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Most Epic Ski Winter Ever?

Entering this winter I had lofty ski goals. I vowed to ski my age in days, and pledged to do so at a big birthday party with all my friends as witness. Not only did I hit my mark, I exceeded 50 with a bunch of bonus ski days! This was the best winter of skiing EVER. How was your ski season?

My amazing ski season brought first tracks in Maine and a White Christmas in Vermont, cat skiing Canada to Courchevel France, ending with perfect spring corn in Colorado. 69 days at over 28 ski resorts. It was truly epic, thanks in large part to the EPIC Pass. Did you achieve your ski goals? Ski anywhere new and different?

My skis are put away, so I am reminiscing about this best-ever ski season, already dreaming of next winter’s snow and where to go!

My Top Ten from a Top Ski Season:

1. Skiing Vermont over Christmas with my daughter and husband was snow globe magic. I grew up in Vermont so I treasured being back in the Green Mountains all covered in white at Jay Peak and Burke.

2. Cat skiing in the Canadian Rockies. How ironic that we flew from Maine to the remote Monashees only to find that our cat ski companions were all from Sugarloaf! What followed? Four days of fantastic camaraderie, untouched powder, steep and deep tree skiing and hot tubbing amid Alpen Glow with our new ski friends.

3. Discovering Big White was a big win, this cool Canadian ski resort is friendly, fun, with fantastic frost-covered trees. What’s
not to love? Good snow, gorgeous groomed trails, genuine Canadian hospitality in the village, and a bonus 25% exchange rate for beer, eh?!

4. Skiing five Colorado ski resorts on one Epic Ski Pass in January was, well, EPIC! The snow goods blessed Colorado, and we skied fresh powder at Vail, Beavercreek, Breckenridge, Keystone and Arapaho Basin. We followed that trip with Utah, where we hit Park City and Canyons also on our Epic Pass. A lot of ski bang for our $800 bucks.

5. Powder Mountain in Utah lived up to its name. What a cool powder stash, and an up-and-coming indie resort, owned by the Summit Group. If you want to get away from Vail Resort conglomerate and crowds, Snowbasin and Powder – just a half hour apart, are gems with huge terrain, few peeps, and terrific scenery.

6. Skiing The French Alps! It had been 30 years since I’d skied France and the alpine ambiance was just as “charming” as I remembered. Jagged snow covered peaks, vast vertical descents at the biggest ski resorts in the world, alpine chalets serving fondue on the slopes, après ski dancing and drinking, followed by more refined cuisine and fine wine at five-star French hotels. Fantastique!

7. My new favorite European ski villages are Courchevel and Méribel, on par with Kitzbühel and St Anton. Val D’Isère is another classic ski town – historic and happening apres ski with La Folie Douce on-snow party that’s off-the-hook.

8. The best culinary event on the snow is “Taste of Vail” combining my three favorite things: wine, food and skiing. This is an extraordinary culinary event for the vertically obsessed. I’ve never tasted such wonderful wines – the perfect après ski in quintessential Vail resort.

9. The big splash to our end of season – watching
Vail’s World Championship Pond Skimming at Spring Back to Vail
which also featured a big name band live concert, free, with Magic in Gerald Ford’s presidential park at Vail. A musical magical ending to a 69 day ski season!

10. Two scary moments that make the highlight reel: Escaping a horrendous car crash on Vail Pass on our way to the slopes at 7am. (When it says icy roads may exist, you need to slow down even if you’re driving a four-wheel-drive Subaru. No one is invincible on ice). Surviving food poisoning in France (eating raw scallops at 10,000′, even at a Michelin 1 star restaurant, is a bad idea).

What were your top 10 ski memories of 2016-17 ski season? Remember, if you don’t set ski goals, then how can you accomplish them? Skis are stowed, pulling out the Paddleboard, the bike and the boat… but dreaming of next ski winter!

