Mountain High offers spring season pass sale

Winter weather has returned to Southern California, just in time for Mountain High’s Spring Season Pass Sale.  Now through March 31st, skiers and snowboarders can purchase an adult Anytime Season Pass good for the remainder of this season and all of next for just $249 ($229 for Young Adults ages 13 to 21).

That’s a savings of 64% over a traditional single-year pass.  Plus guests can upgrade to a VIP Season Pass for just $50 more and receive terrific benefits like free tickets to the North Pole Tubing Park, discounts on lessons and rentals, and three free days at 11 other Powder Alliance Resorts.  That’s 33 free tickets!

Click here to learn more “

Says John McColly, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, “This is the best value in Southern California!  $249 for the rest of this year and all of next?  You can’t beat it.”

Mountain High’s Anytime Season Pass is good any day or night the resort is open with no restrictions.  At just $249 it pays for itself in less than 5 visits.  Children’s Passes for ages 12 & under are also available for just $199 (Regularly $279).

Children six and under ski FREE when accompanied by a paying adult.  Please note there is a $10 processing for all new passes purchased.

Ride the longest high-speed quad in the region at Mountain High’s East Resort.  Ski under the stars at Mountain High’s West Resort.  Or take the kids on an exciting winter adventure at the North Resort.

A season pass is good at all three areas and this year Mountain High has added a new Burton LTR Center, increased snowmaking, an updated smart phone app, new terrain features, and an enhanced family atmosphere.

Pass holders also have the ability to track their days ridden, runs per day, vertical feel, and more.

Mountain High’s Spring Season Pass offer is available through March 31st or when the resort closes, whichever is later.  At $249 it is the best deal of any major resort in Southern California.

Guests are encouraged to purchase their passes online at however passes can also be purchased at the resort and by phone at (888) 754 7878.

Ezakimak promises to be one crazy 5k under a pink moon


Date / Time
Apr 04 / 4:00 PM – 10:00 PM
Winter Events, Family Fun, Entertainment, Cross Country Ski, Après
Challenge yourself.  Race from the base of Mammoth Mountain to the top of Eleven53 on cross country skis, snowshoes or by foot.  The Ezakimak will bring participants from 9,000ft to 11,053ft in a winter trial featuring both competitive and novice classes.

Spectators and family can take an evening gondola ride to witness the spring Pink Moon from atop the Sierra and cheer on their participant.  The top of the mountain will be buzzing with indoor/outdoor fun for the whole family including the Ezakimak finish line, music, food and drinks, kids activities and more.

5K | 2,000ft of Elevation Gain

Dates: Saturday, April 4, 2015
Time: 4pm-10pm 


About Ezakimak

Ezakimak is Kamikaze spelled backwards.  Our legendary Kamikaze mountain bike trail spans from Mammoth Mountain’s peak, weaving through the “backside” of the mountain and finishing at our Main Lodge.  We’re bringing summer fun to the snow with a backwards race, we’re sending you uphill.  Participants can cross country ski, snowshoe or run their way up the Kamikaze trail under the light of a spring full moon.

Event Registration

11,053 Ezakimak Ski/Run/Show Challenge | $40*

Entry fee includes race, finishers beer, bag check at registration, gondola ride down

after race, food & water stations, on-course DJ’s and bag check delivery to the top.
Race classes:
–Open Run (Male/Female)
–Open Ski (Male/Female)
–Open Snowshoe (Male/Female)
–Novice Run
–Novice Ski
–Novice Snowshoe

Register Today on

Event Schedule**

  • 4pm-6:30pm – On-site registration and bib pick up in the Main Lodge Ticket Office
  • 5-6:30pm – Ezakimak Practice on Lower Minaret Mile (Chair 11)
  • 6:30pm – Panorama Gondola Opens and Activities Begin at Eleven53
  • 7pm – Ezakimak Challenge Starts at Broadway Express (waves)
  • 8:20pm – Ezakimak Awards at Eleven53
  • 9:45 pm – Activities at Eleven53 close
  • 10pm – Panorama Gondola closes

– See more at:

Durango businessman buys Purgatory ski resort

Last fall, James Coleman, a local Durango businessman and avid skier said he would be purchasing 100% of Purgatory at Durango Mountain Resort. The sale of the resort to James has been finalized.James Coleman

James is passionate about skiing in the southwest, having lived in Durango for nearly a decade and growing up skiing at Purgatory.

