While you may not want to commit to the full ski bum lifestyle, plan your course schedule correctly and the student life can still accommodate plenty of slope time, especially if there’s a mountain resort nearby. While some just want to head to the mountains for spring break, living within easy reach of a resort means you can take full advantage of the many college-age season passes out there.
Outdoor pursuits are easy to come by in southwest Colorado, and Purgatory is just 25 miles away from Fort Lewis College in the fun town of Durango. New for Fall 2019 and Spring 2020, first-time First-year students get a free season pass for use at Purgatory and Hesperus Ski Area. In the event you don't have ski gear, with a membership to FLC's Outdoor Pursuits you can rent gear from them for free. Also nearby: Telluride and Wolf Creek.
Boulder’s “backyard hill,” Eldora, is easy to get to from University of Colorado Boulder with public transit RTD's N Route bus, that whisks skiers and riders from downtown Boulder right to their Alpenglow six-person chairlift in about 40 minutes. The CU Ski Bus makes getting to other Front Range resorts easy, affordable and eco-friendly, with no car necessary. Boulder Freeride is the largest student group on campus, as well as the largest collegiate ski and snowboard club in the world.
There's no end of opportunities to play outdoors on or near both Northern Vermont University campuses in Johnson and Lyndon. You can take your pick from some of the best terrain in the Northeast: Burke, Smugglers' Notch, Jay Peak, and Stowe. Each campus has its own terrain park. Combine your studies with your love of the mountains with NVU’s concentration in mountain resort management.
The Plymouth State University Freeski Club brings skiers and boarders together with events like a ski and snowboard swap, ski movie premieres, rail jams, preseason trampoline sessions, and weekend trips to mountains such as Jay Peak and Sugarloaf. Waterville Valley, Cannon, Loon, Ragged and Tenney are all under 45 minutes away, meaning you’ve got more snow time after class.
The University of Utah campus is within an hour drive of 11 ski resorts, including Solitude, Alta and Snowbird. With the “Greatest Snow on Earth” at your doorstep, University of Utah offers a variety of discounted lift tickets to resorts around the state. If you need gear, check out the winter rental program.