IT ONLY TOOK ABOUT A DECADE for 4.3 million Americans to switch from skis to a snowboard. Now, youth-driven skater culture has upped the ante again. Enter the snowskate, a skateboard deck mounted on a tiny dual-tipped ski. Skilled snowskate riders can simulate skateboarding's quick moves, and no cumbersome bindings or leash get in the way. Last season, Oregon's Timberline Lodge and Ski Area opened one of the country's first snowskate parks, and for $10 per day, riders get a board and access to a playground of bumps, berms, and rails. No lift ticket required. 503-622-7979, www.timberlinelodge.com.
Life in the Fast Lane
Colorado's Copper Mountain is continuing the BeeLine Advantage program, first instituted last year, which rewards guests who've booked their vacations through the resort's central reservations number (888-263-5302; www.coppercolorado.com). When checking in, guests get a card that can be scanned for entry through a separate lane in busy lift lines. Local skiers dying to make first tracks on a powder day can buy into the program with a $124 lift ticket (normally $57). You might not make a lot of friends cutting the line, but it's a legit way of getting up the hill faster.
Pay to Play
DURING LAST YEAR'S SKI SEASON, two people died in the backcountry near Jackson Hole Ski Resort in Wyoming. To pad your own life insurance, when leaving the resort's boundaries hire a backcountry guide at the Jackson Hole Ski and Snowboard School ($435 per day; 307-739-2740, www.jacksonhole.com). He or she can take and show you and up to four other riders the safest way down the Green River, Pinedale, No Name, and Jensen Canyons, offering 4,000-vertical-foot steeps just south of the ski area proper.