Feb 15 2019
Boots, gloves, goggles…check. All packed and ready to go–off for Steamboat. After a mild winter in North Carolina, we were finally headed for quality family time in the Colorado snow.
Steamboat Springs is known for its Champagne Powder®, which we have learned makes the best snow for skiing. Unlike ski resorts in the east, this snow is so light and powdery that snowballs don’t stick. Skis and snowboards seemed to glide effortlessly down the 165 trails on the mountain and the out of bound glades. Steamboat was the perfect ski destination for our family who range from intermediate to expert, but even beginner skiers or boarders will find comfortable trails throughout. Raised in the east with plenty of ice skiing, Champagne Powder® was a delight–a joy–for all of us.
It’s hard not to compare this resort to mountains in the east, but knowing the difference makes one appreciate the experience even more. Not only were trails free from ice, but they were free from crowds as well. Most times the trails felt as though they were our own. What a sense of freedom we enjoyed! No ice, no crowds–just free flowing, silent trails of powder and fun.
Blessed with two days of blue skies and the rest of the days getting blasted with snow. We had the best of both, and it truly was a winter wonderland. Riding the gondola gave the opportunity to soak in the landscape. Mountain homes topped with several feet of sparkling white powder, layered snow-covered Rockies in the distance, and the small western town of Steamboat resting below all added to the beauty. Aspens rustled in the breeze and pines held tight to the snow…what a peaceful sight.
We highly recommend Steamboat Springs for anyone looking for the total snow experience.
Jan 18 2019
Just north of Vancouver, British Columbia, lies Whistler–home of the 2010 Olympics and one of the largest ski resorts in North America. Often called a Winter Wonderland, Whistler adventurers enjoy pow-filled fun with skiing, snowboarding, ziplining, snowshoeing, heli-skiing/boarding, nordic skiing and more. With 8,100 acres of slopes, 200+ marked trails, 16 alpine bowls, 3 glaciers, not to mention the world class terrain parks, Whistler is a certainly a “skiers dream destination.”
Activities abound for skiers and non-skiers alike in this family-friendly resort. The Peak 2 Peak Gondola offers sightseeing reaching a 360º breathtaking view of Whistler Blackcomb. Take a break and dine on the rooftop before heading back to base. For an adrenaline ride, try the glass bottom gondola! After the ride, explore Whistler Village. Easy to access, this Chalet-style village creates a unique atmosphere to enjoy shopping, dining, art and culture.
For a once in a lifetime experience, consider a helicopter tour to explore forests, rivers, summits, peaks and glaciers. Stopping at a glacial ice cave is an awe-inspiring destination where ice illuminates, where it is said that “time bends and minutes dissolve.” Along with helicopter tours, guided snowmobiling trips are another popular way to explore the backcountry. Ice climbing is yet one more way to adventure in Whistler. Even beginners may experience the excitement of ice climbing with classes available for all.
Activities in Whistler are year ‘round. The slopes remain open through the end of May. In spring, summer and fall, biking, hiking, paddling, and ziplining are plentiful. In summer, along with helicopter excursions, golfing, swimming, floatplaning and sightseeing are popular.
Whistler Mountain Bike Park provides trails for all levels and abilities. Lift access is available for the ultimate downhill experience with jump trails and more. For more adrenaline rush, try the two-hour Whistler Sky Walk. Clip into a cable and explore Whistler Mountain and brave the suspension bridges. Another exhilarating experience, said to be a Canadian tradition, is the 4×4 off-road tour which explores a network of old roads and logging trails.