Getting Your Snow’s Worth: Access to Skiing Sustainably

We may already be well into the ski and snowboard season, but the long Colorado winter promises even more months of powder to look forward to. Whether you are already an experienced skier or you have never skied before, there are plenty of cheaper and more sustainable opportunities to get out into the snow. 

If you have gear and a pass but no car, or simply don’t want to drive and pay for gas, the Freerider’s Union of Colorado College bus is only $5. It drives students to one of the Summit County resorts on most Saturdays, leaving at 6:30 a.m. If you do choose to take your own car, carpool with as many people that you can! Pro tip: a lot of resorts give priority to cars that have more people in them. Copper Mountain and Keystone prioritize parking for cars of four or more, Arapahoe Basin for cars of three or more, and Breckenridge Resort gives riders a $5 discount on parking for cars of four or more. 

If you don’t have a pass or gear, and/or you’ve never skied before, the Outdoor Recreation Club is a great resource. Every now and then, the ORC leads beginner and intermediate ski trips to Cooper Mountain that cost only $50 per person for transportation, rentals, and a lift ticket. These trips are also led by people who can give tips on how to improve your technique. If you aren’t interested in organized trips, don’t fret — the ORC conveniently also rents out Nordic skis and Telemark skis! 

Block Break is also a great opportunity to get out into the snow. If you’re planning on doing some resort skiing over a Block Break, you may want to consider alternative transportation options. Major bus companies like Bustang and Greyhound have routes that go from Colorado Springs to Frisco, a town in close vicinity to some popular resorts like Breckenridge and Keystone. Options like this tend to take more time, but are more eco-friendly. These rides are also some of the cheapest; while there are other bus companies that take you directly to a specific resort, these tend to be more expensive. If buses make you nauseous, apps like SkiCarpool, WaytoGo, and CarpoolWorld have programs that allow skiers to meet up and carpool to resorts together. This is particularly useful if you plan on travelling by yourself or with just one other person. 

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