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Skiing & Snowboarding

December 05, 2012

Skiing Alberta: An Avalanche of Winter Wonders


Skiing-mount-norquay-banff-alberta
BIG IT UP: Skiing Banff's Mount Norquay (Ski Banff)

One of my favorite places to ski, the Rocky Mountain slopes of Alberta, Canada, are open for the 2012-2013 ski season and packed with some great new developments. Here's a sampling.

Banff's Mt. Norquay has been open since October 25, so it has had plenty of time to work out any pre-season kinks. Current snowfall is reported at more that 30 inches, with 30 runs open. This is a really fun little resort with an edgy vibe, though note trails can be quite steep and icy in the upper areas of the mountain. They have night skiing here, as well as lift tickets by the hour, so a good one if you want to get in a half-day on the slopes along with some additional Banff National Park sightseeing.

Continue reading "Skiing Alberta: An Avalanche of Winter Wonders" »

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November 20, 2012

Your Guide to the 2012-2013 Ski Season Opening Day in North American Resorts



By Lacy Morris
11/20/2012

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5753_skiing-at-steamboat-ski-r_14
Skiing at Steamboat Springs Resort, Colorado (Colorado Ski Country)

Some say that fall isn't over until every ski resort has opened their doors. The last leaves have yet to fall, but if you're a snow junkie, we're sure you've monitored your favorite resort's snowfall. To make it easier on those who don't live and breathe opening day, here are some of the most popular resorts in North America and the festivities they've planned for the first day of their 2012-2013 winter season.  

Marmot Basin Ski Resort
November 9, 2012
Marmot's official opening day was November 9. However, the resort opened two more lifts on November 15.

Breckenridge Ski Resort
November 10, 2012
Breck celebrated opening day with 2,000 free cinnamon rolls and free parking after a storm brought 7" to the mountainside.

Vail Ski Resort
November 16, 2012
Vail opened for the 2012-2013 season on November 16. The resort's 50th winter season was marked with the unveiling of a new state-of-the-art gondola at Mountain Plaza in Vail Village.

Continue reading "Your Guide to the 2012-2013 Ski Season Opening Day in North American Resorts" »

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October 18, 2012

The Guide to a Non-Skier's Ski Season



By Guest Blogger
10/18/2012

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Snowshoeing (Hemera) 99684336
(Hemera)

The first question people usually ask me when I tell them I live in Denver, Colorado, is, "Do you ski or snowboard?" This is generally followed by a bewildered look when I tell them that I don't do either. But just because I'm one of the few Denverites who doesn't have plastic crates of bindings, boards, and out-grown snow pants in my garage, doesn't mean that I don't enjoy visiting ski towns and taking advantage of all they have to offer. With ski season quickly approaching, here are my favorite ways to pass the time when visiting some of Colorado's most popular mountain-resort towns, for those of you who prefer to skip the lift lines.

Channel Your Inner Child
Tubing is a fantastic way to hit the slopes, okay, hills, without asserting any athletic ability. On a recent trip to Breckenridge, I decided to try out the Frisco Adventure Park tubing hill. I had a blast screaming down the 1,200-foot tubing lanes. A magic carpet takes you back to the top of the hill so you can repeat the fun. Tubing is offered at most Colorado ski resorts and is generally open to all ages.

Continue reading "The Guide to a Non-Skier's Ski Season" »

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Related Topics: Skiing & Snowboarding · Trip Ideas

April 12, 2012

Spring Skiing, Perfected at Mount Bachelor


Snow
The back porch of Mount Bachelor in November 2011… and the snow kept on coming (Mount Bachelor Resort)

The only evidence of winter we saw in our Washington, D.C., HQ this season was exactly three snow flurries (and one of those happened in October!). Otherwise, the winter of 2011-2012 has been more a prolonged foreplay into spring, and much of the country has witnessed the same, sad fate.

Except for places like Mount Bachelor.

While many of the country's ski resorts were quietly plotting ways to truck in snow (like Whistler/Blackcomb did for the 2010 Winter Olympics), this resort outside of Bend, Oregon, has seen near-steady snowfall throughout the season--so much so that the mountain now boasts a seasonal total of 447 inches...and counting, with three inches falling within the last 24 hours, and a 15-foot-deep base.

