Here at Christy Sports we celebrate skiing and riding every month of the year. (yes, even in the heat of summer) But come January, we celebrate a little extra for Learn to Ski and Ride Month. Whether you’ve been itching to try strapping your feet to skis/ a board or have friends and family who’ve never hit the slopes, this month we toast to bringing newcomers to the sport we love!
SO WHERE TO BEGIN?
A lesson is a great way to get down the basics of skiing or boarding and ease your way into the pow. Many resorts are offering affordable first-time lessons in the month of January. We recommend shopping around online to determine what resort has the best lesson package value to fit your needs!
In addition to offering lessons, most ski resorts have a “bunny slope,” or a ski run with a gentle incline used especially by novice skiers. Once you’ve hopped beyond the bunny hills in terms of ability level, it’s time to hit the green runs! From our friends at Colorado Ski Country USA, check out the most approachable trails for first-time shredders at a few of our favorite Colorado resorts:
BEST BEGINNER SKI TRAILS IN COLORADO:
Know as “The Legend,” Arapahoe Basin is located just over Loveland Pass. While the ski area is comprised of only 7% “beginner” runs, that little green circle and some research can help steer novices in the right direction. At A-Basin, Wrangler is a run where beginners can enjoy the breathtaking scenery of the Continental Divide on an easy path from mid-mountain to the base area. You can also access other beginner trails like Chisholm Trail that take you through the forests a little lower on the mountain.
At Aspen Snowmass, Buttermilk and Snowmass are the mountains with the most beginner terrain. On Snowmass, those just getting started can hit The Meadows at Elk Camp with a dedicated chairlift designed for skiers getting their feet under them and an approachable ski area for beginners. Head over to Buttermilk and check out Panda Peak, the best place to learn how to ski, especially for kids. The Hideout Kids’ Adventure Center can be found adjacent to Panda Peak, making for an enjoyable and easy experience for the kiddos.
Copper is perhaps the most beginner-friendly mountain on our list with a quarter of the resort’s runs marked by that inviting green “beginner” circle. Copper Mountain’s Soliloquy is a long, gradual run winding down the west side of Copper’s naturally-divided terrain with room to spread out and some of the most incredible views on the mountain. A Colorado favorite, Copper Mountain should get a gold medal for beginner friendliness!
LOVELAND SKI AREA
We love Loveland. Rather than just giving beginners a couple of runs on which to practice, the ski area has dedicated a whole side of the mountain known as Loveland Valley to helping newcomers gain experience before hitting more advanced runs elsewhere on the Loveland slopes. Loveland Valley is a separate base area with its own lifts and wide-open, gentle slopes perfect for newcomers getting ready to try some turns. Located in the Loveland Valley off Lift 7 or the Magic Carpet, the runs All Smiles and Take Off both offer great terrain for beginners.
Why Not start skiing at The Boat today? Why Not is a perfect run for skiers and riders who are ready to brave the mountain via Gondola. Gondolas are much easier to exit than your run-of-the-mill chairlift since you can simply step out. (Don’t forget to grab your gear!) The 3-mile green run meanders gently down the mountain to deliver skiers and boarders of all ability levels safely back to the base of Steamboat.
TELLURIDE SKI RESORT
Further south than the other resorts mentioned, Telluride offers unmatched beauty and breathtaking views of the San Juan Mountains. Nestled above 11,000ft, Telluride’s Ute Park offers beginner skiers and riders the opportunity to enjoy the mountains and high-alpine vistas normally reserved for advanced skiers. Once you grow bored of carving down the mountain, (which we doubt you will) Telluride has two beginner terrain parks featuring rollers and small jumps to spice things up – Ute Park is a beginner’s paradise.
Winter Park, like Copper, has a lot of options for newer shredders. Village Way is a nice n’ easy run that winds from the top down to the base. It’s also Winter Park’s longest run at 4.9 miles, so beginners can squeeze plenty of practice in by the time they reach the bottom for après.
CHRISTY SPORTS IS HERE TO HELP!
Christy Sports has shops at or on the way to all of these major Colorado ski resorts. Our employees live and breathe skiing and boarding and love welcoming newcomers to the mountain. Christy’s expert & knowledgeable staff is standing by to help you rent ski and snowboard gear, so you can put those green runs to the test before investing. While you’re at it, pick their brains on some of their favorite beginner runs! Click here to find a Christy Sports location that’s convenient for you. We’ll see you out there! And never forget- We were all new once!
And for more information on the best beginner ski trails in Colorado check out Colorado Ski Country USA’s Blog.