Fave Five Ski Resorts in the West

Managing Editor Janeen Christoff takes readers on a winter tour of her favorite ski resorts

Mammoth Mountain, CA // © Mammoth Mountain Area 
Mammoth Mountain, CA
© Mammoth Mountain Area

Mammoth Mountain
Mammoth Lakes, Calif.

As a SoCal girl, Mammoth Mountain holds a special place in my heart, but with more than 400 inches on average of snowfall a year and some of the best terrain in the country, the mountain really does speak for itself. The resort lives up to its name with a mammoth amount of terrain for a wide variety of skiing and snowboarding abilities. Clients can definitely carve a niche for themselves on this mountain. And this year, Mammoth is even easier to reach with new daily flight service on Horizon Air.


Ogden, Utah

One of my best skiing days ever was at Snowbasin. Although the mountain has changed since the days of my youth — it was upgraded for the Winter Olympic Games in 2002 — the powder still falls as light and fluffy as I remember and the snow bowls are still just as much of a rush. It’s a bit of a drive from other Salt Lake City ski areas, but die-hard skiers shouldn’t miss the opportunity to hit these slopes. Watch out though; for beginners and intermediates, this resort may pose a bit of a challenge.


Little Cottonwood Canyon, Utah

While I might have had one of my best days of skiing at Snowbasin, one of my favorite memories of snowboarding was at Snowbird. With an average of about 500 inches of dry “Utah” powder a year — Little Cottonwood Canyon’s claim to fame — this ski resort truly packs a punch. The resort also lays claim to the only skier tunnel in North America. Its wide-open slopes and long runs — Chips run is 2½ miles — may take the wind out of clients, but they’ll remember those fresh powder days for a lifetime.


Snowmass, Colo.

For families, Snowmass can’t be beat. Just nine miles from Aspen, 3,100 acres of terrain — nearly 50 percent of which is designated “intermediate” — awaits clients of all age groups and skiing abilities. Kids can hide away in the Treehouse Adventure Center with various themed rooms for children ages eight weeks old and up, and while not hitting the slopes covered in some of Colorado’s finest powder, adults can hole up in Sneaky’s Tavern – new to the mountain this season. As Snowmass undergoes a “renaissance,” aimed at making the mountain even better and more accessible, clients can take advantage of all the new features the mountain has to offer.


Whistler, B.C.

Whistler/Blackcomb is unique. With a glacier blanketing its highest peaks, the mountain is open year-round for a variety of winter — and summer — activities. Snowboard and ski camps dominate the glacier in the summer months and travelers from around the world descend on the snowpack in the winter, the fun in Whistler Village never dies down. And, for clients, this is the perfect time to get in on the action. Whistler is playing host to the 2010 Winter Olympic Games and Paralympic Games, so tell them to grab their skis and boards and get there before the crowds truly take over.