Smugglers’ Notch – Ski On / Ski Off, Slopeside

Smugglers’ Notch - Ski On / Ski Off, Slopeside Last Minute Deals - Lift & Lodging packages from only:   - $103 /ad...

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North Star Lodge at Killington

North Star Lodge at Killington Spacious, conveniently located one - four bedroom condominiums from $75 /nt.* Lift & ...

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Aspen – FP Condominiums

Aspen - FP Condominiums Spacious, conveniently located one - four bedroom condominiums from $236/nt.* Lift & Lodging ...

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Sugarbush Condominiums – Ski On / Ski Off

Sugarbush Condominiums - Ski On / Ski Off Spacious slopeside one & two bedroom condominiums from $188/nt.* Lift &...

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Mount Snow’s Snow Lake Lodge

Mount Snow's Snow Lake Lodge Standard hotel rooms from $64/nt.* Lift & Lodging packages from $51/person/nt.* With s...

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Vail Cascade Resort & Spa – Ski On / Ski Off

Vail Cascade Resort & Spa - Ski On / Ski Off Spacious deluxe rooms from $199/nt.* Thoughtfully appointed hotel guest...

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Mount Snow Condominiums

Mount Snow Condominiums Standard or deluxe, one, two & three bedroom condos from $103/nt.* Lift & Lodging package...

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Mount Snow Grand Summit Resort Hotel – Ski On / Ski Off

Mount Snow Grand Summit Resort Hotel - Ski On / Ski Off Spacious, slopeside deluxe rooms from $156/nt.* Lift & Lodging...

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Aspen – Stonebridge Inn at Snowmass in Aspen

Aspen - Stonebridge Inn at Snowmass in Aspen Spacious, slopeside deluxe rooms from $188/nt.* Lift & Lodging packages f...

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Trapp Family Lodge at Stowe

Trapp Family Lodge at Stowe Spacious, deluxe rooms from just $199/nt.* Lift & Lodging package from $155/person/nt.* ...

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Stowe Mountain Lodge – Ski In / Ski Out Luxury!

Stowe Mountain Lodge = Ski In - Ski Out Luxury Spacious deluxe rooms from $225/nt.* Lift & Lodging packages from $13...

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Last Minute Deal

Smugglers' Notch, VT Last Minute Deals – Lift & Lodging packages from only: $103 /adult/night* $99 /child/night* ...

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Archive for the ‘Planning Guide’ Category

Top 10 Ski Resorts According To Forbes – #3, Alta

Friday, February 3rd, 2017

Editor’s Note – these are not LMSG’s rankings. As a matter of fact we wholeheartedly disagree with the good people at Forbes but everyone is entitled to an opinion, even if they are wrong! Let us know what you think and we’ll add the best comments.

No big changes at this Utah stalwart, which benefits from the most prolific quality snowfall of any major ski resort in the world. And yes, we do categorize Alta as a major ski resort, even though it may not include some of the frilly fixings and luxury lodging and dining that have become standard across much of the industry.

Alta doesn’t need that stuff. It has terrain and snow that are the envy of the rest of the ski world. Very much the envy of snowboarders, a group who, if they want to enjoy this special corner of the earth, will have to strap into stiff boots and two planks, rather than one.

Great shots exist everywhere at Alta. It’s a place where boot packs and long traverses are as common as ski lifts. Most of the best shots in this part of Little Cottonwood Canyon require some kind of work to be skied. Alta does not offer up its best to those who only ride the chair, to those whose way of ascent comes by way of an electric pulley. Normal skiers can get hero shots at Alta, it’s true, but those magazine-quality powder lines don’t offer themselves up to the standard resort skier.

Top 10 Ski Resorts According To Forbes – #4, Telluride

Wednesday, January 25th, 2017

Editor’s Note – these are not LMSG’s rankings. As a matter of fact we wholeheartedly disagree with the good people at Forbes but everyone is entitled to an opinion, even if they are wrong! Let us know what you think and we’ll add the best comments.

