It’s not just retailers announcing Black Friday specials — ski resorts are too. Mountain High, for example, will be taking up to 40 percent off the price of lift tickets sold Nov. 29 through Dec. 2.
Adult 8-hour tickets, which normally cost $69, will be $49 during the sale. They’re valid any day or night this season including holidays. The price of midweek, non-holiday tickets also will be reduced by $20 and will go for $39.
Holiday dates include Dec. 21-31, 2013; Jan. 1-5, 18-20 and Feb. 15-17, 2014.
Night tickets, which may be used from 5 to 10 p.m. any night the resort is open, will be $20 during the Black Friday sale. They’re regularly $35.
As per usual, there are restrictions: Black Friday tickets must be purchased online and are only redeemable at the ticket windows. All Black Friday tickets must be used during the 2013/14 season. There are no upgrades at the resort. There are no refunds, credits, or extensions on unused tickets. Limit six tickets per guest. All rates are subject to change without notice.
That said, resort spokesman John McColly, added: “Mountain High lift tickets make the perfect gift because they are always the right size and they never go out of style.”
Thanksgiving dinner with a view is on the menu at The Terrace, one of Squaw Valley’s mountaintop restaurants. (Squaw Valley photo)
Turkey all the trimmings will be part of Squaw Valley’s Thanksgiving dinner at High Camp on Nov. 28. Guests can ride the resort’s scenic aerial tram up 2,000 vertical feet to feast at The Terrace, one of High Camp’s mountaintop restaurants, while taking in panoramic views of Lake Tahoe and the Sierra Nevada mountains.
The buffet-style dinner will include traditional dishes such as sage roasted turkey, honey roasted ham, garlic mashed potatoes, herb stuffing, homemade cranberries and sweet potato casserole. The Thanksgiving dinner consists of two seatings, the first at 1 p.m., the second at 4 p.m. Seating is still available for the 1 p.m. dinner.
Reservations for the Thanksgiving buffet are $39 for adults and $29 for kids 12 and younger. Prices do not include aerial tram tickets for the ride up to High Camp, which can be purchased for $32 for adults and $10 for kids. Those with a season pass or lift ticket for the day can ride the tram for free.
To work up an appetite, there’s skiing and snowboarding on Squaw’s legendary slopes, along with ice skating at the resort’s mountaintop skating rink.
Squaw Valley opens for the 2013-14 winter season on Wednesday, Nov. 27. Information: www.squaw.com
The lifts at Sipapu Ski and Summer Resort in northern New Mexico started turning this morning, marking the earliest opening in the resort’s more than 60-year history.
George Brooks, the executive director of Ski New Mexico, said he’s excited about the upcoming season, given the early snow and cool temperatures. In early October, a potent storm brought wind, rain and high-elevation snow.
The Red River Ski Area is expected to open Nov. 27, followed by Taos Ski Valley, Ski Santa Fe and Ski Apache on Nov. 28.
Crews at Sipapu are completing the installation of the resort’s newest lift, which will replace one that was built in 1961.
First chair this morning at Mammoth Mountain. (Mammoth Mountain Ski Area photo)
The ski and snowboard season at Mammoth Mountain is under way.
The resort has a base of 12 to 18 inches, and three lifts were operating, servicing six runs and 1,500 vertical feet of terrain including several park jumps and features. Conditions are expected to improve dramatically with nighttime lows dropping into the 20s – prime temps for snowmaking – and an approaching storm that may bring natural snow early next week.
Today was the opening act on a weekend that will include live musical performances, film premieres and a host of parties and competitions. More information about what’s going on this weekend is available here.
While we couldn’t make the trek up the 395 today, we’re enjoying the photos of skiers and boarders who did. >>>
Who’s got first chair? In less than 24 hours, Mammoth Mountain will open for the 2013-14 ski and snowboard season.
There’s a solid base depth of 12-18 inches of natural and manmade snow and chairs 1, 6, and 11 are expected to run, according to a resort spokeswoman. The Unbound Terrain Parks crew is building a jump, a handful of jibs, and a small playground area in Main Park.
The weekend will be packed with live music by LA Riots and Shiny Toy Guns, movie premieres, parties and more.