When the ski area was first founded in 1965, it was called Purgatory, and James believes that this name and all it represents hold a special place in the hearts of passholders and guests; in addition, next winter is the resort’s 50th anniversary.

So as the new owner, James’ first order of business is to change the name of Durango Mountain Resort back to “Purgatory” Resort and use the ski area’s popular “retro” logo with the red and white inverted triangles.

James is eager to put his passion for skiing and knowledge of resort operations and development to work at Purgatory. He is committed to expediting the approved projects in the resort’s Master Development Plan, including adding new terrain and making lift improvements while maintaining a focus on value and the family-friendly nature of Purgatory.

Since 2000, James has been the managing partner at Sipapu Ski and Summer Resort near Taos, NM. Last year, James entered into a strategic partnership with Los Alamos County and is in the process of acquiring Pajarito Mountain Ski Area in Los Alamos, NM. James is also in the process of acquiring Arizona Snowbowl, in Flagstaff, AZ, which is expected to be finalized by the end of the ski season.

Collectively, these four southwestern resorts, Purgatory, Snowbowl, Pajarito, and Sipapu, form the largest collective ski experience in the Southwest, totaling over 3000 skiable acres, more than 200 trails, 26 lifts, and 13 terrain parks, all within a convenient drive of each other.

Guests will be able to have unlimited access to all four mountains on one season pass, the Purgatory Power Pass, which is slated to go on sale next month. Additional Power Pass products will also be available at the Arizona and New Mexico ski areas.

The Chuck Cobb and Duncan ownership group will continue to retain ownership of Durango Mountain Realty and the remaining community real estate holdings surrounding the resort.

There are five other villages in the resort’s master plan where the real estate would remain under the ownership and development responsibility of Cobb and the existing shareholders, including the Duncan family.

These areas include Engineer and Tacoma Village, which are currently under active development, and Boyce Lake, Greyrock and Base Camp Villages, which will be developed in the future.

Superb snow at Squaw Valley despite warm temps

By Bob Goligoski, Correspondent

I could have been playing 18 holes along the Pacific. Or biking around the bay. Or just working on a tan at the nearby beach.

But as a dedicated ski writer for 45 years, none of that would work for me. I just had to get to the Sierra to see if we still had a ski season. Recent temperatures in the 60’s on the slopes had left the perception that maybe the season was melting away in February.

It was 64 degrees on Feb 18 when I arrived in Truckee, some 10 miles from Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows. But on my next day at Squaw Valley, it had probably cooled down about five degrees.

I was quite amazed at the scene at Squaw. Some 23 of the 29 lifts were operating and the snow was in superb shape.

Keeping mostly to the north-facing slopes and looking for runs where the trees protected the runs from the sun, I skied for about five hours before I noticed the first signs of soft, slushy spring-like snow. In all that time, I only scraped across one rock.

The next day at Alpine Meadows, 10 of 13 lifts were humming along but a number of runs that I favor were closed because of thin snow cover. There was plenty of skiing, some of the runs had a boiler-plate like surface while others had loose snow or were turning quite soft about noon. There were a few rocks but they were easy to avoid.

Mid-week, walk-up adult lift tickets were $119 at both resorts but Squaw was a much better buy. The two resorts are owned by the same corporation.

Melissa Matheney, public relations coordinator for the resorts, smiled as she looked at the large crowds of skiers and snowboarders. It was a semi-holiday week as there was no school for many children.

“We are still counting on more snow,” she said, “as we get about half of our annual snowfall in February and March. Business has been strong recently and the great weather here is one of our main attractions.”

Unfortunately, Squaw Valley has had to cancel a week of World Cup skicross and snowboardercross races set for March 4 – 8 because of the scarcity of snow. This was the first World Cup-level event scheduled for Squaw Valley since 1969.

