Snow Peak

12 Dec 18
The Norwegian American

Fjord Norway news Cynthia Elyce Rubin The Norwegian American Fjords, the soul of Norway, are certainly a magnificent attraction any time of the year, but some might argue that the most special time is winter. As days grow shorter, the unique shades of blue light seem to caress the snow-covered landscape. With mountains covered in […]

11 Dec 18
WHNT.com

Tuesday morning’s fog finally dissipated, but it stayed chilly all day! We won’t get quite as cold tonight, but it’s still cold enough: lows 24ºF in the coldest rural spots to around 31ºF in Huntsville.  The sky may not stay crystal clear tonight, but this is your best bet for viewing the Geminid Meteor Shower […]

11 Dec 18
24/7 Wall St.

You can practically glean the history of America in the names of all 50 states. The story of the United States begins in the East and the South and is reflected in the origin of the names of the states. In the East and South, many states owe their monikers to our forebears from England, […]

11 Dec 18
Fly Girl

This past weekend we headed to Banff for a one-night getaway. We love doing this around Christmas time because to me Banff Ave is like walking through the North Pole. All of the buildings and hotels have lights and the street lamps are decorated. There is nothing better than a frosty hike followed by a nice dinner (hello wine and steak!).

11 Dec 18
Boston Herald
I’ve always had this thing about the ski season’s start: Don’t praise it too much, you’ll jinx it. This year, though, it seems that nature is going to cooperate long-term to set us up for what could be the strongest early season and holiday week in recent history. Early season snow has pounded the northeast — Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire alike. While the common thread this time of year for the usual “exceptionally good” early season is usually great snow on trails (some natural, lots of man made) that stops at trailside, which means the woods still look like late fall, this year, snow shines white and looks deep everywhere you look. At Sugarbush in Vermont, parts of Castlerock, a steep and bumpy terrained area that demands a boatload of natural snow to be skied, have opened up already. [related_articles location=”left” show_article_date=”false” article_type=”automatic-primary-tag”] “These have been some of the best early season conditions we’ve seen in a long time. Lincoln Peak has been 100% open and our 79” of snowfall is definitely one of our highest totals to date in a season,” said Sugarbush Spokesman John Bleh. “Nobody can seem to remember a year when we opened all of our natural terrain (and an all-natural Stein’s Run), so early in the season.” The same is true in Maine. At Sunday River, snow is plentiful, bringing in lots of skiers and riders before the holiday rush. “With five feet of natural snow fall and consistent snowmaking temperatures since we opened in October, Sunday River is set-up very well for ski conditions over the holidays,” said Sunday River Spokesman Karyoln Castaldo. “We already have terrain open on all eight peaks, including some glades like Blind Ambition, and ski-in/ski-out access from our slopeside hotels as well.” The key for resorts, when it comes to forecasting into the season, isn’t as much the snow currently on the ground (although that’s a great set up) but the long range temperature forecast. Resorts tend to look 20 days out to see what they can expect. As of now, that forecast looks optimal for not just maintaining the excellent snow coverage that is out there, but for adding to it with man made, meaning the strong base will stick around and more snow will come down on top of it. Resorts are moving toward being fully operational. Some had to hold back because employees were not in place for 100 percent opening that early; others had to wait to open some parts of their mountain for conservation reasons (for instance, Okemo’s Jackson Gore section cannot be touched by groomers, snowmakers or really anyone until after December 1 each year to be sure black bears are in full hibernation). Said Vermont Ski Area Association President Molly Mahar, this is the holiday season dreams may be made of. “Vermont’s ski areas have already received between four and 10 feet of natural snowfall and that, combined with cold temperatures for snowmaking, has not only meant some of the best early-season skiing and snowboarding in recent memory in the Green Mountain State, but also that Vermont areas are set up extremely well as we head toward the holidays,” she said. “Right now we’ve got triple the amount of terrain open than we typically do at this time of the year, and we’ll only see that expand over the next several weeks.” The same goes for resorts right in the Bay State. “We have been so excited for the amazing early season snow conditions in New England. I cannot remember the last time the snow coverage was this good before the Christmas Holiday Vacation Week,” said Pam Fletcher of Nashoba Valley Ski Area. “For Nashoba Valley Ski Area to be open every weekend after Thanksgiving Day has been so exciting for our local skiers and snowboarders to have the opportunity to get out there and get some turns in before the Holidays. Plus, it is always great to have the early season cold temps and snowy weather to inspire outdoor enthusiasts to get their gear sorted out, sign up for lesson programs  and plan out some of their ski and snowboard trips for the season.” Seems it is time to do just that.
11 Dec 18
Trail to Peak

A day trip to Peru’s Rainbow Mountain is fast becoming one of the most popular side trips for visitors to Cusco and Machu Picchu. Is it worth the 3-hour drive from Cusco? Trail to Peak Contributor, Rhett, seems to think so.

