Our family of five moved from Northern Virginia to Colorado in 2014 and I was excited to learn that my youngest child, a fifth grader now, was eligible for both the free 5th Grade Passport program and the Epic Schoolkids Colorado Pack. Both programs are free for students his age who live in-state, and both cover the cost of lift tickets at many of Colorado’s most popular ski resorts, along with other benefits.
What is it about backcountry skiing that drives skiers wild? Is it the lore of riding outside maintained or controlled ski areas; or the freedom to move through the terrain at your own pace without a guide; or the insane thrill of knowing you could be trapped by an avalanche at any given moment and possibly not be rescued; or the adventure and exploration of the unknown; or your clandestine desires to flirt with danger; or perhaps — is it simply the draw of the pristine powder, awesome tree runs and the fact there is no one there to interfere with your experience?
Who would’ve ever imagined that a board with mounted bindings and a pair of specialized snow boots, would turn into a mass phenomenon? I mean, really … who knew? Not even Sherman Poppen imagined [in 1965] that his idea to fasten two skis together and attach a rope to the end of it to give his daughters more control as they glided downhill, would eventually turn into such a craze — and become all the rage on the slopes today.
Families have been trekking to ski resorts for as long as they’ve been around. Whether they’re annual traditions, company trips, or first-time adventures, there’s a little something for everyone up on the mountain.
Serious skiers know what makes for a great run – powdery snow and beautiful terrain. Cat skiing provides just that. Skiers can enjoy the exhilaration of wild, uncharted territory while having the security of a guide and a comfortable vehicle to shelter in. Cat skiing refers to a type of skiing in which participants use a snowcat to reach their trails instead of a traditional ski lift found at most resorts or a helicopter, which is generally used for backcountry skiing.
Looking for a family vacation that will keep everyone entertained? Consider cross-country skiing. It’s perfect for multiple generations and an ideal snow activity for an extended family. And while many skiers flock to the western slopes for the diverse terrain, there are quite a few ski areas in the East that specialize in this activity. For example, Stowe Vermont is among the largest, most diverse trail systems in the East, and quite possible the U.S. More than 3000 acres of conserved land produce expertly groomed and perfectly ungroomed skiing for every ability. Aside from the backcountry, you can ski around the historic village, many restaurants, and boutique shops.