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Powderhorn, Newest Indy Sunlight Form A Down-Home Pairing

Indy-Powderhorn-Cover A pair of Western Slope mountains in Colorado offer affordability, intimacy and plenty of challenging terrain. (Powderhorn/Facebook)

The Indy Pass has finally signed up a Colorado ski and snowboard mountain -- Sunlight Mountain -- so it may be a good time to pair it up with another of old-school, Western Slope day-trip resorts, Powderhorn..

Sunlight recently became the 67th member of Indy Pass' North American portfolio, meaning two days on any member's slopes. Combine days at Sunlight with pass-partner Powderhorn -- less than two hours west on I-70 -- and you'll get a double dose of local Colorado vibe.

A short drive from Glenwood Springs, Sunlight has always been a mellow alternative to the glitzy Aspen complex. At 680 acres and 2,000 vertical feet, the mountain seems to ski larger than it is. Oddly, the main chair to the top doesn't reach the bottom, necessitating a short ride to start with.

Though 75% greens and blues, experts can find tons of steep glades to viewers' left -- an area the resort has begun an expansion. For novices, classic Ute and Grizzly Road lazy greens wander more than two miles each -- and an ample learning area has its own lift.

Sunlight's $499 season pass partners with a ton of other resorts -- including Powderhorn -- from three days, and it's also a member of season pass coop Freedom Pass. No lodging at the hill, but plenty in Glenwood.

Powderhorn pitches off the north edge of Grand Mesa, rising to 9,800 feet with some 1,600 acres. A few condos and new tiny homes can be had, or ample choice in Grand Junction less than an hour away.

Novice terrain hugs the base area with magic carpet and terrain parks. Head up Flattop Flyer high-speed or find your way to the classic fixed-grip West End chair, and you won't be disappointed by the variety. Plenty of glades and plunges off top ridge, and top-to-bottom Sweet Misery earns its name.

Powderhorn's a down-home mountain where everyone seems to know everyone, and the prices reflect that. Season pass (tops at $699) has 13 U.S. partners -- four in Colorado including Sunlight. Weekday $ 79-day ticket thumbs its nose at expensive Aspen-Snowmass.

Starting in 2019, Indy Pass' arrival in Colorado may well signal a move by other smaller mountains in the state to sign up to assemble a distinct alternative to the Epic and Ikon passes.





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