In Colorado’s ski country, not many resorts are left that are independently owned and operated. But Wolf Creek Ski Area isn’t your typical resort. In fact, it’s not really a resort at all.

While there is homemade green chili at the base of the mountain, there isn’t anywhere to stay. And owners Rosanne and Davey Pitcher aren’t exactly making decisions over a boardroom conference call. They’re on the mountain, all season long and then some.

“We’re ski operators, because we love to ski,” Rosanne Pitcher said. On any given day she’s buzzing around the ticket window, or calling shots for the marketing department. Davey blends in with patrollers on the snow. Together they taste test carrot cake recipes and trouble shoot lift ops.

But that snow is what it’s all about, because on top of some incredible terrain, that’s all there is. And if you don’t mind a stunning ridgeline hike at 11,500 feet edging along the Continental Divide, then you’ll find even more. It’s no secret they have a lock on the early season – just ask the U.S. ski team. Recently, the mountain opened with 36 inches on Oct. 3. A pretty good early season.

Wolf Creek is out of the way, far from the glamor, lift lines and the hype. You might say it’s even a little hard to get to, which makes it even better.

So, how much snow does Wolf Creek get? Thirty-five feet of snow each year – the most snow in Colorado.