As skiers increasingly seek out new terrain, resorts are stepping up with expanded acreage, guided trips, and new lifts. Peak 6, at Colorado’s Breckenridge, is adding two new chairlifts, providing access to 543 additional acres across three high-alpine bowls—boosting the resort’s skiable terrain by 23 percent—and offering private, guided tours above the tree line (from $730).
This winter, Crested Butte begins guided tours of a new back-side, experts-only zone called Teo 2, featuring 60 acres of north-facing chutes filled with cliff jumps and pillow lines.
In Montana, Big Sky and Moonlight Basin officially merged. The two have always shared a mountain, but now one lift ticket lets you access 5,750 acres of steep, varied terrain—the second-highest acreage in the country—and an enormous 4,350 vertical feet from top to bottom. Advanced skiers can even sign up with a professional mountain guide and be shown around the newly combined terrain (from $460).
And last spring, the U.S. Forest Service approved a 646-acre expansion off the southeast side of Oregon’s Mount Bachelor. A new chairlift won’t be installed until 2014, but it’s great news for avalanche-savvy skiers willing to hike in and DIY the still-uncontrolled, gladed slopes.