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Ski Experience - Loveland

Powder snow—dry, light, heavenly fluff the stuff every skier loves. Stack over 30 feet of it onto a ski area that straddles the Continental Divide with a peak at over 13,000 feet, and you've got the very definition of skiing's nirvana. Want to know heaven on earth? Visit Loveland Ski Area. It's less than an hour from downtown Denver.

If you've driven west on I-70 from Denver to Breckenridge, Vail, Aspen, Ski Cooper or Copper Mountain, you've been past this magnificent mountain. Perhaps you didn't even realize there was a resort there. When you went through the Eisenhower Tunnel, you drove under part of it. Yep, the pass is so steep it needed a tunnel. That's your entrance to the world of stoke! If you've never been, you're in for the ski experience of a lifetime.

Ski Levels

By the time most resorts are breaking out the snowmaking equipment, the altitude here has already brought down a solid foot and a half of base. While there are some beginner trails, 41 percent of the mountain is designated for intermediate and advanced skiers and more than half of that is advanced or expert level skiing. It's no wonder this hideaway has been a local favorite for so long. The ski rental shop at Loveland is top-notch. One of the great things about them is a demo program that lets you try out different skis (or snowboards) throughout the day, so you can really get a chance to check out the various models. Their instructors are some of the very best on the continent. They offer beginner's classes, of course, but you can get ATAC (All Terrain All Condition) adult classes as well. Or maybe you'd like to gain some grace with Telemark instruction? Having an instructor with you does more than just let you cut lift lines. These perceptive experts can give you small pointers that make an enormous difference in your fun and abilities.

We've already said the Continental Divide is at high altitude. That makes for a lot of fun, but it also adds some dimensions to the ski experience. You'll want to make extra certain that you have plenty of light layers, and a wind and water proof powder jacket is a must. Both neck and ankle gators are highly advised, as is a good ski mask and a hat that covers your ears. Remember, you're going to be deep in champaign powder, and it can be really cold and windy up there.

Après Ski

The grub on the mountain is basics, but it's good, reasonable, and there's plenty of it. When you're ready to descend and return to the land of mortals, you'll find lodgings and plenty of dining opportunities in the nearby communities. Check it out and find out just how sweet it is to be skiing atop the Continental Divide! Loveland—it's not just for locals anymore.