There may be no better town-resort combination in skiing. There’s only three in the discussion: Park City, Aspen and Telluride. We prefer Park City and Telluride to Aspen, town wise, and it’s a close contest between these two.

It’s not debatable, however, that Telluride’s runs into town are better than Park City’s. They’re long, they’re steep, they’re high, and they face north, so they stay chalky and carve-friendly late into the season.

One of the sharper pleasures in all of skiing is arcing big turns down Plunge, a wide, steep groomer, toward town in the middle of a sunny day. Skiers can see all of town as they descend, flanked by thick strips of forest, the sun at their backs.

The upper reaches of Telluride offer some of Colorado’s steepest terrain at a ski resort. Skiers hiking the skier’s left shoulder of Palmyra Peak can continue to up the ante as they go higher on the mountain, with tighter and steeper chutes available as the elevation climbs. Skiers approaching the peak from the opposite direction can drop into Gold Hill Chutes when the coverage is right, some of the rawest ski terrain in bounds in Colorado.

Top 10 Ski Resorts According To Forbes – #5, Whistler Blackcomb

Thursday, January 12th, 2017

Editor’s Note – these are not LMSG’s rankings. As a matter of fact we wholeheartedly disagree with the good people at Forbes but everyone is entitled to an opinion, even if they are wrong! Let us know what you think and we’ll add the best comments.

Now part of the empire that is Vail Resorts, Whistler will undoubtedly see a surge of visits from Epic Pass holders the next two winters who want to get some turns in the coastal range of British Columbia. This isn’t a standard reclamation project for Vail, however. Whistler was already a premier resort that employs best practices and is among the best-in-industry among many metrics.

So what will Vail change, other than introducing the Epic Pass (and, after this winter, ending Whistler’s participation in the Mountain Collective Pass)? Nothing huge for skiers, likely, not for a few years at least.

The mountain is sure to see an influx of Mountain Collective pass holders this year, however, exercising their last rights on these British Columbia slopes.

The combination of a giant skiable vertical drop, healthy snowfall, and a village that’s reminiscent of Austria makes the Whistler experience unique, and one worth seeking out. The village gets its bouncy nightlife from a ubiquitous set of non-Canadians who make the resort go during the day and help the village party with gusto at night. Know this: there is no ski town in North America that parties like Whistler.

Top 10 Ski Resorts According To Forbes – #6, Vail

Sunday, December 25th, 2016

Editor’s Note – these are not LMSG’s rankings. As a matter of fact we wholeheartedly disagree with the good people at Forbes but everyone is entitled to an opinion, even if they are wrong! Let us know what you think and we’ll add the best comments

Vail

As a ski resort, Vail has become the biggest name in skiing with a combination of marketing, execution, weather and terrain. The ski resort relentlessly pursues improvement in all phases, from opening more acreage, adding keystone lodging properties and improving it lift infrastructure. There’s a reason this place is always high up on every list you see.

This past summer Vail replaced the Sun Up Lift—known to many as chair 17, with a new high-speed quad that will relieve line pressures and keep people lapping the upper terrain in the Vail back bowls with more frequency. With the replacement of 17, every major lift at Vail is now detachable, making it nice and easy to load, and fast to the top.

Skiers know Vail for its reputation as the alpha dog of Colorado, and the flagship of Vail Resorts, replete with village and quiver of activities that are half Disney, half ski resort.

Top 10 Ski Resorts According To Forbes – #7, Aspen

Wednesday, December 21st, 2016

Top 10 Ski Resorts, #7, Aspen CO 

Editor’s Note – these are not LMSG’s rankings.  As a matter of fact we wholeheartedly disagree with the good people at Forbes but everyone is entitled to an opinion, even if they are wrong (Aspen at #7 and not top 2? Good grief)!  Let us know what you think and we’ll add the best comments

Aspen has always been the traditional default ski town, especially for those who may not be familiar with places like Park City, Telluride and Aspen. And it’s true that Aspen probably was the preeminent ski town 30 years ago, but that was before the rise in popularity of Vail, Breckenridge, and other spots that since passed Aspen in total skier days.

Aspen skiers are fine with that.

