El Nino continues to play the same tune across North America with abundant snow in the west and spring-like temperatures throughout the lower midwest and Northeast, and the forecast shows little signs of change.
All across ski nation, winter mountain resorts are devising ways to grow the sport by keeping kids and beginners coming back to the slopes. Utah is no exception.
On any given day at winter resorts in the West, dozens of people on skis, snowshoes or foot can be seen heading out of the base area to get in a run within resort boundaries without riding the lift.
If Thanksgiving freshies are on your menu, you’re in luck as yet another series of storms will deliver more than a foot of snow to some resorts through the Holiday weekend.
I woke up to new snow Tuesday. The biggest dump so far in Utah. Ski Utah called it their signature “Monster Dump” in Little Cottonwood Canyon during their annual pre-season press conference. The irony is that in every single past year, I was skiing instead of attending the conference. This year no resorts are open.
There are only a handful of "givens" when it comes to skiing in the Wasatch. It used to be the snow. Nope, not anymore. A lineup of traffic as far as the eye can see on powder days in Little Cottonwood Canyon? Yep. That’s one. A massive crowd at the top of Rustler on the “first” closing weekend of Alta? Yep, that’s another. Epic food at Snowbasin. Check. But the absolute one thing guests and TV celebs can count on when they ski Park City is Deer Valley’s opening the first weekend in December.
The pre-World War II years were halcyon days for the ski industry in the American West, with more than two dozen iconic ski areas firing up their lifts for the first time – including Alta Ski Area in 1938.
After two decades as Las Vegas Ski & Snowboard Resort, the closest winter resort to Las Vegas has returned to its original name, Lee Canyon, to both acknowledge the past and forge into the future.
Many skiers and snowboarders dream of hopping into a helicopter and heading into the deep backcountry for a day far outside the ropes. Alaska and western Canada remain the premier locales for heli-skiing, but the Lower 48 has its own quality selection.
The first dustings are on the highest peaks, and resorts across the West are in the midst of early season ticket discounts. In Utah, the mélange of choices for multi-day tickets -- local, regional and national -- is greater than ever.
The urge to hit the slopes comes early this time of year, so Brighton Resort’s pre-season terrain park in Utah might be just the antidote for those with a preseason jones for a kicker or a rail.
Trying to get ahead of the popularity of videoing from remote-controlled drones, many Western resorts have banned their use – citing safety issues and both FAA and U.S. Forest Service concerns.
The summit of Hidden Peak at Snowbird can be a cold spot, but this season there’s an oasis for tramway riders to warm their toes and get a bite to eat before heading downhill.The new Summit Lodge -- all 23,000 square feet of floor space and seemingly acres of glass windows -- will be ready once the Snowbird Tramway starts running for the new ski and snowboard season.
Minnesota’s Afton Alps and Michigan’s Mr. Brighton are both part of the Epic Pass, which offers unlimited access to all of Vail Resorts western ski areas as well as both Midwest resorts. It offers as much slope time for diehard Heartland skiers and riders as they want.
The irony isn’t lost on locals. Four comparatively miserable winters and yet Utah ski resorts spent millions on “improvements” this summer, raising the cost of lift tickets and season passes yet again, all in the hopes of attracting more visitors.
Many American towns adopted the popular Munich festival of Oktoberfest due to their German immigrant populations. Ski resorts have followed, offering celebrations with traditional Bavarian music, dancing, beer, food, and activities. Most offer free admission and lodging specials.
Construction crews at Utah's Snowbasin have built a new reservoir on the mountain this summer to solidify snowmaking at the northern Wasatch resort.
The snow's coming in less than 100 days. The colors are about to turn, so it's your last hurrah to jump in a mountain lake, hike high peaks with the pooch, cycle amid the wildflowers.