It was 12 degrees and gusty when I started up the snowshoe trail that leads to the top of Mount Tom, the forested knob that looms just above Woodstock, Vermont. I moved fast, stabbing the frozen snow with my ski poles, rounding switchbacks, listening to rattling beech leaves, pale as parchment, that somehow refused to drop last fall. I seemed to be the only one on the Faulkner Trail that morning—no big surprise, given the weather. But I didn’t mind; I was generating my own warmth.
Now's the time to plan your ski vacation if you haven't already—but if you're not in the market for season tickets, Liftopia is launching a new approach to lift tickets. Perfect for those who are caught between unpredictable schedules and budget consciousness, the site—already an industry pioneer for aggregated online lift ticket sales—is now offering the mountain equivalent of flexible fares.
Good news for Vail Epic Pass holders: you now have access to yet another world-class ski mountain. Vail Resorts just announced the acquisition (for a cool $185 million in cash) of Utah’s Park City Mountain Resort. Powdr Corp, the former owner of the Utah resort, had been struggling financially in recent years and was embroiled in a legal battle with Talisker, the Canadian company that owns much of the actual ski mountain. It has been increasingly uncertain if the resort would even open for ski season this winter.
Skiing in Banff could be more affordable this year, thanks to a just-announced partnership between the famed winter mecca and the Mountain Collective, whose pass grants holders big savings in a traditionally expensive sport.
A longtime winter favorite, Banff’s mountains provide 8,000 acres of ski and snowboard terrain in a UNESCO-recognized wilderness deep in the Canadian Rockies. All three ski areas inside Banff National Park —Lake Louise, Sunshine Village, and Mount Norquay —are joining the Mountain Collective.
Sick of the selfie? Tourism New Zealand’s new take on the trend may peak your interest. Enter the “dronie,” a video taken by a high-flying, remote control-operated drone. Through August, the company will hit the slopes with its own miniature aircraft to shoot 8-second HD clips of visitors to several South Island ski areas. The drone-toting representatives email the videos to participants, free of charge.
It's Throwback Thursday, and with freezing temperatures still gripping much of the country, it seems only fitting to look back at one of the world's top winter destinations—St. Moritz, Switzerland. This 1930 video from the iconic Badrutt's Palace Hotel has us ready to hit the slopes in style.
Who can blame a woman for doing yoga in heels (see 0:37) when she's staying at the classiest hotel in the Alps? Badrutt's Palace has just the kind of atmosphere that makes morning back bends an excuse to feel fancy.
Now is the time to purchase next year's ski passes, with early bird specials promising hundreds of dollars in savings.
With Vail Resorts' Epic Pass, holders gain unlimited access to the company's major U.S. resorts (Vail, Breckenridge and Northstar), and for the first time ever, five days at Japan's sprawling Niseko United. At $739, and $379 for children, it makes up its value if users spend more than a week on the slopes during the year.
It's official: Every state in the continental US—minus Florida—has snowfall. And with a long weekend coming up, it's the perfect opportunity to head to the hills for some skiing. Sites like Liftopia, Snow.com, and GetSkiTickets.com are offering last minute deals all over the country. Our favorite savings? Liftopia's $14 ski pass for New Hampshire's Ragged Mountain tomorrow—that's a 79% discount. They're selling out fast though, so act fast!
Q: Any advice on flying with skis? —Hitomi Ueda, via e-mail
A: Most airlines treat a collection of sporting equipment as a single piece of checked luggage—so your skis, poles, and boots count as only one item, not three. We recommendPark Accessories, a new line of bags made with Italian coated canvas. Shown: the Northern Lights, which holds two pairs of skis ($1,150).
It's that time of year again when I spend hours online looking for an affordable place to bring the kids skiing. Trust me, it's not easy. And I've been tempted to give up on the idea altogether, but these deals look seriously promising.
Make sure to check out LIftopia.com first. The discount site partners with more than 250 resorts worldwide. Just this morning I found savings of up to 50% at Magic Mountain, in Vermont, and 35% in Park City, Utah for a four day trip at the end of January. Ski.com is another winner and offers deals on airlines, lodging, and even lift tickets around the globe.