Continue reading "Spring Skiing, Perfected at Mount Bachelor" »

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Related Topics: Skiing & Snowboarding · Travel Deals

March 22, 2012

Winter Is Dead! Long Live Winter!



By awayblog
03/22/2012

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February-dream-destinations-contest-winner
Snowboarder admires Grand Tetons from slopes of Grand Targhee, Wyoming (Michael Petrik)

Although winter's a fading memory—or barely a memory, if you had weather like we had in balmy D.C.—we're offering one last chance to admire the chilly majesty of Old Man Winter here on Away.com. Last month, we asked you to enter your most inspirational photos in our Winter Dream Destinations Contest, and you obliged with an avalanche of your favorite snow- and ice-covered moments. The chill set in from Alaska to Antarctica, Lake Tahoe to Lapland, but the one that captured our frosty hearts was the above shot of the Grand Tetons doing a wintery "striptease" in front of skiers and snowboarders at Wyoming's Grand Targhee Resort. Makes us want to brew up a cup of cocoa and watch the rest of the show! Congratulations to Ohio-based reader Michael Petrik, who wins a $100 VISA gift card for his entry.

Have a great photo that captures your love of travel? This month we're asking our readers to send in their most inspirational Caribbean scene. Or stay tuned in April for our National Parks Dream Destination contest!

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Related Topics: Away.com News · Skiing & Snowboarding · Travel Photography

January 26, 2012

Winter Has (Finally) Arrived! And So Have the Ski Deals.


Utah---MattCrawley-BLOG
A much-needed powder day at Snowbird (Matt Crawley/Snowbird Resort)

After returning last week from a trip to most of the ski resorts of Park City and Salt Lake, I was ready to write about how Utah’s snow-making skills have managed to turn a year of dismal snowfall into a surprisingly robust ski experience of groomed runs and bluebird skies. But then, three days after I got home, the snow came. Four feet of Utah’s famed powdery, light snow fell across the state’s resorts between January 18 and 22. Terrain that had been closed all season (both on- and off-piste) was suddenly ready to accept the first tracks of 2012. Snowbasin now reports a robust 73-inch base, while Alta and Snowbird rank highest for the SLC-area resorts, boasting 71- and 67-inch bases (respectively). Park City has also seen its fair share of much-needed snow (just in time to clog the streets during Sundance), with a base depth that starts at 43 inches.

Continue reading "Winter Has (Finally) Arrived! And So Have the Ski Deals." »

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Related Topics: Last Minute Trips · Skiing & Snowboarding · Travel Deals

January 23, 2012

North America's Top Five Ski Resorts



By Guest Blogger
01/23/2012

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Canada, British Columbia, Whistler Village at dusk(Digital Vision,Thinkstock)
Whistler Village, British Columbia (Digital Vision/Thinkstock)

Whether you're a family of beginners learning the ropes of the mountain or an experienced group of friends ready to tackle the next big challenge, these five North American ski resorts offer great skiing and snowboarding, plus a few extra details that ensure a perfect winter vacation.

Whistler Blackcomb Ski Resort
Just 90 minutes outside of Vancouver is the behemoth known as Whistler Blackcomb. Eight thousand acres of skiing area, 27 lifts, and hundreds of runs and trails make for a skier’s dream. The pedestrian-only village is enticing for those in your group who don't ski; they can shop and dine to their heart's content within the area.

Away.com's Whistler Ski Guide

Alta Ski Area
Alta is designated for skiers only, which means snowboarders will have to find another choice. This is great for those who prefer to enjoy the scenery at a slower pace, and Alta certainly provides an incredible amount of scenery. Unlike some of the mega-resorts in the west, Alta has a decidely laid-back, mom-and-pop vibe that lets you truly focus on the snow-covered outdoors.

Away.com's Alta Ski Guide

Continue reading "North America's Top Five Ski Resorts" »

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April 14, 2011

The Best of Late-Season Skiing


Boarder glades (Paul Morrison)
(Paul Morrison\Whistler Blackcomb Ski Resort)

If April skiing had a theme it would be “you can get anything you want,” including some of the best skiing and riding of the season. The crowds are absent, and lodging prices are rock bottom. High-end upgrades can be had for a song. Here are some resort considerations for awesome late-season skiing.

The greatest-snow-on-earth state’s real spring bloomer is Snowbird. They expect to be open until Memorial Day, but only Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays after May 1.

