Powder Skiing

Once you experience Alta's powder, you too will be an Altaholic     Photo: courtesy, Alta Ski Area

The Classic
ALTA SKI AREA, Utah:
Not only does Alta get twice as much snow as less blessed resorts—it averages 500 inches—but its flakes are also lighter and drier. Maybe that's why nearly 80 percent of Alta's skiers return each year to the resort's old-school lodges. alta.com

The Ride
KIRKWOOD MOUNTAIN RESORT, California:
They measure storms in feet, not inches, at this low-key Tahoe resort. New this year is Burton's Powder Progression Program, the first U.S. school that teaches boarders how to ride knee-deep powder. kirkwood.com

The Secret
KICKING HORSE MOUNTAIN RESORT, British Columbia:
It's the anti-Whistler: no crowds, virtually no nightlife, and no wet snow. But the gondola system, which rises 3,800 vertical feet, might very well be North America's single best lift. kickinghorseresort.com

The Exception
JAY PEAK RESORT, Vermont:
Because it sits just south of the Canadian border, Jay receives an average of six feet of snow a month in winter, nearly twice as much as any other Eastern resort. Plus it boasts some of state's longest, rowdiest runs. jaypeakresort.com

The Mystery
MT. BAKER SKI AREA, Washington:
The Pineapple Express (a subtropical jet stream) can be cruel to Northwest resorts. But when cooler temps prevail, it can be glorious: Last year, Baker received almost 350 inches before Christmas. mtbaker.us

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