11 Dec 18
BNB16

12 December Skiing in English The three main types of skiing are Alpine, Nordic and Freestyle. Alpine skiing events take place on steep terrain. Many people call this “downhill” skiing. The boots are attached to the skis with bindings. The toe and heel of each boot are firmly fixed to the skis. Top downhill skiers can go 100 kilometres […]

11 Dec 18
Boston Herald
Halfway into a perfect cruiser run, I stopped to soak in the scene around me. Below me, the trail stretched out sparkling white and perfectly groomed. The snow left natural on the trail sides was soft and those glorious midwinter bumps were forming. Toward the horizon, the pure white of a snowy valley offset the thick evergreens, azure blue sky and yes, the added white peaks of mountains surrounding me. It was cold, but that kind of cold that makes you just the right kind of comfortable on an active ski day. This slideshow requires JavaScript. Ahhh … I thought as I breathed deep: This must be mid February. But it’s not: it’s just Okemo in December. This year, one of the most productive early seasons in recent history as far as natural snow and the ability to make quality man-made to accentuate it, Okemo steps into a new era: the Epic era. Purchased over the spring by powerful Vail Resorts (bringing their eastern acquisitions now to three with Sunapee and Stowe along side Okemo), Okemo has transitioned from long-time family owned to now part of a big group. The outcome so far? In the words of famed AMC character Jimmy McGill, “It’s all good, man.” It doesn’t hurt that Mother Nature is all in on winter so far, but even beyond that, the Mueller family footprint of “excellence in surface and service” remains. So far, it seems Vail has embraced what led Okemo to become an eastern resort leader and amped it up. We arrived on Thursday evening, this our 24th year of officially starting our ski season with an Okemo jaunt this very same weekend. Our valet, who remembers us each year (somebody give that man a promotion!), was stoked about how things are going so far.   “Vail? They are not shy about keeping the snow guns on!” he raved. Indeed. Despite excellent natural snow coverage (as witnessed by the off-slope white), the resort was clearly working hard 24/7 while we were there to keep adding to that base. First tracks Friday morning, we saw the result: perhaps some of the best early December skiing in my (very) long memory. We were staying at Jackson Gore base — my absolute favorite for convenience (although all of Okemo lodging choices are excellent), and as is always our plan, we headed all the way over to the other side of the mountain with a plan to “ski our way back,” taking each trail as we moved along from Okemo side to Jackson Gore side. First off: is there a better lift than the Okemo Sunburst Six? The lines move quickly, the seats are heated (heated!) and you can lift or pull down the protective orange bubble as you need. I’m a fresh air kinda gal, but when some snow guns were near us half way up, I was happy for that bubble. And it’s fast. We headed first to an Okemo favorite of ours, Defiance. Except it’s now named Muellers’ Run, which is so perfect to me. My first run of the year, (after two shoulder surgeries this summer), I was expecting to be hesitant. But I ripped – ripped! – down that run, amazed at the new-name-worthy conditions the surface held.  Other than that earlier-mentioned stop to soak it all in, we ripped our way down, taking fast, fun GS turns on the perfectly covered and groomed (and very uncrowded) trail. Lured in, we spend almost half the day playing on the trails on that side of the mountain, despite our “move toward Jackson Gore” plan. A quick lunch in the small mountaintop lodge fueled us. That spot is one that will see big change with the new ownership. While we were taking those runs, Vail announced mutli-million dollar improvements at Okemo, including a sprucing up and rebranding of that mountaintop lodge, and the same for their mid mountain “Sugar House,” a large lodge that’s ready for some more love. Those two improvements make sense to this long-timer, but I might add one more: update the main base lodge at the Clock Tower base too. We skied all weekend long, hitting all 70-plus trails open already (in December!), dining at the slopeside Coleman Brook Tavern where the chefs truly know their trade (the scallops are beyond perfection), and just plain hanging out at the fire pit, in the lobby bar, and in our roomy slope-side accommodations with a view. At night, we slept to the distant hum of the snowmakers going full force; a comforting sound. Okemo may be in new hands, but so far, it seems, those hands come with folks who care. Mother Nature agrees. This is no early season at Okemo: it’s prime time.
11 Dec 18
Free Therapy With Shane

DREAMS OF PERFECT REFLECTIONS   The life of a tribute band is a strange one. Most popular musicians start out imitating their idols and heroes. The difference is usually musicians want to be the next iteration of what their heroes represent. They move on, though the love doesn’t. It’s an evolution of a sound or idea or movement. […]

11 Dec 18
Reflections in Puddles

Sunday morning we left Edmonton and headed for Jasper.  I was looking forward, especially, to seeing the Maligne Canyon again. It was a beautiful sunny day.  Our hearts were light, we were excited about soon being in the mountains.  Jasper was only 360 km away.  We came to the top of a hill and Susan […]

11 Dec 18
SnowsBest

As more and more Aussies flock to Canada each year, in search of those perfect powder days, epic tree runs and delicious post-ski poutines, we get more and more interested in the resorts to be found off the beaten track. The ones where you’re more likely to find locals on the chairlifts and in the […]