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As much of the U.S. deals with summer heat, a Colorado ski resort still has some snow


If you've been suffering under summer heat lately, perhaps you'd be interested to know that in the Rocky Mountains, people are still skiing. Lucas Brady Woods with member station KUNC in Colorado reports on some rare July snow fun.

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: Yeah, Demetri (ph).

LUCAS BRADY WOODS, BYLINE: It's sunny and nearly 70 degrees at the base of Copper Mountain Resort, about 90 minutes west of Denver. And somehow, on a grassy green slope in the middle of a pine forest, there's a big, bright, white pile of snow.

ALLISA BRICOURT: I mean, it's kind of just - oh, my God - like a dream. I don't know. It's a dream. Seriously.

WOODS: The elevation here is nearly 10,000 feet above sea level, and it's a great hangout for snowboarders like Allisa Bricourt.

BRICOURT: This is what we love. It brings us all together. We get to meet up with our friends, hang out. You don't even have to text anyone. Everyone's just already here.

WOODS: Everyone is about 50 people who paid $25 each to slide around on a pile of snow roughly the size of a football field. It's been sculpted by big tractors to create shapes for skiers and snowboarders to fly off of and do tricks on. Jay Scott, who works for the resort, says it's been a while since they've been able to offer this.

JAY SCOTT: A lot of people who have been here, you know, five or so years ago, when we used to have it, are stoked to have it back.

WOODS: Riders have to hike back up when they get to the bottom, but nobody's complaining.

NATE SUNDERHUSE: I am wearing athletic shorts and a T-shirt, and we're skiing in July.

WOODS: Nate Sunderhuse, from Denver, braved some heavy traffic to get here today.

SUNDERHUSE: It's worth it because, man, the mountains are just so beautiful, and I just really enjoy being up here.

WOODS: Ski resorts typically close around Easter. When the resort opened up what they call the hike park last week, snow-hungry locals ate it up. George Searcy, a 13-year-old skier, is working on a trick called a three swap.

GEORGE SEARCY: This is a kind of a new trick to me, and so hopefully it only takes, like, eight attempts.

WOODS: He and his little brother are wearing T-shirts and not worried about falling in the snow.

TEGAN SEARCY: No, not really. Cold is fun.

WOODS: Low temperatures are forecast to be in the 40s here this week, so the snow won't last all summer. Thirty-four-year-old Colorado native Mark Lynn grew up competing in snowboard events and calls the sport his life.

MARK LYNN: It's been a cool day for me. I rode my bike this morning, skateboarded, now we're snowboarding, so kind of a Colorado trifecta.

WOODS: For NPR News, I'm Lucas Brady Woods at Copper Mountain. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Lucas Brady Woods