Not to make anybody envious, but Breckenridge Ski Resort has announced it is extending the resort's ski season by one additional week, from Monday, April 21 through Sunday, April 27.
The extra week is planned in consideration of the deep snow pack and terrific conditions that can be expected at Breck's elevation in the spring. In January, Breckenridge was the snowiest resort in the U.S. and has received more than 28 feet of snow so far this season.
During the past two years Breck has extended their regular season with extra weekends tacked on, and with this year's significant snowfall, resort officials made the decision to include the extra weekdays as well.
"It's been such an amazing season for snowfall in Breck that even with a month and a half to go in the regular season, we are confident that we will be able to offer terrific conditions in the extended week," said Pat Campbell, executive vice president and COO at Breckenridge Ski Resort.
Breck will open three of the resort's signature peaks during the extended week, Peaks 6, 7 and 8, with Rip's Ride, 5 Chair, Colorado SuperChair, T-bar, Imperial SuperChair, Independence SuperChair, Zendo Chair, and Kensho SuperChair all slated for operation..
In past years' extended seasons, only terrain on Peak 8 was open. This year's package will provides another chance to be able ski or ride Breck's newly-added terrain, Peak 6, during the final days of its inaugural season.
Skiing during this extended week will be free for 2013-14 Vail Resorts season pass holders, whose passes will still operate during the extended week. In addition, Breck will offer a specially-priced, $66 lift ticket for purchase at the ticket windows.
Here's another good deal if you are new to skiing or snowboarding. Beginner group lessons for adults and children and private lessons will be available during the extended week and start at $95 for adults or $105 for children.
Peak Six Courtesy Breckenridge Ski Resort
There are some great spring skiing conditions setting up all around the country. I've heard from a number of readers who love skiing in the spring but find they get too tired too quickly.
This is the time of year to layer off, put a little sun screen on, and ski the afternoon sun. But, it seems pushing all that mashed potato snow around can get some quads screaming while the sun is still high in the sky.
R. Mark Elling, author of The All-Mountain Skier: The Way to Expert Skiing has given us some tips on how to more efficiently ski the corn and slushy wet stuff we find in the spring. Mark is certified as a Level III Alpine Ski Instructor and is head boot fitter at Mount Bachelor Ski and Sport and owner of Mercury Mobile Performance, a custom footbed and bootfitting service.
Read and follow Mark's advice and you'll be spending more time skiing on the snow than sunning on the deck.
Image - Mark Elling at Mt. Bachelor © Kirk DeVoll
The Intrawest Passport™ is the first-ever Ski Pass to Redefine "Family Pass" and will offer children 12 and under free skiing, as well as redefine what a "Family Pass" is all about.
Intrawest Resorts Holdings, Inc., the parent company of several North American ski resorts, announced today the introduction of The Intrawest Passport™, a season pass that includes six days of skiing at each of six participating North American ski resorts.
The Intrawest Passport™, a first of its kind in the industry, is designed to make destination skiing easier and offer more flexibility and value for families in the 2014-2015 season.
"Times are changing and so is the traditional family structure. Intrawest understands those changes," said Bill Jensen, CEO, Intrawest Resorts. "Whether you're a traditional, single parent, or tri-generational family we've created The Intrawest Passport™ to give your family the most flexibility and affordability to come ski or snowboard our mountains."
With no blackout dates the flexibility means families can use The Intrawest Passport™ to travel on holidays or whenever it's easiest for them. The Intrawest Passport's™ special introductory price is being offered on a sliding scale, with the primary adult Passport initially offered at $549, additional adults at $399, 13-20 year olds at $199, and children 12 and under are free.
"Skiing has been passed on from parent to child for several generations. We want to encourage the passion for the sport of skiing and snowboarding for the next generation by offering true value to families," Jensen explains.
The Intrawest Passport™ will allow guests to ski/ride for six days during the 2014-2015 ski season at each of Steamboat Springs and Winter Park in Colorado; Blue Mountain in Ontario; Mont Tremblant in Quebec; Stratton Mountain in Vermont; and Snowshoe Mountain in West Virginia.
The biggest differentiators for The Intrawest Passport™ are children 12 and under ski free. The pass offers the flexibility to define your "family" the way it works best for a skiing family, i.e. - you can include extended family members, stepfamilies, non-traditional families and even good friends that are like family. After the first primary adult pass is purchased, families can purchase up to 15 additional Passports, including:
- Five additional discounted adult Passports for $399 each
- Five Teen Passports for $199 each
- Five children under 12 ski free passes
- Extended age for "Teen" Passport: allows teens and young adults through age 20 to receive the discount.