The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association Hole Shot NorAm and U.S. Revolution Tour skicross and snowboardcross events planned for March 9 – 13 at Squaw Valley also have been cancelled.

I asked Matheney about the rumors that Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows will be merged into one huge resort with the erection of a lift between the two resorts. She responded that talks are on-going about that possibility “and we hope to make an announcement in the future.”

Snowboarders flock to Air+Style at Rose Bowl

Snow boarders practice on the Big Air ramp prior to the start of the Shaun White's Air + Style: Los Angeles.

Snow boarders practice on the Big Air ramp prior to the start of the Shaun White’s Air + Style: Los Angeles.

By Brian Day, Staff Writer

The North American debut of Shaun White’s Air+Style extreme sports and music festival at the Rose Bowl on Saturday offered an eclectic mix of activities and attractions to delight the senses of guests.

In between the main attractions of a 150-foot-tall snow-covered ramp which snowboarders lunched from to perform high-flying acrobatics and two stages providing a full day of concerts, there was no shortage of ways to keep busy.

For the first time in its 22-year history, the event took a festival format, rather than assigned seating, organizers said. Guests were invited to peruse the grounds outside of the Rose Bowl as they watched their favorite athletes and listened to their favorite bands.

“I really like the set up,” said Rebecca Velasco, 21, of Santa Barbara. “You can turn this way and see the state, and you can turn that way and see the ramp.”

She and two friends sat in the grass with friends between the massive snow ramp and the venue’s main stage, where the band Bad Things performed. Olympian snowboarder Shaun White, who runs the event, plays guitar with the band.

While she was enjoying the snowboarding, Velasco and her friends said it was primarily the music that attracted them to Air+Style. In particular, the group was looking forward to performances by Phantogram and Diplo.

“I like the roaming atmosphere,” 21-year-old Brandon Pineda of Santa Barbara added. “There’s a lot to explore.”

In addition to sampling the wares of a host of food trucks and booths, guests watched artists work, tried their hand and carnival games, relaxed in a tented arcade and had free custom T-shirts made. More adventurous guests were invited to jump from a tall platform onto a giant airbag.

Read more in Brian Day’s story SNOW

Quebec’s Hotel de Glass dazzles with its fanciful frozen decor

The Hotel de Glace in Quebec features guestrooms with elaborate carved walls and a bed made of ice. Some, like this one, come with a fireplace, though it's only for looks - no heat enters the room. (Photo courtesy Hotel de Glace)

The Hotel de Glace in Quebec features guestrooms with elaborate carved walls and a bed made of ice. Some, like this one, come with a fireplace, though it’s only for looks – no heat enters the room. (Photo courtesy Hotel de Glace)

By Marlene Greer, Correspondent

The bed is made of ice, the walls and floor made of snow, and the ambient temperature is a brisk 24 degrees F. Sound like a place you’d like to spend the night? Surprisingly, many people do.

The Hotel de Glace (Ice Hotel), located a few miles from downtown Quebec, is an imaginative creation of snow and ice, reconstructed every winter in a matter of six or so weeks. From the grand entrance, complete with check-in counter, to the guestrooms, the walls of every room are intricately carved into masterpieces of art, and some of the beds feature massive ice canopies and elaborate headboards.

The hotel is open for overnight stays and to tourists from Jan. 5 to March 22. With 44 rooms, a vaulted hall with an amazing ice chandelier, chapel, bar, disco, and ice slide, there’s a lot to see. Visitors can walk around on their own or sign up for a tour.  We opted for the tour, which included a drink at the ice bar.

Like any hotel, the guestrooms range from the small and simple to elaborate suites with fireplaces, which are for ambience only as no heat enters the room. Most rooms come with an ice chair and ice table (can’t imagine spending much time there!) and have one to three beds. But all feature amazing sculpted decor, every one different from the last.

This year’s theme is “Space-Time,” and as visitors wander from room to room, they journey from ancient times into the future. On our tour, we saw one room depicting humankind’s space exploration with a relief of the Space Shuttle and a full-height sculpted astronaut, and another showcasing automobiles, complete with an ice car bed.

