Don’t let midseason snow slumps get you down.
Every year, when the calendar flips to February and March, Powder7 staffers go into attack mode. It’s ski-cation season! Late winter and early spring typically serve up great conditions to visit all the best ski resorts in the country (and sometimes beyond). Lots of us get a bit tired of skiing the local resorts—and we all get fed up with I-70 traffic.
So, time to shake things up. Here’s a sampler of where staffers are heading this year.
The Appeal: Huge vert and epic terrain in a legendary place.
The Itinerary: If you haven’t Corbets-ed, you’ve got to at least look down it. Next up, hike backcountry lines beyond the resort boundary or session steeps off the Sublette Chair.
Or, if the snow stinks…
Sean: “You know, our trip was really great. Terrible conditions, but excellent company. When we weren’t skiing, we went to a local hockey game for the Jackson Hole Moose. It was no-holds-barred action. Drinks were really cheap too. Would definitely recommend.”
Crested Butte holds on year after year as favorite destination for those on the Epic Pass, but still remains off the beaten path enough to stay chill. Known for their plethora of steep, extreme terrain easily accessed by lifts, Crested Butte is home for Powder7 artist Sarah Beabout, so clearly, it’s got some good stuff going for it.
The Appeal: It may not be immune to the struggles all mountain towns face these days, but Crested Butte has managed to retain its quintessential vibes. The mountain’s a beast, and the town makes you feel like you really went somewhere.
The Itinerary: See how long your quads can hold out burning laps down Teocalli Bowl. Then make the pain go away with Colorado rum from Montanya Distillers.
Phil: “I’m going to Crested Butte for three days to ski my face off. Skiing sunrise to sunset. But actually, I’m planning on uphilling before skiing each day. Then, skiing the steeps during the day, and then hot tub soaking afterwards.”
Any rundown of the best ski resorts—or at least our staff favorites—would be remiss without mentioning Wolf Creek. One of the last true independent ski hills around, we love Wolf Creek for the quiet vibe and beautiful, super playful terrain. Oh and the snow! Did we mention it gets the most snow in Colorado year after year?
The Appeal: Small-hill vibes and lots of snow. Need we say more?
The Itinerary: Hike the Knife Ridge and Alberta Peak to maximize your views and your terrain. Don’t miss the fish ‘n chips special at Pagosa Brewing & Grill.
Matt: “It’s funny. I end up with season pass access to almost every ski area in Colorado and yet each year I wind up skiing half a dozen days at Wolf Creek…one of the only places I don’t have a pass. That’s how fun the place is. It’s as good for pow chasing as it is for our company trip.”
Ask anyone who skis on the Epic Pass and they probably can’t get enough of Beaver Creek. A little quieter than its very well known neighbor, The Beav offers lovely tree skiing and tons of terrain. The new McCoy Park is a whole new area perfect for beginners and intermediates—and to send your little ripper down, pizza out.
The Appeal: A shorter commute from the Front Range with terrain and amenities that never get old.
The Itinerary: Mine soft snow leftovers, or freshies, in Stone Creek Chutes then lay trenches in the sunshine down the Birds of Prey.
Morgane: “I’m most excited for skiing Beaver Creek at the end of February. They’re getting so much snow. I’m not really taking many ski trips this year, just since there’s such great skiing here. I prefer staycations.”
Another Powder7 top pick for a great ski resort, Taos winds up seeing probably the most visits from Powder7 staff year after year. A relatively easy drive from the Front Range makes for an idyllic long weekend trip. A killer variety of cruiser runs, loose trees, steeps, and hike-to-terrain, Taos truly has a something for everyone.
The Appeal: Steeps. Lots of them. Plus a strange and fantastic blend of Bavarian culture with Southwestern flair.
The Itinerary: Get up Kachina Peak, snap photos by the prayer flags up top, and drop into long and rocky chutes that can satisfy you for days. No Taos trip is complete without Hefeweizens on the porch at The Bavarian.
Annabelle C: “Some of the other folks and I just got back from Taos Ski Valley for a few days. It was super good. I fell down a couloir while trying to do a kick turn. I learned it’s time to practice my kick turns now. “
Mt. Rose is a sleeper resort with a surprising abundance of terrain—and snow. The Slide Bowl offers mellow hero snow skiing on a powder day and the Chutes have some of the most vert in North America.
The Appeal: Mt. Rose boasts the highest elevation of any Tahoe-area ski hill, giving the snow the best shot at staying cold. It’s also the closest to the Reno airport.
The Itinerary: Drop off the kiddos for a lesson in some of the best beginner terrain in the West. Then see how many times you can crush T to B laps down the mountain’s 1,800 feet of vert.
Azissa: “I went to go visit my partner in Reno recently and we skied at Mt. Rose for a couple of days. It was really great, but the day I left they got 9 inches of snow. So it goes.”
Sometimes the best ski trip plan is…to not have one. Chase the powder and follow where the storms take you. With our La Nina year and coming off a dry January, we are all a bit powder hungry and scoping the long term forecasts for an inkling of a sprinkle. We recommend signing up for an all-access membership with OpenSnow.
Sam W: “I’ve got a few ski trips coming up soon, like Alta/Snowbird and Silverton, but I think I would be more excited if they were about to get dumped on. I don’t actually know what I’m doing in April yet, so who knows. That entire month might just be for skiing.”
Your ski vacation plans might have a lot to do with what pass you pick. Take a look at our never ending staff debate on which multi-resort pass to choose.