Ski Cooper is an affordable, down-to-earth family ski resort located just outside of Leadville, CO, the highest incorporated city in the US. This ski resort is worth the drive up! The views are unbelievable and the traffic is nothing once you are past those other busy resorts like Keystone. Ski Cooper is a historic mountain that keeps the tradition of family skiing alive.
History of Ski Cooper
Ski Cooper is the former training site for the 10th Mountain Division where ski troops were trained for World War II. Chosen for its rugged mountainous terrain, high average snowfall, and availability of rail transportation, the training site was built for troops to train for two years. After World War II, the training site at Camp Hale was converted to a ski resort and opened to the public as Ski Cooper. A place for local family’s to ski and not have to drive very far to enjoy the mountains and fresh air.
Get to Know Ski Cooper
The two most popular traits of Ski Cooper are its authentic feel without the glitzy high-end resort flair, and its amazing 2,600 acres of out-of-bounds skiing accessed via ski tour.
Its authentic feel stems from its smaller size: 4 lifts serving 400 acres of skiable terrain providing access to 39 trails. Here you can ski a series of black diamond runs, or enjoy multiple blue and green cruisers. You’ll notice what’s missing – no lift lines, no crowds, no hustle and bustle. Instead, you’ll find plenty of parking, spacious elbow room on the slopes, tons of snow, and the infinite serenity of Colorado’s high peaks.
The base of the mountain is at 10,500 feet of elevation, with a summit at 11,700 feet. With these higher elevations, Ski Cooper catches a windfall of snow and boasts an average of 260 inches of snowfall each year. There is no need for man-made snow thanks to Mother Nature abundantly dumping white powder on this high mountain resort.
The out-of-bounds skiing is accessed via snowcat up the Chicago Ridge with scenic views of Mt. Massive and Mt. Elbert – two of Colorado’s “14-ers”. The view of the Rocky Mountains at 12,600 feet is breathtaking and the open untouched terrain below is just as thrilling on the way down. The best part of Ski Cooper is that you can shred in your own little world. One minute you’ll be cruising along wondering when you are accidentally going to run into someone then you turn to look and find no one in site. This is why Ski Cooper truly is a place to escape to.
Learn to Ski or Snowboard
Packages are available to children and adults who are learning to ski or snowboard. The Panda Patrol package for kids includes lift ticket, full-day lesson, rental equipment, and lunch. The First Timer Program for adults includes lift ticket, rental equipment, and a 2-hour lesson. Group lessons, private lessons, and mogul clinics are also offered by experienced and qualified instructors.