The Powder Chasers Guide to Spring Skiing at Copper
By Joe Wirth
Posted by Guest Blogger
on April 9, 2013
After a great month of snow in March and warmer temperatures in Copper’s forecast, it is safe to say that spring skiing has finally come to Colorado, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to settle on skiing the slushy groomers for the rest of the season.
Copper Mountain is packed with small pockets of incredible powder that are just waiting for the powder chasers to come shred it up, but in order to find the good snow you’ll have to earn it.
Of course not everyone in the Copper community is going to read this article so consider yourself one of the lucky ones to know some of the secret pow spots that are still available this spring.
For every powder chaser there is always that unspoken contemplation that goes something like this: should I duck this rope and just go for it?
No where else is this kind of thought process more of problem than at Union Peak, where hikers have access to extreme terrain and incredible powder if they’re up for the walk across the traverse.
The problem is that while you’re hiking on top of the Union bowl, a lot of the best snow is a part of closed off terrain, and although it may seem like a cool idea to go for it and risk your life for the powder, it’s not a good idea.
The hike at the Union Peak has a lot of closed terrain due to avalanche conditions, which should be taken seriously by any powder chaser. (Photo/Joseph Wirth)
Get to know the secret spot on Union Peak, and it’s surprisingly not on the back side of the mountain. From the top of the Mountain Chief or Sierra lifts, take the front side traverse going west and take it all the way through the gate leading to the Union Meadows.
From there it’s pretty much a free-for-all on deep snow, but the best snow in the area is to the right and straight down into the forest, and it is oh so plush to ski through.
The American Flyer
You don’t have to be an extreme terrain skier to find the pow at Copper, and right off one of the main lifts, the American Flyer, there are woods full of knee-deep snow, and it’s really easy to find.
You may be able to see it on your way up the lift looking to the right, but on your way down the American Flyer groomer, go underneath the lift and stay left into the woods. From there it is steep and deep trees with a skiable trail that leads you down to the Timberline lift.
The Enchanted Forest
This next powder spot will lead you to one of Copper’s best kept secrets. Take the Storm King lift up and take the traverse to the right towards the Upper Enchanted Forest.
Go into the first entrance on the right and stay as high up on the hill as you can going as far right as you can. The powder will be worth it as you drop into the upper-left side of the Enchanted Forest.
And be happy for knowing this secret, because this spot is very exclusive and you’ll know it right away from the limited amount of tracks.
Resolution/Super Bee Area
There are great areas on this side of the mountain, and they can be a powder chasers dream.
From the top of the Super Bee, there are a few options. The first one is to take Andy’s Encore down and stick to the right until you see an opening that takes you even further to the right.
From here it will be important to stay close to a trail while in the woods because the powder is so deep and exhilarating that you could get lost in it and find yourself outside of ski area’s boundary. If this happens to you try to make yourself as far left as you can because if you don’t you’ll be stuck walking along side of a highway back to the Alpine Lift, and trust me, that’s something no one wants to do.
The other, and much better secret spot off of the Super Bee Lift is in the woods off of the left side of the groomer named Collage. Take Collage down from the top of the lift and go past Copperopolis and stay left. Enter the woods to the left and start enjoying some very deep snow in woods that aren’t very tight.
Eventually you’ll make it to one of Copper’s best gems of powder spots, 17 Glade. This run offers several small fields of powder with scattered trees, making it one of Copper’s most coveted areas for powder chasers and all skiers alike.
So now that you know where to go for your next Copper adventure, be safe and stay in bounds!