Powder Power

November 26, 2017

Sitting on the side of the world’s tallest flat-top plateau our local ski resort, Powderhorn, is heading towards it’s 51st opening season this year.

Because of the incoming wave of chilly air this month, Powderhorn is planning on having their opening day on December 15th, the same weekend as the previous two years. However, the resort is “always optimistic for an early open. As mother nature allows, [they] will be open for weekends as soon as [they] can, and open seven days a week after December 15th,” explains Eric Almanzar, marketing and event coordinator at Powderhorn Mountain Resort.

Although small, Powderhorn is proud to be upping their game each year. Recently, they replaced one of their five ski lifts with a modern high-speed lift, giving skiers an easier way to get more runs in for the day. This year, they’re excited to announce two new additions: their new YETI program as well as the Ski Patrol Ski Along.

The YETI program will be attracting those who love to challenge their abilities and style. This is an opportunity for freestyle skiers and snowboarders to get out on the snow and ‘do some shredding’ without having to worry about being in the way of the other skiers and boarders on the slopes.

The other new opportunity, Ski Patrol Ski Along, is where you can ski or snowboard with a professional ski patroller and learn some of their techniques. Skiers and snowboarders will be able to “learn some of the tools of the trade such as safety, transporting, and caring for people on the mountain,” Almanzar says. Powderhorn has “developed [this] to serve as a local guide to educate guests of all ages about the roles of ski patrol, their importance to the resort, and to mentor those interested,” ending in a completion certificate that could especially benefit those who would like to pursue a career in the ski industry.

For high school students, becoming a member of the ski and board club is beneficial in order get great rates for the season pass to this local favorite ski stop. Also, if you’re just beginning to ski and want to join your friends on the slope with some skill at hand, Powderhorn Adventure Snowsports Training (PHAST) is a great way to learn from 3rd grade through high school. This program provides a way for kids and teens to move up in their ability, being placed in groups on the slopes to be shown how to conquer the snow.

For students enrolled at CMU, a student with twelve credits or more can get a season pass with a reduced rate of $399. There are also many ways around campus to get reduced, or even free, day passes. Keep this in mind if you’ll be attending CMU this next semester or next year!

People who buy season passes are truly getting a good deal- since Powderhorn is a partnering resort to other ski areas in Colorado such as Loveland and Purgatory (more are listed on their website, powderhorn.com), they can use that season pass to get over 50 free or discounted days at those other resorts. This way, people can travel around Colorado and ski or snowboard at a cheap price, while having unlimited ski trips to Powderhorn as well throughout the season.

Compared to bigger ski resorts in Colorado, Powderhorn is a great way to ski locally while still having great terrain. “For locals residing here in the Grand Valley, we are fortunate to have a ski resort no more than an hour away,”Almanzar points out. “Powderhorn is home to  some of the most unique terrain in the state, with large boulder fields and graded aspen trees that stash snow, days after a storm,” so although driving long distance for a bigger, more expensive, and more populated ski resort is an option, our local one is quite impressive for it’s deceiving size.

Rachel Meleski has been skiing at Powderhorn since she can remember. “Growing up in the Grand Valley, I didn’t get to look into my backyard and see piles of snow all the time…being able to drive an hour and be surrounded by splashing powder and ski lifts is very unique.” As a dedicated member and leader of ski and board club here at Fruita Monument, she gets a great deal for a season pass at Powderhorn, and uses it as much as she can there, as well as their partnering resorts. “I’ll really be looking forward to see what new things they’ve added this year, and being able to easily go skiing with my friends is, of course, something I’m grateful to say I can do, thanks to having a close resort.”

Like many other students at FMHS and across the Grand Valley, Rachel is looking forward to a great season at Powderhorn and hoping for a lot of powder days.


Picture credit: Devin Horvat

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