What nobody tells you about surviving Winter in Colorado

Up until recently, Coloradans have been enjoying a relatively mild winter. Some people fell into the trap of believing that the pleasant weather would stick around… and then the snow arrived to once again ravished the state. Welcome to Colorado, folks! Aside from expecting the unexpected when it comes to our unpredictable weather, there are several other things you should know if you want to survive a Colorado winter. Here are 11 tips to help you through!
1. Are you enjoying these consistent 50-degree temps? PSYCH. Here comes a blizzard.

Several seconds/Flickr
We’re not sure if Mother Nature is really indecisive or if Colorado winters are just her favorite prank, but the fickle weather can make choosing an outfit a confusing task. One minute, it’s perfect t-shirt weather; the next will have you shivering. Speaking of which…
2. Save the money on boots and heavy coats, because all you really need are long-sleeved shirts (and sometimes light jackets) and flip-flops.

Do you want to know how to spot a tourist in Colorado? They are the ones sporting costly boots and ridiculously expensive heavy coats!

3. Avoid roads on snowy days, because nobody* knows how to drive.

Flickr/Jason Swihart
*Nobody except for me, of course. You’d think Coloradans would have caught on by now – after all, snow certainly isn’t a rarity around here. Even skilled drivers seem to lose all common sense once there’s snow on the road. SLOW DOWN.
4. Don’t even bother driving along I-70 if it is snowing.

Flickr/Greg Younger
Unless you want to sit in your car for (at least) three hours due to traffic and/or interstate closures, we recommend avoiding it at all costs.
5. If it seems like the snow will never end, do not despair – in the next few hours, the sun will be shining and the snow will melt.

Flickr/Cathy McCray
If you think I am exaggerating, you’re wrong! Just last week we were hit by a blizzard out of nowhere, but the roads were clear and the sun was shining by 3 p.m.
6. On a brighter note, the mornings may be positively frigid, but the sunrises are incredible…

Flickr/Bryce Bradford
7. …and sunsets are worth standing outside (shivering in your flip-flops) for!

Flickr/Zach Dischner
If you think sunrises and sunsets are magical in the summertime, just wait until you see them this time of year. The vibrant hues seem even brighter and more magical against a sparkling, snowy landscape.

8. Winter is great for skiing, but it can be crazy crowded at the big name resorts.

Flickr/Owen Richard
While we recommend skiing at all of the bigger resorts at least once (they are popular for a reason), we also suggest checking out the smaller ones now and then, as they are not nearly as crowded.
9. Do not, under any circumstance, step out onto a frozen lake.

Every winter we see news reports about people who have stepped out onto seemingly sturdy ice, only to fall through into the dangerously frigid water below. No matter how cold it is or how solid the ice looks from the shore, there is no way to just “eye it.” Even when it is significantly thick, cracks and weaknesses can remain unseen until it’s too late. Many of those who fall through are attempting to rescue animals who have wandered out onto the ice – if this happens, stay on solid land, call 911 immediately, and let the trained rescue professionals handle it. Risking your life on the ice might end with an ambulance ride to the hospital… or worse.
10. If an area is deemed unsafe due to the weather, do not go near it.

Colorado Department of Transportation/Flickr
You’d think this would be a no-brainer, but there are always a foolish few who ignore warnings. Whether you’re hiking, driving, or otherwise in an area deemed unsafe, there is a reason for it. Adhere to advisories and avoid avalanches and other potential natural disasters.
11. Finally – and most importantly – know that you may die from a broken heart during these cold, cruel months.

Flickr/Heath Alseike
The NFL season comes to an end right in the middle of winter. Our beloved Broncos had a great run in 2015 and brought home a big, shiny Super Bowl trophy, but the seasons since have been… less successful. The dreary days of winter seem to match the overall mood of disappointment at the end of the season. We’ll always remain hopeful for success next season, but there’s no denying the heartbreak we’ve experienced these last few years.

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