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By Snowmobile: There’s Actually A $5 Lift Ticket Available


The cheapest lift ticket in Colorado is a mere $5. It comes at a winter recreation haven that never has a lift line and offers a virtual guarantee for fresh turns. And you don’t even have to slap on your skis or board to have a blast. This assumes, however, that you have a snowmobile, a friend with one or don’t mind renting a motorized sled.

Atop Vail Pass lies endless acres of uncharted backcountry territory—the $5 to access the land in White River National Forest helps pay for the rangers who update avalanche conditions, offer advice and maintain trails.

If you are on the more adventurous side, bring your ski gear, a towrope and friends to enjoy a day of backcountry skiing without the hassle of having to trek up mountains by foot.

Most of the peaks in this wilderness area are accessible by snowmobile, sometimes reaching 12,000 feet. The driver simply drags their friends up to the top and leaves them to enjoy dozens of turns that haven’t been touched.

At the bottom of the run, you meet back up with the snowmobile and get towed to another untouched peak.
It’s never hard to find one person to volunteer to shuttle—it’s just as much fun driving. And while a little skill is required to maximize the terrain available to the powerful machines, relative novices can keep on the groomed paths and still get a complete rush out of cruising the snowpack at a blistering pace. The same can be said of the skiing—with a seemingly infinite expanse of terrain available, both intermediate and expert slopes can be found to suit the needs of most riders.

Just remember to be safe. The rest will take care of itself.

Info: www.fs.fed.us/r2/whiteriver
Rentals: www.novaguides.com
Avalanche info: www.backcountryalliance.org

Winter Sports Guide 2008 

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