Beaver Creek’s Buckaroo Express is in business |

Beaver Creek’s Buckaroo Express is in business

Melanie WongVail, CO Colorado
NWS BC Gondola Opening 01 TS 12-22-07

BEAVER CREEK – All it took was a warm, 3.75-minute gondola ride for Jack Pike to take his daughter and two sons up to the beginner terrain at Beaver Creek.”It’s perfect for the little kids,” said Pike, who was visiting Beaver Creek from Arkansas. “It goes up to a great beginner area, and there’s lots of magic carpets up there.”The Pikes were one of many families who took advantage of the brand-new Buckaroo Express gondola, which replaced the Haymeadow Lift.Chocolate-chip cookies and face painting abounded at the gondola’s grand opening Saturday. Two children from the Beavo ski program helped cut the ribbon, and Smokey Bear was even on hand for the celebration. The resort offered a variety of kid-friendly activities, including sticker and button giveaways and helmet paintings by local artist and ski instructor Marc McDonald.The gondola and the new learning area opened Nov. 23.Pike said the gondola made it easier to get his children, ages 2, 5 and 8, to get up to the beginner area.”Last year when it was a lift, the kids had a little trouble getting up, especially the short ones,” he said.Texas resident Rebecca Levine, who was learning to ski, said that she enjoyed being able to sit in a closed gondola while learning. It is cheating a bit, though, said Edwards resident Debby Cohen.”Eventually you’re going to have to learn how to get on a chair,” she said.On Sunday morning, Beaver Creek will drop the ropes on the mountain’s expert Stone Creek Chutes and Royal Elk Glade. The chutes, which are open for their second season, offer pitches as steep as 45 degrees. The Half Barrel halfpipe is also expected to open within a few days.Almost 95 percent, or 1,700 acres, of Beaver Creek’s terrain and 17 lifts will be open for village-to-village skiing. Check Beaver Creek’s Web site at for nightly family activities.Beaver Creek’s snowfall for December is 23 percent above average, with 68 inches of snow falling since Dec. 1.==========Buckaroo statsThe gondola can carry 1,665 people per hour, is 1,671 feet in length, and has 10 towers and 26 cabins.==========

Support Local Journalism