by Lisa Blake
The biggest thing to remember when prepping and packing for a Copper Mountain winter vacation is: keep it casual. Copper is known for its hometown Colorado mountain vibe and no-fuss, easy breezy attitude.
Here’s how to layer up, prepare for the cold and make sure the whole family has what they need to thrive on the mountain.
Essentials for Everyone
Layering up is key to comfort. Stay warm and dry with a good set of baselayers that fit snugly under your ski gear. Avoid anything cotton. Once it gets wet, it stays wet. Go for moisture-wicking materials and trusty wool instead.
Keep your feet in business with polyester or wool socks designed for ski boots or snowboard boots (there’s a difference, trust us).
A well-built pair of insulated waterproof snow pants are crucial, along with a fleece jacket or vest for extra warmth. For the outer layer, make sure to have a water- and wind-proof winter jacket with skier features like hoods that fit over helmets, spray skirts, and extra pockets for phones, passes and snacks.
Helmets are a vital safety factor and keep your ears and head warmer than just a stocking cap alone. Pack the comfy waterproof gloves, balaclava or neck warmer, sunglasses, sunscreen and SPF lip balm to protect exposed skin from the elements. Remember, you’re at 10,000-plus feet up here. The sun is closer and the rays are stronger.
Bundle the Kids
Whether the kids are skiing and riding, tubing or ice skating, it’s important to keep them dry and happy. Dress them in an extra layer or two (it’s easier to shed layers than to thaw out chilled kiddos) and try to avoid uncomfortable can-barely-walk bulk.
A backpack stocked with an extra pair of socks, gloves and a cozy fleece layer can make or break the day. Mittens keep fingers warmer than gloves and toasty hand warmers are always nice treats to divvy out. Keep kiddos hydrated, stash tissues in their pockets and supply plenty of healthy snacks to keep them going throughout the day.
For the littlest skiers, pack or rent a ski harness or a backpack with a handle to easily lift them on and off the chairlift. At the end of the day, turn everything from gloves to ski pants inside out and dry them by the fire. There’s nothing worse than putting on wet gear the next morning. Don’t forget swimsuits to wear to the hot tubs at your hotel or lodge!
First Chair to Last Call
It’s worth saying again…Going for comfort over trendy styles is the Copper way. Swap the fancy clothes, fur and high heels for functional winter outdoor apparel. Think flannel, loungewear and leggings, stocking hats, comfy sweaters, insulated waterproof boots with plenty of traction, scarves and long puffy coats. Even the nicest restaurants won’t bat an eye at jeans and you’ll most likely find yourself sipping après beers in your ski pants anyway.
On the mountain, be prepared for a powder day with quality goggles, helmets, face and neck layers and synthetic waterproof outer layers made for Colorado’s sometimes intense winter conditions. Plan to drink a ton of water and fuel up on carb- and protein-dense foods. Limit alcohol, take breaks, pack energy bars and listen to your body. A fresh ski or board wax will help you glide through the deepest powder and, of course, a camera or GoPro is a must to capture all the winter wonderland moments!
Many clothing items and ski/snowboard gear is available for rent or sale at various locations at Copper. Here are some places to check out: Gear to Go, Copper Sports, Copper Collection and Camp Hale Outfitters.