Nature’s annual mantle of winter’s snows across awe-inspiring terrain creates the perfect conditions for world-class skiing in North America’s western mountains. More than perhaps any other, winter sports are very much at the whim of the weather (auspicious or not). But for the spontaneous traveler who is ready to sniff out the right conditions, such leaps of faith can be rewarded with spectacular scenery and heart-pounding runs.
A collection of fine resorts dot the higher reaches of these slopes, and among the most celebrated destinations, there is much that’s new to report.
The snow has arrived in California giving Alpine Meadows a chance to debut its $10 million Treeline Cirque chairlift. This detachable, high-speed quad transports guests from the base to Sherwood ridge in a quick five minutes, where the ride used to take 45. The lift features a mid-station for quick access to some of Alpine’s best intermediate terrain, then on to the expert back bowls of Sherwood.
Boasting Tahoe’s highest base elevation of 8,260 feet, Mt. Rose is among the snowiest of the local resorts year after year. Their Twofer-Tuesdays offers a $145 price for two tickets to be used that day.
Northstar’s fine mountain experience just got even better. Michael Mina’s Bourbon Pub Northstar is a brand new 125-seat restaurant located at the base of the Big Springs Gondola. Unfortunately, this year, free parking at Northstar will only be available at the Castle Peak parking lot, the first available parking option on Northstar Drive. Then you shuttle to the resort. There’s also paid parking by cash, which is available closer in. However, free parking is available at all lots daily after 3:00 PM.
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