By Heather Burke, Photos by Greg Burke, Copyright 2017

Visit Heather Burke’s websites Family Ski Trips.com and  for luxury resort reviews: www.luxuryskitrips.com

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Top Spring Ski Events in the East & West

Don’t you love spring skiing? Warm temperatures meet a winter’s worth of snow depths. Ski conditions soften and so do bulky dress codes at the best ski resorts. From music to moguls to general mayhem – these spring fests are super fu:

Top spring ski fests in Colorado, Utah, California, and Montana:
Taste of Vail is a fun food, wine and ski fest – what could be better than skiing spring conditions followed by wine tastings and food from Vail’s top Chefs April 5-9!? Spring Back to Vail April 14-16 brings live headliner bands for free concerts to Vail Village. Après ski at Vail just got big and FREE which rarely happens at Vail, right?! Look for parties on the mountain too – like Tiki & Tunes Luau at mid-Vail.

Vail’s World Pond Skimming Championships is the biggest, April 16 at Golden Peak. Enjoy a BBQ and beers overlooking the big pond where the best and worst) dressed in crazy costumes attempt to cross the big expanse of cold water to the cheers and jeers of a big crowd. Like everything in Vail, this pond skim is massive, so is the crowd of spectators.

Whistler Blackcomb World Ski & Snowboard Festival April 7-16 is a top ski event, bringing together skiing, film, art, professional ski and snowboard competitions, plus top concerts and après ski parties that go crazy late! If you’ve watched Bravo’s Après Ski and Timber Creek Lodge- you know Whistler’s party scene is out of this world.

Park City’s Spring Grüv in Canyons Village starts late March with awesome free concerts and après-ski parties – culminating April 8 with the 21st Annual Pond Skimming Contest at Red Pine.

Squaw Valley celebrates PAIN MCSHLONKEY for Shane McConkey, posthumously and humorously – skiers are encouraged to dress up in vintage gear and pay tribute to the legendary free skier by going big March 18.

Steamboat’s Springalicious 37th annual cardboard classic is April 15 – locals recycle by creating box-cars to derby to fly downhill. The crashes are spectacular, so is the après ski scene at Steamboat.

Breckenridge’s annual Spring Fever Beer Festival April 8 marks its 11th year. This Colorado spring ski event is perfect for craft beer lovers and spring skiing lovers – that includes everyone right?!

Aspen Highlands Closing Day is an elevated spring ski party – the spring ski celebration above 10,000’ in the Rockies gets wild, with ridiculous retro outfits, serious drinking, even Champagne spraying! Did we mention you’re at 10,000 feet?! High times in Colorado.

Top Spring Ski Events in The East

New England skiers know the best skiing is typically in spring. Put away the facemasks and hand warmers for much welcome warmer sunnier ski days. The hard snow softens, those man made base depths turn to cream corn by mid morning and the BBQ fires up mid afternoon for sun and fun by the slopes. Spring is also a time for pond skimming, zany costumes and competitions on the ski slopes, even tailgating in muddy parking lots. No one said Eastern skiers were sane? But they are hard core! Here are some Eastern spring ski rites of passage and grand season finales full of fun and games, music and grills.

Cannon Mountain Bodefest on March 25 with Bode Miller himself.. I think he still “hates the media” so don’t bring the news crew.

Killington Bear Mountain Challenge NOR’BEASTER is April 8 as Bump skiers go all out on Outer Limits moguls. Cheers and beers (sponsor Dos Equis) flow at the base of this spring ski party. The Beast of the East will keep skiing in to May.

Sugarloaf Reggaefest – now in year 29 April 6-9 is like Jamaica comes to Maine’s mountains. Top reggae bands set up on the Sugarloaf beach by day, and in the base lodge by night for some rocking island music. Wear your tie-dye and tie on a good time. Ironically few reggae fest attendees ski, so this is a great weekend for spring ski conditions at the Loaf, especially when the snowfields are open.

Sunday River’s Spring Festival April 1-2 was once called Parrot Head, so expect Jimmy Buffet music, margaritas flowing, palm trees, tropical outfits and general island vibe outside the White Cap Base.

Loon has 80’s Day April 1- no foolin! Dress in your best (or worst) 1980’s outfit and get out on Loon’s soft slopes. Be totally rad for this spring weekend at North Peak, South Peak and Paul Bunyan’s for après ski! Loon Mountain’s Slushpool Party and Wet Tug-O-War is April 8.

Wildcat has their Annual Cat Scratch Fever event April 7-8 as skiers compete to be the Cat’s Meow before the judges. If you’ve seen Wildcat’s Kitty Litter Box Derby in February, don’t miss this wild spring event at the Cat with live après ski entertainment in the Wildcat Pub .

