这是我醒来得知当地的早晨越野跑者曾用裸露的手勒死了一只山狮，以阻止它吃掉他的头，我的“我们不在堪萨斯州不再在堪萨斯州”。Rolling through the Rocky Mountains a few days earlier after landing in Denver, I’d romantically imagined it might have been the dream-like tree runs through never-ending aspens, or the super fine ‘Champagne Powder’, the tyre-sized apres pancakes, the hop-stacked lunchtime IPAs or the Stetson-wearing滑雪牛仔让我感觉到我和阿尔卑斯山冬季的熟悉度之间的8,000公里中的每一公里。并不是一个大野性猫试图将牙齿沉入一个名叫Travis的家伙的头骨 - 几乎是完全顺便说一句，很好 - 沿着科罗拉多州的14号州公路沿线稍稍进一步。
That’s unlimited access to the likes of Mammoth, Winter Park and Squaw Valley, and seven days each at epic spots like Jackson Hole, Revelstoke, Sugarloaf and more – plenty enough to convince you to rebook your next flight across the pond as soon as you land back on home soil.
哦，如果您随便碰巧发现自己在日本，澳大利亚，新西兰或智利骑行，那么您热情的小通行证也会使您在那里爬上山丘，从而增加了全球78,716英亩的土地。Compare that to the 1599CHF (£1250) you’d cough up for one of the most popular multi-resort season passes in Switzerland/Europe, the 4 Vallees Pass which grants you access to 410km of piste, and, well, yes, once you carry the one and divide that by the square root of itself and add the decimal point, that sure is some attractive maths, right there.
I started my shotgun assault on the Rockies by high-tailing it for little over an hour from Denver airport to Copper Mountain – a locals’ favourite made famous not only by the US Ski Team, who use its high altitude and early snow as pre-season training hill, but by阿呆与阿瓜哈利（Harry）的哈利（Harry）在九十年代初就把他那奇怪的粉红色和弹性舌头粘在这里的冰冷的升降机上。而且，尽管我必须建议您将自己的食物孔保持良好状态，不要重现如此深刻的形成性场景，但我不得不停止它，不得停止它，在铜山的Radness，Woodward Barn上流口水和喘不过气来。
After a day of channelling your inner Lindsey Vonn on the top section of the superfast ‘Andy’s Encore’ groomer, or taking advantage of the totally free snowcat rides over to Tucker Mountain and Copper Bowl, where 273 acres and 12,000 vertical feet of high alpine backcountry are crying out for your fresh tracks, hit this legendary indoor facility, where the great and the good come to add to their gravity-challenging arsenal. Foam pits, multiple奥林匹克-grade trampolines, a huge selection of booters, jumps and rollers, and one of the sexiest skate bowls I’ve ever seen, will having you feeling like a kid in soft play as soon as you strap your helmet on and set foot inside this 20,000sqft stoke den.
Oh, yes, without a shadow of a doubt, the little shredders stomping double backs off the Big Ramp will make you feel like the dork at the school disco if, like me, your ‘adult mode’ forces you to weigh up the wrist-risking dangers of the 0.2secs of airtime the baby bumps will give you. It’s a small price to pay for coming down on that spin you always knew you had in you, and with your tibia and fibia still very much inside of your skin suit. If this isn’t the coolest way to earn yourself a taster flight of Colorado whiskies at the nearby High Rockies Bar after dark, we dunno what the heck is, partner.
Despite the near infinite dreamy trees, icing sugar powder and the ‘Taco Beast’ – the world’s first on-piste street food truck/snowcat serving elk and chorizo tacos for just five bucks – there were still plenty of American heritage-soaked activities off the hill to tempt me out of my bindings.
Making like the people of the Ute Tribe, Colorado’s oldest inhabitants and stewing your muscles at one of the state’s plentiful natural hot springs is a gotta-do (the nearby Strawberry Park gets two thumbs up from me, although rumour has it that after dark things get a little more, er, nudey in there). Another absolute must is using everything you learned about horsecare in Red Dead Redemption 2 (feed it, whisper nice things in its ear, don’t park it on a railroad while you fish for the Legendary Sturgeon) to tread through knee-high wilderness powder on the back of a lazy steed.
Do that at Del’s Triangle 3 Ranch ($95 per rider), just 20 miles out from Steamboat, and you’ll meet real-life Colorado ski cowboys (like Ray, who informed me of the gory fate of his neighbour’s pooch) who lead lives that’ll make you question every single career, and every winter holiday, decision you’ve ever made.