Where to Ski

European tourist offices can provide you with general information, as well as specific information about individual resorts. Contact them at:

Austrian tourist offices: 500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110,

(212) 944-6880; 500 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611, (312) 644-5556; 11601 Wilshire

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What sets a ski resort apart from its neighbors? Its size? Number of lifts? Scenery? History? Location? Annual snowfall in feet? Vertical? Apres-ski fun? Snowmaking? Unique background? Elegance?

Answer: Any or all of the above.

To name the 50 or 100 greatest

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Officially, the name is Arapahoe Basin. But its friends simply call it “A - Basin.” It’s the kind of place you brag about skiing, not, of course, in loud and vulgar tones, but softly, so those who know it instantly understand where you had the courage, and the skill, to enjoy high-altitude snow.

High altitude? A-Basin begins higher than where

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Onmia Aspeni divisa in partes tres est.

First, it’s heart is a small western town tucked into the Rockies. Second, to the world it’s a land of chic and sex, glamour and fashion,
gourmet restaurants and endless nightlife. Third, the skiing is damn good - for those

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Edging off Fabayan’s Express triple chair at the 3,100-foot summit of Bretton Woods, skiers can take a moment to enjoy the imposing view across the Ammonoosuc Valley to 6,200-foot Mount Washington, the highest peak in the northeast. There’s one significant difference between

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What do you do when 1,500 pounds of Moose ambles casually out from the trees and stops dead below you in the middle of a powder ski run?

Nothing. Absolutely nothing.

You wait until that big hulk of a creature decides to mosey on. Sighting game - moose, elk, deer, coyotes, high-leaping jackrabbits escaping hungry mountain lions while bald eagles soar overhead

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You’ll never find a more amiable bunch of folks serving you than the local ranchers and cowboys who, for years, have stabled their horses and spent winters taking care of skiers here. I’ve always felt their 10-gallon hats just go naturally with the relaxed, friendly western spirit that pervades this gem.

There

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Hunter Mountain is, quite simply, the busiest weekend-only destination ski resort in the nation.

And, quite simply, destination resorts are where skiers go for one - and two-week holidays, not for a weekend vacation, leaving the slopes all but deserted Monday through Friday.

But then Hunter is special. It’s where

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Terrain, snow, grooming, dining, apres-ski life, and great skiing were all cited by Skiing magazine when it included Killington in its “top 15” destination ski resorts internationally. The magazine was accurate on every point.

Killington is the largest resort in New England. Its 75 miles of trails spread across six mountains cover 1,000 acres. With

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For information, write for a Killington Ski Week Guide, 403 Killington Road, Killington, VT 05751; (800) 372-2007. For e-mail: info@killington. com. On the Internet: www. killington. com.

If there’s an international winter sports center, its name is Lake Placid.

Not only does it hold the distinction of having hosted two Winter Olympic meets, in 1932 and again in 1980, but more than 8,000 world - class athletes annually train and compete here in every conceivable winter sport.

Now,

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For information: Lake Placid Visitors Bureau, Lake Placid, NY 12946; (518) 523-2445. Or Olympic Regional Development Authority, Lake Placid, NY 12946; (800) 462-6236. On the Internet: www. orda. org.

Snowshoe is different, but only in a couple ways.

For example: The resort sits atop a U-shaped basin at the summit of Cheat Mountain, not at the base, as all properly designed ski areas are supposed to.

And the altitude of the mountain is 4,840 feet, higher than any ski area

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Twice the Lake Tahoe region has garnered international attention.

The first occasion was in 1846, when a party of California-bound cov - ered-wagon travelers found themselves trapped for the winter by tremendous snows north of Lake Tahoe. An unusual diet enabled many to survive.

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The area’s base elevation is 6,200 feet, which means that skiers rarely have any problem with the altitude. The vertical is 2,850 feet.

For general information at Squaw Valley, write Squaw Valley USA, Squaw Valley, CA 96146; (916) 583-6985; reservations: (800) 545-4350. On e-mail: squaw@squaw. On the Internet: http://www. squaw. com.

The Oliver Luce family, the first settlers in what is now Stowe in northern Vermont, trimmed trees to build their home in 1794. Within a few years the Luces had opened an inn and a tavern to provide bed, board, and copious drinks to travelers.

In the 1930s, skiers, locked onto wooden skis with bear-trap bindings,

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But most restaurants, hotels, motels, and apres-ski pubs are strung along the 7-mile access road that stretches from Stowe to the mountain. Barhopping means hopping in your car.

The most famous place to stay is the Trapp Family Lodge, which is almost a self-contained

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Sitting inside the grand palace that is the elegant Sun Valley Lodge, you can look across bathers in an outdoor heated circular pool - the first ever built by a ski resort - to towering Old Baldy, a majestic mountain laced with wide ski trails down its 3,400-foot vertical, one of the biggest in the nation

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A third area is Elkhorn, near Dollar Mountain, a village in its own right with a variety of lodgings and a cluster of shops.

And the fourth is incomparable Old Baldy, a roundish mountain of long intermediate and black runs, and the adjacent Seattle Ridge. For those with the stamina, it’s possible to ski from the 9,140-foot summit in a single long swoop to the base without losing the thrill

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Vail is a resort put together with superlatives. Whatever can be said of it today will be revised, enlarged, or improved tomorrow.

For skiing, it’s among the most imposing areas in North America. There are two main sides to the long Vail Mountain

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There are two nurseries and day-care centers for the wee ones from 2 months to 6 years, and ski schools for kids from 3 to 12. Teens have their own programs. A fabled “Kids Only” ski trail winds around Indian wigwams, log forts, trading posts, and saloons, and through a mine.

Off the slopes,

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Disabled Competitions

Ski competitions for both standing and sitting skiers are held throughout the country and in Europe. Both Aspen Highlands and Mount Hood Meadows ski resorts…

Mountain Manners

in Kids
However, the fact that they did spend time in various ski schools did not eliminate what I feel keenly is the responsibility of all parents of kids on the…

Nonskiing Necessities

in Kids
Apres-ski boots: These are an important adjunct on a ski trip. The best are those that slip on quickly and are both warm and tolerably lightweight. Laceup…

CROSS-COUNTRY

The ancient grandfather of alpine skiing, cross-country skiing, is alive, healthy, and more popular than at any time in his 4,000-year history. True, no longer…

Whistler/Blackcomb - Part 1

Put two great ski mountains side by side, each with more than 5,000 feet of vertical - the most in North America - and you’ve got the first hint of what it’s…

Who Pays the Piper?

If a skier runs into serious difficulty skiing beyond an area’s boundaries, someone will be along to help him. In the United States, this task usually falls to…