Sunlight Mountain Ski Getaways

ski getaways

There's a bit of a myth about Sunlight - it's stuck "out there" and is hard to access. Not true. Sunlight is only an hour away from the Eagle-Vail Airport, 45 minutes from the airport in Aspen, and of course there's the airport in Glenwood Springs, a mere 15 minutes away. So getting to Sunlight isn't a problem. Once there you'll find a compact mountain layout with a respectable 2010 foot vertical drop. A triple, two doubles, and two surface lifts let you explore 470 acres of diverse terrain, including some might steep stuff. Sunlight gets 250" of snow each year, but snowmaking protects the lower lift trails from the midway point to the base.

Sunlight's terrain is weighted towards intermediates with 55% designated so. The beginner terrain is mostly found off the Segundo Chair, but there are also some fun trails higher up the mountain, including Ute from the summit, at 2.5 miles the area's longest. It's a scenic way for beginners and families to enjoy a big mountain experience.

Intermediates can happily cruise off the summit chair, Primo, all day long, or enjoy another pod of trails served by the Tercero Chair.

The advanced and expert terrain makes up 25% of Sunlight's total. Start with a groomed black diamond like Zephyr and then work your way up to the upper mountain glades: Gibson, Upper, and Joslin. Then make your way to Sunlight Extreme, a series of chutes and tree shots highlighted by Heathen, at 52 degrees one of the steepest in-bound trails in the state.

If Sunlight's serious in-bounds terrain leaves you longing for deeper immersion in the backcountry feel, the resort's Backcountry Ski Program is just the ticket. Sign up for a half-day tour of Williams Peak, adjacent to the resort, and enjoy some of the 300-plus inches that fall on the mountain. The client-to-guide ratio is 4-to-1 and each guide is certified in CPR, Advanced First Aid, and Avalanche Safety. A more mellow off-piste experience is available on Sunlight's 29 km of groomed cross-country trails. Sunlight is also one end of the Sunlight Powderhorn Trail System.

Sunlight's Centre of the Rockies Terrain Park is actually three parks, one each for beginners, intermediates, and experts. There's even a children's terrain garden for the wee ones.