Away.com's Snowbird Resort Ski Guide

Oregon’s Mount Bachelor, the highest elevation resort in the Cascades and one of the top spring destinations in the country, is full on until May 29. They’re even selling a $149 spring pass good from now until then. Perhaps the best spring pass deal in ski country.

Away.com's Mount Bachelor Resort Ski Guide

California’s Mammoth Mountain, which is buried under a winter of never-ending snowfall, is reporting on its website that “Mammoth looks like it is going to be open until the 4th of July.” In Lake Tahoe, Heavenly is touting 2010-2011 as “the snowiest season on record” and just extended its season to May 4. Northstar-at-Tahoe closes April 24, Squaw Valley stops the lifts on May 8, and Alpine Meadows will run until May 15.

Away.com's Guide to California Ski Resorts

Continue reading "The Best of Late-Season Skiing" »

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April 04, 2011

Spring Back to Vail Contest Winner is Announced!



By awayblog
04/04/2011

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Winter park
(Winter Park Resort)

The Away.com Spring Back to Vail contest winner has accepted her prize. Away.com users were eligible to win by writing a review of their favorite ski/snowboard resort in Away.com's Ski & Snowboard Resort Guide. Our winner, Laura Parrington, wrote the best resort review and will attend Colorado's premier end-of-season event, Spring Back To Vail, April 15 through 24th. In addition, she will receive two round-trip flights to Vail (provided by Away.com and Orbitz), two nights at RockResort's The Lodge at Vail, and two days of lift tickets provided by Vail Resorts. She'll also have the opportunity to write a review of her trip of a lifetime, so be sure to check back to read about her adventures at one of the biggest parties in the Rockies. Here is Laura's winning review:

Winter Park has everything you want in a ski resort. It's a favorite of Coloradans as well as out-of-towners and has a good vibe that caters to both types of people. It doesn't feel touristy, but if it's your first time to the area people are very welcoming and it's easy to get around. Prices are decent—though it was a steal ten years ago! It will only take you about 1.5 hours to get there from most areas on the front range (Denver). The slopes are always great, and there are plenty of trails to choose from for every level of skier or snowboarder. Great warming houses too. There is one on the mountain where you can opt to serve yourself or eat in their sit-down restaurant, ski boots and all, which is surprisingly well-priced. The base has a great little coffee shop as well. You can stay at the resort base, or venture into the town of Winter Park just down the road, where you will find a good variety of restaurants, bars, and B&Bs. It's definitely for those that want to experience a real home-grown Colorado ski town. BOTTOM LINE: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend.

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Related Topics: Free Stuff · Skiing & Snowboarding

March 24, 2011

Spring Fling: A Round-Up of the Ski Season's Last Hoorah


Vail_01
Under the spring sun in Vail, Colorado (Colorado Ski Country)

Let’s call them "spring flings." Few ski resorts let the end of the season just dwindle away, flickering out like a candle. Most of them like to say good riddance with some kind of party. And the lodging packages get no better than in April. Here’s a random sampling of a dozen spring flings from North America’s ski country. Most of the festivities involve some form of pond-skimming, which are to spring flings what the accordion is to polka.

Bear Mountain Mogul Challenge
Killington, Vermont

Come spring, I know Utah-based skiers who long for the kernels of corn-like snow at Killington. Well, the resort is calling all amateurs to their mogul challenge, April 2–3, 2011. Here is your chance to utter those famous last words: Hold my beer and watch this!

Killington Ski Resort Travel Guide

Cody’s Challenge
Steamboat Springs, Colorado

The Third Annual Cody’s Challenge shakes up Steamboat Springs, April 2, 2011. This randonee endurance ski race tackles the full Monty of Herculean climbing, traversing and descending Steamboat’s in-your-face terrain. The race is in memory of Cody St. John, a Steamboat ski patroller, providing scholarships to increase the medical knowledge of the ski patrol.

Steamboat Ski Resort Travel Guide

Spring Music Sessions
Lake Louise, Alberta

It’s tough to beat the Canadian Rockies for spring skiing. Think March snow in April. But beginning April 2–3, 2011, Lake Louise also celebrates a series of weekend music concerts featuring the likes of Black Out City Kids, locally-raised "organic DJs."

Lake Louise Ski Resort Travel Guide

 

Continue reading "Spring Fling: A Round-Up of the Ski Season's Last Hoorah" »

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