A traditional young family of four can ski at all six resorts for as little as $948, making it, at present, the most affordable inter-mountain pass on the market. In addition, The Intrawest Passport™ only requires one adult pass to be purchased, which means a single parent and up to five children can all ski at six resorts, for a total of 36 days each for as low as $549.
The Intrawest Passport™ goes on sale this Friday, March 7th and will be offered at this special introductory price through Friday, March 14th. The Intrawest Passport™ goes on sale this Friday, March 7th and will be offered at this special introductory price through Friday, March 14th.
The Intrawest Passport™ is available for purchase at Intrawest Passport™ or at the Resorts:
- Steamboat, CO
- Winter Park, CO
- Stratton Mountain Ski Resort, VT
- Snowshoe Mountain Resort, WV
- Blue Mountain Ski Area, Ontario
- Mont Tremblant Ski Resort, Quebec
Image Copyright Intrawest
From racing firefighters and cutthroat chili chefs to Jimmy Buffet fans and pond skimmers, spring at Sunday River is always a good time - and for a good cause.
- Maine Adaptive Sports & Recreation's 29th Annual Ski-A-Thon returns to Sunday River on March 29. Maine Adaptive was the first adaptive ski organization in the state of Maine. Today, 450 volunteers assist 350 skiers and other athletes with physical disabilities each year. Ski-A-Thon teams of up to five members raise a minimum of $1,000 (per team) in pledges and compete in a fun race. The annual event raises more than half of the organization's operating budget and offers a chance for the organization to celebrate everything that it stands for and has accomplished.
- The Firefighters' Race on March 30 will see fully kitted-out firefighters compete in a giant slalom race on the Lower Tempest Trail (also in teams of five).
- The Annual Chili Cook-off immediately following the Firefighter's Race, where the state's best chili concocters will vie for the coveted "Best Chili" and "People's Choice" awards. These events both raise money for Maine Adaptive, as well.
- The Parrothead Festival hits White Cap on April 4. The Jimmy Buffett-inspired festival is when Sunday River really gets on board with springtime in a big way, with specialty cocktails, live music, BBQs, and, of course, pond-skimming, which will take place at South Ridge this year. The Maine-based Parrot Head Club of the Northern Tropics will donate the proceeds from the festival's annual Margarita Mix-off to Camp Sunshine, a non-profit that supports unwell children and their families.
- Pond-A-Palooza - last, but not least, will be a stand alone event, where in the past it was just part of the Parrothead Festival, but this year, Sunday River has broken it out and created an entire event around the beloved pastime. On Sunday, April 6, the resort is hosting a Pond Skimming practice session for skiers, snowboarders, and snowbladers, and the following weekend (April 12), the first-ever Pond-A-Palooza will take place at South Ridge. Skimmers wear their wackiest outfits and compete for a 2014-2015 New England Pass and other great prizes.
Firefighters' Race Copyright David McLain/Sunday River
It's not quite spring yet, but we are getting close and day by day it could go either way - winter, or spring. However, Vermont ski resorts have both seasons covered with events and activities to keep all the skiers and riders in the family busy and having fun no matter what the weather.
For example, every Saturday in March at Bolton Valley, from 2 - 4pm you can take a Snowshoe Explorer Tour at Bolton Valley. You and the family will get a great introduction of the basic techniques of snowshoeing while enjoying a guided snowshoe tour on groomed and backcountry trails.
The Vermont Open at Stratton Mountain Resort snowboard competition and music festival is March 7 - 9. Rail jam, halfpipe, big air and banked slalom events are open to amateur, pro and formerly pro riders. Live music and parties open to all.
At Castlerock Extreme at Sugarbush Resort's Lincoln Peak, show off your skills as part of the Ski The East Freeride Tour on March 8. Be judged in categories including style and line and put together the best run down Castlerock's Lift Line trail.
That's not all, check out more events and activities during early March at the ski resorts around Vermont.
Dog Sledding at Smugglers Notch Copyright Mike Doyle
Deer Valley Resort in Park City, Utah will host the U.S. Freestyle Championships on March 28, 29 and 30th.
The Championships competition was originally scheduled to be held at Heavenly in South Lake Tahoe but, due to an unusual lack of snow in the Sierra Nevadas and the time necessary to build world class venues for the athletes, the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association has opted to move the events to Deer Valley.
