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For those lucky enough to have the day off, the first three-day weekend of the year arrives in just a few days. The country honors Martin Luther King, Jr., on Monday, January 20, and that means it’s your first chance to get away for a long weekend during 2014. There’s so many places to escape for a few days, but if you’re looking for a suggestion—how about hitting up Vermont for the weekend. Here’s a few of our picks and recommendations if you’re looking to get away for the weekend.
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With each new season comes new questions about what passengers can and cannot take onboard a plane. Thus, we'll be addressing some of the most popular requests with a series called, "Got Baggage."
If you spend most of summer hoping for winter so you can hop on a plane to carve up some powder, pay attention. There's a lot of gear to ensure your trip won't start in tears when you've forgotten something for the slopes, and some airlines are bit more lenient with your ski gear than others.
We're talking about ski boots today. Here's our run down of airline policies regarding ski boots as carry-on or checked luggage:
Skiing and snowboarding tend to dominate the mountainsides during the winter months out west, but those looking to do something different won’t be disappointed in Colorado. You’ll find an array of affordable adventures offered in mountain towns across the state, many of which are activities directly derived from an already established summer sport. The only catch here is that you have to be willing to embrace the elements, but the beautiful scenery is sure to take the chill out of the air. Be brave with one of these off-beat winter sports this season:
Snow biking simply moves the concept of mountain biking onto the snow-covered trails of winter, putting riders on “fat bikes” that have wide, oversized tires that allow for stability on the slick surface. The Telluride outfitter BootDoctors offers daily rentals to explore the area on your own ($39/day with helmet), guided family tours, and our personal favorite, the Big Tire Bike and Brew Tour, which includes a stop at the Telluride Brewing Company for a cold one (half day tour: $99, full day tour: $149).
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We hope you’re enjoying the time change in your area, as we can’t help but smile—we’re kidding—as we see the sunset a whole hour earlier. It definitely feels like winter is just around the corner now more than ever, but at least there’s one thing to which we can look forward and that’s ski season. The cool weather is already just enough to get things open, as resorts, mountains, and the bunny slopes across the country are just starting to do their thing.
Out in Colorado it’s not just the manmade stuff, as a couple resorts have had already had snowfall and are open for business. If you want to brag to your friends that you’ve already hit the slopes this season check out spots like Copper Mountain and Keystone Resort—in Frisco and Keystone, respectively. Other spots out in the Centennial State include Loveland, Wolf Creek, and Arapahoe Basin, so if you’ve been waiting since the spring to get back on the mountain now’s the time to do so.
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Ahhh, Valle Nevado
It's 90 degrees in New York City and in the Midwest today, and even hotter looking south. Thus, all we can think about are sno-cones, making snow angels, and perhaps a nice hottub dip after snowboarding. Sense a theme? The hottest, muggiest days of summer have us pining for the return of snow.
Of course there are regions of the world experiencing their heaviest powder days right now. It's winter in the southern hemisphere, which means places like South America and Australia/New Zealand are airing out their snowboots for a return to the slopes. Here's three summer snow destinations to consider hitting for summer 2013:
While the US was burning up in the late summer heat last year, we were atop the Andes and snowboarding in a long-sleeve shirt. Valle Nevado boasts 24 miles of runs, the newest in ski lifts and gondolas, a heli-skiing port and ski school, and a beautiful mountaintop village with a range of resorts and more powder than the nearby ski area of Portillo.
If the vertiginous vistas don't get you, the novelty of it will. This isn't the Alps; it's the freakin' Andes and that means different food (and wine!), a welcome laid-back attitude, Spanish and English spoken versus Italian, French and German, and the sense that you've really discovered a secret skiing paradise.
Location: up in the Andes mountains, about an hour-and-a-half's drive up from Santiago. Accessible by rental car, or with weekend packages and car shares out of Santiago.
Price: a day pass for the slopes starts at 29,000 CLP ($58).
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In case you missed it we’re in the middle of the winter, and pretty much everyone has been hit with the snow—especially those in the northeast. It’s definitely time to take a break from the shoveling and plowing, and make your way onto the slopes. Skiing down the mountain is way better than playing with the snow in your driveway, and now Google is even here to help you find your way.
Adding to their mapping empire, Google just recently revealed that they’ve got the scoop on a whole bunch of ski resorts. Their latest addition boosts their offerings by another 38, as they add to their collection of ski resorts and mountains across the United States and Canada. Different lines indicate lifts, trails, difficulty, and even the path to the best hot toddy by the fire. Okay—maybe not that last part, but we wouldn’t be surprised if that was buried in there somewhere.