Sugarbush Gelandesprung & Mt. Ellen End of Season Celebration is April 1, this traditional ski jump event is a classic – to watch – even wilder to get sprung.

Sugarbush‘s Pond Skimming at Lincoln Peak April 8 is also a big splash, followed by the legendary Steins’ Challenge on April 22 which is spring mogul mania – bring Z rubber knees to Sugarbush.

Okemo’s Slush Cup and Splash for Cash April 8 is a wet and wild good time with a pretty good pay day for the winner. Okemos 80 Retro Jam is set for April 15 – rock your most rad 80s attire – totally awesome dude as Okemo wraps their season!

Jay Peak has Pond Skimming and their Annual Tailgate Party April 15, so bring your bikini and your bbq.

Easter Sunday at East Coast ski resorts brings sunrise services at Sugarloaf, Sunday River, Killington, Stowe and Jay Peak….. Most ski resorts have Easter Egg Hunts on the ski slopes for kids, and costume parades, even a visit by the Easter Bunny. Look for a few snow bunnies on the beginner slopes too! Easter weekend is the season finale Sunday for most New England ski resorts.

By Heather Burke, Photos by Greg Burke, Copyright 2017

Visit Heather Burke’s websites Family Ski Trips.com and  for luxury resort reviews: www.luxuryskitrips.com

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Vail’s plans for Stowe Vermont? Epic or Not?

For years I had been hoping Vail Resorts would round out their portfolio with an Eastern ski resort. Wish granted, but like all wishes – its not exactly as you’d dreamed or anticipated. I was hoping Vail would come in with capital infusion for a New England ski resort in need- say Saddleback that has been closed for two ski seasons, or maybe Jay Peak and Burke Mountain now in receivership after last season’s EB5 ponzi scheme and scandal. But no – Vail goes for Stowe… my favorite ski resort in the East. I must say Vail Resorts has excellent taste!

The $50 million price tag for Stowe is for the Mountain Ski operation, so ownership of the luxe Stowe Mountain Lodge, the Stowe Mountain Club, and the Stowe Golf Club remain with AIG. That makes for an interesting, perhaps complicated, equation. After all Vail Resorts loves its real estate and lodging revenue, right? They also own RockResorts – a posh collection of hotels, spas and resorts from Colorado to the Caribbean.

Back to Stowe.  Vail will include Stowe in its Epic Pass. Consider that a day ticket at Stowe is over $120, and an Epic Pass unlimited for next season is just over $800. Doesn’t take a math wiz to calculate the savings in 7 days, with bonus access to 14 ski resorts to boot! Vail Resorts Epic Pass is unlimited, no blackout dates for Stowe  for the 2017-18 Epic Pass.

So with unlimited access – the throngs will be at Stowe next season, including me! After all it is some of the best skiing in the East. Arguably Stowe’s epic snow conditions this winter are better than some resorts out west…lol to my western ski friends that assume we “ski ice in the east.”

Currently the Epic Pass is an outrageous deal, with full access to 14 major ski resorts Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone, Park City, Heavenly, Northstar, Kirkwood, and Arapahoe Basin, and Perisher Australia, plus four small regional ski areas, and next year Whistler Blackcomb – which Vail bought just months ago. The Epic Pass also gets you some free lift tickets in the Alps, 6 days of skiing in France which I just enjoyed at Les 3 Vallées, Paradiski, and Val D’Isere Tignes, plus 3 days skiing the Dolomites of Italy, and 5 days at Les 4 Vallées of Switzerland which includes Verbier, and 6 days in Austria at Lech Zurs, St Anton and St Christoph (the Austrian ski resort privileges require that you purchase lodging and pre register).

I predict lodging rates will go up in Stowe – now that it is a Vail destination. And Stowe is already pretty pricey by New England ski standards. I envisions Vail will make some changes, streamlining of systems and cut backs to Stowe staffing – as I witnessed at Park City last week. Hey, at least Stowe already has the RFID lift ticket technology so they can adapt to the Epic Mix vertical tracking app – bonus. I already now you can bag a lot of vert on Stowe’s Front Four – 10 X 10 when the lifts open at 7:30! Hmmm, that might change too…

So there will be pros and cons with Vail’s Stowe purchase. Now is the time to lock down the best season pass deals  for next season. The Max Pass, Rocky Mountain Super Pass, Epic Pass, Mountain Collective… it’s a ski deal show down throw down. A little healthy competition is a good thing, right my ski friends?!

