Snow Report 2005

Snowshoe Break: on the road in Colorado     Photo: Brian Bailey/Getty

Road Trips
High-Speed Ski Safari
Why choose between Summit County's bounty, Jackson's steeps, Steamboat's trees, and Big Sky's big sky? On this nine-day, Denver-to-Bozeman Rockies odyssey, they're all yours. Day One: Rent a car for the 90-minute drive west from Denver to Summit County, then head to Keystone (877-625-1556, www.keystone.snow.com) for blue cruisers. If your quads can stand it, dive off Peak 7 at Breckenridge (800-404-3535, www.ski-breckenridge.com).
Overnight: Two nights at Galena Street Mountain Inn (doubles from $79; 800-248-9138, www.colorado-bnb.com/galena), a tidy, mission-style lodge in Frisco.
Day Two: Find that hidden powder stash off the Upper East Wall at Arapahoe Basin (888-272-7246, www.arapahoebasin.com). For long, tree-lined runs, drive up I-70 to Copper Mountain Resort (866-841-2481, www.coppercolorado.com).
Day Three: From I-70, head north on Colorado 9 along the Blue River. On U.S. 40, pass through the snowy spruce of 9,426-foot Rabbit Ears Pass before dropping into the ranch country of Steamboat Springs.
Overnight: Two nights at Vista Verde Guest and Ski Ranch ($250–$400 per person per night, meals included; 800-526-7433, www.vistaverde.com), where you can cross-country ski on 18.6 miles of trails.
Day Four: All Colorado resorts blow hot air about champagne powder, but Steamboat (877-237-2628, www.steamboat.com) delivers, especially between the trees. Or spoil yourself with a day of snowcat skiing with Steamboat Powdercats ($259–$359 for a full day; 800-288-0543, www.blueskywest.com).
Day Five: Head for the deserts of southwestern Wyoming, then north on U.S. 191 to Jackson, where the Tetons tower over the pancake-flat plains.
Overnight: The Alpine House (doubles, $125; 800-753-1421, www.alpinehouse.com).
Day Six: Check out the scary vertical of Jackson Hole (888-333-7766, www.jacksonhole.com) or head 45 minutes northwest through Idaho, on Route 33, and back into Wyoming to Grand Targhee (800-827-4433, www.grandtarghee.com). Averaging more than 500 inches of snow a year, Targhee's like the promised land.
Overnight: Alpine House, in Jackson, or Targhee's slopeside Teewinot Lodge (doubles from $59; 800-827-4433, www.grandtarghee.com).
Day Seven: Drive northwest to Montana, and pick up U.S. 191 to Big Sky (800-548-4486, www.bigskyresort.com).
Overnight: Two nights at the Summit at Big Sky (doubles from $144; 800-548-4486, www.bigskyresort.com), a ten-story high-rise.
Day Eight: Ski your heart out at Big Sky—with 750 miles under your belt, this is the end of the line.
Day Nine: Mourn your real-world reentry while driving north on U.S. 191 to the Bozemen airport, where you can ditch the rig and wing back to reality.—P.O.

Thrills
Zip, Don't Rip
Downhill resorts are going Disney with the ZIPRIDER, a nylon chair slung beneath a steel cable that zooms downhill at speeds up to 60 miles per hour. Don't worry: A brake system kicks in as the descent steepens. Park City debuted its ride two years ago ($17; 800-453-1360, www.pcski.com); Snowbird added a similar rig in August ($15; 800-232-9542, www.snowbird.com). —Ryan Brandt
Nightlife
Bright Lights, Big Mountain
With 15 runs and almost 300 illuminated acres, KEYSTONE's got the market cornered on Colorado night skiing. Use your day pass until the lights go off at 8 p.m. 877-625-1556, www.keystone.snow.com
Sure, it's New Jersey. But MOUNTAIN CREEK, near Vernon, is a rambunctious scene with both lights and music at full blast. The superpipe is serious enough to warrant a February Grand Prix event. 973-827-2000, www.mountaincreek.com
SKI NORQUAY, just outside Banff, is open for night skiing on Fridays only, but on other evenings you can assemble 50 or so buddies and rent the place—$40 per person—for a private party. 403-762-4421, www.banffnorquay.com—P. O.

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