SkiSU, other organizations provide winter sport opportunities

Colorado+State+University+students+and+staff+unload+the+SkiSU+bus+in+front+of+a+ski+resort+and+prepare+for+a+full+day+on+the+mountain.

Colorado State University students and staff unload the SkiSU bus in front of a ski resort and prepare for a full day on the mountain. CSU has a sponsored bus for the SkiSU program that takes students from campus to a ski resort for $23 to help save expenses of traveling the distance individually. (Photo Courtesy of SkiSU)

Samy Gentle

With the temperatures dropping and the winter season approaching, students at Colorado State University may want to start thinking about the upcoming ski season here in Northern Colorado. 

The SkiSU program provides students with round-trip transportation from CSU to various ski resorts on Saturdays and Sundays throughout the season. Forty student tickets are available on each trip for the cost of $23, according to SkiSU Project Manager Erika Benti. Students utilizing the SkiSU bus are responsible for paying for their own food, lift ticket and gear.

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The SkiSU bus gives riders the chance to get to the mountains while using their time more efficiently than focusing on driving or traffic.

“On multiple occasions, I saw customers make friends with each other after bonding over a few lengthy bus rides and riding on the slopes together”- McKenna Courtney, SkiSU bus representative

Instead, they can read, work on homework or nap — that’s why our motto is, ‘Sleep your way to the slopes,’” Benti said. 

SkiSU allows students without a reliable method of transportation to have safe and affordable access to the mountains.

“In last year’s postseason customer survey, 71% of our customers said they would not have gone skiing/snowboarding on the day they rode without the ride from SkiSU,” Benti said. 

“I also would recommend the SkiSU bus to any out-of-state student who wants to get into the mountains but doesn’t feel comfortable with mountain driving yet, or if they just want to see what all of the resorts offer,” said McKenna Courtney, a SkiSU bus representative.

SkiSU also gives like-minded students a chance to bond and meet new people.

“On multiple occasions, I saw customers make friends with each other after bonding over a few lengthy bus rides and riding on the slopes together,” Courtney said.

The first trips of the 2022 season will be to Copper Mountain on Jan. 22, Winter Park Resort on Jan. 29 and Eldora Ski Area on Feb. 5. 

Purchasing a ticket before Dec. 12 will enter students into a raffle to receive a free Ikon Pass on Dec. 13, according to Benti. 

Alternatively to the SkiSU bus, students can also find transportation to the slopes through the CSU Snowriders club, which offers carpooling for its members. 

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The Snowriders use Facebook as a carpool forum for members to connect and arrange their own ride-sharing, according to Snowriders social media intern Claire Johnson. 

CSU Snowriders is CSU’s recreational ski and snowboard club “dedicated to our beautiful state’s thriving ski culture and encouraging shredders of all skill levels and abilities to get out on the mountain, have a good time … and enjoy the snow,” Johnson said.

The Snowriders host meetups and events both in Fort Collins and in the mountains, including Winter Park, Arapahoe Basin Ski Area and Copper Mountain. Members also have access to gear discounts at local businesses, winter break trips and “the potential to create a friend group of shredders,” according to Johnson. 

CSU students can develop their snowsport skills through the CSU Outdoor Program, which offers “trips to learn to rock climb, backpack, ski or… other activities like day hiking, snowshoeing, trail running or ice climbing,” according to their website. 

Students can also rent various pieces of outdoor gear to use in their mountain trips from the Student Recreation Center if they do not have their own. 

Reach Samy Gentle at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @samy_gentle_