By Heather Burke, Photos by Greg Burke, Copyright 2017

Visit Heather Burke’s websites Family Ski Trips.com and  for luxury resort reviews: www.luxuryskitrips.com

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Extreme Sports, Even Skiing, With a Disability

How ‘Extreme Sports’ Can Be Adapted for Those Living with a Disability

Staying active is just as, if not more, important to those living with physical disabilities as it is to those without. Not only does staying active promote better physical health and help prevent further complications arising from one’s disability, but it also provides a boost to one’s mental health. There’s nothing like exercise and enjoyable activities to improve one’s mood.

But how do you get this physical activity? If you live with a physical disability, are you confined to swimming laps at the pool, or casually walking around the neighborhood?

Of course not. In fact, people with disabilities can participate in the excitement of “extreme” sports and activities. With the help of modern technology, service dogs, and various organizations devoted to helping the disabled stay active, you can put the thrill back into your physical fitness routine.

Image: Pixabay.com

Skiing

Your disability should not keep you off the ski slopes. Skiing is a wonderful activity that improves balance, coordination, and provides a serious amount of aerobic exercise. With adapted skiing, the disabled can experience the thrill and benefits of skiing while minimizing risk.

In fact, my best friend, who lost his leg in a car accident a few years ago, is still hitting the slopes. He is also passionate about getting others with similar issues to do so.

“Adapted skiing requires intense upper body strength, dexterity and reaction times, and can provide one of the most exhilarating experiences available on this earth. So it’s only natural that people with various bodily injuries and disabilities would want to find ways to start or to continue to enjoy this beautiful adapted sport,” notes Disabled Sports USA.

Adaptations include the mono-ski, bi-ski, and sit-ski. The mono-ski involves a chair placed atop a single ski, and uses shorter ski poles and upper body movement to direct the ski. Bi-ski involves dual skis, and is “for people who have intact lower legs but poor control of their extremities. This can include people with multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, brain injuries or spinal cord injuries.”

Canoeing, Kayaking, and Rafting

Some of the most enjoyable sports out there involve paddling down a river or lake, and they are perfect “extreme” sports for those with disabilities. Most canoeing, kayaking, and rafting vessels can be upgraded to group or tandem models, which allows those with disabilities to safely participate with the help of friends and/or a guide. Even those suffering from visual impairment can safely participate in watersports due to this.

Image: Pixabay.com

Rock climbing

“Rock climbing is a powerful tool in building confidence and reachable goals. It demonstrates how a successful climb is the result of fundamental teamwork. Climbing is not only a fun and challenging sport, but provides tremendous health benefits by improving strength and flexibility,” notes Abilities.com.

There are plenty of adaptive technologies out there for those with disabilities who wish to get into rock climbing. These include adaptive harnesses, ascending devices, and foot and knee prosthetics.

Hunting and archery

For those looking to add some firepower to their activity list, there’s always hunting, sharpshooting, and archery. Modern technology can assist those who are unable to shoot using traditional means, and various organizations provide opportunities and support for the disabled. For example, the United Foundation For Disabled Archers has been working for over 20 years to give disabled people the opportunity to live out their bow-hunting dreams.

Image: Pixabay.com

Wheelchair sports

You’ve surely heard of wheelchair basketball and wheelchair polo – both of which are rather self-explanatory. But those in wheelchairs can kick their sporting up a notch if they wish. Did you know that there are communities devoted to things like wheelchair skateboarding and even wheelchair parasailing?

Author

Travis  White is a proud member of the LearnFit team, which provides people with information on healthier and happier living. We are happy to have him as a contributor to FamilySkiTrips.com

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Lessons from the GOAT – Tom Brady

tb12Super Bowl 51 is history – and historical – dubbed the most miraculous Super Bowl comeback of all time. Perhaps bigger than the plays on the field February 5 are Captain America’s actions off the turf.  Tom Brady is being heralded as the GOAT (my daughter Aspen explained the trending acronym): Greatest Of All Time. I’m calling Brady the Gracious Optimist of All Time.

