Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort, UT
Diagnosis Snowbird and its neighbor, Alta, are now connected by a new high-speed quad in Mineral Basin and by a common season pass. Skiers have access to 4,700 acres of Little Cottonwood Canyons powder-rich terrainpart of which is in boarder-unfriendly Alta. Sorry, knuckle draggers.
Heli-ski with the Wasatch Powderbird Guides (800-974-4354), or go for glory on Great Scott, a steep rock-lined chute, off the tram.
Try the Chickadee run, where the ski school teaches beginner classes. Then move on to Big Emma, a long and classic green.
Call the base area Activity Center (801-933-2147) for tubing and luge or the Cliff Lodge (801-933-2265) for outdoor ice-skating.
Average Annual Snowfall 500 inches
Breakdown 27% beginner, 38% intermediate, 35% expert
Stowe Mountain Resort, VT
Diagnosis People have been skiing and cutting trails on Mount Mansfield since the 1930s for good reason: loads of snow, high elevation, and a consistent 2,360-foot fall line. Plus, Stowe is a real New England town, complete with a white-steepled church and the oldest sport of allshopping.
Famous throughout the East, Goatone of the Front Four off Mount Mansfieldis narrow, steep, and heavily moguled.
Spruce Peak is melloowww and separate from the faster skiers.
Employees playing hooky from nearby Burton Snowboards dominate the terrain park and half-pipe. Nordic ski on 47 miles of trails (Cross Country Center, 802-253-3688). Topnotch (802-253-8585) and Stoweflake (802-253-7355), both four-star hotels, have luxurious day spas and Tae Botrendy fitness centers.
Average Annual Snowfall 260 inches
Breakdown 16% beginner, 59% intermediate, 25% expert
Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, WY
Diagnosis The Meet Your Maker chute inspired the cinematographers at Teton Gravity Research, while the groomed slopes of Après Vous and Casper make anybody on shaped skis feel like local phenom Tommy Moe.
A 50-degree chute at 40 feet wide and 500 feet long, Corbets Couloir is the signature trophy run at Jackson Hole, demanding a vertical entrance (read: mandatory air).
Eagles Rest Double Chair serves a roped-off beginner area with mellow slopes like Eagles Rest run, Pooh Bear, and Antelope Flats.
Then theres always the ski-less ski vacation: Tube at King Tubes Snow Tubing Park (307-734-8823), hot-air balloon with Wyoming Balloon Company (307-739-0900), ice-skate inside at Snow King Resort (800-522-5464), cross-country ski or dogsled at the Saddlehorn Activity Center (307-739-2629), sleigh ride with National Elk Refuge Sleigh Rides (307-733-5386), or paraglide with Two-Can Fly (307-690-8726).
Average Annual Snowfall 402 inches
Breakdown 10% beginner, 40% intermediate, 50% expert