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Mammoth Lakes, CA

For once, the hyperbole actually applies. A summit elevation of 11,053 feet and a hefty 3,100-foot vertical drop are just some Mammoth stats that don't need any embroidering by Bay Area marketing whiz kids. The mountain is served by 28 lifts numbered in the order they were built, giving a nod to ...

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Whistler, BC

Welcome to Whistler/Blackcomb, Land of Oz. Like Oz, Whistler is a magical place—especially when the guy behind the curtain lets the sun out. The stats foreshadow the enormity of the possibilities.

Whistler and Blackcomb are separate mountains and were once separate, competing ...

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Big Sky, MT

If you want skiing that's uncluttered, scenic, and laid-back, then Big Sky's your place. A big turnout in this 3,832-acre resort is around 4,000 people a day. The lines here are ridiculously short, if they exist at all, and Big Sky has consistently worked to keep lift capacity higher than the ...

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Breckenridge, CO

Breckenridge is a charming Victorian town with lift-served skiing on four interconnected mountains. There’s easy-street skiing and snowboarding on Peak 9, tough stuff on Peak 10, and splendid backcountry-style skiing on Peak 7—155 trails in total, with a vertical rise of over 3,000 ...

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Teton Village, WY

The Jackson Hole Mountain Resort is, in its own words, "Like nothing you have skied before." This sign, on a T-shirt in nearly every shop in town, hangs above the entrance to the resort's tram dock and goes on to say, "It is huge. With variable terrain from groomed slopes to dangerous cliff ...

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South Lake Tahoe, CA, CA

Heavenly is unique in that it sprawls across state boundaries. Part of the ski area is in California and part is in Nevada, and for my money, the Nevada part is the better part. The fall line is more sustained, meaning that runs tend to be longer.

For novice skiers, Heavenly can be ...

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Stratton Mountain, VT

Snowboarding was born here, and the resort remains a favorite among riders. The sport's roots are honored each March with the annual staging of the U.S. Open competitions. Stratton was also one of the first mountains to install a six-passenger, high-speed chairlift. The downhill boarding is ...

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Truckee, CA

Look at the trail map, and it might seem as though there is relatively little beginner terrain. But trust me—most of the intermediate runs at Northstar ski more like novice runs, and most of the advanced runs ski like intermediate runs. I've heard north-shore locals deride Northstar, ...

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Mt. Crested Butte, CO

Long known as one of the friendliest and most charming towns in the Rockies, Crested Butte has a way of making any outdoor activity unsurpassable. More than 100 years of rich history and diverse terrain, ranging from pancake-flat fields to Everest-steep inclines, have afforded this little ...

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Olympic Valley, CA

Squaw is the American birthplace of extreme skiing. About 25 ago, Squaw locals began skiing impossible lines from the Palisades, essentially a cliff with snow stuck to it. In the early 1980s, Scot Schmidt, arguably the father of extreme skiing, arrived in Squaw to pull 100-foot cliff ...

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