The mountain-savvy staff at Apex Ex equip people of all skill levels with the knowledge, gear, and plans necessary to explore the wilderness all year round. Seasoned guides and instructors, many of whom are trained by organizations such as the National Outdoor Leadership School and the American Mountain Guides Association, lead classes that teach students important lessons ranging from backcountry snow basics to avalanche rescue. In summer months, the experts lead guided climbing and backpacking trips and teach riders to careen down rocky paths of every sort during mountain-biking lessons.
Halfway through a 1080, a glove slips—it's time to bail. Normally, the prospect of landing means crashing a shoulder into snow and ice, but instead a cloud seems to catch the fall. At Progresh, a giant indoor airbag absorbs the impact of falls as skiers, snow- and skateboarders, BMX bike mechanics, and gymnasts practice airborne tricks in a controlled training environment. Before designing the jumps, ramps, rails, and trampolines that fill the 11,000-square-foot suite, the gym's founders each spent more than 20 years riding slopes and working with children in gymnastics programs. Using that experience, the staff helps athletes master everything from grinding rails and jibs to dropping off 10-foot cliffs and vert walls—all with the greater safety and confidence afforded by the inflatable airbag.
Atop Granby Ranch's airy heights, the cycle jockeys of SolVista Basin spread a fan of lofty bike trails for all skill levels. Gear up and bomb down six beginner and intermediate trails or try to land extreme aerials on two pro-level double-black-diamonds. Stop by a complimentary mountain-biking clinic (Saturdays at 10:30 a.m.) to brush up on the basics of cornering, climbing, jumping, steep-terrain riding, and Sasquatch racing. Whether gliding carefree down the easy slopes of Nature's Way, or watching significant others brave the Cougar from the Base Camp Lodge café, wheelie cragsmen will remember this thrilling experience for years to come.
A lot has changed since the 1940 dedication ceremonies for the three formal ski trails at Winter Park Ski Area. Today, Winter Park Resort spans more than 3,000 acres of skiable terrain on the west side of the Continental Divide, including 143 designated trails, 1,212 acres of off-piste terrain, and six terrain parks. The four mountain areas—Winter Park, Mary Jane, Vasquez Cirque, and Vasquez Ridge—feature 25 lifts, which carry skiers, snowboarders, and tubers over the more than 29 feet of snow that falls each year. The resort is now the alpine base for the National Sports Center for the Disabled, an outdoor therapeutic recreation agency for children and adults with disabilities. A slope-side village with lodging, restaurants, and shops is another recent addition, and the resort continually updates and develops trails in Trestle Bike Park for summertime adventures.
One thing that hasn't changed is the site's commitment to the environment. Building off grassroots employee initiatives launched decades earlier, the 2006 Connexion program focuses on eco-friendly practices such as an erosion-control plan and techniques for preserving the ice sculptures left by roving yeti artists.
Colorado Adventure Park proudly proclaims itself to be one of Grand County's largest tubing hills. Every winter, this snowy dreamland offers kids of all ages an adrenaline-pumping adventure in the form of tubing, double-tubing, and renting Snow Scoots––pintsized snowmobiles designed for kids as young as six. Though Colorado Adventure Park is currently open only during the winter, the owners are making plans for summer activities as well.
As the sun starts to melt last night's snowfall, cross-country skis gently glide over the freshly groomed trails of Grand Lake Nordic Center. The peaks of Rocky Mountain National Park and Arapahoe National Forest rise in the distance, with shifting views and perspectives as guests make their way through different trails. Newcomers can take a lesson in cross country skiing or snowshoeing while more advanced outdoorsmen tackle the snow enclaves of Randall's Romp or Spirits Haunt. The nearby lodge offers steaming bowls of soup, while children can take a tumble down the tubing hill or play rock-paper-scissors with a Yeti.