Article by Justin Paul
Slide right up New lifts, no crowds, and endless terrain –
Big Sky dials in the skier’s ski vacation.
ON A BLUEBIRD DAY, from the top of Lone Peak you can see clear to Yellowstone and the Tetons to the south, Idaho to the west, and across who knows how many hundreds of square miles of Montana wilderness and ranchlands in other directions. But it’s not the horizon that draws my gaze: I can’t stop looking down; nearly 2,000 vertical feet of pillowy, wind-loaded snow spread out below me – and that’s before you hit the tree line. Wide-open Liberty Bowl beckons to the right, as do the more steeply pitched Lenin and Marx runs to the left, in a sort of geopolitical battle for some of the country’s preeminent high-alpine resort skiing.
“This look good to you?” my mountain guide asks on our second lap up to the top, nodding toward Lenin. With that, we’re off – and I mean off. A few hundred yards down the 11,000-foot peak, he smiles as I pull up beside him to catch my breath, grappling with the altitude. “We don’t turn as much up here as you do on Pacific Northwest slopes,” he says with a shrug. “Tires you out.”
GO Snow-sports specialist Alpine Adventures arranges custom ski vacations for groups of any size – from couples to entire ski clubs – at resorts in more than 22 countries. Sample Big Sky trips include six nights for two adults at Montage Big Sky or a condo for a family of four on the edge of Mountain Village – both are ski-in/ski-out and include five days of lift tickets, ski or snowboard rentals, and a rental car from Bozeman. From $18,989 and $11,979, respectively.
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Learn more about our special offer: PAY FOR 5 NIGHTS, STAY FOR 7 AT MONTAGE, BIG SKY
By Lindsay Cohn
This City in the Austrian Alps Is an All-seasons Destination With World-class Skiing, Beautiful Hikes, and a Charming Old Town
Here’s how to plan the perfect trip to Innsbruck, Austria.
Situated on the river, Hotel Innsbruck offers a convenient address near the Old Town landmarks as well as comfortable rooms and winter gear storage. Angelika Mair, a local Innsbrook guide with Alpine Adventures, favors the spa, which features an indoor pool, Finnish sauna, aromatherapy steam bath, and floating tub.
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5 Best Reasons To Ski In Europe Next Season
The vast majority of Americans go to places like Colorado, Utah, Idaho, Canada and Wyoming for their annual ski vacations. But there are good reasons to consider Europe, especially with the increasing popularity of the global ski passes, most notably the IKON and Epic passes. These have spurred pass owners to be more adventurous, visiting places where they can ski for free, and both cover multiple marquee European resorts.
The many excellent reasons why you should consider a European ski trip are detailed below. But there are also some challenges: the language, the massive scope of the trail networks, the different culture and attitudes, and the fact that there are virtually no integrated resorts as there are here. In Vail for instance, Vail Resorts owns the ski resort, all its bars and restaurants, the ski school, multiple hotels, and rental shops. In Europe all these elements are separate, and there are usually multiple independent ski schools and guide services at every destination, some better than others.
I highly recommend using an expert to help plan your trip. The company I’ve used and loved, generally considered the premier specialist in the industry and a member of the prestigious Virtuoso consortium of travel agents and tour operators, is Alpine Adventures. Alpine also covers the U.S. and Canada, but their skills are even more vital when skiing in Europe (or Japan!). They cover every price point from budget packages to 5-star luxury, can arrange multi-resort ski safaris, can add on things like heli-skiing, and as a full-service travel agency can even do your air and ground transfers.
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