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Heck, Alpin Haus thriving

Bud Heck and and his family are thriving at Alpin Haus through diversification

West Mountain much improved

New management has improved West Mountain

Think small when selecting a ski area

Okay! The main course has arrived in time for Christmas.
The appetizers were the cold evenings since early November that allowed ski areas to use their snow guns to build a solid base and provide excellent early-season conditions — the best we’ve seen in years. Lately, nature has chipped in with a couple of storms that piled on top of the machine-made.
Mid-winter conditions are here. Time to get outside and enjoy.

Please don’t let drowsy driving spoil your holiday ski outing

This is a time when we often think back on special holiday memories. Most are warm and wonderful. Here is one that is not so good. But even after years, it is vivid to me. I’ve told the story before, but it is worth sharing again.

Ranking of top 30 resorts a useful guide

With the ski season off to such a great start and maybe a little financial boost from the stock market, it is time to think about a ski get-away. And like they have for the past 26 years, “Ski Magazine” readers have come up with their ranking of their top destinations.

Okemo has snow guns cranking

The days of bad sliding have come to an end. It is winter again, on the thermometer certainly if not on the calendar just yet. Skis are ready, boards are ready and most ski areas throughout our area have either opened for the season or will do so soon.
The reason, of course, is what veteran snowmaking manager Ray Kennedy at Okemo in Vermont calls “near-perfect” conditions for firing up the snow guns over the past month.

Banner ski season ahead?

Ski season is just around the corner, and there's plenty to look forward to.

Ski areas not just for winter anymore

Who says ski areas are for winter only? Not me! Just back from a few days at Smuggler’s Notch outside Burlington, Vt., and I can attest that while the calendar reads summer, the place was hopping.

Chris Beckmann back in the ski team mix

What happened to Chris Beckmann?

Take care when storing ski equipment

The diehards may be still trying for some final runs at Killington, or Jay Peak or some of the northern areas, but for most of us, the 2012-13 ski season is over. The time has come to put gear away for the summer. And according to a couple of equipment experts in our area, just a couple of easy steps is all it takes to have everything ready when the bad sliding months end next fall.

Improvements, snowmaking the focus for area ski centers

Pond skimming is a rite of spring. The ski area creates a large puddle, usually close to the base lodge, and intrepid skiers and boarders — often in body paint, maybe in costume, and sometimes in no more than a pair of shorts — come down the hill and try to make it across the water. Most don’t and the dunking (and post-dunking) is part of this spring ritual at many areas.

Try LeMassif in Quebec for a rewarding car trip

If you want to combine el­egance with challenge, set a course to LeMassif in the Charlevoix reg­ion just east of Quebec City. Plan on a day to get there and a day coming back, but in between, the skiing is exceptional and the ambiance is unlike anything closer to home.

Popular freestyle events will have major impact on Olympics

The Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, are less than a year away, and if you thought there were lots of events in the past, get ready for 12 new competitions added to mix in 2014.

National Ski Patrol celebrates 75 years of service

Ski Patrollers are hard to miss at ski areas around the country. When on duty, they wear parkas with a prominent cross on the back and routinely cruise all of the terrain an area has to offer.

Action cameras latest craze on slopes

Action cameras latest craze on slopes

If it is not on YouTube or Vimeo, did it really happen? Go to any ski area these days, and see what you think. Action cameras are all over the place, mounted on helmets or taped to ski poles, or strapped to the chest of a skier or rider.

Ski Lines: Action cameras latest craze on slopes

If it is not on YouTube or Vimeo, did it really happen?
Go to any ski area these days, and see what you think.

Ski train is relaxing, enjoyable experience

Ski train is relaxing, enjoyable experience

Unless you commute by rail for a living, the idea of a weekend train ride through the countryside is pretty appealing. There is just something relaxing about chugging along while sitting back and enjoying the scenery. Add to that some time on a ski slope, and it all becomes even better. Then add a beautiful day — blue sky, temperatures in the mid-20s with no wind, fresh snow — and you have the makings of a great experience.

Ski Lines: No clear-cut favorites in Section II championships

Like last year, iffy weather and a lack of snow hampered the training and competition schedules this winter, especially for the cross country racers. But the calendar marches on, and the sectional championships are set for next week: Tuesday for the Alpine racers at Gore Mountain and Wednesday for Nordic comp­etition at Lapland Lake.

Volunteer guides make Steamboat a fun experience

The Over the Hill Gang, a personable group of 20 volunteers who thoroughly know the slopes and are sponsored by the resort, make skiing Steamboat Springs an enjoyable experience.

Ski Lines: Dwarfed by Killington, Pico has quality, value

A message to all those who have skied Pico in the past: If you liked it then, you’ll love it now! To those who haven’t been there yet: Ski it and find out why.

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