V16N08 – Spot Check: Copper Mountain, Colorado

Copper Mountain, Colorado
By Larry Nu§ez

Like Run DMC and shell-toe sneakers, Copper Mountain and snowboarding go way back. In fact, some might say that Summit County was the birthplace of modern-day jibbing, with its multitude of logs, stumps, and mini booters. In the early 90s, Copper became the center of the snowboard world as armies of shredders dressed in crusty flannel shirts and frozen jeans literally took over the resort. But rumors of rival snowboarding gangs gave patrol the excuse to seek out troublesome youth and pull tickets, yank passes, and generally give them a hard time.

Of course, in a rebellious backlash, this only made people want to ride Copper more. Heads like Mikey LeBlanc, Marc Frank Montoya, and Chad Otterstrom all faithfully rode there in the early days, gaining basic skills that would later take them to the top. And make no mistake, Copper is still one of the best places to have fun.


The resort has grown off the hill as well, providing aprà‡s atmoshpere to go along with classic tree runs like The Enchanted Forest and misty lines in the back bowl. With more retail shops, hotels, restaurants, and bars to choose from recently, Copper is finally becoming its very own community. And yearly events like the Lifestylez college parties and a team exhibition every Friday help it maintain a worthy entertainment schedule, too. As the village keeps developing, expect the resort’s nightlife to eventually compare with its excellent terrain.

Average annual snowfall: 280 inches
Summit elevation: 12,313 feet
Vertical drop: 2,601 feet
Number of lifts: 22
Shreddable acres: 2,433
Pipes: 2
Parks: 2
Snowskate parks: Nope
Lights: Nope
Nearby skateparks: Silverthorne or Vail.

“Copper’s fun-there’re lots of smoke shacks hidden in the woods, and there’s good riding in the trees, too. The best part about the mountain is the legendary Cathy Cohn. Watch out for her up by the “onion roll”-the biggest jump in Colorado. She’ll be out bangin’ moguls from eight to four.”-Chad Otterstrom.