Tom’s timing couldn’t be better in America – to be the pillar of grace, humility and positivity – showing up and showing us how to be the best human being possible – in a time of incredible divisiveness in our nation – Tom is optimistic, and kind. He has nothing but good things to say. How refreshing that the media can’t spin his positivism negatively?!  Today’s so-called “liberal” media is anything but open-minded and accepting – which is BTW the definition of liberal. The news can’t “deflate” TB 12’s champion attitude. Brady doesn’t seize the spotlight to shame, blame or boo anyone, he doesn’t perpetuate the hate, or lambaste the NFL. Tom is gracious – he takes responsibility for his actions, gives tremendous credit to his fellow players, praises and compliments his opponents, even indulges the same media that portrayed him as a cheater not so long ago – with a smile and patience. This Goat doesn’t GLOAT…

Tom Brady embodies and demonstrates daily the #DoYourJob work ethic that made our country great from infancy. Work hard and reap your rewards (5 Super Bowl rings) from the freedom and opportunity we are provided.

I am taking the high road with Tom. Brady works tirelessly to be the best he can be. TB12 is the 1% – the greatest of all time perhaps because he gives 101% effort every day. He’s not like the 99% that protest and complain and blame, the folks that don’t exercise or eat healthy but expect freebies, hand outs,  and federal help. If you haven’t read Tom Brady’s recommended book “The Four Agreements” do so. For anyone not motivated enough, didn’t want to say lazy – trying to be positive like TB, here is a summary of Tom’s principles outlined in this book (but you should read it – annually like Captain America does):
The Four Agreements:
Be impeccable in your word
Don’t take things personally
Don’t make assumptions
Always Do your Best

Last but not least is Tom Brady’s diet – his body is his temple and it shows on the field – a fierce competitor turning 40 on August 3, 2017. Tom is determined to play football until 48, saying he’s in his best shape ever! Try Tom Brady’s diet for a month, or a day:

“80 percent of what I eat is vegetables, the freshest vegetables. If it’s not organic, I don’t use it. And whole grains: brown rice, quinoa, millet, beans. The other 20 percent is lean meats: grass-fed organic steak, duck every now and then, and chicken. As for fish, I mostly cook wild salmon,” says Tom Brady. Remember his wife is also a super model.

What TB 12 doesn’t eat: “No white sugar. No white flour. No MSG. I’ll use raw olive oil, but I never cook with olive oil. I only cook with coconut oil. Fats like canola oil turn into trans fats. … I use Himalayan pink salt as the sodium. I never use iodized salt. No coffee. No caffeine. No fungus. No dairy.”

Can we all try to be a little more like TB? What the world needs now is positivism, kindness, acceptance, grace and a good ole fashioned hard work ethic. Let go of the negative – take responsibility, embrace each day and be positive. #DoYourJob and be your best.

patriotsThank you Patriots for the GOAT Super Bowl – Greatest Of All Time.

By Heather Burke, Copyright 2017
Family Ski Trips.com

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About Our Editor Heather Burke

2avalancheHeather Burke has been the editor of Family Ski Trips since 1995. In 1999 she launched Luxury Ski Trips.com as well.

Here are 10 Ski Questions for the Ski Travel Journalist & Editor between ski trips to Canada and Colorado:

What’s your ski goal each season? Ski my age in days – so that’s 50 this season… and an exponentially more challenging goal to achieve each year! Also I want to add several new ski resorts every winter, I’ve skied 147 on Liftopia’s Where I’ve Ski app!

What’s your Favorite Ski Resort? The one I haven’t skied yet!
6kitzbuhel-hrb-markus-pow2#lol Seriously I love Kitzbuhel and St Anton in Austria, and Big Sky in Montana, and there are very few ski areas I don’t love (not naming names).

Where do you most want to ski? As a travel journalist, I am fortunate enough to to ski all over the globe… I’m living the dream. I’m very excited to ski and aprés ski the French Alps this season! just skied Big White in BC Canada – it made my Canadian Top 10 Ski Resorts!

4heatherFavorite Gear? Right now its my Rossignol Temptation 100’s! It’s the first time I have found a women’s ski to be a real strong performer and an all quiver ski.  These Rossi’s are wide and stable, carve well on groomed and hard pack but float beautifully in powder – and they’re pretty!