Opening day festivities include the traditional Broadway Express banner breakthrough, a speech by Mammoth CEO Rusty Gregory, and the annual toast on the Main Lodge sundeck with a specialty 60th anniversary beer provided by the Mammoth Brewing Company.
The first 100 guests lined up at Chair 1 on Thursday morning will receive a free lift ticket. Skiers and boarders arriving later can take advantage of $60 lift tickets Thursday through Monday.
In anticipation of a Nov. 22 opening day, Heavenly Mountain Resort has fired up the West Coast’s largest snowmaking system and has begun making snow at the top of the Gondola and on California Trail.
“We’ve enjoyed a long fall season, but with the drop in temperature, it’s time to focus on preparing for winter and begin making snow, ensuring we have the quality early season conditions our guests have come to expect from us,” said Pete Sonntag, vice president and chief operating officer of Heavenly.
Heavenly’s extensive snowmaking system is capable, under optimum conditions, of producing three-and-a-half feet of snow across one acre in an hour and can cover 73 percent of the resort’s 97 trails in machine-made snow.
“The inconsistency of natural snowfall during the last two seasons has really proven how valuable snowmaking can be for the overall experience on the mountain, and at Heavenly, our focus really is on providing reliable snow conditions that our skiers and riders can have confidence in. You don’t need to bring out your old, rock skis or boards at Heavenly during the early season,” said Sonntag.
Heavenly kicks off the party on Nov. 22, with opening day and the first Unbuckle at Tamarack après party of the season. Unbuckle takes place daily from 3:30-5:30 p.m. with a live DJ, half-priced drinks, giveaways, food specials, lots of dancing and, exclusively on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, the lovely Heavenly Angels.
The party continues past opening day with Winter Ignite, featuring Unbuckle après parties, the Heavenly Angels and a special performance by DJ Porter Robinson at Mont Bleu on Nov. 30.
Royal Gorge, North America’s largest cross country resort, has launched a new and improved website at www.royalgorge.com.
Features include improved navigation, video and image gallery, dedicated webcam page, and a more detailed grooming and weather report. Visitors also will enjoy an enhanced trail map, detailed information on trail and season passes, a calendar of special events and clinics, and other timely and relevant information from the resort.
With 200km of groomed trails spanning 6,000 acres of land atop Donner Summit, complete with six distinct track systems and eight warming huts, there’s lots of winter adventure for skiers, skaters, striders, snowshoers, snowkiters and even fat tire snowbikers.
Sugar Bowl Resort is in its second year as owner/operator of Royal Gorge.
Mother Nature brought some early snow to Mountain High in late October. (Mountain High photo)
Mountain High this winter will be unveiling more than $1 million in improvements, which include a new Rossignol Experience Center, an expanded Children’s Sports Center, and new snow cats and terrain features.
A big part of that expenditure is more than $300,000 in snowmaking improvements. The resort should be able to make snow faster than ever with the addition of six new Super PoleCat fan guns from SMI and one swing-arm fan gun from Technoalpine. The SMI Super PoleCat snowmakers are big throw, simple nozzle fan guns that are fully automatic and perfect for all temperature conditions. Plus, the extended reach of the Technoalpine swing-arm snowmaker means the Mountain High can place the snow exactly where it’s wanted, even in windy conditions.
Gone are the days of employees hiking up the mountain to adjust snow guns with a wrench and prayer. These guns are fully automatic so they adjust themselves based on the conditions. They can be dialed down to make heavier base snow or dialed up to create champagne powder. Some guns can even be activated by remote control.
Mountain High operates one of the largest snowmaking systems in the country and is continually striving to increase its coverage and efficiency while reducing overall fuel consumption. This is no small task, so for the better part of 10 years, Mountain High has been adding electric fan guns, installing new compressors, and retrofitting its exiting hydrants to perform at peak capacity. The current system is now 30 percent more efficient than it was a decade ago, allowing Mountain High to make more snow than ever using fewer resources.
It is being run by a new captain, Eric Loveng, formerly the assistant snowmaking manager, who has 20 years of snowmaking experience spread between Mountain High and Snow Valley.
Mammoth Mountain received more than a foot of new snow earlier this week, and it apparently brought out the season’s first appearance by the Snowman. We came across this video posted by DiscoverMammoth.com, and something tells us that we’ll be seeing a lot of him this season. >>>