Record-setting snowfall in February blanketed the West, gave powderhounds all that they could ask for in a ski and snowboard season, and kept resort owners smiling from ear to ear.
The days are getting longer, it's daylight savings time and the snow is softening: Spring is on the way, and that means it's festival time at ski resorts all across SnoCountry.
Industry statistics say that one quarter of parents who head to the hills in the winter do so with snowboards – and they want their children to learn to ride so they can enjoy the slopes in similar fashion.
Everyone knows what a rush it is to have a full day of skiing and riding, but often you still have the rhythm in your bones even after the lifts close. Enter the apres-ski music scene at mountain resorts.
SnoCountry scanned the West and came up with a sampling of apres-ski spots where the rockin’ goes on long past the final run of the day.
The days have lengthened, the sun is higher in the sky and the wildflowers are out, as Utah’s winter resorts put on their summer best and welcome the offseason.
Biking and hiking, zip lines and coasters, climbing walls and disc golf, concerts and festivals and the old-fav, a ride up the lift: ski and snowboard resorts in the West are changing gears as warm weather arrives.
High Meadow teaching area to get new lift. (Park City Mountain/Facebook)
At Park City Mountain, the ropes will go up shortly and the lifts will fall silent. But the summer promises to be bustling as Vail Resorts commits to major upgrades at the massive Utah resoort..
Choose a mini-bowl to ski at Sun Valley. (Sun Valley/Facebook)
Few experiences on a mountain rival pushing off down a massive alpine bowl, with nothing in your way and infinite lines to follow. And the Rocky Mountain resorts have many to choose from.
In the Woodward park at Copper. (Woodward Copper/Facebook)
In a bit of an ironic twist, the former owner of Park City Mountain will build a Woodward action sports facility north of the city – a project originally planned for the base of the Utah ski and snowboard mountain.
Snowbird's revamped base lodge feeds the pow' soul. (Snowbird/Facebook)
A couple of high-speed chairlifts, upgrades to base lodges and the end of night skiing in Park City make the list of top improvements at ski and snowboard resorts in Utah.
Loveland chairlift ready to be first open. (Loveland/Facebook)
It’s the time of year when the first snow hits the high ridges, the ski shows debut – and resorts begin to announce the day that the new ski and snowboard season will arrive.
Hangin' on at Snowbird coaster. (Snowbird/Facebook)
As summer hits its full stride across the West, mountain resorts put their hot-weather activities front and center – including a plethora of mountain coasters that rush down trails and slopes.
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.
North America's largest resort Whistler Blackcomb is now owned by Vail. (Whistler Blackcomb/Facebook)
Consolidation of ownership, ticketing and even between mountains highlighted the winter resort news of 2016 – all giving skiers and riders more bang for their buck.
Upstate New York specializes in fall colors, and best place to see them is atop Whiteface (Whiteface/Facebook)
For skiers and snowboarders, the first sign of winter comes when the leaves start to color up as the days get shorter and the temps begin to drop.
It’s time to buy a tube of sunscreen and floppy hat, tune up the mountain bike and dig out the Birkenstocks: Summer in the Utah mountains is just around the corner.
Anyone who has skied or snowboarded on the slopes above Park City has likely run across remnants of the city’s silver mining history in the form of dilapidated mills, head frames, trams and ore bins.
Ski and snowboard instructors at Beaver Creek are set to schedule a vote on unionizing, after garnering the requisite number of signatures for an election.
The hoopla, the ribbon-cutting and the champagne bottle-smashing are long over with at Park City Mountain, and the new Quicksilver gondola has gotten down to doing its job: Connecting Park City and Canyons Resort.
Stein Eriksen, the legendary alpine skier whose revolutionary technique and distinctive style made him a founder of modern skiing, passed away peacefully on Sunday, December 27, 2015 at his home in Park City, Utah surrounded by family. He was 88 years old.