For skiers and snow boarders, whether you’re a beginner, intermediate or advanced enough to want to tackle the toughest black diamonds, where you chose to ski will make a difference regardless of your skill level. South Jersey Ski Club has compiled “The Top Seven Ski Resort Areas in the U.S.” list to make your skiing choices optimal:
Killington is the largest ski resort in the eastern United States, with the widest variety of terrain. With something special for every level, Killington also boasts more than a 3,000 ft vertical so it’s no wonder this is a perennial favorite stop for our club. We stay at the Northstar Lodge with its incredible swimming pool size hot tub. It’s the world’s largest hot tub. Well, maybe not the world’s largest but it’s really BIG! There is no shortage of nightlife either with dining and local bands at the Grist Mill, Wobbly Barn and Pickle Barrel providing great nightly entertainment.
Stowe features forty-eight trails to test your riding skills or your skiing expertise. If it’s blazing speed and vertical feet you’re after, then you should check out the Front Four. If you’re looking for a more relaxing time, there are plenty of gently sloping runs also offered. We regularly visit for an early season demo days when all skiers and riders can sample the latest offering from manufacturers. Sometimes we have so much fun we return later in the season for a second visit! For more info on SJSC trips to Stowe visit the ski schedule at: http://www.sjskiclub.com/skipage.html
Lake Placid has it all. Whiteface Mountain boasts the highest vertical of any resort east of the Rockies. Still the off-mountain activities bring many of us back year after year. What else do we do there? Skate on the Olympic oval where Eric Heiden won his 7 Gold medals, go XC-skiing; experience earth shattering speed riding the bobsled, climb to the top of the ski jumping complex; drop down the toboggan run with a few friends or just enjoy dining and shopping in the quaint Adirondack villages of North Creek and Lake Placid. This is a great trip for the skier and non skier alike. It’s the perfect trip to take along that significant other who does not ski or ride.
Interested in heading out west? Then try these…
Vail – The Land of Sacred Powder – 346 Inches on Average. Combine that with 300 days of sunshine a year and you’ve got perfect conditions. With seven colossal bowls there is no end to the amount of skiing and riding you can do. After a day on the mountain the fun is only beginning. There’s so much to do in Vail Village – boutiques, spas and art galleries line the cobblestone walkways. Everything from gourmet restaurants to fast food is located throughout the town. The après ski scene is fantastic. There are so many choices and its easy to get around as the town shuttle service runs all day and night to take you from the Eagle Bahn Gondola to the Lionshead village. Beaver Creek is also a quick 10 minute ride away.
Aspen is best know for its steeps and bumps but still offers many groomed, intermediate cruising runs and hundreds of acres open to snowboarders on the backside through Aspen Mountain Powder Tours. Basically there is something for everyone here. With an annual snowfall of 300 inches there is no shortage of powder here either. The vastness of Aspen offers four major areas: Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands, Buttermilk and Snowmass. Snowmobiling, cross country powder tours, and paragliding are just some other activities our members enjoy at Aspen. The Après ski choices are also endless with everything from fine dining to fast food. Aspen has a variety of restaurants, shopping, lodging and nightlife that caters to a range of budgets and experiences.
Tahoe has so much going on for it. The base area has an incredible array of possibilities with large casino hotels offering affordable lodging with shoes, dining, and gambling for those who are interested. Heavenly is a great ski area – on the top you can be looking down on the scenic vista of Lake Tahoe in California on one side and the expansive dessert of Nevada on the other, but bringing the incredibly beautiful lake are a host of other choices, like Squaw, Alpine Meadows, North Star, and more. Kirkwood, another fantastic area is a short drive.
“Summit County” Colorado is one “ski area” you can’t beat. Combined lift tickets and a shuttle system will keep you thoroughly entertained on the slopes of Breckenridge, Keystone, Arapahoe Basin and Copper. Each has its own flavor; Breckenridge was an old silver mining town and is now a bustling year round outdoor recreation center that still maintains the rustic downtown alongside modern array of shops and restaurants. A-Basin is where you ski above the tree line and kick back with this favorite of locals. Everything from the tailgate parties and funky “bathtub races at the base” to challenging double diamond cornices and Keystone with terrain to keep you thrilled all day – and night – as well as a well developed night skiing program. A whole village community of condo villages with outdoor gas fire pits and festivals delights before, after and during your ski day.