Heading down the mountain, you suddenly drop off the side of the trail and into the trees. That's where you find the powder and the alpine quiet – and where you go back to the old-school.
It’s been an incredible January for so many ski areas across North America. January will be one to remember with snow-packed storms, keeping soft turn after soft turn.
Early on, above-freezing temps kept snowfall down in the Pacific Northwest. But lately, the temps have dropped and the depths have risen. Pacific storms have stayed north, pummeling the Cascades and intermountain region with snowfall measured in feet.
When John Myers’ soon-to-be married daughter said the three-bedroom condo at Vermont's Okemo wasn’t going to be big enough, he purchased a five- bedroom slopeside townhouse where the extended family of 18 enjoys time together. Every week 30,000 baby boomers become grandparents so it’s not too surprising that there are multiple generations enjoying vacation homes at the country’s ski resorts.
With temperatures moderating and the colors beginning to burst across mountain country, fall is a perfect time to get the family out for a hike. Depending on the age and stamina of the kids, suitable hikes abound for everything from an easy stroll to rock scrambles, many with mountain views for mom and dad and the hook of possible nature sightings for the kids.
A staple on the activity slate at many ski and snowboard resorts in the Rocky Mountains is the fast-chargin’, whip-turnin’ mountain coaster.
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.
On-mountain eating welcomes Taco Beast mobile taco truck. (Steamboat/Facebook)
Ever got a sudden hunger pang while skiing or riding, but the snow was too good to waste time in the cafeteria line? Or you are far from the nearest on-mountain eatery?
More carving at Winter Park with new gondola. (Winter Park/Facebook)
Winter Park Resort has announced that it will replace the mountain’s workhorse Zephyr Express chairlift with a gondola – a move aimed to upgrade the mountain’s infrastructure and to shorten weekend and holiday lines.
Copper to cut season pass price for next season. (Copper Mountain/Facebook)
The season pass battles are officially on for 2018-2019, and Copper Mountain has fired its salvo with an early-season pass priced about 25 percent lower than this season's top price.
Going into the backcountry appeals to many. (Snowmass/Facebook)
Recent efforts by ski and snowboard resorts and towns to penalize those who go illegally under the ropes reached fruition when Snowmass issued fines to four skiers who went into a closed area.
Deer Valley is Alterra Mountain Company's Utah destination. (Alterra Mountain Company)
The joint venture of affiliates of KSL Capital Partners and Henry Crown and Company that brought together Intrawest Resorts holdings, Mammoth Mountain, Deer Valley and Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, now has a name: Alterra Mountain Company.
Never too far from the forest at Taos. (Taos Ski Valley/Facebook)
Few things bring skiers and riders closer to the mountain than getting off the piste and into the forest.
Tetons loom over Jackson Hole airport. (Jackson Hole Airport/Facebook)
Vacationing skiers and snowboarders can be an anxious lot. They want to get the most runs possible in the time they have, so getting out of the airport quickly and onto the slopes as soon as possible is paramount.
The liftee needs a place to live, too. (Vail Careers/Facebook)
So you want to be a ski bum? Get a job at a resort, find a place to live, and get a pass for free. All sounds cool -- except for the “cost of living” thing.
Ready to go after landing in Aspen. (Aspen-Pitkin County Airport/Facebook)
This season, it will be easier than ever to hop on a plane and head for where the powder is freshest in Colorado.
Sun Valley set to go with early discounts. (Sun Valley/Facebook)
Once the snow begins to fly, skiers and riders make plans to get up into the hills as soon as possible – and stay there as long as possible. As a result, many Rocky Mountain resorts lay out early season ticket and lodging deals.
Tremblant has new owner. (Tremblant/Facebook)
Consolidation in the winter resort industry continues as a partnership between a newly formed entity in Aspen and a private equity firm announced the pending purchase of Intrawest and its six ski and snowboard resorts.
Included in the deal, which is expected to be closed by next fall, are Steamboat, Winter Park, Snowshoe, Stratton, Mont Tremblant and Blue Mountain. They will join with Squaw Valley-Alpine Meadows, a property of partner KSL Capital Partnership, under the new corporate entity. Aspen SkiCo's Aspen Mountain, Snowmass, Buttermilk and Aspen Highlands are not in the deal and will continue to operate independently.
Season tickets purchased for 2017-2018 at each resort will be honored, and the benefits of multi-resort passes Rocky Mountain Super Pass, the M.A.X. Pass and Mountain Collective will also continue through next season, according to a press release. No information has been given yet about consolidation of ticketing.
Skiers and snowboarders shouldn’t expect to see any major changes at any of the resorts this next season, as the deal won’t be signed and sealed until the third quarter of 2017. However, statements from Aspen Skiing Corp. and KSL Capital Partners indicate that the new corporation is ready to “help realize the collective potential of Intrawest’s portfolio of resorts.”
The deal comes as the latest in a trend toward consolidation in the ski and snowboard business. Vail Resorts expanded into the Eastern market with the recent purchase of Stowe, giving it a across-the-nation portfolio of resorts. Others owning multiple resorts include Boyne USA, Peak Resorts and Powdr Corp.
The Vermont hills are alive with stunning views from a Trapp Family Lodge sleigh ride. (Trapp Family Lodge)
With all the snow piling up across the country, we may just have to use sleighs to get to the mountains. The classic winter experience is a must-do for a chance to enjoy another side of your favorite resort, many with perks like hot chocolate or dinner as part of the adventure.