Our guide Sara explained that in the evening, the guestroom areas are closed to the public, cleaned and prepared for those staying overnight. A mattress and an isolating bed sheet are placed on the bed to keep the cold from seeping in, and each person is given an arctic sleeping bag. “We advise guests to take a warm shower before bed to increase the body temperature. This will help you stay warm throughout the night,” she said.

After visiting the entrance hall, several rooms, the chapel and disco, the tour ends at the ice bar – a popular stop apparently from the size of the crowd. Sara explained the beer, wine and alcohol are stored in refrigerators not to keep them cold but to keep them from freezing. Everything from the bar counter to the lounge chairs and tables are made of ice. Even the drinks are served in an ice glass, a bulky square block of ice with a hole in the center to hold the liquid.

The first ice hotel went up in 2001, and it’s been a popular winter attraction ever since. With the outside temperature only in the single digits, standing at a table in an ice bar enjoying a vodka and cranberry juice cocktail out of a frozen glass in an ice hotel at 24 degrees feels downright warm.

The ice bar at the Hotel de Glace. (Photo by Marlene Greer)

The ice bar at the Hotel de Glace. (Photo by Marlene Greer)

Keystone to host Burton Mountain Festival Feb. 20-22

Keystone Resort will host the final stop of the 2015 Burton Mountain Festival, an on-snow community snowboarding festival for families, friends and riders of all ages to enjoy.

From Friday, Feb. 20 to Sunday, Feb. 22, the three-day event will feature free snowboard demos, contests, and après entertainment. Based in Keystone’s Mountain House Base area, the 2015 Burton demo fleet featuring boards, boots and bindings will be available for free trials from 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Friday through Sunday. All events are free and open to the public.

For the youngest of shredders, the Keystone Burton Riglet Park offers riders as young as three-years-old the opportunity to enjoy snowboarding. The innovative Riglet program gives young children an introduction to snowboarding in a learning park built specifically for them.

Burton will provide free snowboards, boots and bindings for the tykes to use, with free access to Keystone’s Riglet park where kids can utilize mini-features such as boxes, ramps and rails from 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Friday through Sunday.

Riglet lessons are also available daily throughout the season at Keystone’s Ski&Ride School.

On Saturday, Keystone’s A51 Terrain Park will host a stop on Burton’s 2nd annual Party in Your Park snowboard contest series, a grassroots tour celebrating the fun in contest snowboarding.

Featuring a unique setup in A51 designed specifically for Party in Your Park, riders will be added to one of three teams who will work together during the event.

Prizes will be awarded to the winning team, while the best individual riders will be invited to compete in the West Coast and East Coast finals. The contest takes place from 11 a.m.-12 p.m. and there is no registration fee for riders. Registration takes place from 9-10 a.m. on Saturday in the Burton Lounge Tent at Mountain House Base area.

Keystone’s Last Lift Bar, located in the Mountain House base area, will host après entertainment from 4-6 p.m. on Saturday, featuring live music from “The Swing Crew” as well as tons of free prizes.

As one of the closest ski resorts to Denver, Keystone is the ultimate location for families to enjoy the allure of the mountains; be it on snowboards, skis, ice skates, snow tubes or horse-drawn sleigh rides – Keystone is truly a mountain of possibilities.

To purchase lodging, lift tickets, rental equipment, or for more information about Keystone, visit or call (877) 204-7889. Follow the resort at @KeystoneMtn on Twitter or at

For more information on the 2015 Burton Mountain Festival, visit or and follow #burtonmtnfest and #PartyInYourPark.

Racing canoes on ice-covered St. Lawrence River among events at Quebec’s Winter Carnival

Two crews in the elite male class compete in the ice canoe race on the St. Lawrence River during Quebec's Winter Carnival. (Photo by Marlene Greer)

Two crews in the elite male class compete in the ice canoe race on the St. Lawrence River during Quebec’s Winter Carnival. (Photo by Marlene Greer)

By Marlene Greer, Correspondent

Standing on the edge of the St. Lawrence River watching a group of five women power their canoe over the ice-crusted surface, all I could think of was, “You go, ladies!”

