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What heat dome? They're still skiing in Colorado

Teigan Searcy, 10, heading downhill at Copper Mountain resort over the weekend.
Lucas Brady Woods
/
KUNC
Teigan Searcy, 10, heading downhill at Copper Mountain resort over the weekend.

As much of America was suffering under a heat dome lately, a Colorado ski resort found it had enough leftover snow to open back up, and is now offering some limited riding for the Fourth of July weekend.

In the mountains about 90 minutes west of Denver, it's been sunny and nearly 70 degrees at the base of Copper Mountain resort, which is a little bit shy of 10,000 feet above sea level.

On a grassy, green slope in the middle of a pine forest there's a big, bright white pile of snow.

"It's kind of just, oh my god, like a dream," said snowboarder Allisa Bricourt. "It's a dream, seriously."

Bricourt, who teaches snowboarding in the wintertime, is into the summer snow scene.

"This is what we love. It brings us all together. We get to meet up with our friends, hang out. You don't even have to text anyone. Everyone's just already here."

"Everyone" on a recent day is about 50 people, who paid $25 each to slide around on a pile of snow roughly the size of a football field. It's been sculpted by big tractors to create shapes for skiers and snowboarders to fly off of and do tricks on.

Jay Scott, who works for the resort, says it's been a while since they've been able to offer this.

"A lot of people who have been here five or so years ago when we used to have it are stoked to have it back," he said.

There's no lift service, riders have to hike back up when they get to the bottom, but nobody's complaining.

"I'm wearing athletic shorts and a t-shirt and we're skiing in July," enthused Nate Sunderhuse, from Denver, who braved some heavy traffic to get here today.

"It's worth it because, man, the mountains are just so beautiful," he said. "And I just really enjoy being up here."

Ski resorts in the U.S. typically close around Easter. When this one opened up what they call the "hike park" last week, snow-hungry locals ate it up.

Ten-year-old Teigan Searcy is up here with is 13-year-old brother George, who's trying to nail a trick on skis called a three swap. They're wearing T-shirts, too, and Teigan says he's not worried about falling in the snow today.

"No, not really," George says. "Cold is fun."

Mark Lynn, who's 34 and grew up competing in snowboard events says the sport is "my life.

"It's been a cool day for me.," Lynn said, "rode my bike this morning. Skateboarded. Now we're snowboarding. Kind of a Colorado trifecta."

Copyright 2023 KUNC

Lucas Brady Woods