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Early Birds Get Guaranteed First Tracks At Six Colorado Resorts

Steamboat Powder

The storms have been pounding the Colorado Rockies lately, putting powderhounds on high alert to carve up the freshies before anyone else.


At a half-dozen Colorado resorts, one way to assure that your tracks will be the first on the hill is to get up early – and, in some cases, pay a premium -- and get a ride up the hill before the lifts officially open. Like paying more to cut lines or park close-in, these pay-for-powder “first tracks” programs have become popular among skiers and riders who seek to get some bragging rights on the rest of the crowd still waiting in line.


Here’s a sampling of these offerings in Colorado:


Breckenridge. Guests who pay to stay Thursday night at one of Breckenridge’s five participating properties – and have a valid day or season pass – get on the mountain an hour before the opening every Friday morning throughout the season.


Aspen/Snowmass. Offered daily and for free, advanced-level skiers and riders meet at 8 a.m. with a ski instructor guide at the base of the Aspen Mountain gondola, or every Wednesday and Friday after checking in at the Snowmass Ticket Pavilion. Advance registration and a valid lift ticket are required at both mountains.


Steamboat. For $35 a day or $175 for six days, skiers and ‘boarders hop on the gondola between 8 and 8:15 a.m. At the top, they can choose terrain served by a half-dozen lifts, including the famed powder stash in Priest Creek area. Intermediate and advanced skiers only.


Telluride. Membership in the Telluride Ski & Golf Club includes the First Light Skiing program, which gets members on the lifts before anyone else. After some serious powder runs, they eat breakfast in a private, on-mountain location.


Beaver Creek. The plush resort’s Golden Ticket First Tracks program offers pre-opening skiing and riding and a hot chocolate finale at Beano’s Cabin.


Photo: Steamboat powder (Facebook, Steamboat Resort/Larry Pierce)

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