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Travel Ideas

9 Biggest Ski Resort Upgrades This Season

Wondering where to ski next? We’ll make it easy. Here’s what everyone’s talking about at resorts around the country.
Backcountry powder outside what was formerly called Canyons Resort. (Photo: Ross Downard)

1.

Lake Louise Eyes New Terrain

A ski resort proposal sparks debate before anything’s officially approved.

Lake Louise Ski Resort, the largest resort in the Canadian Rockies, is working to expand its skiable terrain, and eventually nearly double its daily skier capacity, from 6,000 to 11,500.

But contrary to recent news reports, the Alberta ski resort doesn’t have the green light to start digging or building—yet.

GO: Steamboat, Colo.

From the rugged slopes to the colorful downtown, this Colorado resort keeps the West wild.

Two crooked lines of little skiers sidestep slowly to the start gate, race jitters evident among some, the quiet confidence of “just another race” exuding from others. The youngest racers go first, toddlers bundled in bright parkas and gumball helmets steering their way through the gates in stuttering snowplows. They’re so cute, no one cares if they miss a gate—or three.

Epic Transformation

What happens when $10 million is dropped into 130-acre, 230-vertical-foot Mt. Brighton?
The new Mt Brighton is dominated by upgraded lifts and terrain-park features.

The Enforcer

Mt. Baker general manager Duncan Howat wants you to enjoy the überdeep backcountry powder his resort
 is famous for—but only if you do so by his rules.
A skier shreds deep in Mt. Baker's out-of-bounds terrain. Photo: Garrett Grove

The powder arrived late to Mt. Baker Ski Area last season.

All in the Heli Family

CMH K2 Heli-Skiing | Photo: Zach Doleac
CMH K2 Heli-Skiing | Photo: Zach Doleac
On sustaining 50 years of business off heli drops and pillow pops.

Crouched on the edge of the pickup zone, we were in position, covering our faces to shield the ice and snow pelting we anticipated from the incoming helicopter. A mix of heli-skiing veterans and newbies, we are ecstatic—and maybe a touch nervous.

It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve been in a helicopter–dressed from head-to-toe in Gore-Tex, ready for blower snow and turns that dreams are made of. When you see that belly coming in hot for landing it’s powerfully exciting.

Travel: Beaver Creek, Colorado

beaver creek colorado | beaver creek co | where to ski
Why Ski Beaver Creek Colorado
Get off the groomers and discover this luxury resort’s untapped expert terrain. The best part: You’ll have earned that cookie at the end of the day.

Credit must be given to whoever arranged for access to the Stone Creek Chutes off of a trail called Cinch. Very funny, we like your sense of humor. The chutes, of course, by their very nature as chutes, are no cinch. But glide past the rustic wooden plaques identifying the extreme terrain beyond, and it’s a little like the rabbit hole in Alice in Wonderland.

Colorado's Biggest Secret: Copper Mountain

Copper Mountain Resort
Copper Mountain Resort
Colorado's Copper Mountain Resort is poised to win the hearts of a new generation of skiers by giving them what they really want: a kick-ass mountain.

It's a clear, blue day in early March. A few thready clouds stretch out thin on the horizon. We’ve hiked a quarter mile from where the snowcat dropped us and are catching our breath at the top of Tucker Mountain. The patrol “dumpster” is the only structure—an ugly rectangular box marring an otherwise lovely view of the pyramid peaks of the Ten Mile and Mosquito ranges. The steeps of Copper Bowl, Fremont Glades, and the gastronomically named Taco and Nacho splay out below—50-plus-degree pitches packed with cold, chalky snow.

A Year of Magical Skiing

From Blah to Badass: Jo Piazza
From Blah to Badass: Jo Piazza
This skier's going from "blah" to "badass." Jo Piazza talks about learning to ski better.

I’m cold and I’m tired. Through puffs of a cigarette, my very French ski instructor is rattling off commands, but I can’t hear him through my hat and helmet. I nod anyway, and chunks of snow fall from my hair, matted there after a particularly rough spill on the last run.

I remember my first ski trip vividly: being bundled up like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, the sting of snow in my face the first time I fell doing a snowplow, the warmth of my dad’s arm wrapped protectively around me on my very first chairlift ride.

How to Ski Alpine Meadows

In Alpine Meadows' Pacific Crest North Bowls, a little bit of effort leads to unlimited—and untracked—rewards.

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