It’s unofficial: Powderhorn is tops
'Totally unscientific' survey reflects whims of Sentinel employees
We asked The Daily Sentinel staffers to give us their opinions about western Colorado ski areas.
Proving that just because you work for a newspaper doesn’t mean you will read carefully, most staff members ignored the instructions to rate Western Slope ski areas. Instead they included ski resorts all across the state.
Still, we thought the results were interesting enough to publish. This was a totally unscientific survey. Some of us at The Sentinel have skied at a dozen different mountains. Some of us have skied at only two places. Not all of us ski in the park or through the trees or on the bumps. Some of us don’t have children and not many of us have rented equipment on the mountain.
The only common denominator we all share when it comes to skiing is that we all ski Powderhorn. It’s our mountain and we all know and like it. It was the overwhelming favorite for best family mountain and best beginner mountain, with several staffers noting that because of its small size, it’s a great place not to lose the kids. Sunlight Mountain was also a strong contender for best beginner mountain, thanks to its wide-open bowl and long green runs. Powderhorn also tied with Steamboat Springs for having the best glade runs, and tied with Snowmass for the best children’s program.
When it came to chair lifts, Vail Resort garnered the most votes, but most staffers chose any mountain with a gondola. One lone soul, however, chose the West End lift at Powderhorn for the simple reason it gave her a long time to recover and appreciate the views.
Telluride and Steamboat tied for the best variety of runs, and Telluride was also the favorite spot for a ski-and-stay experience and après ski offerings. When it came to backcountry access, the results were fairly muddy, but Powderhorn earned as many votes as the big boys.
There was no clear winner for the best day lodge, which indicated that most Sentinel skiers and boarders prefer to spend their time on the slopes rather than in the lodge. Sunlight won the hearts of a few, however, who added that it has a great picnic area for families on a budget.
Beyond our obvious shared love of Powderhorn, what does our survey show? It shows that when it comes to skiing in Colorado, there are a lot of choices. Read our survey, look for deals in this ski guide and then go find your favorite mountain this season.
SENTINEL PEOPLE: Online advertising coordinator Julie Norman, far left, said Powderhorn has the best glade runs. Features writer (and snowboarder) Melinda McConnell, center, laughs at the bottom of a run. In the photo at right (from left to right): Annie LeVan, advertising salesperson, Jay Seaton, publisher and Nola Svoboda, graphic designer, skied together last February at Powderhorn for the 2011 Powderhorn town race.