Category Archives: Outdoor News

Vail Resorts Buys Swiss Ski Area

A crowded Crans Montana base area

Guess we’re going to Europe next year! Vail Resorts just announced that they are making the moves on Crans-Montana Mountain Resort in Switzerland and those with certain Epic Passes (yay for employees!) will get to ski for free (we assume).
This second European acquisition is part of VR’s plan for world ski domination. Because the majority of skiers are in that part of the world, it only makes sense for the Colorado behemoth to tackle the massive Crans-Montana, a mere 2.5 hours away from their other ski spot, Andermatt-Sedrun. Not to mention that if the snow is bad in the U.S., they’ve got that part of the world to take up the financial slack.
You can reach CMMR from five different airports and by train. You’re two and a half hours from Geneva and less than four hours from Milan and Zurich. Just think of the Epic possibilities!
According to VR’s press release (believe me I tried to get this information on my own from the ski area’s website but it’s a hot mess), “Crans-Montana Mountain Resort spans over 1,400 meters (approximately 4,593 ft) of skiable vertical terrain, and a massive 140 kilometers (approximately 87 mi) of trails.”
CMMR has hosted ski and mountain bike World Cups, the Omega European Masters, and other championships, the Caprices Festival and more.

A crowded Crans Montana base area
“We believe Crans-Montana has a unique opportunity for future growth. We are committed to elevating the guest experience at Crans-Montana, the broader community, and region,” said Kirsten Lynch, VR’s Chief Executive Officer in her release. “Vail Resorts is planning to invest approximately CHF 30 million over the next five years in one-time capital spending.”

Vail Resorts purchased an 84-percent ownership stake in Remontées Mécaniques Crans Montana Aminona (CMA) SA, which controls and operates all the resort’s lifts and supporting mountain operations, including four retail and rental locations. The company is acquiring an 80-percent ownership stake in SportLife AG, which operates one of the ski schools located at the resort. Further, Vail Resorts will gobble up 100 percent ownership of 11 restaurants located on and around the mountain.

The deal should close this season 2023/24 but no changes will be made until 24/25. The Epic Pass currently works at Andermatt-Sedrun-Disentis, as well as five days at Verbier4Vallées in Switzerland, seven days at Les 3 Vallées in France, seven days at Skirama Dolomiti in Italy and three days at Ski Arlberg in Austria. Find the detes at

Solitude Mountain Resort Opens Today

Full parking lot on opening day

There’s practically nothing on the slopes of Utah this week including snow yet Solitude Mountain Resort opens today. The Big Cottonwood Canyon resort is claiming their earliest opening in 10 years…even if it’s on one beginner run, on seven inches of manmade snow.

Huge lines at Solitude for opening day 2022

Those eager to stand in line and say they were there, can do laps on the Link lift this weekend starting at 10 a.m. Tickets are just $25 so it might be worth the bragging rights? Or use the opening as an excuse to pick up your Ikon Pass and get the storage wax off your bases. The mountain will even have a few terrain park features set up.

Lift tickets will be available at the Moonbeam ticket office. In observance of Veteran’s Day, Solitude is offering free lift tickets to all military personnel with a military ID on November 11. Parking is also complimentary throughout the weekend, no reservations are needed.

To be honest, it’s really no biggie to skip this limited weekend and head up for Solitude’s originally planned opening date of Nov. 17th. The longer you wait, the more coverage there will be. Unfortunately, there’s not much snow in the near forecast but a possible storm late next week could help to open more terrain. Still, you can do DJ and Donuts at Moonbeam on November 17.

Tons of Snow at Solitude in 2022

For real-time updates and live webcams throughout the season, visit Solitude’s website.

Utah Ski Area Opening Dates ’23/24

Alta Ski Area – November 17, 2023
Beaver Mountain – to be announced
Brian Head Resort – November 17, 2023
Brighton Resort – to be announced
Cherry Peak Resort – to be announced
Deer Valley Resort – December 2, 2023
Eagle Point Resort – December 15, 2023
Nordic Valley – December 2, 2023
Park City Mountain – November 17, 2023
Powder Mountain – to be announced
Snowbasin Resort – November 24, 2023
Snowbird – November 30, 2023 
Solitude Mountain Resort – November 10, 2023
Sundance Mountain Resort – December 2, 2023
Woodward Park City – November 18, 2023

Deer Valley 2.0: Mayflower and Deer Valley Resorts Merge

Mayflower Resort Construction

Huge news for Deer Valley Resort this week. Alterra Mountain Company, owners of Deer Valley, announced Wednesday that Deer Valley Resort will expand to more than double its terrain following a land agreement with Extell Development Company. The expansion involves the Mayflower Resort which is under construction just east of DV’s Bald Mountain and west of the Jordanelle Reservoir along Highway 40. Extell purchased the property in 2017 and although it was never stated officially, any local would tell you that the new area would never have been fully viable without Deer Valley’s operational support. There’s not a lot of snow action on that side. Never has been. Now, however, Mayflower will have DV’s snow making team along with all of the other world-class amenities from staffing to food and beverage.

