Not everybody in Ski Country is a skier. Colorado Rep. Patricia Schroeder (D), who represents one of the nation's major skiing states, admits she leaves the sport to her two children. She rates her own ability on the slopes, on a scale of 1 to 10, at about "one-half." For others like herself, she has this advice on a trip to Ski Country:
YOU DON'T have to ski to love snow. Of the 1 million people who visit Colorado's 34 ski areas every year, up to one-third of them never ski. This may startle someone who's never been skiing, or never been nonskiing as it were. It sounds about as logical as heading for the Caribbean if you're not partial to beaches.
Most Colorado ski areas are resorts. Downhill skiing may be the main event, but one could exhaust the entire winter without gamboling on a single slope. So if your spouse, chum, office ski club or bowling team wants to drag you, the ace nonskier, off to Colorado, go! Single, married, children or not, you won't be lacking in diversions. There are carnivals, parades, and rodeos up and down the Colorado Rockies all winter.
The indoor sports--volleyball, squash, tennis, paddleball, Nautilus and billiards--are only outnumbered by the outdoors sports--snowshoeing, tubing, ice and fly fishing, mountaineering, hang gliding, skating, hockey, ballooning, sledding, swimming (heated pools) and birding.
Aside from downhill skiing, there is also cross-country and glacier skiing (yes, exactly that). People-watching and plain old walking around are recognized athletic events too.
Then there are my favorite winter pastimes, the passenger sports: horse-drawn sleighing, dogsledding and Snowcat tours around the slopes. The rides can often be combined with dinner at the end of the trail.
The terminally lazy can poach in a hot tub, steam in a sauna and then get kneaded from head to toe by an expert masseuse.
Children and properly spirited adults can make snow angels and snow sculptures. The materials are free.
One can also rent a car and poke around old mining and mountain towns like Minturn, Leadville, Cripple Creek (where Groucho Marx once washed dishes), Georgetown, Fairplay, Central City, Marble and Black Hawk.
The Colorado Ski Country USA Winter 1982-83 Guide to Colorado Skiing is available free from: Colorado Ski Country, 1410 Grant St., Suite A201, Denver, Colo. 80203. Call 303-837-9907 for the latest snow conditions.
If you are at one of the 20 or so ski areas near (less than 100 miles) Denver, take a day excursion down for lunch. The Michelin of inexpensive neighborhood restaurants is "Undiscovered Denver Dining: The Cabbie's Guide," by cabdriver David Engelken and Friends ($3.95 plus $1 postage, 940 Emerson, Denver, Colo. 80218). Engelken has the lowdown on 72 cafe's, diners and taverns. None requires a lift ticket.