Christmas in the mountains runs deep with traditions. But a number of resorts try to work outside the box and be creative with their celebrations.
Multiple storm systems and a steady plume of moisture will stream into the Pacific Northwest, bringing big totals into the weekend.
As a new season begins, skiers and snowboarders head to the hills, always looking for what’s new at their favorite resort – and what improvements they might find if they venture to other areas.
Here’s a look at a quintet of resorts in Colorado, Idaho and California that expect to drop the ropes in early November.
Willy Booker, head of Burke Mountain Academy which hones some of America’s finest ski racers, bemoans that kids are less active and athletic today and don’t get outdoors enough.
One way to remedy that is to have fun at a mountain resort this summer.
Plenty of trees to navigate at Lookout. (Lookout Pass/Facebook)
This season, the snow gods have smiled mostly upon the Northern Rockies, just in time to debut a new trail at Lookout Pass and produce optimism for planned upgrades.
All New Mexico resorts have discounted lessons. (Ski New Mexico/Facebook)
Ski and snowboard resorts all want more people on the slopes, and one way is to introduce newcomers to the sport.
Midwest resorts are in prime location to pick up several inches of snow and keep it around. (Boyne Highlands/Facebook)
Cold air dominates most of the United States and Canada through Christmas, leading to favorable conditions for snowfall in many areas.
A keystone holiday getaway is a good bet. (Keystone)
The B-rolls of early snowfall photos have started, and the usual suspects have already dropped their ropes on a new season. So the next question is: Where to ski and snowboard during the holiday season?
Lookout Pass has popular Learn to Ski & Ride and Bring a Friend programs that run all season long. (Bob Legasa Freeride Media)
There’s never been a better time to find ski/snowboarding discounts, freebies, and deals.
Cruisin' at Snoqualmie. (Summit at Snoqualmie/Facebook)
Everyone else seems to be doing it, so why not joint season pass programs for the ski and snowboard resorts in the Pacific Northwest?
With an unrestricted season pass in hand from one of the three Washington state resorts for 2017-2018, skiers and snowboarders can add on three days at each of the two other mountains for $199 – if purchased before May 31 – or $33 a day.
Each resort is within a couple hours’ drive of the Seattle area, so the goal of the program, according to officials at the three mountains, is to “give skiers and snowboarders living in the Puget Sound more reason to stay local.”
Resorts across the Northwest are ramping up discounts on 2017-18 passes. At Stevens Pass, the first layer of discounts has begun. A renewal costs $549, a new pass $599 for a limited amount. When the “first tier” of passes is sold out at Stevens Pass, the price goes up.
Crystal Mountain and Snoqualmie have yet to put next season’s passes on sale. Three resorts in the Northwest link into the Colorado-based M.A.X. Pass, which offers five days of skiing and riding at 44 resorts around the country. Included are Mt. Bachelor, Crystal Mountain and Snoqualmie.
Cruisin' at Snoqualmie (Summit at Snoqualmie/Facebook)
Cascadia Pass works at Stevens Pass. (Stevens Pass/Facebook)
More pow' days at Crystal. (Crystal Mountain/Facebook)
Lookout Pass powder run. (Lookout Pass/Facebook)
Who says there’s nothing free in the world? Every Saturday at Lookout Pass Ski and Recreation, dozens of youngsters will hit the slopes for instruction in skiing and snowboarding – without cost.
Snow storms both big and small have been rolling into the mountains of Idaho since Thanksgiving, giving skiers and snowboarders what they want for the holidays and beyond – and erasing memories of a couple of lean years on the slopes.
It’s no secret that last season was difficult for ski and snowboard operations in the Pacific Northwest, given a record low in snowfall and persistent above-freezing temperatures into midseason.
Many resorts along the West Coast are sweetening ticket and lodging deals to entice skiers and snowboarders into the mountains. The deals are prompted by a winter season that hasn’t come close to even delivering an average snowfall.
This summer in Idaho saw crews working on trails, lodges and terrain parks at mountain resorts, and the fruits of those labors are now ready for skiers and snowboarders to enjoy. Eight resorts announced improvements and upgrades that were completed during the offseason, and one, Tamarack Resort, is back to a full-week schedule under new ownership.
It’s springtime in Idaho, the snow is softening, and the end of the season is sadly within sight – but so are the bargains on next year’s season passes.
Visitors and locals to inland Pacific Northwest resorts will find improvements – big, small and in between -- when they buckle up for the new season.