One of the best things about skiing Aspen, perhaps the best thing, is the general lack of crowds that one encounters on the slopes. Town can be busy, it often is busy, but as a rule, many people who travel to Aspen go there to be seen, to eat, to drink, to party, a fact that leaves the area’s slopes wide open to those who have traveled here with the express intent to rip.

Top 10 Ski Resorts According To Forbes – #8, Revelstoke

Tuesday, December 20th, 2016

Editor’s Note – these are not LMSG’s rankings.  As a matter of fact we wholeheartedly disagree with the good people at Forbes but everyone is entitled to an opinion, even if they are wrong!  Let us know what you think and we’ll add the best comments

For those skiers who are obsessed with statistics, Revelstoke is a well-known quantity. Its vertical drop of 5,620 feet is the only one that ranks ahead of Whistler’s. And indeed, skiers at Revelstoke can put in epic laps that can torch even the most aggressive of off-season leg programs. Just when it seems like the run has to be over, you clear another rise and the apron of snow falls away once again, down, down, down toward the Columbia River’s churn fall below.

The vertical drop may be out of the Alps, but the skiing here is decidedly British Columbian, with stands of lodgepole pine-infesting most of the mountain, all the way up to the top lift-serviced terrain. The gondola here offers perhaps the most scenic ride of any enclosed capsule in North America, with a view of the river and more of the rising Canadian Rockies to the east.

Revelstoke possesses a northerly latitude, but its peak is only 7,300 feet, so the best time to visit is often in January, as only 26% of its slopes face north, which doesn’t make for great preservation of snow, although the mountain does get a lot: 350 inches a year. Because of it tall profile, snow conditions, much like those at Whistler, can vary greatly as skiers descend from the top of the mountain toward the bottom.

Shots inside the North Bowl offer legitimate expert skiing, giving skiers places to test their ability to whip out fast turns on steeps that can often be thick and chunky with snow. Moderate runs run up and down the length of the mountain, offering those seeking satisfaction through big groomer turns a place to find a unique nirvana.

Top 10 Ski Resorts According To Forbes – #9, Park City, UT

Saturday, December 17th, 2016

Top 10 Ski Resorts, #9 Park City, Utah 

Editor’s Note – these are not LMSG’s rankings.  As a matter of fact we wholeheartedly disagree with the good people at Forbes but everyone is entitled to an opinion, even if they are wrong!  Let us know what you think and we’ll add the best comments

Every year, Beaver Creek reasserts its dominance in all things cookies by staging a cookie-cooking contest. This will be the 13th time this has gone down. The best part, for most of us: skiers can wander around and eat all the entrants’ products for free. All day.

Who has all day to eat cookies, though, when an entire mountain, which is rarely as crowded as some of the other I-70 resorts, beckons? The best plan is to get out early and lap Birds Of Prey Express, mix in some glades and a couple of screamers on Grouse Mountain and then head in for cookies and beer.

Not every day can be so ridiculous. But every day can be close to Beaver Creek, where they hand out fancy cookies, warm from the oven, each afternoon as skiing winds down on the mountain. Look for the people in aprons and blue coats. It helps to have a child with you, so borrow one if you have to (from someone you know!) – just know the kids gets first dibs if there’s only one cookie left, which seems to happen to us far too often.

Cookies and ritzy accommodations—including an actual Ritz—aside, Beaver Creek offers a lot to skiers. Including some of the better snow in Colorado. Beaver Creek averages a true 329 inches of snow per season, November through March, and skiers stand a 12.2% chance of seeing six or more inches of snow on a day. That nets to 55% odds of a powder day when you take a trip of six days to BC. Additionally, north-facing slopes comprise 55% of Beaver Creek’s terrain, which helps the Colorado mountain preserve the snow it gets very well.

You May Not Feel You Need A Ski Instructor But…

Thursday, October 20th, 2016

10 reasons why you should book a ski instructor you probably didn’t think of:

  1. Better technique means fresher legs — having a bad technique leads to you getting tired far quicker, and we all know skiing with tired legs is never great for enjoying the slopes!