Deer Valley Resort, a world renowned freestyle venue, has twice played host to the World Championships and is a perennial stop on the FIS World Cup tour and was the home for final practices of the U.S. athletes before they headed to the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics. The competition venues are still in place and Deer Valley has the skilled staff to dust them off and bring them up to world class status on short notice.
"Deer Valley is pleased to be able to step in and host the U.S. Freestyle Championships for our partners at the U.S. Ski Team," said Bob Wheaton, Deer Valley President and CEO. "We are excited to showcase our athletes right on the heels of the Winter Games and offer our guests a chance to see them compete."
Leading the mogul team for the final event of the season where they will battle it out for the U.S. title will be two-time mogul Olympian Pat Deneen (Cle Elum, WA), along with 2010 Olympic medalist Bryon Wilson (Butte, MT) and his brother, 2014 Olympian Bradley Wilson (Butte, MT).
The aerial competition will include two-time aerial Olympian Ashley Caldwell (Ashburn, VA) and Olympian Mac Bohonnon (Madison, CT), the FIS Rookie of the Year and fifth place finisher in the men's Sochi aerial competition.
2014 U.S. Freestyle Championships Schedule:
- Friday, March 28 - Men's and women's moguls
- Saturday, March 29 - Men's and women's aerials
- Sunday, March 30 - Men's and women's dual moguls
Deer Valley World Cup Mogul Venue Copyright Mike Doyle
If you are setting up your spring break ski trip you might want to consider renting skis as an option rather than schlepping your own skis through the airports. For a little extra incentive Black Tie Ski Rentals is offering late season specials on ski rental delivery this spring with up to 20% savings at select locations throughout North America.
"With a variety of late season specials going on at various locations, we're making it even more affordable for guests to experience the convenience of Black Tie's service," said Ian Prichard, co-founder of Black Tie Ski Rentals. "We're confident that those looking to spend more time on the slopes this spring will find Black Tie's service helps them get the most out of their vacation."
Travelers looking to get out on the slopes can skip the rental lines with Black Tie's ski rental delivery service offered at more than 35 ski resorts around North America. With the company's timesaving ski rental delivery service, Black Tie's local experts bring the rental equipment directly to your hotel room, condominium, or vacation home for custom fittings in the comfort of your private residence. Additional convenience items typically found at traditional ski shops also are available for purchase such as socks, goggles, hand warmers, lip balm, etc.
With excellent snow levels in Colorado, Utah and Montana as well as improving conditions in the Lake Tahoe region, now is a great time to book a spring skiing vacation. Spring is a great time to ski as snow levels are typically the deepest, days are longer, warmer and sunnier. Snow also is softer in the springtime providing great conditions to learn to ski or practice a new skill.
Black Tie has grown beyond its Steamboat Springs flagship location to provide convenient rental delivery service in more than a dozen owner-operated locations at world-class resorts including Mammoth, Heavenly, Aspen, Snowmass, Breckenridge, Keystone, Copper Mountain, Crested Butte, Steamboat, Telluride, Vail, Beaver Creek, Winter Park, Big Sky, Moonlight Basin, Park City Mountain Resort, Deer Valley, Canyons Resort and Whistler Blackcomb, North Lake Tahoe and south Lake Tahoe.
Lake Tahoe from Heavenly Copyright Mie Doyle
The Sierra Avalanche Center has partnered with several Tahoe ski resorts this winter to offer discounted lift tickets that raise money for the non-profit that issues the only daily avalanche advisory for backcountry travelers in the Northern Sierra.
Many lift tickets are being offered at more than 50% discounts, and skiers and riders have dozens of dates to participate in the lift ticket fundraisers. All proceeds from the tickets sales directly support the avalanche center, a non-profit dedicated to promoting safe backcountry winter travel.
This season's fundraisers include:
- $60 lift tickets to Kirkwood Resort valid from March 4 - 6
- $35 lift tickets to Homewood Mountain Resort valid from March 9 - until end of season
- $35 lift tickets to Mt Rose Ski Tahoe valid from March 10-16
- $45 lift tickets to Squaw Valley Ski Resort/Alpine Meadows valid from April 6- until end of season
Tickets are limited and will sell out. Skiers and riders are encouraged to purchase tickets early and plan for a great day on the slopes. Tickets must be purchased online at least 24 hours in advance at Sierra Avalanche Center with the help of Liftopia, the official online lift ticket retailer for the 2014 Sierra Avalanche Center Ski and Ride Days.
