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Outside's Annual Travel Guide, 1999/2000 Page: 1 | 2

SKI AREA: Arapahoe Basin Ski Area, Colorado
Information: 888-272-7246; Reservations: same

THE DRAW: A-Basin is a purist's dream come true: adrenaline-inducing steeps; extreme hike-to chutes like Shit for Brains; acres of unbounded, untracked terrain; a season that lasts from October through early July; and a noncommercial base village devoid of pretentious development. Come for the skiing—or don't come at all.

WHERE TO STAY: Keystone Lodge (800-222-0188), doubles, $150–$285; ask about early-season stay-and-ski-free packages. Ski Tip Lodge (800-222-0188), dorm rooms with shared bath, about $40 per person, including breakfast; rooms and suites with private bath, $90–$210, including breakfast.

STATS: Elevation: 13,050 feet; Vertical: 2,250 feet; Tickets: adults, $40 ($26 opening day–mid-December); ages 15–18, $32 all season; ages 6–14, $12 all season; 5 and under free

TRAILS: 15% beginner, 45% intermediate, 40% advanced/expert


SKI AREA: Aspen, Colorado
Information: 800-525-6200; Reservations: 888-452-2409

THE DRAW: Aside from its primo celebrity-watching (skiers often spend more time trying to spot the cast members of Friends than they do on the slopes), Aspen has some of the the steepest, fastest runs in the Rockies. Snowboarders and novices head to nearby Aspen Highlands or Buttermilk; families love the Disneylike atmosphere at Snowmass.

WHERE TO STAY: The Little Nell (888-843-6355), doubles, $525–$650; suites, $925–$3,900. Molly Gibson Lodge (800-356-6559), doubles, $145–$355.

STATS: Elevation: Aspen, 11,212 feet (Snowmass, 12,510 feet); Vertical: Aspen, 3,267 feet (Snowmass, 4,406 feet). Tickets: adults, up to $63; ages 13–17, $45; ages 7–12, $37; under 7 free

TRAILS: 0% beginner, 35% intermediate, 65% advanced/expert


SKI AREA: Big Mountain, Montana
Information: 406-862-2900; Reservations: 800-858-5439

THE DRAW: They aren't kidding—this mountain is immense. With 3,000 lift-served acres plus 1,000 more for snowcat skiing, wide glades favored by tree-lovers, and spectacular views of Glacier National Park, you can't help but be awed. Only eight miles from Whitefish, Montana, Big Mountain feels a world away.

WHERE TO STAY: Kandahar Lodge (406-862-6098), doubles, $125–$380. Kintla Lodge (800-858-5439), one-bedroom condo, $165–$300; from November 24–December 16 and March 28–April 8, two-bedroom condos are $57 per person per night for four people. Alpinglow Inn (800-754-6760), doubles, $104–$134.

STATS: Elevation: 7,000 feet; Vertical: 2,500 feet. Tickets: adults, $40; ages 7–18, $27;under 7 free

TRAILS: 25% beginner, 50% intermediate, 25% advanced/expert


SKI AREA: Big Sky Resort, Montana
Information: 406-995-5000; Reservations: 800-548-4486

THE DRAW: Located between Yellowstone National Park and the Spanish Peaks Wilderness, Big Sky's 3,500 skiable acres provide skiers with a sense of solitude nearly impossible to find at most North American ski resorts. If you get tired of skiing the wide-open, powdery slopes, you can spend a day touring Yellowstone by snow coach.

WHERE TO STAY: Huntley Lodge and Shoshone Condominiums (800-548-4486), doubles, $168–$238; one-bedroom with loft (sleeps up to six), $391–$590. All rooms and condos are discounted about 15 percent from opening day through December 14, January 3–28, and March 18 to closing day. Lone Mountain Ranch (800-514-4644), cabins, $1,415–$2,030 per person per week, including all meals.

STATS: Elevation: 11,166 feet; Vertical: 4,180 feet. Tickets: adults, $52; ages 11–17 and students with ID, $40; under 11 free

TRAILS: 10% beginner, 47% intermediate, 43% advanced/expert


SKI AREA: Crested Butte Mountain Resort, Colorado
Information: 800-544-8448; Reservations: same

THE DRAW: Crested Butte is a magnet for those diehards who'd rather watch the X Games than the Super Bowl. They come for the go-anywhere bowls; the aspen-lined, wind-sculpted glades; and the 550 acres of double-black-diamond terrain.