2. No lift lines— At most resorts, ski instructors have a special line that they use to skip to the front on busy days, often saving upwards of an hour wasted in the lift lines over the course of the day.

3. Never get lost — Instructors know the mountain inside out, so if there is meant to be bad weather make sure you have your instructor booked in.

4. Great company!? — Skiing on your own is nowhere near as fun as skiing with someone else, ski instructors have plenty of local knowledge, gossip and ideas for après-ski

5. Find the best snow — Skiing on the mountain all day every day means instructors know where the best snow conditions are. Don’t ski on ice all week when you could be skiing perfectly groomed pistes, or untouched powder!

6. Lunch mmm…! — Instructors know the best lunch spots and restaurants, whether you’re looking for Michelin stars or simply value for money, they know where to go.

7. Struggling with your skis? — Getting an honest and informed opinion on your equipment can be difficult, benefit from an instructor’s advice on what will work best for you, simply changing your skis or boots can make all the difference.

8. Therapy — Instructors are often great listeners and being on a chair lift means they are obliged to listen to your problems and offer advice.

9. Real Estate — Ski instructors are generally in the know about all the local properties for sale, ask your instructor for the low down on the best deals and avoid the estate agents.

10. Learn about the mountain — Spending plenty of time in the mountains means instructors have fantastic knowledge of their surroundings, they love to pass this on and will always have time for the complete enthusiast.

Keeping The Kidlets Warm – The Mittens Factor!

Monday, May 30th, 2016

When your little kidlets have toasty fingers, they’ll stay out longer and ski more–and that keeps the whole family happy. Especially on a powder day.  Here are a few tips that will help to keep everyone smiling.

In Vail, CO

  1. Go with mittens not gloves. Tiny fingers stay warmer when they can cuddle up with their buddies.

Plus, mittens are easier for kids to put on and take off, and they are roomy enough to accommodate disposable hand warmers.

  1. Buy quality mittens. Look for mittens with a waterproof breathable lining, good insulation, and an outer fabric that’s supple enough to allow children to grip their poles.Kids need waterproof-ness not just for skiing and snowboarding but for making snowballs and snow angels.
  1. Buy mittens slightly over-sized. One way mittens keep your hands warm is the pocket of air that surrounds your hand inside the mitten. If mittens or gloves are too tight—eliminating that layer of insulation—your children’s hands will be cold. One caveat: if mittens are waytoo big, the air insulation theory goes out the window. The other benefit of a slightly larger mitten is that you can fit in two disposable hand warmers on ultra-cold days.
  2. Choose mittens with a large gauntlet.You want that extra cuff material to extend over the jacket sleeves and cinch down tight so that when kids fall, snow doesn’t pack in around their wrists. Look for mittens with cinchable straps that loop around the forearm so that when a child pulls off a mitten on the chairlift, it won’t fall to the trail below. If you don’t have a big enough glove cuff, make sure to cinch the jacket sleeve tightly over the mitten.
  3. Ditch the poles.When kids are very small, encourage them to ski without poles. Gripping a pole handle tends to make little hands colder. It minimizes that insulating pocket of air between the hand and the palm of the glove that would otherwise keep your digits cozy. Without poles, kids can ball up their hands to keep fingers warm while skiing.  Please note that this is only for the very young.  Growing children will need to use their poles as they improve their technique
  4. Stock up on disposable hand warmers. If it’s a cold day, open the packaging 15 minutes or so before you’re heading out. The chemical in the warmers takes some time to activate in the air.
  5. Dry out mittens at night.Always check the manufacturer’s recommendations on drying gloves, but most types you can just toss in your clothes dryer. Or leave mittens on a floor with radiant heat or hang them in your boiler room. There are a few boot dryers on the market that double as glove and mitten dryers.
  6. Keep the core warm: If a child’s body is cold, the fingers will be cold. Be sure to bundle up with fleece tops, vests, and insulated jackets.
  7. Pack an extra set of mittens.Especially if the weather is variable, children’s mittens can get wet, which can lead to cold hands if temperatures drop. Swapping out soggy mitts for dry ones at lunch can mean happy hands for the afternoon.

