This post is part of a series from ETR on Copper Mountain’s best runs. Check out other lists of top runs at Copper Mountain here.
Copper can hang with the bump and mogul crowd of almost anywhere. They might not be as clumped together as at Mary Jane, but the bumps certainly deliver fro those who know where to go. Here are our top 5 places on the hill to zap your thighs.
Let’s start with a good warm-up bump run. The trails beneath Resolution Lift are never groomed and can hold some awesome moguls. One of the best features about these is how long they are. From top to bottom you will find consistent bumps and moguls that will almost guarantee you to need a break or two on the way down.
Of the four Reso runs, our favorite for bumps is probably Highline. A big reason for that is the start. The face directly under Reso lift is short, but it is one of the steepest pitches across all of Copper. The first few hundred feet are almost guaranteed to have big, tricky, and steep moguls. And be warned: 100% of your effort will be on display from those in the chair. If you plow down this face with style, expect plenty of head turns and even the occasional “atta boy” from above. Conversely, those who look terrified coming down (there will be a few) or those who yard sale the entire pitch will feel the painful stares and grimaced expressions from those watching. Whatever happens on your descent, embrace the challenge and enjoy the steeps.
Beyond the initial face, you cross a cat track and then plunge into the heart of Highline. The angle eases considerably, but rest assured that the bumps are soon to come. The remainder of the run is basically a long, consistent set of medium sized moguls. If it’s a powder day, the snow will almost certainly be very good back here. Different sides of the hill tend to offer different experiences, so don’t be afraid to lap this and mix it up across the wide run.
- There are a few great little kickers at the bottom of the initial steep face. Hit them big to get an approving yelp from the chair.
- Near the bottom of the run, stay directly under the lift to find some tighter bumps in a narrow tree chute. This is usually preferable as the final face of Highline has a southeast aspect and can get pretty thin.
- Keep your ski tips up when boarding Resolution Lift. To his everlasting shame, the author may or may not have once gotten them stuck in the snow here and been promptly ejected from the chair.
#4. Mine Dump
The Excelerator lift is another excellent spot for mogul runs. Brennan’s Grin, CDL’s, Hallelujah Bowl, and Mine Dump are each great little bump shots. They are all pretty consistently good, but we like Mine Dump best out of the bunch. This run seems to to have the most consistent and direct fall line and it lacks the awkward cat crossings and fences common with some of the others. There are also some great little islands of trees in the middle to weave in and out of. Mine Dump is pretty short, but so is the ride on Excelerator. For those who really want to get a work out in, you can lap the whole thing in a matter of minutes. The vert will add up fast.
ETR Pro Tips: Mine Dump is an awesome choice for a quick warm up lap prior to moving to the bowls and steeps beyond. You can make short work of the trail and E-Lift gets you right back to the top in a jiffy. Or, many will happily spend all day here working their way across all of the runs off Excelerator.
#3. Far East
Far East sits, well you guessed it, on the far east of Copper’s front side. It is accessed via the Alpine Lift. Honestly, this area might be one of the most popular expert spots in all of Copper if it weren’t for the chair lift. You see, A-Lift is long and sloooow. The ancient two-seater is an attached chair which will get you to the top in almost 15 full minutes! You will almost certainly get bored as it grinds its way uphill. However, the good news is that the lift services some killer bump runs all around it. In fact, we would be surprised if these weren’t some of the longest moguls in the entire state.
Our first sampling of the A-lift trails is Far East. Exit the lift and ski down some mellow terrain on the first pitch. What you will find in here can be a mixed bag of powder, small bumps, or just hard pack. However, it is not until you cut across Oh No and enter the gate for Far East that the true bumps begin. Ski to the first lip and try to look all the way down to the base area. You probably won’t even be able to see the terminal. Instead, what you will see is nothing but a series on undulating faces and big moguls for the entire width of the way down. It’s quite a drop.
But Far East offers plenty more than just bumps. This runs has a mix of rocks, crossing roadways, cat walks, and trees that like to point their way up through the snow. When you throw in an awkward fall line that will constantly try to push you to the right hand side of the run, this trail adds up to be quite the challenge. Oh, and there is no escape once you are on it. Far East is pretty isolated, so don’t mess around here unless you are ready for an unrelenting, bumpy ride. However, for those who are seeking out a true skier’s challenge in the moguls, this one will not disappoint.
