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Copper Mountain

+Excellent trail layout. Free snowcat in the bowls.
- Snoozy village. Have to hit Frisco for a good meal.

Copper Mountain may surprise you. Nestl ed between behemoths Vail and Breckenridge, it’s equal parts local hangout and destination resort. Luxury ski-in, ski-out four- and five-bedroom homes with gourmet kitchens and stone fireplaces at Lewis Ranch offer a high-end lodging option previously missing at Copper, and on-mountain upgrades have focused on the skiing itself rather than the base area (and as skiers, we like that). Case in point: The sluggish Highpoint double was replaced with a high-speed quad, giving park-andpipers easier access to the Catalyst park while ensuring that beginners spend more time learning and less time on the lift. Four back bowls, pristine tree skiing and the free snowcatserved Tucker Mountain will keep experts going for days. “A great overall mountain with something for everyone,” says one reader. We’re not surprised. —Sally Francklyn

Must Ski » Ride the Alpine lift to marathon bump runs. After a big storm, lap it all day—you’ll ski powder in the morning and perfect soft bumps post-lunch.

Family Activity » The One Hit Wonder ($60) at Woodward at Copper is a skills and safety clinic held at the premier training grounds for budding jibbers.

Off-Hill Restaurant » Try the Blue Spruce in Frisco for a steak and a glass of wine. The bar in the back room often features live music and drink specials.

2013-14 Resort Upgrades

ImprovementsWhistler.jpg
ImprovementsWhistler.jpg
The ski industry is on the rebound: Skier visits were up last season, and resorts were champing at the bit to get started on expansions and upgrades. Here's what to look forward to this season.

Whistler Blackcomb, B.C.

Look for: Two new lifts joining the fleet. The Harmony six-pack replaces a quad chair on Whistler, while Blackcomb’s Crystal Express high-speed quad takes the place of an old fixed-grip double in the Crystal Zone. The Crystal Express will increase lift capacity in that pod by a striking 56 percent.

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