9 Ideas for the Ultimate Spring Break Ski Trip
Submitted by alison on Mon, 02/17/2014 - 9:47am
Every year, Colorado becomes one of the top Spring Break destinations in the country, thanks to the abundant snowfall and balmy March temperatures. Many ski resorts plan multi-day outdoor concerts and other events to draw visitors and the atmosphere feels like one big party for most of the month. If you’re planning a Spring Break ski trip to Colorado, here are 9 ideas to take your vacation to the next level.
If you’re headed to a ski resort, chances are you’ll be staying and playing more than a mile above sea level. Adjusting to that kind of elevation can take time, so be sure to plan a day at the beginning of your trip to relax as your body adjusts. Look into local oxygen providers, as well. If you’re feeling ill once you get to town, it’s better to get oxygen right away than to wait it out and hope you get better.
1. Anticipate the altitude
2. Watch the weather
Weather patterns in the mountains are very different than the weather patterns in much of the rest of the country. Local storm systems can be limited to a single county or even a single town. Don’t assume that the weather in Denver is going to be similar to the weather at your ski destination. And prepare for the weather forecast to change dramatically as you get closer to the date of your trip. Be sure to ask what the weather is likely to be like when you make reservations and when you check in. You can also check out forecasting websites that are familiar with Colorado's weather patterns, like Open Snow and Wunderground.
3. Look for lift ticket deals
Do some research before you purchase your ski lift tickets. There are numerous companies that can provide deals and packages. Ask when you reserve your ski rentals, check the prices at the local grocery store, and check out websites like Ski.com and Liftopia. You can also frequently package lift tickets with your lodging so don’t finalize your ticket purchase until you’ve checked out all your options.
Ski resorts across Colorado have hotels, motels, and condos available, but if you’re planning to spend a week or longer, it’s worth considering a vacation rental home. You’ll have more space for your gear and you’ll probably be able to stay in a location that’s a little further off the beaten path. Many rental homes have added perks like hot tubs and game rooms for after the ski lifts close.
4. Rent a house
No matter how long you’ve been skiing or snowboarding, you’re probably a little rusty. Whether you’ve been skiing 5 times already this season or you haven’t dusted off the board since last year, having a professional provide tips will ensure that you spend more time enjoying the fresh snow and less trying to remember the fundamentals. Most resorts offer half day and full day group lessons in addition to a range of private and semi-private lessons.
5. Take a lesson
6. See the sightsSure you’re in town for the fresh powder, but that doesn’t mean you should get tunnel vision. Colorado’s ski destinations have lots of other fantastic activities, so consider spending a day off the slopes taking in the nearby attractions. Whether it’s driving to the top of a scenic mountain pass, going dog sledding, soaking in nearby hot springs or window shopping downtown, you’ll have no problem filling up that “extra” day.
Not sure what’s good, what’s great, and what’s worth skipping? Whether it’s a restaurant recommendation, the hidden trail with the best powder, or the best place to buy new skis, you might have a little trouble figuring out what your best options are. Fortunately, you’re surrounded by experts – so ask the front desk agent, the lift operator, the bus driver or the bartender where they like to go.
7. Ask a local
For many, the après ski scene is half the point of a ski vacation. After a long day exploring the mountain, there’s nothing better than cozying up to the local bar for snacks and beverages. Whether you stay slopeside or head into town, most establishments will offer happy hour deals on drinks, appetizers and more.
8. Enjoy the après scene
Maybe you planned to go with your best friend or a couple of buddies, but think about convincing as many friends as you can to join in your plans. Ski trips are perfect for large groups. Even if you split into smaller parties during the day, you’ll save on lodging and you’ll easily be able to meet up for evening plans.
9. The more, the merrier
No matter where in Colorado you’re headed, these tips will ensure a fantastic Spring Break ski vacation.