Go To Ski Outfit? I love my SKEA Silver Cargo Pants, my Skea Blue Effie jacket with the gorgeous fur trim hood,  and my aprés ski skirt!

Proudest skiing accomplishments? Raising two beautiful big-sky-family2016children who love to ski as much as me, skiing 147 ski resorts (so far, so good!) and being a respected ski travel journalist!


What famous skier would you most like to meet?
Lindsey Vonn – Strong is the New Beautiful! And Klaus Obermeyer – he’s amazingly passionate, talented and time-tested.

Visit Heather Burke’s websites Family Ski Trips.com and  for luxury resort reviews: www.luxuryskitrips.com

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Get Your Kids Ready to Ski

2-ski-timberline2The PSIA and I agree on how to get your kids ready to ski. Here is sage ski advice from the Professional Ski and Snowboard Instructors of America with our own Family Ski Tips. Confession: I was a member of PSIA when I taught skiing at Smugglers Notch Resort in Vermont in the 90s. Flash forward, as Editor of Luxury Ski Trips and FamilySkiTrips.com, I have similar ski tips for parents on how to make skiing fun with less stress for everyone.

PSIA Ski Tips
1. Be active as a family before your ski trip

Skiing and snowboarding require physical fitness, so start an exercise program for you and your family. Whether it’s enrolling kids in soccer or another sport, to taking walks together as a family, it’s important to get moving. See my similar tips on quad strengthening wall sits with the kids pre ski season.
2. Do your weather homework 
blizzard-heatherSki resorts have mountain cams,  temperature updates, even meteorologists on retainer. Know before you go –  what the weather and temperature is like on the mountain and where you are staying, so you can dress your child appropriately for conditions. At some resorts temps vary greatly from the town versus the mountain, mind the elevation too!
3. Try on ski/snowboard  gear before you go
For younger children getting used to putting on ski or snowboard equipment and clothing helps them adjust to the mountain environment more easily. You can make it a game, we call it the pre ski season fashion runway show,  and help them see their ski/snowboard clothes and equipment as something fun to play in versus something strange or bulky to wear. For older kids, it also helps to check to make sure everything still fits and is working properly before you arrive on the slopes.
3family-lookout-pass4. Invest in lessons for your kids
Having your kids learn from an expert can make their ski/snowboard experience more fun, see our Top Tips for teaching kids to ski,  and also gives you time to enjoy the slopes. Set the expectation that the lesson is more like a sports practice than going to school and that they’ll have fun while getting to learn new skills.
5. Watch ski/snowboard movies or videos to get everyone excited
We couldn’t agree more – nothing like a Warren Miller family ski movie night to amp up the alpine enthusiasm among the fam! Use media to motivate your kids and set expectations of what their experience on the mountain and lessons will be like. Check out ski and snowboard clips on YouTube and PSIA-AASI’s  YouTube Channel.
6. Pack the right gear
family-ski-trip-packingYou don’t have to spend a fortune on kids’ ski and snowboard gear. Just make sure they have a good snowsuit that’s wind/snow resistant along with goggles, long socks pulled up below the knee, snow gloves and insulated layers. If they become more involved in the sport then you can invest in wicking base layers and more expensive jackets when they will be out on the mountain for longer periods of time. There’s a science to packing properly – see our guide to packing for a family ski trip.

Get your kids ski bags and gear and get ready! See our reviews of the Best Family Ski resorts in the World and we’ll see you on the  ski slopes!

By Heather Burke, photography by Greg Burke www.luxuryskitrips.com

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2016 Copyright & Photography property of Family Ski Trips

Ski Season is Here!

risky-business1My friends joke that I am obsessed with skiing, that I am always thinking about winter, planning my next alpine assault. It’s actually no joke. I’m particularly stoked about this ski season.

Here’s 5 reasons why:
1. I’m taking my ski pants to France. Having skied 126 resort around the globe, the French Alps are on my haute hit list.  Stay tuned for ski reviews, and European après ski too – it is a French expression after all!

