Both the Epic Pass and Ikon Pass streamline skiing and riding costs during the winter. Now that summer's here, they switch gears to make warm-weather times in the mountains more affordable, too.
Though the weather has been slow to cooperate, summer is indeed coming to the Colorado Rockies – and with it, tons of recreational diversions for all to enjoy.
Luckily for mountain town lovers, activities and events aren’t just for the winter. Whether you’re looking to go full-in on biking, music, beer or food (or perhaps them all), mountain resorts across the country are your destination for summer fun. Keep that adventure bucket full with this list from SnoCountry on not-to-miss summer events.
The largest ski and snowboard resort owner in the world enters its second decade of its expansion with a modest slate of on-mountain upgrades and a couple of portfolio-wide improvements.
My wife and I smelled beef sizzling on an outdoor grill at one of Colorado’s premier ski resorts. An employee there was systematically flipping what must have been four dozen beef patties.
The wind is blowing snow across the mountaintop. Temps are well below zero. Visibility is bad.
“This is an adventure,” said Chris Jarnot, sidestepping in his K2 skis up a narrow ridge, heading toward Crested Butte Mountain Resort’s precipitous, powdery Teocalli Bowl.
We watch Olympians on TV every four years, but you don’t have to wait that long to rub elbows with skiing stardom. Several mountain resorts around the country offer opportunities to ski with their most prominent athlete ambassadors, and learn the slopes from a pro perspective.
As we bid a fond farewell to 2018, the editors at SnoCountry take a look at the news that shaped skiing and riding at mountain resorts across North America over the year.
The sale of the lease and operating agreement of New Hampshire’s Mount Sunapee to Vail Resorts was discussed at a public information session Wednesday night at the resort's Sunapee Lodge. Many attendees of the meeting came for reassurances that the new owners of the lease would continue stewardship of the state park’s natural resources and protection of affordable outdoor recreation.
Colorado’s mountain resorts roll out the fun carpet during the summer, especially for families with children. Base areas abound with entertainment for the younger set, while most resorts put kids on the mountain for outdoors activities, like mountain biking and tubing.
Willy Booker, head of Burke Mountain Academy which hones some of America’s finest ski racers, bemoans that kids are less active and athletic today and don’t get outdoors enough.
One way to remedy that is to have fun at a mountain resort this summer.
Vail Resorts launched another salvo in the battle to own the winter destination market and a larger slice of the ski marketplace with the purchase of Vermont’s Okemo Mountain Resort, Mount Sunapee in New Hampshire, Crested Butte in Colorado and Steven Pass in Washington Monday.
Epic skiing and riding under the orange bubble chair at Okemo. (Okemo/Facebook)
Mount Sunapee, New Hampshire, Okemo, Vermont and Crested Butte, Colorado have entered into a multi-year season pass partnership with Vail Resorts and the Epic Pass, bringing the total number of Epic Pass mountain resorts to 64 in eight countries.
Easier to get around Purgatory this year. (Purgatory/Facebook)
Each ski and snowboard season brings upgrades, improvements and just plain new stuff at Colorado resorts, where the competition for visitors is fierce.
Tetons loom over Jackson Hole airport. (Jackson Hole Airport/Facebook)
Vacationing skiers and snowboarders can be an anxious lot. They want to get the most runs possible in the time they have, so getting out of the airport quickly and onto the slopes as soon as possible is paramount.
The whiskey is lined up in Park City. (High West/Facebook)
Catching a cocktail after a long day on the slopes has been a winter tradition since the beginning and, recently, the distillers are making the good stuff right at the resorts.
Selected days at Wolfie mean deep stuff on the cheap. (Wolf Creek Ski Area)
Going to college has many benefits for one’s future, but one perk for the present is a discount on season passes at Colorado ski resorts.
Ready to go after landing in Aspen. (Aspen-Pitkin County Airport/Facebook)
This season, it will be easier than ever to hop on a plane and head for where the powder is freshest in Colorado.
Catchin' some rays at Crested Butte (Crested Butte/Facebook)
One of the perks that comes with sticking out the ski and snowboard season to the end is a great sun tan – and lots of party time in the sunshine.
Most mountain resorts make space for sun-worshippers to engage in their favorite apres-ski activities, and SnoCountry took a look around to find some of the best.
Purgatory. Look out, or you might ski right into Purgy's at the base of the southern Colorado resort. Hit up the outdoor bar for craft beers, order an appetizer, and lounge in the deck chairs for some of the best people-watching locales around.
Park City. Mid-Mountain Lodge once served more than 1,000 miners a day. Now, it's the 10th Mountain outdoor grill at the base of the Pioneer and McConkey's Express lifts. Lodge has two-tiered decks and hosts weddings during summer.
Squaw Valley. Take the tramway to High Camp halfway up the mountain. Even if the pools are empty, there's tons of deck chairs and plenty of choices for a nosh – and the views of the Sierra and Lake Tahoe will amaze.
Lutsen Mountains. Summit Chalet at the top of Moose Mountain lays out food, drink and spectacular views to the North Shore of Lake Superior. Menu offers wraps, soups, burgers and pizza -- including local fave walleye sandwich.
Loon. Camp III, a log cabin in the former logging area on New Hampshire mountain, sits at the base of North Peak Express Quad. It's famous for its venison stew, bison burgers and daily specials – but if the sun's out, hit the expansive deck with a beverage and sun screen.
Sunday River. Foggy Goggle, at the base of the Maine resort, is reputed to have the longest après ski party in the East. Also venue for Bud Light Music Series, with massive deck and tons apres-ski eats on the menu.
Crested Butte. The new Umbrella Bar atop the Prospect Lift gives novices and intermediates a place to catch some rays – if the weather's right. Retractable windows create open-air atmosphere for munchies and local craft beer – and eye-popping views of southern Colorado Rockies.