We can’t lie, we’re happy Alpine skiing and boarding are so popular! We love that so many here out west share our passion for snow sports. But we also know this can cause frustration for participants when it comes to traffic, lines, and crowded runs. This sure as heck won’t stop us from shredding! And it doesn’t have to stop you either. Here are some tips for avoiding ski crowds:

Play Hookie

Just don’t tell your boss Christy Sports said so. If you’ve ever been lucky enough to hit the slopes mid-week, then you know how much the crowds are reduced. Have some sick days to spare? Everyone needs a mental health day now again and our favorite form of self-care is flying down a wide-open run. Pro tip: As much as we want you sharing all your photos with the hashtag #chasingfun, be careful not to post too much on social media for your coworkers or boss to see. Maybe just stay off the ‘gram when playing hookie.

 

Spend the Night

If you just can’t use those sick days and have to go shred on a weekend, try to look for affordable lodging near the mountain. Splitting it with friends, even if it means close quarters for the night, will make it even cheaper. And spending a weekend in the mountain makes for an unforgettable family vacation. Not to mention, rolling out of bed when the suns up and still getting first chair is an awesome feeling! Keep in mind the highway does start to get congested Friday night heading west and Sunday afternoon heading east. Still, staying the night allows you to avoid traffic standing in between you and the chairlift.

 

Head for the Hills Early

So what if you are unable to play hookie OR spend the night? You can still avoid gobs of traffic and get to the powder before it’s tracked out. You just have to be prepared to leave early in the morning. Traffic flow will depend on where you’re going. But when it comes to driving up I70 for example, Westword warns “The difference between leaving at 5:30 and leaving at 6:30 a.m. is nearly 55 minutes of driving.” Your best bet is to hop on the road before 6 am. Not a morning person? Try finding a friend who is (they do exist) and carpooling with them up in exchange for a little gas money or a beer at the lodge. Once the car is loaded, you can get some more Z’s on the road.

 

Try Different Terrain

Head to the back bowls or find some more challenging runs. (if you feel comfortable) Crowds tend to stay on the front of the mountain on greens and blues and flock to the most accessible lifts. Traveling to the backside may require a couple extra lift rides but you’ll likely find smaller crowds and shorter lines once you arrive. You can find powder at a busy resort, you just have to know how!