For more information, visit Sierra Avalanche Center or contact: Jenny Hatch, Sierra Avalanche Center program manager at 530-306-9121 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo Copyright Jason Shields / Squaw Valley Ski Corp.
Here's a summary of U.S. Ski Team members who are carrying home some Sochi 2014 Olympic precious metal.
- Gold - Ted Ligety, Park City, UT - Giant Slalom
- Gold - Mikaela Shriffin, Eagle-Vail, CO - Slalom
- Silver - Andrew Weibrecht, Lake Placid, NY - super G
- Bronze - Julia Mancuso, Squaw Valley, CA - Super Combined
- Bronze - Bode Miller, Franconia, NH - super G
- Gold - Joss Christensen, Park City, UT - Slopestyle
- Gold - Maddie Bowman, S. Lake Tahoe - Halfpipe
- Gold - David Wise, Reno, NV - Halfpipe
- Silver - Gus Kenworthy, Tellurude, CO - Slopestyle
- Silver - Devin Logan, W. Dover, VT - Slopestyle
- Bronze - Nick Goepper, Lawrenceburg, IN - Slopestyle
- Bronze - Hannah Kearney, Norwich, VT - Moguls
Now, for a little perspective, U.S. athletes won six of the 12 medals, including three of four gold, in the new events of Halfpipe and Slopestyle skiing. That includes a sweep of all medals in men's Slopestyle plus a sweep of gold in Halfpipe for men and women.
Bode Miller won his sixth Olympic medal, putting him second on the all-time U.S. Winter Olympians list and second on the all-time skiing list.
Julia Mancuso extended her record of most Olympic medals by a U.S. woman skier to four. Of course, the newest American sweetheart, Mikaela Shiffrin became the youngest women's Slalom Olympic champion ever.
So, while we say good-bye to Sochi let's cheer for our medal winners and let's also cheer for all the U.S. Ski Team members. Both those who won, and those who didn't, all gave a lot of years of training, hard working and devotion to represent the USA.
There are some who we'll see again in four years and there are others who will be hanging up their Olympic bibs for the last time.
To all the Olympians whose last runs are now in the history books - thanks for the memories. To all those who will carry their dreams on to PyeongChang 2018 Olympics - we are with you all the way!
More Information: Support The Team
Sochi All USA Slopestyle Podium Copyright Al Bello/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images
The men's Slalom race is always a big draw on the World Cup Tour. As it happens, most of Slalom racing is done on the European venues. It is so popular that all the races are broadcast live and then rebroadcast over and over.
When you put these racers in an Olympic setting, it's not just a crowd pleaser for the fans on the snow. Millions of television fans around the world get to see the action, as well.
As I said, Europeans love to watch slalom racing. So, it's no surprise that historically most of the top slalom skiers have been European and that holds true today.
If you want to talk to the last male U.S. Ski Team member to stand on an Olympic Slalom podium, stop by Deer Valley Resort in Park City, Utah and see one of the Mahre brothers. Both Phil (Gold) and Steve (Silver) Mahre accomplished this together - at Sarajevo in 1984 - thirty years ago!
That said, there are a few racers that can come out of nowhere and win this 2014 Sochi Slalom over the best efforts of the those at the top of the FIS World Cup Slalom.
However, I'm thinking that to climb over Marcel Hirscher of Austria in this one someone has to be really on their game. In the last two World Cup seasons Hirscher was on every Slalom podium but two, and he is the reigning Slalom World Champion.
If, and that's a big if, Hirscher falters, Felix Neureuther of Germany, who has won twice this season could be right there. Henrik Kristoffersen of Norway will also be chasing the gold, but look for France's Jean-Baptiste Grange to be the wild card and very possibly the spoiler.
I'll say goodbye to the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics with my Podium Picks for the men's Slalom race:
- Marcel Hirscher - Austria
- Jean-Baptiste Grange - France
- Henrik Kristoffersen - Norway
David Chodounsky is on tap for the U.S. and he has a seventh place Slalom finish this season. Also on the start list - Ted Ligety who's always straight out and Nolan Kasper - holds a World Cup slalom second two years ago!
Check out my Men's World Cup Slalom - Road To Sochi and you'll see how the men's Audi FIS World Cup 2014 Slalom Ranking has evolved following each of the 2014 Slalom races and read a brief analysis of each race.
Jean-Baptiste Grange Copyright Alain Grosclaude/Agence Zoom/Getty Images