Dreaming of a white Christmas – on the ski slopes? Good news: Mother Nature has brought an early gift to many resorts in the Sierra Nevada, Rockies, and Pacific Northwest, with several feet of snow. Additionally, winter temperatures finally arrived on the East Coast.
Plus, discount lift ticket site Liftopia is featuring a Christmas Eve and Christmas Day sale with tickets starting at just $12.99.
And with most resorts all decked out for the holidays, with torchlight parades, festive parties, and seasonal events of all kinds, there's no better time to squeeze in some skiing over the holidays.
Liftopia’s sale is one of the best of the season so far, with prices up to a whopping 62 percent (and more) off at resorts across the country. I found tickets as low as $12.99, though they were at two lesser-known spots in Michigan and Illinois. But even some of the bigger-name places, such as the Canyons in Utah and Vermont’s Killington, are offering significant savings.
Out West, while lift tickets at Squaw Valley aren’t on sale, the resort is celebrating its props from Outside magazine as the the #1 Resort in North America with a big party that will also generate donations for charity. On December 22, the resort’s Get Outside Festival will feature a free concert by the Gin Blossoms, as well as grand openings of the new high speed Big Blue Express Chairlift, gear and equipment shops, complete with free refreshments, and the beautifully renovated Olympic Plaza Bar.
Other holiday happenings at Squaw include a Christmas Eve torchlight parade, a stocking hunt on the slopes, and appearances by Santa.
More ski news in time for the holidays: Daily flights to California’s Mammoth Mountain from San Francisco and San Diego started yesterday, December 19, with weekend service to Orange County kicking off today, December 20. The resort has a depth of 5.5-6.5 feet, and almost all of its 3,500 acres is open.
In addition, the resort’s official grand opening of its new Campo Mammoth restaurant is December 21, featuring chef Mark Estee. Estee’s sister restaurant, in Reno, was named one of Esquire magazine’s top restaurants in 2012, and he’s bringing the same “whole hog” philosophy of authentic, farm-to-table cuisine to Mammoth.
And finally, a reason for East Coast enthusiasts to mark the calendar: the Ski Areas of New York just announced their 10-10-10 promotion, which offers 10,000 ski lift passes for just $10 each on January 10. This marks pretty hefty savings, given that adult day passes generally run from $45-$70 at most New York mountains.
Happy skiing and boarding, and happy holidays.