So let’s cut to the chase- the answer to the number one question on every guest’s mind- nope, snowboarding will not be allowed. There will be 16 new chairlifts, including a 10-passenger gondola, 135 new runs, a new village and portal area with a skier services facility to house a ski school, children’s programs, rentals, and retail, a new on-mountain lodge with Deer Valley operated food & beverage outlets, and additional day-skier parking. There will be a 3000-foot vertical drop from the highest point on Park Peak and most of the new runs will be wide, fast, groomed, north-facing, blues.  All of this for skiers only. Wah wah wah.

The plan is to get the majority of the new area open by 2025/26 with 2900 of the 3700 proposed new acres ready to roll. When Mayflower and Deer Valley resorts merge and open, DV will be the third on the list of the largest ski areas in North America- behind Park City and Big Sky. There is also talk of three luxury hotels, condos and a mountain village with an ice ribbon.

Deer Valley Expansion Map

The expansion is separate from the planned redevelopment at Snow Park base which is still seeking city approval. The Mayflower development, on the other hand, is relatively greenlit with partnerships with Wasatch County, the Military Installation Development Authority (MIDA), and now Deer Valley. Extell donated a patch of land to MIDA and agreed to build them an MWR (Morale, Welfare, and Recreation) hotel for military and their families to vacation. One hundred of the nearly 400 rooms will be available at a preferred rate for active duty and retired service members. In addition, there will be a tax for regular guests that will go towards Hill Air Force Base’s MWR account.

The MWR hotel broke ground in 2021 and is set to open next December. The first phase of the Deer Valley expansion will be in 2025/26.

More Mountainbiking In The Summer

Mayflower Resort in the summer

Something super cool was that behind the scenes, Extell agreed to commit more than 3,100 acres of the future ski area to a conservation easement that will be overseen by Utah Open Lands. The easement known as the Forty-Fifth Star Conservation Preserve will link Bonanza Flat and Wasatch Mountain State Park in the summer and prevent future developers from swooping in and decorating the land with more expensive hotels and second homes. By the way, the name gives a nod to Utah’s rank as the 45th state in the union.

The first trail connects with the Spin Cycle trail to form a loop, is expected to open in September and there are plans for 50 more miles of trails.

The Essential Packing Guide: What To Pack For Your Incredible Ski Adventure

Are you planning a Ski trip with your family? Looking for the essential lists to take with you? Are you confused about what to pack for Ski? Planning a ski trip is an exciting endeavor that promises exhilarating adventures on the slopes and breathtaking views of snowy landscapes. To ensure a comfortable and enjoyable skiing experience, it’s essential to pack the right gear and essentials. 

In this blog post, we’ll provide a comprehensive packing guide, helping you prepare for an unforgettable ski vacation.

Let’s start the guide with clothes and you can follow the write-up to have all kinds of ideas. 

Ski Clothing:

  • Carefully pack thermal tops and bottoms made of moisture-wicking material to keep you warm and dry.
  • Include fleece jackets, sweaters, or down jackets for added warmth.
  • Opt for waterproof and breathable pants designed specifically for skiing.
  • Choose a durable, waterproof, and insulated jacket to protect you from the elements.
  • Pack multiple pairs of moisture-wicking ski socks and warm, waterproof gloves or mittens.
  • These versatile accessories provide extra warmth and protection for your neck and face.

Necessary Ski Equipment:

  • If you have your own equipment, make sure to pack them securely. Otherwise, consider renting from a reliable ski shop.
  • Essential for balance and maneuverability, pack adjustable ski poles suitable for your height.
  • Prioritize safety by packing a well-fitting helmet designed for skiing or snowboarding.
  • Protect your eyes from the sun, wind, and snow glare with ski goggles and sunglasses.

Other important essentials:

  • The sun’s reflection on the snow can be intense, so pack a high-SPF sunscreen and lip balm with UV protection.
  • A small backpack is handy for carrying snacks, water, extra layers, and personal items on the slopes.
  • These disposable warmers can provide extra comfort on particularly cold days.
  • Protect your phone from snow and moisture with a waterproof case or pouch.
  • Don’t forget essentials like toiletries, medications, and a travel adapter if needed.

The attires and necessities include the following:

  • Pack cozy sweaters, warm pants, and comfortable footwear for après-ski relaxation.
  • If your ski destination includes hot tubs or spas, bring swimwear for ultimate relaxation.
  • Bring books, magazines, or electronic devices for entertainment during downtime.
  • Pack energy bars, trail mix, or other snacks to keep you fueled on the slopes.
  • Stay hydrated by carrying a reusable water bottle that can be easily refilled.
  • Carry some cash for emergencies and ensure you have proper identification and travel documents.

