Plan The Unforgettable Ski Trip
Whiteface offers the biggest vert in the East. (Whiteface)
Whether you’re a ripper or parent wanting to introduce kids to snowsports, now’s the time to plan a special vacation, and there’s nothing like trying something new or different to make it memorable.
Here’s a starter list to get you thinking — and taking advantage of early reservation deals.
Unique and Memorable Experiences
Lake Placid is variety personified – Olympic museum, ski jump, skate oval, bobsled rides, Nordic center, toboggan chute, dogsled rides; plus there’s dining and shopping galore, lodgings, from ultra lux to simple motel. Skiing at nearby Whiteface is the real deal. From children’s learning area to the expert Slides, there’s great variety and big vertical. Skiing 1980’s Olympic trails is a hoot, too.
Parlez-vous francais? You’ll need a passport but U.S. guests will find Mont Tremblant makes a great adventure for a February family vacation as Canada’s school vacations are in March. The European-styled pedestrian Village offers dining, après activities, shopping and plentiful lodgings.
Heli skiing allows access to places unknown to ski lifts, offering a truly unique experience, notes Kevin Quinn of Hekiski US. British Columbia and Alaska are famous heli-trip locales, but you can also find heli operators lifting you to the untracked in Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.
For a first European trip, try Kitzbuehel and ski the famous Hahnenkamm; sample Austrian culture, history, food. Side trips to Salzburg and Innsbruck recommended.
The choices are mindboggling, from off-the-beaten track areas to world famous mega resorts.
Base camp at Copper Mountain, Colorado and enjoy stupendous trails and views, free Tucker Mt. snowcat rides, backcountry bowls, and Woodward action sports training facility.
Laidback, less expensive, and fun for the whole family, Ski Cooper in the Pando Valley of Colorado, where 10th Mountain Troops trained, features cat skiing on Chicago Ridge. Also, makes a great day trip from mega resorts like Copper.
“Big Sky is wonderful,” notes retired SnowEast publisher Bill Jones. “I spent three months there and never got bored. It’s big, undiscovered; the view is top-of-the-world, absolutely beautiful; and the terrain variety is huge, from woods, groomed, to super extreme.” Day off: take a guided tour at Yellowstone.
Northeast Best-Kept Secrets
Basecamp at Pico Mountain and discover a family-friendly area that spawned Olympians and features reasonable prices, slopeside lodgings, sports center with pool, base lodge with working fireplace, mini ski museum, and easy access to sister Killington Resort.
Discover Burke Mountain and the soul of skiing before the masses do — great terrain from separate learning area to glades, magnificent scenery, new hotel, and reasonable tickets.
Combine challenge and character at Cannon Mountain with history — tram, museum, home to Bode — and nice beginners’ area plus Mittersill trails and you have a true New England gem.
For a smorgasboard of snowsport fun, there’s Greek Peak, New York, with night skiing and tubing enhancing downhill fun. Add the East’s first water park at Hope Lake Lodge and you’ve got a special opportunity for a family vacation.