By Bob Goligoski
On many a skier and snowboarder’s wish list is a road trip in which you pile into the car with a buddy and just drive to as many winter resorts as possible before you run out of gas and money.
The reality of that happening for many got a lot closer when 12 Western ski resorts, including three in California, recently announced the creation of the Powder Alliance. Buy a regular season pass at any of the 12 resorts and then use that pass to ski free three days at each of the other 11 resorts for a total of 33 days on the snow.
The closest alliance resorts to Los Angeles are Mountain High and China Peak. The other resorts in the deal is Sierra-at-Tahoe in Northern California.
Steven Hemphill, communications manager at Sierra-at-Tahoe, said “since the alliance was announced we have had a great reaction from many skiers and riders. They know that most of these resorts have some of the best powder stashes in the country.”
The other resorts are in Washington, Oregon, Montana, Utah, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico. They include Crested Butte, Snowbasin, Stevens Pass, Timberline, Schweitzer, Arizona Snowbowl, Mt Hood Skibowl, Angel Fire and Bridger Bowl.
I have skied at most of the resorts and they are big league operations with large networks of lifts, an array of groomed runs, plenty of bowls that are usually filled with powder, and cafes, bars and shops at the base.
Three of my favorite are Snowbasin, Bridger Bowl and Crested Butte. Snowbasin, just outside Salt Lake City, has gondolas that go from the bottom to the top in about seven minutes. Bridger near Bozeman, Mont., is a great discovery with terrain for every ability.
And Crested Butte is a real charmer because it is located just outside the hamlet of Crested Butte, Colo. This has to be about the most funky, laid back ski town you will find in the U.S.
If you join the alliance, you also cash in with special deals on lodging and rentals at the 12 resorts. For complete details, go to the alliance website at www.powderalliance.com.