Ladycation: Alaska Heli-Skiing

The Valdez School for Wayward Girls The first-ever all-women heli-skiing camp in Alaska’s central Chugach Range attracted a motley crew of diehard skiers. Valdez may never be the same. With the Alaskan sun still burning at 8 p.m., soft-spoken Karen, an actuary who works on retirement plans, assessing financial risk and calculating pensions, climbs up […]

The Great Rad North

Exploring Red and Fernie, British Columbia means radical skiing among snow ghosts and moss-covered pines. Even in my wildest dreams I could not have imagined such a place. Mountains where you ski among 20-foot ghosts and moss-covered pines on downy peaks high above a sea of clouds. A land where the moon shines brighter than […]

Living to Loaf

Why go West when you can ski bum in Sugarloaf, Maine? The top station of Sugarloaf’s ancient gondola has all the character of a meat locker. On one hoarfrosted, snow-splotched wall, a sign reads: If you go through this gate, you need to know: This terrain is unlike anything you have skied in the East. […]

Great Sand Dunes National Park

Bison, UFO’s, and Skiing on Sand The pile of gear laid out in our garage was incongruous: sand shovels and pails, skis, sun hats, a snow sled. We were packing for a trip to Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve in southern Colorado. Tucked in the curve where the Sangre de Cristo range meets […]

Thrills, Chills, & Other Placid Moments

In the Olympics, people do insane things on snow. In Lake Placid, mere mortals can, too. “Welcome to the six-man bobsled,” said the brakeman. “Climb aboard.” Bobsleds look so high tech and shiny on TV, but when you’re sitting in one — this one in Lake Placid, anyway — they seem about as high tech […]

Hut Trips are For Babies

Two toddlers, 85 pounds of gear and 1,200 vertical feet add up to the perfect escape for one Colorado Family. As we peer down the toe of a 3,000-foot, 45-degree avalanche chute in the rugged Elk Mountains, Quinn’s eyes grow as wide as hubcaps. “I want to go down there,” he says and pushes off […]

Underground Utah

Beneath the Glamour and the grooming, the Park City triumvirate—Park City, Deer Valley, and The Canyons—harbors a hairball side. I admit it. I was an Alta snob. Back in ’91, I spent a winter ski bumming there and developed an uppity attitude toward that trio of pathetic little ski hills around Park City. Or Park […]

Cat Skiing at Ski Cooper, CO

The Untracked Line: Chicago Ridge, Ski Cooper, CO Chicago Ridge downsides: The guides wear grubby, mango-colored one-piece-suits they call ball-biters; the avalanche beacons resemble museum pieces (some don’t actually search); and the only snack in the cat will be the food you stuffed in your pocket. Chicago Ridge upsides:The avalanche danger is low for Colorado; […]