The Great Snow of Beaver Creek

Why winter in Colorado is such a draw

Wednesday, October 03, 2018
Did you know that what we generally refer to as a snowflake is really a snow crystal? Scientists differentiate the two: A snow crystal is a single crystal of ice; a snowflake could be an individual snow crystal, a few snow crystals grouped together, or large agglomerations of snow crystals that are sometimes known as “puff balls.” They form when a tiny cloud droplet freezes into an ice particle, and water vapor begins to condense on its surface, quickly becoming a hexagonal prism. It stays this shape for a little bit but as it becomes larger, branches begin to take form—“arms” that jut out from the six corners of the hexagon. Since the atmospheric conditions are basically constant across the crystal, the “arms” all grow out at the same rate. As the snow crystals fall to the ground, they each take a different path, causing variations in appearance.

Snow crystals come in all different shapes. Some are flat, with visible branch-like arms, some are hexagonal prisms, and others look like hollow columns. Temperature and humidity affect their format. When humidity is low, snow crystals form simple shapes like hexagon blocks, while if humidity levels are high, more complex shapes like branches are formed.

So, are no two snowflakes alike? Differences in temperature and humidity can give rise to an infinite number of snowflake shapes. And since each snowflake or crystal faces a turbulent path through the atmosphere, each turn and twist changes its appearance ever so slightly. Scientists found that when they removed this atmospheric factor from the equation, they were able to replicate two similar snowflakes in the laboratory. However, the snowflakes we see in the winter are most likely completely unique from one other.

If you love snow, then Beaver Creek is a great place to get your fill. Skiing in Colorado is, of course, legendary. At Beaver Creek, there are programs for everyone — from children and teens and women-only lessons to small groups and private-guided experiences. A popular one is the Girls Rock program for ages 7-14. The experience is designed to improve skills, build self-esteem, and empower girls through skiing. There is great emphasis on group bonding and teamwork, and the workshop is led by world-class female instructors. Private ski lessons are also a good option for small groups (up to six people), allowing you to spend the day with an expert instructor who will lead you on a ski experience that you will not soon forget. The instructor will personally design the day according to everyone’s need and skill level, exploring with you the best beginner areas or the most advanced terrain.
And if you want to be the first on the mountain, book a spot on First Tracks. The adventure begins at 7:30 a.m. when you are met by ski professionals and are whisked away on a private, guided tour. Once you have skied designated areas of the mountain, before it is open to the public, you are treated to a delicious gourmet breakfast at Allie’s Cabin.

The White Carpet Club is another great option if you are looking for an elevated level of service and comfort. It is a private retreat located in the heart of Beaver Creek Village that maximizes your time on the mountain by streamlining your access to it. At the club, there are private lockers and boot dryers, along with preferred self-parking and a slope-side ski valet. A concierge can assist with lift tickets, pass purchases, dinner reservations, and activity recommendations.
Of course, there is more to explore during the winter in Beaver Creek as well. There is ice skating, snowshoeing, boutique shopping, and pampering spas. The culinary experience is not to be missed. Allie’s Cabin is Beaver Creek’s famed, private, on-mountain dining venue. Its Wine Dinners are legendary. Guests are transported to the cabin via an open-air sleigh ride and then treated to a five-course meal of exquisite, regionally inspired fare and a menu that is carefully paired with spectacular wines. The experience doesn’t stop there; nightly fireworks and sweeping views of the village below make it one to remember.

Beaver Creek in the winter is an extraordinary experience. It is the perfect place to take advantage of the snow and be in the moment, in the mountains, together.