By Rachel Walker
For a resort whose motto is “Not exactly roughing it,” Beaver Creek offers a surprising trove of powder stashes, steep glades, and cliff drops.
Sure, most visitors come for the covered escalators, the ski valet, and the complimentary fresh-baked cookies at day’s end; that just means the rest of us get our pick of the goods.
Make your way to Grouse Mountain Express and dive into the tight, steep pine forest in Royal Elk Glades at the top of 10,688-foot Grouse Mountain.
Two more stashes: Goshawk off of Birds of Prey and Stickline, which snakes through tight trees at a steady, steep drop, just skier’s left off of Centennial Express.
Three Days After a Storm:
It’s possible to lap the Upper and Lower Stone Creek Chutes for knee-deep turns days after a storm and still not see a soul.
Bang a left off of Rose Bowl Express and stay high to hit the Upper entrance.
The infamous Birds of Prey drops, dips, and twists as it plummets 2,484 vertical feet.
This World Cup downhill course is the site of the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in February.
In the meantime, test your edges on the course, which is generally open to the public (though not in race condition).
Park, No Pipe:
Cut your teeth on the friendly rollers in Park 101 and then step it up a notch in Zoom Room.
First things first: Areas beyond the ski area boundary are not patrolled or maintained and avalanche and other hazards exist.
Backcountry skiers should carry beacons, shovels, and probes—and know how to use them—and be familiar with navigating avalanche terrain.
Head out to the backcountry through marked boundary gates off the top of Cinch Express, Larkspur Express, or the top of Grouse Mountain.
Check conditions at the Colorado Avalanche Center.
For a quick breakfast, snag a savory crepe from the new Beaver Creek Crepes or grab a breakfast burrito from Metropolitan.
For on-mountain grub, head to the Talons at the base of the Birds of Prey Express.
This eatery opened in 2013 and offers European-inspired options like Hackbraten, Schinkenstulle, lamb, bison or salmon burgers, smoked sausages, egg and cheese flatbreads (served pizza-style), muesli, apple strudel, and strawberry and rhubarb cobbler.
Cookie Time happens at 3 p.m. every day, when chefs tote trays of fresh-baked sweetness around the village base.
If you want something slightly more high-brow, hit the sun deck of the Beaver Creek Chophouse for a signature martini.
Up All Night:
The Coyote Café is a local favorite for margarita specials, karaoke, and more.
The Osprey at Beaver Creek, A RockResort, is a modern, boutique hotel that was rated the best resort in the continental United States by the Travel + Leisure readers’ survey in 2012.
It's also the hotel most closely located to a chairlift in North America (26 feet).