WHERE TO STAY: Crested Butte Marriott Resort (800-544-8448), double rooms and suites, $176–$500. Crested Butte Club & Spa (800-544-8448), doubles, $160–$300; also slopeside studios and one- to four-bedroom condos.

STATS: Elevation: 11,875 feet; Vertical: 2,775 feet. Tickets: adults, $52; ages 13–17, $40; 12 and under pay their age

TRAILS: 24% beginner, 57% intermediate, 19% advanced/expert (plus 550 acres of expert-only terrain)


SKI AREA: Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, Wyoming
Information: 888-333-7766; Reservations: 800-443-6931

THE DRAW: Jackson Hole has it all: legendary steeps such as those found on Rendezvous Mountain and 400-plus inches of snow each year. Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks are less than an hour's drive away. In town, you can mingle with the locals at the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar.

WHERE TO STAY: Best Western Resort Hotel (307-733-3657), doubles, $129–$259. Alpenhof Lodge (800-732-3244), rooms and suites for two to five people, $94–$428.

STATS: Elevation: 10,450 feet; Vertical: 4,139 feet. Tickets: adults, $54; 14 and under, $27

TRAILS: 10% beginner, 40% intermediate, 50% advanced/expert


SKI AREA: Killington Resort, Vermont
Information: 800-621-6867; Reservations: 802-422-6200

THE DRAW: Killington's six mountains have terrain for all types: long, top-to-bottom greens; ego-boosting cruisers that are manicured to perfection each day; and awesome bump runs like the infamous Outer Limits on Bear Mountain, where a peanut gallery of chairlift riders admire the rowdy hotshots below.

WHERE TO STAY: Inn of the Six Mountains (800-228-4676), doubles, $139 weekdays, $179 weekends, including breakfast. Call the Killington Travel Service (800-621-6867) for a range of condos at the base village.

STATS: Elevation: 4,241 feet; Vertical: 3,150 feet. Tickets: adults, $56; ages 13–18, $51; 12 and under, $47

TRAILS: 46% beginner, 21% intermediate, 33% advanced/expert


SKI AREA: Mount Bachelor, Oregon
Information: 800-829-2442; Reservations: 800-987-9968

THE DRAW: This may be the best all-around ski resort in the Northwest. The dry, powdery snow (573 inches last season) blankets wide-open cruiser runs; wind-sculpted ridges and couloirs attract shredders. Look for steep glades and deep drifts in the backcountry off the Northwest Express.

WHERE TO STAY: Inn of the Seventh Mountain (800-452-6810), doubles, $70–$280. Sunriver Resort, 30 miles from the mountain (800-547-3922), standard doubles and suites, $115–$299; ask about stay-and-ski-free packages as well as condos and house rentals.

STATS: Elevation: 9,065 feet; Vertical: 3,365 feet. Tickets: adults, $43; ages 7–12, $22; 6 and under free

TRAILS: 15% beginner, 60% intermediate; 25% advanced/expert


SKI AREA: Park City Mountain Resort, Utah
Information: 435-649-8111; Reservations: 800-222-7275

THE DRAW: Combine 3,000 acres of skiable terrain (including 650 acres of upper-bowl skiing) with a lively clientele and the charm of an old mining town, and you've got fun. Bring your cell phone and your best all-black outfit and you'll fit right in.

WHERE TO STAY: The Old Miners' Lodge B&B (800-648-8068), doubles, $120–$240. The Lodge at Mountain Village (800-443-1045), doubles, $189; one- to four-bedroom condos, $420–$1,003.

STATS: Elevation: 10,000 feet; Vertical: 3,100 feet. Tickets: adults, up to $59, based on ski conditions and demand; 6 and under free

TRAILS: 18% beginner, 44% intermediate, 38% advanced/expert


SKI AREA: Squaw Valley USA, California
Information: 530-583-6985; Reservations: 800-545-4350

THE DRAW: This place is all action: lots of bump runs, a snowboard park lit until 9 p.m., and a midmountain ice-skating rink and bungee tower at the High Camp Bath & Tennis Club.

WHERE TO STAY: The Resort at Squaw Creek (530-583-6300), doubles, $179–$2,500 per night; ski packages start at $159 per person per night, including lift ticket. PlumpJack Squaw Valley Inn (530-583-1576), doubles, $104–$500.

STATS: Elevation: 9,050 feet; Vertical: 2,850 feet. Tickets: adults, $52; ages 13–15, $26; 12 and under, $5

TRAILS: 25% beginner, 45% intermediate, 30% advanced/expert


*= 1–250 inches; **= 251–350 inches; ***= 351+ inches

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