A successful ski trip starts with careful packing and ensuring you have the best ski gear and essentials. Remember to prioritize comfort, safety, and protection from the elements. By following this comprehensive packing guide, you’ll be well-prepared to hit the slopes, explore the winter wonderland, and create unforgettable memories during your ski adventure. 

Happy skiing!

Best Spring Ski Festivals in the West

spring ski festival pond skimming

It’s nearly March. The snowiest month of the ski season is only days away and places like Snowbird and Mammoth have already reached record-breaking base depths with no end to the powder days for the near future. While those who hate winter lament; those of us who live for sliding are doing the mother of all dances. And this spring will be the ultimate culmination of the best ski season since 1995. You can bet the coming festivals that celebrate spring skiing and shenanigans will rage from the energy this winter has stoked.

Spring skiing means less base layers, more sunlight, longer afternoons for apres. It’s the time for locals and guests to celebrate an epic ski season with festivals, events, tailgating parties, and pond skimming. How can you get in on the action? Check out our list of top spots to ring in the spring.

Tahoe Snowfest, Lake Tahoe

North Lake Tahoe SNOWFEST is one of the largest winter mountain festivals on the west coast. The annual 10-day event celebrates the best of North Lake Tahoe from ski town nightlife to outdoor family-friendly events. Get ready to party March 2-12 with parades, laser show and fireworks, pancake breakfasts, live music and concerts, bar parties, ski races, dog and pet events, ice carving, a polar bear swim and much more. 

Subaru Winterfest, Snowbird and Woodward

The concert and mountain lifestyle tour is a winter playground for music fans, skiers, snowboarders, and dog lovers alike. It gives you an excuse (do you really need one?) to get outside and gather with fellow winter lovers as you celebrate the move towards spring and warmer days with live music, giveaways and vendor booths. The tour visits Woodward, Park City, first on March 18 with headliner the Spazmatics and then moves to Snowbird March 24-26 and music from SunSquabi and Simba Sax.

Spring Gruv, Park City/Canyons

Park City Mountain’s annual spans a whopping 16 days, starting with Oakley Week on March 23 and culminating with a 100-foot pond skim on April 8. Anyone can enter and there are prizes for the biggest splash, best costume, and best overall skim, plus tons of raffles and giveaways. There’s live music every afternoon and most evenings along with jugglers, magicians, s’mores and backyard games.

Rendezvous Spring Festival, Jackson Hole

The Jackson Hole Rendezvous Spring Ski Festival is a two-day music festival on March 31 – April 1, 2023, that starts in downtown on Friday night but finishes in Teton Village on Saturday afternoon. Chart-toppers The Revivalists will headline with ZZ Ward and Preservation Hall Jazz Band. Then Yellowstone crooner Ryan Bingham headlines alongside Elle King plus Futurebirds and Dumpstaphunk. Tickets are free but you have to reserve on Eventbrite and it’s first come-first serve.

Bonus, skiers and snowboarders who own a valid 2022-23 winter resort season pass ANYWHERE in the world who travel to Jackson Hole during Rendezvous Fest can receive a 50% discount on lift tickets!

Altitunes, Big White

Canada’s biggest mountain music festival is back for two days of music, skiing, and an array of outdoor activities with your crew, March 31-April 1. The tunes are curated for a fun blend of folk, pop & alt- rock, and a full day of upbeat dance music on Saturday.

WinterWonderGrass, Steamboat & Palisades

Bluegrass, jamgrass and roots music and beer. What more could you want? Oh, yeah, great skiing. This pair of three-day festivals will be held in Colorado and California, March 3-5 and March 31- April 2, respectively. Headliners in Steamboat – Greensky Bluegrass, The Infamous Stringdusters, Leftover Salmon and Paul Gauten and more will perform on four stages, over three days.

WWG part 2 will take place at Palisades Tahoe on March 31-April 2, with Trampled By Turtles, Greensky Bluegrass and Marcus King topping the bill.

Day passes start at $109 and include three hours of complimentary beer and spiked seltzer tastings.

World Ski and Snowboard Festival, Whistler

Hands down the most off-the-hook spring ski festival in North America. Known to locals as WSSF, the World Ski & Snowboard Festival combines spring energy with a week of non-stop events and action on and off the slopes. Ski and snowboard competitions like Big Air and Slush Cup, music, art, photography, action filmmaking and exciting nightlife will happen April 10-16.


The country’s top multi-multisport event to benefit of Mt. Bachelor Sports Education Foundation will have racers gearing up May 13 in Bend, Ore. Anyone can enter as individuals, pairs, or teams at

Since 1976 the event which features ski (alpine and nordic), bike, run, canoe/kayak, sprint legs annually attracts thousands of competitors from throughout the Northwest and beyond, and stretches from the slopes of Mt. Bachelor to the finish line in Bend’s Old Mill District.

Whether you are a less-competitive racer who wants to join a team for fun, have an active day with friends or family, or an elite multi-sport athlete, the SELCO PPP has a place for you.

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