I went snowboarding for the first time when I was 11 years old at Massanutten, I thought it was awesome because I have never been anywhere else. Its been 14 years since that day and until this year I have never been off of the East Coast! I have always been told that the “real” snow is out West, but I have never had the chance to check it out.
My Aunt and Uncle who live in Colorado invited me to come out for the week and go snowboarding, and of course I had to take them up on the offer! They volunteered to give me a tour of both Vail and Beaver Creak, and it was awesome!
The hardest adjustment for me at first was the fact that the altitude 8,000 feet above sea level and I found that I got a headache from the difference in pressure. I also found I was winded easier and muscle fatigue got to my legs more than usual.
The mountains were incredible (check out the gallery below)!
I stayed in Avon which is just a few minutes from Beaver Creek. I could literally see Beaver Creek from our building which was awesome! Another nice thing is that they have buses which will take you right to the resort which saves you from paying to park and trying to find an available parking spot.
Once I actually got on the mountains I was blown away by the scale and rideable terrain that was available. You could very easily get lost if you didn’t know your way around. I followed my Aunt and Uncle around and had no idea where I was until the end of the trip when I started to recognize certains trails or landmarks.
The snow is different out west compared to what I am used to as well. The main difference is that it is “faster”. Basically it seems the snow has less friction which allows your snowboard or skis go slide faster across the snow. It was also funny to me how they rated the difficulty of slopes.
A green trail (supposedly the lowest difficulty) out West could easily be a blue (moderate difficulty) in the east. A blue in the West would be considered a black diamond in the east and so on. Also I noticed the average skill level of the snowboarders and skiiers I saw seemed to be much higher than what you normally see in the east as well. My Aunt and uncle were telling me that some kids have high-school PE classes that consists of snowboarding or skiing at Vail or Beaver Creek.
I was also amazed to see several people wearing vests that stated “Blind Skiier”. That really had an effect on me and made my thankful for the health of my young daughter and my ability to see! You can see one of the blind skiiers I came across was a young girl around the age of 8 or 10 of I had to guess. In the second picture below you can see that she is trying to feel the snow so she could tell what the conditions were like before she got going.
I thought the snow was amazing but I was suprised to hear a lot of people who lived in that area complaining. It seems amazing to me but then again I am used to snowboarding at the East Coast.
Overall the trip was amazing and I am so glad I got a chance to visit Colorado for a skiing trip. I definitely recommend it to anyone has wanted to try it but never done it!