I have decided that I want to become an Olympic skier by the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. The only problem is I have only been skiing a handful of times and I am terrible (like I nearly kill myself getting off the ski lift terrible). So if you also have Olympic sized dreams then you too better learn how to ski this winter.
Living at the base of the Sandia Mountains I have access to plenty of skiing, but as an alumni of the University of Colorado-Boulder I know that for the best skiing I’ll have to travel to the heart of ski country:the Colorado Rockies. What makes the Rockies arguably the best place to learn how to ski in the United States is that, unlike the Mid-Atlantic states which have ice sheets, the Rockies are know for their soft white powdery snow. This is particularly good snow because it is much for forgiving to the novice skier who will inevitably fall many times. Another unique feature of the Rockies is that there are over 30 major ski resorts scattered throughout the area and many have world-class ski instruction perfect for the beginner.
One of the best ski schools in the country, with many of its teachers being a part of the Profession Ski Instructors Association, reside just ten miles east of Vail, Colorado at Beaver Creek. Not only is Beaver Creek renowned for its instructors, but also it is famous for the modern, cozy, and unhurried feeling of an Alps resort. For a beginner, nothing could be better than a private lesson complete with personal video analysis, exclusive lift access, and overnight storage of your gear, but it will cost you about between 500 and 600 bucks a day (not including your lift ticket and rentals [hey I never said the journey to the Olympics was going to be cheap!]). Once you are up and skiing you will have plenty of the 1,625 skiable acres to explore, with nearly 35% of this area being geared towards beginners.
Since skiing can take a toll on the body, especially the beginner who will spend more time falling and getting up than actual skiing, you will need a place to relax after a taxing day on the slopes. Hardcore athletes and ski bunnies alike agree that they place to stay in Beaver Creek is the Park Hyatt Resort and Spa. The swanky accommodations at this hotel include your own person marble tub to soak in, a winter fire pit at the lodge, and even a Colorado mountain water fall that flows into the hotel’s spa that you can relax beneath. All of this will help you recoup and regain energy for another day on the mountain.
310 inches of snow a year, world-class ski instructors, beginner friendly runs, and to top it all off spa treatments that will knock your socks of; yes Beaver Creek is the perfect place for aspiring Olympic athletes and those simply looking to relax in a mountain resort town. Which ever one you are, you will be able to find me on the slopes this winter (I will be the one struggling to get off the ski lift).