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vertical feet

Signpost: My Blue Heaven

Travel Pacific

Everything you need to know about Heavenly, Calif.

First Turns: Sugar Bowl, CA

Travel Pacific

As soon as the first video clip of spitting snow guns hits the airwaves, diehard boarders show up to hike and ride that teeny sneeze.

First Turns: Mt. Baker, WA

Travel Pacific

In the early season, the mountain-1,000 acres and 1,500 vertical feet-can go from bare to buried in a matter of days, and the snow is thick enough to slather the steepest, rockiest pitches.

First Turns: Mammoth, CA

Travel Pacific

On opening day, the lifties hand out colored beads, skiers scavenge the woods for a stuffed woolly mammoth (and a season pass), and at noon, owner Dave McCoy makes a champagne toast on the sundeck.

Signpost: Beaver Creek

Features

Everything you need to know about Beaver Creek, Co.

Signpost: Kicking Horse, B.C.

Features

Everything you need to know about Kicking Horse, B.C.

The Devil's Half-Dozen: Dave Murray Downhill Whistler, B.C.

Features

It drops more than 3,300 vertical feet in just over a mile and a half. Dave Murray Downhill is the second longest downhill in the world and will be the site for the 2010 Olympic course.

The Devil's Half-Dozen: KT-22 Squaw Valley, Calif.

Features

In 1946, before there were lifts in Squaw Valley, Sandy Poulsen, wife of the resort?s founder, hiked a steep 8,200-foot peak to the left of where Squaw?s gondola now sits.

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