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It’s never too early to start thinking about ski season, and that’s especially the case with November just around the corner. Sure the good flakes might not start coating those slopes until a month or two from now, but we’re thinking that there will be plenty of the white fluffy stuff to get you outdoors. The only problem with skiing is that there’s a lot of equipment to lug and things get even more inconvenient when you need to fly to the mountain. Thankfully there’s one airline over in Europe that’ll serve as a lift for your equipment, and they’ll do it for free.
Monarch Airlines out of the United Kingdom is gearing up for ski season and offering to carry your stuff under the belly of the plane without an extra fee. You do need to book your tickets between now and the end of 2012, and you’ll end up saving yourself roughly $65. They’ve even got low rates to many popular destinations, as rates start around $55 each way inclusive of taxes to spots like Friedrichshafen and Innsbruck.
The Grand Targhee Resort, outside of Jackson Hole, Wyoming, just received another eco-honor. Skiing magazine has just named Targhee The Greenest Ski Resort as part of their Skiing's Green All Stars report. The honor was bestowed on Targhee for their efforts to reduce its emissions. The resort is retrofitting buildings, upgrading transportation and recycling programs, and constructing a greenhouse to grow fresh vegetables to help reduce the 2,958 metric tons of CO2 they use each year.
Targhee was also awarded Clif Bar’s 2009 Golden Eagle Award for Environmental Excellence by the National Ski Areas Association. “We got that award for our work on our greenhouse gas inventory,” Christina Thomure, Targhee’s director of sustainable operations said. “You have to report every source of emissions you have. Even when our employees go off site and travel, we report the mileage and estimate the amount of gasoline that’s used.”
Colorado's most recent we-really-hope-this-goes-viral marketing campaign is drawing to a close, as the state's tourism board has settled on three lucky "snow virgins" to get 3-month all-expense paid skiing trips. The entire contestwhich began with candidates sending in personal videos before getting flown in for final interviewshopes to leverage a bunch of new social media to get Colorado's slopes exposure.
The three winners, who can be found on SnowAtFirstSight.com, will use blogs, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Flickr to discuss their experiences. In any case the kids all sound exceptionally bubbly. Exceptionally bubbly:
We know, you've been waiting and waiting for some Mongolian developer to finally open a resort on Bogd Khan Uul Mountain, the 914-meter peak that overlooks the capital, Ulan Bator. Well, the wait is over. As The New York Times points out, Sky Resort opened to skiers in November, with dirt-cheap lift tickets, lots of artificial snow making (while temperatures are very cold, Bogd Khan Uul doesn't get much snow), and a ski and snowboard school with 27 professional instructors. There are nine slopes in total, with names like Chuluut, a beginners run, and Khurkhreet, the resort's only black diamond run. Does anyone know how to say Cowabunga! in Mongolian?
Adventure sports company Canadian Mountain Holidays is already taking reservations for their winter packages, with a Canadian heli-skiing vacation scheduled for March 13-20. To save you the trip over to Wikipedia, heli-skiiing is when you crave downhill isolation so much that you actually book a helicopter to take you into a remote mountain region. The Tour D'Adamants vacation package - guided by TV sports commentator Bob Roll and Tour de France competitor Ron Kiefel and presumably part of the company's Powder Masters program - revolves around a stay in the isolated Adamant Lodge.
The vacation sounds awesome even before you begin to muse about the near-total lack of other humans, at which point it becomes exquisite. The price tag is where things begin to get a little problematic for us: $10,100 per person. So while we've been known to argue that remote vacations are literally invaluable, we find ourselves having to revise that number downward to mostly invaluable.
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There’s a new way to relax after a long day on the ski slopes, and we’re not talking about downing a hot toddy by the lodge fireplace. The town of Breckenridge, Colorado recently voted to legalize marijuana within the ski town. For those that spend more time rolling down the mountain rather than remaining on two feet—this is excellent news.
The town voted overwhelmingly to allow snowboarders, skiers, and all others over 21 years old to have up to an ounce of ghanja. However, there is a slight catch, so hold off on heading to your friendly neighborhood head shop. In case you aren’t too familiar with state law, marijuana is still technically illegal in Colorado. So the measure that was approved was more of a local opinion than anything else.