The women are among the 10 teams of elite female crews competing in the ice canoe race, one of many events and competitions at the Winter Carnival in Quebec City. In addition to the women, there are 10 teams in the elite male class, and a whole lot of brave souls in the amateur sport class. (I stopped counting at 25 boats.)

From where we stand near the starting line, we can hear the canoes coming before we see them. We hear the voices of the crew, but mostly we hear the scraping of boats over ice. The ice on the river is broken up in huge blocks, and navigating them takes great physical effort and group coordination.

Wearing spiked shoes, holding on to the gunwale, and kneeling on one knee in the boat with the other leg dangling over the edge, the crews propel their canoes up and over the chunks of ice. The crews do this for half a mile up river before reaching flowing water where they jump in and start paddling.

For today’s race, the temperature is in the single digits, sinking into sub-zero with the fierce wind blowing across the river. But the cold weather doesn’t keep bundled-up spectators from lining the riverbank, four and five deep. Nor, apparently, does it bother the racers.

When I marvel at the utter craziness of it all, a native Quebecer standing next to me counters, “I’ve done it once; it’s a lot of fun!”

The ice canoe race is a carnival staple. It’s been held every year since the carnival’s inception in 1955. The first women’s team participated in the race in 1966. The race begins in Quebec City, and teams navigate a course across the river to Levis and back. The elite male class must complete the circuit twice.

So why a canoe race on a frozen river? According to the Quebec City Tourism website, carnival competitions were created to represent Quebec winter traditions. The canoe, dogsled and sleigh are traditional modes of transportation and were important to the settlement and history of Quebec.

Quebec’s winter carnival ends today with the sleigh races and the closing ceremonies.

A crew in the elite female class work to get their canoe across the ice. (Photo by Marlene Greer)

A crew in the elite female class work to get their canoe across the ice. (Photo by Marlene Greer)

Everyone loves the parade at Quebec’s Winter Carnival

Spectators line the streets to watch the night parade in Quebec. Photos courtesy Quebec City Tourism

Spectators line the streets to watch the night parade in Quebec. (Photos courtesy Quebec City Tourism)

By Marlene Greer/Correspondent

Lights, camera (yours) and lots of action.

That’s the night parade at Quebec’s Winter Carnival, a 17-day long celebration of all things snow and ice. The parade is so popular it’s done twice – once in the suburb of Charlesbourg and a second time through the streets of Quebec. The Charlesbourg parade was held last weekend, and the parade in Quebec is set for Saturday.

“The parade in Charlesbourg is held earlier in the night at 6 and is better for children,” said Paule Bergeron of Quebec City Tourism.

Standing with the crowd in Charlesbourg, a look across the street at the row of children lining the parade route definitely gives the impression this is a family event. And the zero-degree temperature hasn’t spoiled the fun. But it does make for a lot of stamping of feet, clapping of hands and dancing around by spectators just to stay warm. Even the marching bands had to wrap their instruments to keep them from freezing.

The parade begins with groups of jesters and jokers who dance, mime and perform acrobatics. Spectators blow their long, red plastic horns, a carnival necessity, in approval. There are musicians, singers and marching bands, playing mostly Canadian tunes, but we did recognize the familiar “Eye of the Tiger.”

This wide-eyed creature is just one of many in the parade.

This wide-eyed creature is just one of many in the parade.

It’s the colorful lighted floats, however, which are the most interesting. A long procession of sea creatures, magical creatures, and what looked to me like dancing snow wolves entertained the crowd.

At the end of the parade came Bonhomme, the carnival’s mascot. Bonhomme is a snowman who wears a red cap, an arrowhead sash and a big smile. And just like with Mickey Mouse at Disneyland, the kids, parents and tourists all clamber for a photo with the famed character. Bonhomme’s been around since the first carnival in 1955, and kids seem to love him.

The carnival concludes this weekend with the snow bath (put on your swimsuit, some boots and roll in the snow), Quebec night parade and after-party on Saturday and the sleigh race and closing ceremonies on Sunday.

Bonhomme waves to the crowd.

Bonhomme waves to the crowd.