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Google Maps / Travel Technology / Winter Travel / Active Travel / Android / iOS / Skiing / Ski Travel / → All Tags
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.
Winter Travel / Europe Travel / Skiing / Ski Travel / Airline Fees / Active Travel / Snow Travel / Austria Travel / Monarch / Italy Travel / → All Tags
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.
Drug Travel / Drugs / Marijuana / Skiing / Ski Travel / Colorado Travel / → All Tags
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.
Experience the Australian Alps from the comfort of a movie theater
Film, at its best, has the ability to transport us to a different time, place or state of mind. The great leisure of cinematic travel is that you do so parked in a plush theater chair for two or so hours, with a jumbo pack of Milk Duds and Red Vines by your side. The Fifth Annual Backcountry Film Festival aims to take theatergoers on a tour of wintry locations the world over, from Vermont to Japan.
Your lift ticket to mountainous and blistering-cold regions comes in the form of films shot in the backcountry of different nations, including unlikely places such as Australia. It's a little-known fact that there is snowboarding along with surfing down under.
Skiing in Southern California sounds like a horrible oxymoron, or a poorly conceived of joke. But it's true, Golden State foreigners: There's snow to be found around our usually heat-stricken climes, namely at Mammoth Mountain.
In recent years we've heard reports of poor snowfall and late season starts in some California skiing regions, Lake Tahoe in particular. That isn't the case at Mammoth in 2009, though; the mountain was hit with two-to-six feet of snow ahead of schedule, according to a report from the Los Angeles Examiner, boding well for ski bunnies itching to hit the slopes early. The Examiner states that Mammoth's current "26 inches of snow is the highest October total since the 2004-05 season," with "warm temperatures approaching 60 degrees" around the mountain. Now that's oxymoronic.
Many people are still putting the final touches on their jack-o-lanterns, but it’s already time to break out the skis from the storage unit. Winter has arrived extra early in some parts of Colorado this year. Last week a baseball playoff game was canceled due to a little snow and sleet, and the Loveland Ski Area fired up the lifts for the first time this season on October 7. It’s been cold enough and they've had the snow-making machines running at full force to get everything ready for the beginning of the season.
The resort is about 50 miles outside Denver and this is the first time they’ve opened this early in about 40 years—guess there’s no trouble with global warming up on the slopes. Unless some other ski resort sneakily opened their facility without any fanfare, Loveland is the first ski resort to open in North America this year.
Global Warming / Mount Everest / Explorers Club / North Pole / South Pole / Skiing / Eric Larsen / Ecotourism / Science / Mountain Climbing / → All Tags
A polar explorer named Eric Larsen is about to embark on an ambitious adventure that will bring him to the North Pole, South Pole, and summit of Mount Everest, the world's tallest mountain, all within 365 days. The Save the Poles Expedition, as he's calling it, is designed to bring awareness to the problem of global warming by traveling to the most notorious frozen places on earth, reporting the latest climate data, and using the platform to advocate strategies for reducing carbon emissions.
Winter is coming to Australia, but that's definitely no reason to avoid planning a Down Under trip, especially not with the crazy off-season airfare sales going on. Half the country's still warm in winter anyway, and if you're a snow enthusiast, then you'll be pleasantly surprised at the ski resorts in the states of New South Wales and Victoria.
This year in particular looks fantastic for the Victorian snowfields. The Mount Buller resort region has already had a weekend opening for skiers, making it the earliest start to the season in history, and five weeks ahead of the usual schedule.
The official season (along with all the appropriate celebrations) will launch on June 6, 2009, with a big festival over that weekend. The fact that the resort website mentions free hot chocolate during the opening weekend is enough to entice us, without hearing how snowfalls should make for some excellent skiing and snowboarding this winter.
You can reach Mt Buller most easily from Melbourne - it's a three and a half hour drive, or a bit longer on the bus, in the Alpine National Park. We like it because it's not quite as corny as going to the snow in the Snowy Mountains further north.
· Mt Buller Ski Resort [Official Resort]
· Buller to Open for Skiing After Cold Snap Snowfall [The Age]
· Australia Travel: Sand, Surf and … Snow? [Jaunted]