2. I’m 50 and I have vowed to ski my age in days. That’ll be a challenge. I have the Epic Pass, good at Vail’s 13 resorts, and I’m not afraid to use it.  The Epic Pass even includes 5 days at their most recently acquired Whistler Blackcomb! Oh, that ski trip to France? Les 3 Vallées – Courchevel, Meribel, Les Menuires and Val Thorens, plus Paradiski – Les Arcs, La Plagne and Tignes-Val D’Isére – are all on the Epic Pass too for two days each!

skiseason2016-173. It WILL be a good snow winter in the East, repeat after me… Last winter in New England was beyond a bummer, with ski resorts measuring under 100-inches. Read: unsatisfactory.  So my view is this season can only be better. In my five decades of skiing The East, I have witnessed a cyclical pattern – warm drought like winters are followed by bountiful snow years. See the Almanac predication for “Ice Cold and Snow Filled in the East, “Freezing Cold and Average Snowfall” in the central Rockies”.  Sorry Pac Northwest, Cali and South West – “Mild, Stormy, Balmy”.

4. The Women’s World Cup came to Killington Nov 26-27. And in March 15-19, 2017 the World Cup Finals will be held at  Aspen Snowmass.  This is HUGE for alpine ski racing and the US Ski Team on a global stage. Go Team USA! I’m of course bummed about Lindsey Vonn’s recent injury, the humerus is not funny. I just read Lindsey’s book, “Strong is the New Beautiful.” A better title than “Ran from the Tiger, Rehabbed and Returned with Vengeance.”  Her diet and daily regime is not unlike Tom Brady’s, and I’m not counting her out – she’s the comeback kid.

Where I've skied

Where I’ve skied

5. Another ski bucket list item, I want to pass Seth Wescott on Liftopia’s “Where I’ve skied” App. Seth’s at 156, but he just got married so while he’s happily honeymooning and sleeping in, I want to bag 32 new ski resorts. Lofty ski goals, I know.  Just last season I skied 49 days, at 27 new resorts.

What are your ski goals this season?

Get your ski bag and gear out, and get ready! #WinterIsComing – so is #TheSnow

By Heather Burke, photography by Greg Burke www.luxuryskitrips.com

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2016 Copyright & Photography property of Family Ski Trips

Warren Miller ski movies, 6 Decades

Did you grow up on Warren Miller ski movies like me? It started with my parents telling me how Warren Miller would come to their New Hampshire ski club meetings in the fall, with his projector to show his latest ski film. It was a great fundraiser, a fun party and the traditional kick off to the ski season. My mom would tell us she felt badly laughing at Warren Miller’s chairlift crash clips – “but they are just so funny, watching skiers pile up as they slide in to each other off the lift ramp.”

Flash forward – Warren Miller no longer narrates his ski movies, in fact he sold Warren Miller Entertainment in 2004, now the narration is Olympic skier Jonny Moseley – but the legend continues with annual ski movies filmed in remote beautiful ski locations starring the best skiers in the biz, funny narration and phenomenal footage. From Alaska to Kazakhstan, Zermatt Switzerland to the steeps of Big Sky Montana, Warren Miller’s ski movies celebrate 67 years in 2016, and this year’s ski film to debut at ski parties everywhere in November is titled Here There and Everywhere, following the previous year’s Chasing Shadows, and 2014’s  “No Turning Back”,.

Here is a list of the annual Warren Miller ski movies from 1950 when it was just Warren, his rucksack and his 9mm camera, to today spanning ski celebs from Suzy Chafee and Greg Stump, Phil & Steve Maher, Dan and John Egan to Olympians Bode Miller, David Wise, Lindsey Vonn, Julia Mancuso, Ted Ligety, Sarah Burke, Daron Rahlves, Jonny Moseley, snowboarders Seth Wescott, Gretchen Bleiler, and free skiers Chris Davenport, Chris Anthony, Seth Morrrison, Peter Olenick, Pep Fujas, Doug Coombs, Glen Plake, Scot Schmidt, the list goes on…and so does the tradition of Warren Miller…an inspiration for more ski film start ups Meathead, Teton Gravity Research, Sweetgrass and Matchstick Production…