ETR Pro Tips:
- There is a cat track off of Far East approximately 3/4 of the way down. Look for a roadway cutting over to Too Much and Triple Treat. Don’t be surprised if you see most skiers cutting over here after they decided to throw in the towel. But if your legs are still fresh, stay true to the line for potentially better snow beyond the cut.
- Far East is not a spot to play around in if your legs are shot or if you are new to the moguls. Intermediates will hate every second of this run and there is no easy way off once you are on it. Come prepared.
#2. Little Burn
If you love performing for the peanut gallery, then Little Burn is for you. This trail runs right under the Timberline Chair and you will be on display for all to see the whole way down. For those skiers who have mastered their mogul turns, this is the perfect place to come out and show off for the masses. Of course, all your falls and crashes will be equally on display.
Little Burn takes a very straightforward path right down the lift line. While not overly long in length, this one is certain to get you smiling. The bumps here tend to be of medium size and the angle is pretty relaxed for a mogul run. There are also plenty of flatter sections to rest on as you tear down. Given all these factors, we have always felt that Little Burn was the perfect choice to practice moguls and/or learn the skill for the first time. If you don’t mind being on display, this is a great place to cut your teeth. You will probably see plenty of kids on this run doing just that. Look for them snow plowing their way down with an encouraging dad following close behind.
ETR Pro Tips:
- Be forewarned that once you are on Little Burn, there is no way out apart from skiing down to the bottom. This can be a blessing for learners because it forces you to stay on the run and practice. But it can also be a curse because there is no escape.
- For whatever reason, Little Burn tends to form weird, non-rhythmic moguls. So, it can be worth it to pause and plot a line before starting down. But don’t be too surprised if you keep falling into and out of good bump lines.
#1. Too Much
Don’t complaint that this run didn’t warn you. This long shot of big bumps is about as challenging, exhausting, and fun as they come. If you choose to take this one on, do it with fresh legs and a good attitude – you will need both.
Too Much is the best bump choice off of the Alpine lift. Like Far East, the initial phases of the trail are relatively straightforward. The real fun begins once you hit the gate adjacent to Oh No. When you do, you will find bumps, tree islands, rocks, jumps, and just about everything else in between to contend with. But while Far East has a lot of junk in the trail (not to mention the awkward fall line), Too Much is far more direct, steeper, straighter, and just as bumpy. It sorta just sits there, daring you to try to ski it in one shot. Hats off to you if you do. Only the best will be able to take it all the way. By the time you get back down to A-Lift, you will be thankful for every minute of the long, slow ride back up to the top.
ETR Pro Tips:
- There are a few opportunities to bail onto the much easier Triple Treat as you descend. But resist the urges and revel in the accomplishment of doing the whole thing when you reach the bottom.
- The Far East Parking Lot sits at the base of A-Lift. You could pay $15 bucks for a spot, or if you have 3 registered drivers, the carpool rate is free. Ending your day at this lot is a great way to avoid the usual walk and bus ride back to your car. But be warned if you choose to make Too Much as the final run of the day – your legs will probably not appreciate it.
The Bonus Lap – Jupiter Bowl
Jupiter Bowl is a choice series of runs beneath the Sierra Lift. There are a few options to choose from back here and each delivers something unique. What is consistent across all options is steep bumps. This bowl has faces which are as high angle as anywhere else at Copper, but it is almost always covered in deep alpine bumps. Don’t let the single black rating fool you: while the coverage is great, the terrain is not all that easy. Big moguls and tricky fall lines force you to actively manage your descent, not just cut loose and ski. But the good news is that Sierra is quick to lap, so have fun exploring and getting used to all the different lines down this face.
ETR Pro Tip: Jupiter Bowl has a bunch of rolling, wavy lines down its faces, so try to scout out a line that looks good to you on your way up Sierra. Revenge has a few choices which will allow you to curve around and miss most of the major steeps. Conversely, coming down directly under the chair lift, or on the far left side of Endeavor, usually provides much steeper, variable terrain.
Other Articles From Exploring the Rockies’ Guide to Copper Mountain
- Copper Guide Home
- Copper’s Best Tree Runs
- Copper’s Best Steep Runs
- Copper’s Best Cruiser Runs
- Copper’s Best Mogul Runs
- Copper’s Best Poder Stashes
- The 10 Steepest Runs at Copper
Disclaimer: ETR’s Guide to Copper Mountain is an entirely subjective, unofficial guide to the mountain and is not officially associated with Copper in any way. All of the insights here are simply our opinions based on many runs down the hill. It goes without saying, but follow all resort rules, evaluate conditions as you go, and ski at your own risk.