ski area, and more. Become a Ski Cooper scholar and Ski With A Ranger!
The next Mountaintop Yurt Dinner will take place this Saturday, Feb.2 at 5 p.m. Take a snowcat ride to the top of Ski Cooper for a delicious gourmet meal at the Ridgeview Cafe. Your meal will be a pairing of locally sourced ingredients and local wines served in a cozy yurt. Choose between Salmon, New York Strip or Stuffed Portabella Mushroom for your entree. Return to the base by snowcat transportation. It’s an unforgettable experience!
And finally, for 10th Mountain Division fans, mark the following dates on your calendar. The events honoring this special group of soldiers kick off Wednesday, Feb. 27 at 2 p.m. in the Lake County High School (LCHS) Auditorium. Students from West Park Elementary 3rd grade class will conduct an assembly honoring the veterans of the 10th Mountain Division. This is a heart-warming interaction of generations and usually a great history lesson for all in attendance.
According to organizers, in this learning expedition, students will build their background knowledge of World War II and the Tenth’s involvement. In addition, students will investigate the impact these men and women have had on Leadville community.
Then on Friday, March 1, the veterans and their friends and families will be out at Ski Cooper all day, with the serpentine ski down scheduled for 1:30 p.m. The 3rd graders will re-join the group out at Ski Cooper as a culminating experience for their learning expedition about the 10th Mountain Division.
“This is a great way to wrap up a powerful learning expedition,” stated Becca Katz, the Community Learning Director for the Lake County School District.
The famed 10th Mountain Division has a special connection to Leadville. Camp Hale, its main training camp was located just a few miles north of the town on Highway 24. Much of their ski and outdoor training took place at Ski Cooper and nearby wilderness areas. And when it came time for socializing and cutting loose, Leadville was their spot for good fun!
As one of the most compelling war stories, the 14,000-man division was filled with some of the finest skiers, mountaineers, mule skinners and horsemen in the world, and was the last American division to see combat. However, once the outfit deployed to the mountains of Italy during the closing months of the war, the troops never lost a battle or gave up an inch of ground. After the war, many of its veterans went on to create or expand the ski resorts of Vail, Aspen, and Arapahoe Basin, as well as many other ski areas around the United States. It’s going to be another moving tribute to these special soldiers. Make sure you’re part of it!
So that’s a wrap for the mid-season Ski Cooper report. Get out and enjoy everything this one-of-a-kind ski area has to offer during your time in Leadville Today.