Endless Winter


Dec 5, 2002
Outside Magazine

Able to leap tall bumps in a single bound: flying high over Stowe's finest

Stowe Mountain Resort, Vermont
THE SNOW-PLASTERED, treeless summit of Stowe's Mount Mansfield is striated with cliff bands—impressive stuff, but not always inviting in the dead freeze of a New England winter. Yet by March, Stowe's snowiest month, the cold relents, the snow softens, and the skiing is as good as anywhere in the country. The moguls on the steeps of Stowe's famous Front Four trails become navigable rather than knuckle-hard. The locals take advantage of the lengthening days of spring by being at the lift when it opens at 7:30 on powder days. They beat the crowds and score first tracks, then kick back for a few hours, letting the sun go to work, and ski corn in the afternoon.
COOL DIGS: The Trapp Family Lodge (doubles, $180-$485; 800-826-7000, www.trappfamily.com), with its chalet-like eaves and flower-painted walls, is reminiscent of the kind of Austrian setting that its owners (yes, the beloved singing family) made famous in The Sound of Music.
MOUNTAIN STATS: summit, 4,395 feet; vertical drop, 2,360 feet; skiable acres, 480; annual snowfall, 260 inches
LIFT TICKET: $58 (2001Ð2002 price) Contact: 800-253-4754, www.stowe.com

Telluride Ski Resort, Colorado
EVERYBODY LOVES THE WAMR DAYS of spring, but not everybody loves the warm, sloppy snow. For an antidote, head to Telluride, where the high elevations (between 10,000 and 12,000 feet) keep the snow midwinter dry. Ride the lifts to the steep chutes of Gold Hill or hike to the similarly steep chutes of Prospect Bowl, opened just last year. But if pounding soft spring moguls is your thing, head to the lower half of the mountain and take on classic bump runs like The Plunge and Spiral Stairs. Either way, you get stunning vistas of Colorado's San Juan Mountains and plenty of spring sun.
COOL DIGS: Built in 1891 as the centerpiece of Main Street, The New Sheridan Hotel (doubles, $100-$300; 800-200-1891, www.newsheridan.com) summons the spirit of Telluride in its mining-town glory years.
MOUNTAIN STATS: summit, 12,260 feet; vertical drop, 3,530 feet; skiable acres, 1,700; annual snowfall, 310 inches
LIFT TICKET: $65 Contact: 800-801-4832, www.telluride skiresort.com