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Inside Line: Beaver Creek, CO

Pass through the security gate to Beaver Creek and you’ll see a sign with the resort’s motto, “Not Exactly Roughing It.” But don’t be fooled by the ice rink, ski valet, and plates of chocolate-chip cookies. The Beav hides its rough side in its terrain. The recently expanded 180-acre Stone Creek Chutes offer steep, gladed skiing for quick shots of 600 vertical feet. Plus, two new eight-seater gondolas provide better access to the goods, with less of a wait.
posted: 06/14/2011

Inside Line: Beaver Creek

Powder Day: Make your way to Grouse Mountain Express and pop into the powder-choked pine trees of Royal Elk Glades at the top of 10,688-foot Grouse Mountain. It’s tight and steep.

Three Days Later: Since they’re north-facing and sheltered by thick trees, Black Bear Glades—off of the Grouse Mountain lift—hold powder longer than anywhere else.

Park and Pipe: Small rollers in Park 101 and rails in Zoom Room suit rookies and midlevel jibbers, while the pipe and tabletops in the Moonshine Terrain Park are for the experienced, XXL-pants set.

Backcountry access:  Hit the gate off the Cinch Express lift for the open bowl of Bald Spot, or exit off Larkspur Express to the rowdy Y Chutes. Two more gates leave from Grouse Mountain. Check conditions at the Colorado Avalanche Center (avalanche.state.co.us).

Weather: Colorado typically logs 275 days of sunshine a year. But when it snows, it dumps. Last season, storms nailed Beaver Creek for 22 days in January alone.

Après:  Grab a brew and a plate of nachos at the locals’ favorite, Coyote Café, in the village. Or, if you want to celebrate your (temporary) escape from the little people, slug a signature martini—like the blue and fruity Eliseo—on the sun deck of the Beaver Creek Chophouse.

Fuel: For on-mountain lunch, head to Red Tail Camp for the whiskey brisket sandwich, which comes with potato salad, chips, and live music on spring weekends. Or chow on the Blinky burger at the Broken Arrow Restaurant at Arrowhead Village at the bottom of Chair 17.

Up All Night: Hit Loaded Joe’s Coffeehouse and Lounge in nearby Avon for DJs, a few PBR tallboys, and the comfy couches. In the main village, the Coyote Café is the late-night spot for karaoke, ski-porn screenings, and margaritas.

Digs: Nothing’s cheap here, but try Seasons at Avon for basic condos starting at $165 (beavercreek.com). Or go high-class at the 180-room Ritz-Carlton Bachelor Gulch, steps from Lift 16, where guest suites come with feather beds and marble bathtubs (from $350; ritzcarlton.com). 

Elevation: 11,440 feet

Vertical Drop: 4,040 feet

Snowfall: 310 inches

Acres: 1,805

Info: beavercreek.com

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