Aspen Snowmass – Summer “To Do” List

Wednesday, May 25th, 2016
Now that summer is on everybody’s mind, we thought we’d offer up some budget-conscious suggestions with a decidedly summer twist for your Aspen getaway.

THINGS TO DO

Summer gondola ride Aspen Snowmass

RIDE THE GONDOLAS

We will admit to our bias on this one, but when you consider all you can do atop Aspen Mountain and at Elk Camp on Snowmass, the Perfect Summer Package makes for a pretty good deal.
For $32 a person, you get three days of unlimited gondola rides (and access to all the requisite free activities on the mountain), a $10 dining voucher to use at Sundeck or Elk Camp Restaurant as well as a $5 dining credit at the Limelight Hotel, and a free guided tour of the Maroon Bells. Deals on bike rentals can be added as well. What can’t be quantified with a price? That view from atop the Silver Queen Gondola.

Learn more about the Perfect Summer Package.

Summer Free concerts

ATTEND A FREE CONCERT

It’s hard to imagine two mountain towns that love live music more than Aspen and Snowmass Village. Throughout the summer you’ll find plenty of live music, including free concerts atop Aspen Mountain (Bluegrass Sundays, free with purchase of a gondola ticket) and in Snowmass Village with their Summer Free Music Series. The Aspen Music Festival and School also offers a variety of free performances around town throughout the season.

Summer ghost town Aspen Snowmass

VISIT A GHOST TOWN

To take a proper glimpse of the area’s mining history visit a ghost town. Two in particular — Ashcroft (located up Castle Creek Road) and Independence (off Hwy. 82 just west of Independence Pass) — are easily accessible and offer a haunting look at what happened when the bottom fell out of the silver boom. Independence is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Summer play downtown Aspen Snowmass

LET THE KIDS PLAY DOWNTOWN

Parents of active kids can take them to the rock climbing-themed Wagner Park playground or the nearby water fountains at Hyman Avenue and Mill Street. Park benches, plenty of shade and great people watching make this an appealing place to chill out for a couple of hours. The fountains were originally installed in 1979 and were revolutionary (well, at least in aquasculpting circles) for being the world’s first dancing fountains controlled by a computer.

RECREATION

Summer hiking Aspen Snowmass

HIKE IN THE WILDERNESS

Whether you head up one of the popular trails that originate at Maroon Lake, or climb up Snowmass Creek valley to Snowmass Lake, the wild and vividly-colored Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness offers unparalleled scenery.

On the road to Independence Pass you’ll find a two trailheads that access the rugged Hunter-Fryingpan Wilderness. Trails to Lost Man Lake, Linkins Lake and Indepennce Lake pass by numerous cascades and flower-filled meadows, making for a great day hike.

The hiking trails due east of Aspen are adored by locals, but often overlooked by visitors. The aptly named East of Aspen Trail is a good, mellow alternative, passing by beaver ponds, willows and the oxbow waters of the Roaring Fork River.

ACES Nature Programs

JOIN AN ACES PROGRAM

The Aspen Center for Environmental Studies is a cherished nonprofit that educates and inspires locals and visitors to better understand our unique Rocky Mountain ecology. And best of all, their daily hikes with a naturalist in summer are free.
Daily on the hour from 11am to 3pm from atop Aspen Mountain, naturalists will take you through the scenic meadows and forests and share a wealth of information. Hikes last for 45 minutes and cover about 1 mile in distance.

Summer cruiser bike Aspen Snowmass

GO FOR A CRUISER BIKE RIDE

You don’t have to be a major gearhead to enjoy cycling in Aspen. While many cyclists flock to the area for the famous ride to Maroon Bells or the tour-de-force climb up Independence Pass, more low-key riders can take a cruiser bike around town or down valley along the Rio Grande Trail. You can either rent a bike from Four Mountain Sports, or with a quick ride on a WeCycle bike (30-minute maximum). Also, guests of the Limelight Hotel have access to the hotel’s fleet of cruiser bikes.