Skip to main content

Kids lessons at Snowmass mountain in Colorado.

Jeremy Swanson

The first ski resort opening of the season – it was Colorado's Arapahoe Basin on Oct. 17 – sets off a flurry of alpine unveilings on mountains across Europe and North America.

It's not every year that an entirely new destination fires up its lifts, and Utah's Cherry Peak aims to do just that before the holidays. The autumn of 2014 is also rife with speculation about 2015, what with Intrawest recently acquiring the other half of Ontario's Blue Mountain for $58-million and Vail Resorts buying Park City in Utah for more than three times that amount.

This season, there are plenty of intriguing opportunities at home and abroad.

Story continues below advertisement

CANADA

Sun Peaks Resort, B.C. By adding 202 hectares to two of its three peaks, Sun Peaks becomes the second-largest ski area in Canada. Look for two advanced runs on Mt. Morrisey and an advanced trail and two expansive glades near the top of Tod Mountain.

Red Mountain Resort, B.C. A year after unveiling Grey Mountain, Red is adding another 80 hectares of glades on the south side of Mt. Kirkup. You'll take a snowcat up to ski it ($10 a ride) and there are no plans to run a chairlift up the peak in the near future, says Erik Kalacis, Red's vice-president of business development.

Mont Tremblant, Que. A child-oriented "TAM-TAM Zone" winds through a series of small glades littered with banked turns and playful obstacles. More experienced skiers can check out 1.6 hectares of new glades just off the North Side's black-diamond Le Tunnel run.

Blue Mountain, Ont. Skiers can now clock their speed, distance, vertical and more with the Trace Snow app that helps you brag about your day. Also, there's more room for tricks in the terrain park and the Badlands Superpipe has been revamped.

Mount St. Louis Moonstone, Ont. Fiftieth anniversary celebrations include the launch of night skiing on the resort's 22 runs, two terrain parks and half pipe. And because lift tickets cost $4.50 in 1964, they'll be offered for the same price on Dec. 19.

EUROPE

Story continues below advertisement

Saas Fee, Switzerland Break out the DayGlo and grow your mullet: from Dec. 6 to 19, Saas Fee goes back to 1984 prices and fashions to celebrate several milestones, including the 30th anniversary of Wham!'s Last Christmas video, which was filmed here.

Val Thorens, France It has just won world's best ski resort for the second year in a row at the World Travel Awards and with the opening of Club Med Sensations on Dec. 14, skiers have a new reason to visit. The new Club Med is an all-inclusive, ski in/ski out experience: lessons, guides, top-quality rentals and meals, with access to Le Trois Vallées 600 kilometres of slopes included.

Ischgl, Austria Pardatschgrat's 28-person gondola cabins climb 1,251 vertical metres this year, setting a world record for tri-cable gondolas.

Silvretta Montafon, Austria and Switzerland Skiers will now be able to reach the Hochjoch Pass on the Swiss-Austrian border via the eight-person, 2,370-metre-long Panorama gondola.

Davos-Klosters, Switzerland The lower section of the 1,035-metre-long Jakobshorn cable car is being replaced by a new aerial tramway, which doubles capacity with 100-person cabins. Both the valley and mid-mountain lift stations are also being refurbished.

Sextner Dolomiten, Italy A pair of eight-passenger gondolas connecting the Helm and Rotwand ski areas will span nearly four kilometres and open up five kilometres of new runs.

Story continues below advertisement

UNITED STATES

Okemo Mountain Resort, Vt. The orange bubble lift arrives at Okemo. The two-kilometre-long Sunburst Six chair slashes travel time, warms backsides with heated seats and prevents windburn under its orange dome.

Taos Ski Valley, N.M. The loftiest municipality in the U.S. (finally!) has a chairlift to the summit of 3,804-metre Kachina Peak, boosting its vertical drop by 335 metres and its advanced terrain by 50 per cent.

Aspen Snowmass Colorado's four-mountain resort complex is unveiling a $10-million (U.S.) children's centre at the base of Buttermilk Mountain. Dubbed the Hideout, the 7,500-square-foot hub will include daycare and ski-school facilities. Over at Snowmass, children's lessons will include time on the resort's new lift-serviced tubing runs.

Cherry Peak Resort, Utah This family owned newcomer is far from the madding ski crowd, offers a respectable 386-metre vertical drop and three chairlifts, and sells adult lift tickets for just $42 a day.

With files from Catherine Dawson March

Story continues below advertisement

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Comments

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • All comments will be reviewed by one or more moderators before being posted to the site. This should only take a few moments.
  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed. Commenters who repeatedly violate community guidelines may be suspended, causing them to temporarily lose their ability to engage with comments.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.
Cannabis pro newsletter