1. 1950 Deep And Light
2. 1951 California Skis
3. 1952 Wandering Skis
4. 1953 Ski Fantasy
5. 1954 Symphony On Skis
6. 1955 Invitation To Skiing
7. 1956 Have Skis, Will Travel
8. 1957 Anyone For Skiing?
9. 1958 Are Your Skis On Straight?
10. 1959 Let’s Go Skiing
11. 1960 Swinging Skis
12. 1961 Many Moods Of Skiing
13. 1962 Around The World On Skis
14. 1963 The Sound Of Skiing
15. 1964 The Skiers
16. 1965 The Big Ski Show
17. 1966 Ski On The Wild Side
18. 1967 The Ski Scene
19. 1968 No Boundaries
20. 1969 This Is Skiing
21. 1970 Sound Of Winter
22. 1971 Any Snow, Any Mountain
23. 1972 Winter People
24. 1973 Skiing’s Great
25. 1974 The Color Of Skiing
26. 1975 There Comes A Time
27. 1976 Skiing On My Mind
28. 1977 In Search Of Skiing
29. 1978 Ski A La Carte
30. 1979 Winter Fever
31. 1980 Ski People
32. 1981 Ski In The Sun
33. 1982 Snowonder
34. 1983 Ski Time
35. 1984 Ski Country
36. 1985 Steep And Deep
37. 1986 Beyond The Edge
38. 1987 White Winter Heat
39. 1988 Escape To Ski
40. 1989 White Magic
41. 1990 Extreme Winter
42. 1991 Born To Ski
43. 1992 Steeper And Deeper
44. 1993 Black Diamond Rush
45. 1994 Vertical Reality
46. 1995 Endless Winter
47. 1996 Snowriders
48. 1997 Snowriders 2
49. 1998 Freeriders
50. 1999 Fifty
51.2000 Ride
52. 2001 Cold Fusion
53. 2002 Storm
54. 2003 Journey
55. 2004 Impact
56. 2005 Higher Ground
57. 2006 Off The Grid
58. 2007 Playground
59. 2008 Children Of Winter
60. 2009 Dynasty
61. 2010 Wintervention
62. 2011 Like There’s No Tomorrow
63. 2012 Flow State
64. 2013 Ticket to Ride
65. 2014 No Turning Back
66. 2015 Chasing Shadows
67. 2016 Here, There and Everywhere

Warren Miller Entertainment is currently owned by the Bonnier Corporation who also publish Boating, Sailing, Yachting, Field and Stream, Flying, Cycling, Waterski and Wakeboarding magazines.

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Heather Burke, 2016 Copyright & Photography property of Family Ski Trips

Ski Resort Opening Dates

6kitzbuhel-hrb-markus-pow2Ski resorts are opening across the North East and out West faster than you can say #Winteriscoming. The West has already gotten a few big snow storms. Meanwhile New England finally has cold weather to blow snow after a very mild start to November and October for that matter. Now what really  matters to skiers: opening dates at your favorite ski places:

Killington opend first in the East October 23, a week after Arapahoe Basin Colorado. A Basin was the first ski resort open in the country. Bretton Woods was next to open in the east.

Stowe, Sugarbush, Sunday River, and Loon Mountain Resort open Wednesday, November, 23. These are perennial big snow makers and often first ski resorts in the east to open.

2-ski-timberline2Sugarloaf opens Thanksgiving Thursday, November 24.

Cranmore Mountain, Cannon, Waterville Valley and Mount Sunapee Resort plan to open Black Friday, November 25 – so we’ll call that White Friday in ski country.

Gunstock Mountain Resort opens Friday, December 2, Burke in Vermont and Black Mountain in NH open Saturday, December 3

Ragged Mountain Resort, Wildcat and Attitash are aiming for early December.

big-sky-heather-moonlightOut West, Mammoth is open in California. In Colorado,  Breckenridge, Keystone, Copper Purgatory and Loveland are open, as well as Arapahoe Basin

In Canada, Lake Louise and Sunshine in beautiful Banff are open.

In Europe, Solden, Hintertux and Stubaier Glaciers in Austria are open. In Switzerland, Gstaad, Zermatt, and Saas Fe are open. Val Thorens and Tignes in France are open for skiing.

Get out there and enjoy the early season skiing!

Winter is coming ski friends…see you on the slopes soon!

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Heather Burke, 2016 Copyright & Photography property of Family Ski Trips & Luxury Ski Trips,

Photos by Greg Burke

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