Hailing from the frozen tundra you may know as Minnesota, I was pretty excited to experience my first Rocky Mountain winter.
With Eldora Mountain Resort pass in hand, I welcomed the October snow with outstretched, fleece-covered arms.
The verdict now that the Flatirons have returned to the same brown tone as when we first met last June? My excitement was not ill-rewarded and expectations were definitely exceeded. Here’s why:
- It’s still sunny. Those 300 days of sunshine Coloradans love to talk about in marketing materials and relocation guides? Yeah, it’s totally true. Even when temperatures drop into the single-digits, you can count on at least partial sun to restore your vitamin D levels and remind you that there are at least 1.5 seasons that do not require 4-wheel drive.
- The snow melts where you want it to and sticks where you want to play in it. High 70s outside your North Boulder condo but you’ve got an itch only shredding down a powder-covered mountain can scratch? No problem, you live in Colorado–Boulder, Colorado, none the less. You’re a measly two hour drive from renowned mountain resorts like Vail, Keystone and Arapahoe Basin (which stays open until July)!
- People are in a good mood. An overwhelming percentage of the population welcomes the snow. Try walking down Pearl Street without overhearing how stoked everyone is to snowboard, ski, snowshoe, build a quinzhee, or good-ol’-fashion sled. Seasonal depression doesn’t seem to be a thing here.
- Daily highs rarely stay below freezing for more than a few days. It was nice enough to lay on my deck in a bikini in the middle of February. Check out these average Boulder temperatures.
- Frozen Dead Guy Days. A bazaarly fantastic way to celebrate Old Man Winter as well as the old man whose last wish was for his remains to be frozen and somehow wind up in Nederland, CO. Activities span an entire weekend and include a polar plunge, brain freeze contest, frozen salmon toss, and coffin race (obviously).
- Did I mention the sunshine?
- Gear. Boulder is the birth place of such outdoor gear brands as La Sportiva and GoLite, making it easy to get the equipment you need to combat cold and use the snow to your weekend warrior advantage.
- Beer. Like the rest of the state, Boulder sports an impressive portfolio of craft beers which flow freely from hoppers at Upslope, Avery, Twisted Pines, and umpteen other hometown breweries. And when the Mercury dips below 20 degrees, it’s 5:00 somewhere and Happy Hour at West Flanders Brewing.
So, there you have it. I may or may not be Colorado’s biggest fan but I do know I’m definitely not the only transplant who honors winter on the slopes every weekend and has the Instagram to prove it.