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Archive for ski vacations

The Trembling Mountain

By Linda Tancs

The American Indians named Canada’s Mont Tremblant “Manitou Ewitchi Saga” after Manitou, the god of nature.  Legend has it that Manitou could make the mountains tremble–hence the name “Mont Tremblant” (trembling mountain).  Today the mountain trembles with the roar of skiers and hosts the premier ski resort in eastern North America.  In keeping with the season, there are other outdoor activities, too:  snowmobiling, sleigh riding and ice climbing, for starters.

The Trail to Happiness

By Linda Tancs

Of all the ski destinations in the world, northeastern China might not sound like a natural choice.  Yet the Changbai Mountain region is Asia’s largest ski area.  Bordering Russia and North Korea, the mountain region has a UNESCO nature reserve boasting Siberian tigers and a crater lake, among other attractions.  Now visitors can enjoy the combined luxury of Westin and Sheraton at the mountain’s base, an area rife with ski runs sporting monikers like the Trail to Happiness.  Zen on the slopes?  As American writer Robert Pirsig observed, the only Zen you find on the mountaintop is the Zen you bring there.

Ski Flying Championship in Norway

By Linda Tancs

The Ski Flying World Championship takes place now through Sunday in Vikersund, Norway.  Qualifying rounds begin today; the event ends with team competition and the prize ceremony on Sunday.  Getting there is easy.  Both Oslo Airport Gardermoen and Sandefjor Airport Torp are located approximately 90 minutes from Vikersund.

Crossroads of the West

By Linda Tancs

Salt Lake City, Utah claims to be different by nature.  So what’s so different?  You can join their real-time chat and find out.  Maybe it’s the Great Salt Lake, the largest lake west of the Mississippi, covering 2,100 square miles.  Did you know that only the Dead Sea has a higher salt content than the Great Salt Lake?  Another distinguishing feature of the city is its world-renowned genealogical center.  Located downtown at the Joseph Smith Memorial Building, computers at the FamilySearch Center access millions of worldwide records.  Best of all, admission is free.   Of course, there’s also the skiing.  Snowbird Ski & Summer Resort has the longest ski season in Utah (through the month of May).  You want to see it all, don’t you?  Get the Connect Pass and save on 13 of Utah’s best attractions.  It’s what nature intended, after all.

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Fresh Horses

By Linda Tancs

Almost 100 years ago the near-Olympic sport of skijoring was born in the Engadine valley of Switzerland.  Skijoring is the running of thoroughbreds without riders but rather with skiers attached.  The Olympics’ loss is St. Moritz’ gain; it’s there each Sunday in February that the races take place over a 2600 meter course ladened with thick ice.  Known as White Turf, the race is a test of wills between man and beast.  The skier with the highest points is crowned King of the Engadine.

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A Revelation in Telluride

By Linda Tancs

Of all the opportunities to commune with nature among the slopes, arguably few match the majesty of Telluride in southwestern Colorado, where 115 trails dot over 2000 skiable acres dusted with over 300 inches of snow each year.  Sitting in a box canyon, Telluride is surrounded by steep mountains and cliffs, offering a picturesque backdrop for television commercials as well as a place of respite for cognoscenti.  Daring skiers can navigate one of the popular bowls, or ski runs, opened at Telluride Ski Resort—the Prospect Bowl, Black Iron Bowl or the Revelation Bowl.  A group of skiers voted Telluride the #1 terrain park in the Rockies in 2008.  Will you agree?

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Mountain Do

By Linda Tancs

The largest ski resort in the world is Les 3 Vallées in France, boasting resort areas Val Thorens, Les Menuires, Meribel and Courchevel.  With an enviable 600 km of skiable area, you might expect the luxe destination to be largely off-limits to the uninitiated.  Au contraire.  Out of the area’s 330 runs, practically half are easy and half are for experts.  And all are superbly accessible thanks to one of the most efficient and modern ski lift networks in the world.  Eighty piste grooming machines guarantee snow cover from the beginning of December to the end of April over the entire ski area.  That gives you plenty of time to plan your stay.

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The Crags Deliver

By Linda Tancs

Jackson Hole, Wyoming is known as much for its signature tram ride as for its skiing.  Emblazoned with the Wyoming Cowboys logo, the newly-refurbished fire engine red tram cars haul visitors over 4000 feet to the summit.  Once there, you better “know the code” as they say and observe all safety requirements as you descend the pistes.  Jackson Hole boasts 2500 in-bound acres and even more backcountry awaiting snowcat skiers, helicopter skiers, and snowboarders. At the Nordic Center you can find instruction on cross country skiing, skate skiing and snowshoe tours.

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Fun in the Sun Valley

By Linda Tancs

Sun Valley, Idaho is considered by many to be the birthplace of the U.S. ski resort industry.  Now in its 75th season, the resort destination has had plenty of time to perfect its ski-town image.  Located in central Idaho, this wealthy enclave has something for every level of skier.  Those willing to test their mettle should head on over to Bald Mountain, or Baldy, where the vertical drop is over 3000 feet.  For the more faint of heart, stick to the treeless Dollar Mountain where the vertical drop is a mere 600 feet.  Cross country skiers will love the 25 miles of groomed and marked trails that begin at the Nordic and Snowshoe Center.  If you need to brush up on your technique, you’ll find the area’s largest Nordic ski school in Sun Valley.  This location may also be familiar to you as the site of ice skating shows presented by the world’s best skaters.  Sun Valley Ice Rink continues to draw the biggest talent, and ice shows begin at dusk for a fabulous celestial experience.

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Slopes are Recession Proof

By Linda Tancs

According to the National Ski Areas Association, the 2008/2009 season is the fourth best on record despite an agonizing recession.  That might not seem all that surprising to enthusiasts in ski-heavy areas like California, Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, Wyoming–well, you get the idea.  But look east to New Jersey and you’ll find a welcome uptick, quite an accomplishment for a state facing one of the highest unemployment rates in the nation.  And with fresh snow from this weekend’s blizzard-like weather event, things are bound to look rosier.  So before you head west for skiing’s traditional mecca, maybe you should try out one of New Jersey’s signature resorts–Hidden Valley, Campgaw Mountain or Mountain Creek.  Hidden Valley Club resort is open to the public this season, but thereafter an uncrowded atmosphere will be assured on weekends with private membership.  At Campgaw, the whole family can partake in skiing, snowboarding or tubing.   Speaking of snowboarding, tomorrow is Go Snowboarding Day at Mountain Creek, which means you get a free lesson, lift ticket and rental.  The West may have Big Sky, but New Jersey has the Best Deal.

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DISCLOSURE OF NO MATERIAL CONNECTION

 The author has not received any compensation for writing this content and has no material connection to the brands, topics, products and/or services that are mentioned herein.

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