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Driving on I-70 between the mega-resorts of Copper Mountain and Vail you crest 10,600-foot, Vail Pass, which gets a ton of snow because of it’s elevation and location right in the middle of the state. The west side of the highway is a popular spot for snowmobile use, as well as a starting point for some 10th Mountain Division Huts. The east side of the highway is a haven for human-powered ski touring.  Uneva Peak, at 12,520, is a perfect objective for a first visit to Vail Pass. The grade to the summit is relaxed, and 2,000 vertical feet of elevation gain is realistic for most weekend warriors. There are abundant slopes on which to play depending on weather, avalanche danger, and motivation levels. The south and west slopes are good for basic decision making, but the north and east are a bit more complicated.  To get there, follow I-70 to Vail Pass, and park on the west side of the highway. There is a ranger station, and day use will cost $6 per person. Chat with the rangers, get a handle on current conditions, and feel good about where your money is going. Cross the overpass and start skinning right at the summer trailhead.  

Backcountry Destinations: Colorado

As touring gear gets more sophisticated and bomber, backcountry skiing is gaining popularity across the country. But, for a variety of very good reason, it can be intimidating. And finding appropriate entry-level trips can be hard. To help make the transition to touring, we’ve got some beta to get you started. Each month, Donny Roth, owner of Alpine Ambitions, will share a few destinations that are great starting points for skiers looking to get out and explore. The first installment is from Colorado, check back soon for ideas from other states.

Rebecca Selig, Vail

Vail, Colorado: Nine Inches of Powder

Need proof that winter isn't over yet? Here are shots from Vail this weekend—when nine of inches of snow fell on Friday night, dawning bluebird Saturday and Sunday. The best part: After skiing powder, you can take a shot of Limoncello from an ice luge at the top of Vail's Blue Sky Basin.

Loveland, Colorado

Loveland, Colorado: Ski Powder for $30 Until May 2

It's still snowing in Colorado—Loveland Ski Area is reporting eight inches of new snow in the past 48 hours. And here's the best news: If your mountain is closed for the season, bring your season pass from any other mountain to Loveland and they'll give you a lift ticket for $30. Closing day at Loveland is May 2.

The rising sun casts a breathtaking glow on the south face of Buffalo Mountain, the approach route.

Silver Couloir Dawn Patrol

Last week, a couple Skiing Magazine staffers decided to make some turns before work. They bagged the Silver Couloir, a steep, 2,500 foot stripe down the northeast face of Buffalo Mountain in Silverthorne, Colorado. Conditions were all time for this classic Summit County line, they found blue skies and buttery, boot-top powder. Not a bad way to start the day.

Vermont-based Skiing Magazine contributor Berne Brody gets her spring corn harvest in.

Steelies and Coulies: Idaho Style

This time of year in Central Idaho means corn skiing at Sun Valley Resort, backcountry touring in the Sawtooth Mountains, and Steelhead fishing on the Salmon River. We spent the week doing all three while testing gear from First Ascent and helmets and eyewear from Smith Optics. The trip was as good as they get. Check out our gallery here.