From Extreme Backcountry Skiing to the Best Champagne Powder in
the U.S., Travelocity Reveals the Best Places for Spring Skiing in
SOUTHLAKE, Texas–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Feb. 20, 2007–Travelocity
editors, including the newest contributing editor and ski guru Larry
Olmsted, have carved, dug and traversed tirelessly to uncover the
latest trends in 2007 spring skiing. Although skiing is universally
considered a “Winter Sport,” some of the savviest travelers don’t even
hit the slopes until spring has sprung. Avoiding blizzard-like
conditions, icy mountains and wind chill factors, spring skiers will
be some of the luckiest travelers this year if they’re armed with the
“What many may not realize is that springtime offers some of the
best ski conditions across the board, including warm and sunny
climates, cheaper travel deals and plenty of deep powder,” said Larry
Olmsted, Travelocity contributing editor. “You don’t need to suffer to
enjoy sliding on snow.”
Travelocity editors have compiled a list of this year’s top spring
skiing destinations, latest trends, and best locations to carve
through the slopes.
Spring Break 2007 (Feb. 23 – March 26) Top Ski Destinations:
2. Salt Lake City
4. Vail Eagle
5. Steamboat Springs
6. Vancouver, BC
2007 Spring Skiing Trends and Tricks of the Trade:
For the Extreme Skier: Ski resorts have been turning it up a notch
and now offer skiers a new variety of ‘extreme options’. The trend
started with Wyoming’s Jackson Hole which offers guided, controlled
backcountry tours and lessons. A must for all extreme skiers, these
backcountry tours include a safety lesson, loaner avalanche
transceivers and probes, and lift access to areas previously only
available to skiers by hiking.
It has expanded to places such as Telluride and Aspen Highlands.
In Colorado, Breckenridge and Aspen Highlands built new lifts to reach
their highest, steepest terrain, opening chutes, glades and bowls that
once required lengthy hikes. Breck’s new chair is the highest lift in
North America. Snowmass and Beaver Creek opened new cliff areas over
the past two years, and they have steep chutes that will keep skiers
in awe for years to come.
Cat skiing, which typically involves machines used to smooth ski
runs throughout resorts, is the newest way for skiers to reach the
unreachable. In Colorado, Keystone and Copper recently began using
cats like lifts. Keystone sells one-ride snow-cat shuttles to its
high-altitude North and South Bowls for just $5 a ride, offering
access to untracked, in-bounds backcountry-style skiing in Bergman and
Erickson bowls. Just down the road, Copper offers skiers a free cat
shuttle to the top of Tucker Mountain, with more than 1,200 vertical
feet of the resort’s most challenging terrain.
For the Intermediate Skier: Ski popularity began to wane in the
80s and 90s primarily because it’s such a difficult sport to master.
It took decades, but skiing finally took a page from golf’s recent
history and mastered the art of clinics, lessons and ski camps through
their immersion ski school approach. Now, skiers are invited to take
multi-day courses in an organized program with the same instructor.
Many of these programs and specialty camps are all-inclusive
combining luxurious lodging, fine dining, parties and the best
equipment. Due to their growing popularity, specialty sessions are now
offered in steep skiing camps, mogul clinics and women’s clinics,
while offering the same for snowboarding or tele skiing. Many clinics
are taught by former Olympians or World Cup Racers, from the Mahre
brothers at Deer Valley to Tommy Moe in Jackson.
For the Beginning Skier: Many ski resorts offer unbeatable
ski-in/ski-out access to the slopes through on-site villages, which
make it easy on beginners. Recent upgrades to these all-inclusive
villages and accommodations include pedestrian access to food,
shopping and entertainment via gondolas or plaza style walkways. From
Heavenly’s growing casino and ski village to Breckenridge’s new
gondola linking Colorado’s largest historic district with the base
area and eliminating the need to drive, skiers no longer have to dig
to find fun off the slopes.
Travelocity’s Top 3 Reasons to Ski Spring 2007:
— Warm and Sunny: Jackson Hole is known for its frigid
conditions in January and February, but things really heat up
in April. Temperatures range from 40 to 50 degrees during the
spring months on this warm mountain.
— More Snow: Many regions, like central Colorado and the
Sierras, statistically get more snow in March than any other
month. If there is one thing snowboarders and skiers can agree
on, it’s the more snow the better.
— More Bang for the Buck: The busiest days at just about every
ski area in North America are Christmas to New Years week,
President’s Day, and Martin Luther King weekends. Since all of
these holidays fall in December, January and February, many
ski resorts drop prices on lift tickets, lodging and even
airfares for March and April. And, if you know where to look,
there’s good skiing to be had almost into summer.
Where to Find the Best Snow:
Thanks to the Internet and more flights direct to ski country, you
don’t have to plan a trip months in advance. But where should avid
skiers plan their last minute trips to take advantage of the best snow
— Whistler, British Columbia was a better mountain for biking
than skiing at this time last year after an unusual drought
season. In 2007 they are experiencing record snowfalls.
— Lake Tahoe area in California offers a dozen or so resorts,
some of which average nearly 60 feet of snow annually. Some of
the top resorts, such as Heavenly, Squaw Valley, Alpine
Meadows and Kirkwood, see the most snow annually.
— Colorado’s Breckenridge and Arapahoe Basin usually close in
the late spring months because they run out of skiers before
— Mt. Bachelor, Oregon goes into July on average years and is
already having a snowfall stunner this year.
— The Park City, Utah region, including nearby Alta and
Snowbird, often remains open until mid-May thanks to 500
average inches of its famed “champagne powder” each season.
Travelocity(R) is committed to being the traveler’s champion —
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About Larry Olmsted
Larry Olmsted is the renaissance man of sports and travel,
scouring the world for the best skiing, golf courses, biking, diving,
you name it. But when he stops breaking a sweat he is a sucker for
luxury hotels and an avid cook and food junkie. He writes equally
passionately on golf and wine, skiing and watches. He is a
contributing editor to several publications, including Cigar
Aficionado, US Airways Magazine, and Elite Traveler, writes a golf
travel column for USA Today.com, and his work has appeared everywhere
from Golf Magazine and Elle to Outside, Men’s Journal and Men’s
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