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Snowbird, UT

Snowbird's Aerial Tram plows into the early morning mist, packed to the hilt with lucky skiers, mountain rescue crews, and liftees, all expectantly awaiting just one thing: first tracks down the slopes of one of North America's top-rated resorts.

And even though the scenery remains ...

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Taos Ski Valley, NM

Taos, of course, is the stuff of legends. In skier lore, it ranks with Aspen, Sun Valley, and Squaw Valley among North America's must-ski places. So, when I'm standing at the bottom of Al's Run, the legendary trail at the legendary resort, and reading the sign that starts out by saying "Don't ...

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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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Alta, UT

Alta is the land of free-heel skiing, wool pants, hiking for untracked powder, Wasatch wahoos, and old-fashioned fixed lifts. Alta is old-school skiing at its best—and that also means NO SNOWBOARDING. Quality, not quantity, is what counts here. The best lines are all a hike from the top of ...

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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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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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Park City, UT

One of alpine’s enduring mysteries? How The Canyons ski resort remains one of Park City’s best-kept secrets despite its mammoth size. The resort stretches across nine peaks with 4,000 skiable acres, 182 trails, five bowls, six natural half pipes, and ample backcountry access, but ...

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