Get full access to Outside Learn, our online education hub featuring in-depth fitness, nutrition, and adventure courses and more than 2,000 instructional videos when you sign up for Outside+ Sign up for Outside+ today.
Location: North Peak, Keystone Resort, Colo.
Getting There: Make your way to the summit of Dercum Mountain. Hop on the Outpost gondola over to North Peak. You’ll end up at the top of the Santiago Express. Or if you prefer a warmup run: From the Dercum summit, jet down bluesy Mozart to the base of Santiago and ride it to the top.
Vertical Drop: 1,600 feet
Summit Elevation: 11,660 feet
Scare Factor: Enough to make it interesting, without any “Don’t go there!” directives yelled at your pinballing progeny. Even better, long bump runs will show your teens who’s still the boss.
Terrain » For parents, it doesn’t get better than skiing with tweens and young teens. They’re old enough to rip yet young enough to (barely) tolerate being seen with you in public. North Peak isn’t a secret stash, but it’s a tasty menu of long runs and variable settings—bumps, groomed steeps, and glades—all funneling down to the Santiago Express, so there aren’t any wrong-turn worries. The Outpost day lodge awaits at the top of North Peak for easy refueling breaks.
How to Ski It » It’s no surprise that North Peak has north-facing runs. Get to the top of the Santiago Express around 11 a.m. to give the snow a little time to soften up. Point ’em down Starfire, the first trail on skier’s right. It’s groomed and long, so you can carry plenty of speed by the time you hit the run-out. Next time up, head skier’s left to Cat South Glades. Shop for a line as tight or loose as you like—you’re sure to find something that suits you. The glades steer you onto Lower Cat Dancer. Get acquainted with these bumps because next trip to the top, you’re all in—with no stops if you’re looking to make a parental point while you still can…
Bright Lights,Big Fun » If you haven’t yet, this is your chance to introduce your kids to the magic of night skiing: nearly empty slopes, cool shadow play from the lifts, and lots of cheap thrills (it always feels like you’re skiing way faster than you actually are). And it’s included in your regular lift ticket, all rolling up to the longest ski day in Colorado.
Kick-a-Who? » Wind down at Kickapoo Tavern, in River Run Village. Family-friendly prices. Lots of goggle tans. And plates of nachos so high they nearly need avy control. (A half order will do you.) If you opt for a jolt rather than a nap at this point, the Inxpot
Coffeehouse is steps away, and its excellent coffee is super strong.