Doctor's Review: Medicine on the Move

December 14, 2017
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Doctors Review continued:

United States
Alyeska Resort, AK
(tel: 907-754-2111; www.alyeskaresort.com)

Looming above the small town of Girdwood (population 2000), Alyeska ski resort in Alaska's Chugach Mountains is still relatively unknown. The North Face claims the longest ungroomed double-black diamond in North America. Add to that non-existent lift lines and an average annual snowfall of almost two metres, and you've got some pretty amazing skiing. The view is definitely better from the top of the world.

What a lift ticket costs: Adult $US50.

Where to stay: Make yourself at home at the unpretentious Alyeska Creek B&B, nestled in the Chugach National Forest by the Alyeska Creek. Rooms start at $US100 in high season and feature full en-suite bathrooms. Third-storey rooms look out on the mountain. Reservations: (907) 783-2352; www.alyeskaaccommodations.com.

Packages: Take advantage of the Alyeska Prince Hotel's Four-Night Ski Package. It includes a deluxe room for two for four nights and lift tickets for three days. Close to the tram and lifts, you can whip from your room to the top of the mountain in about 10 minutes. From $US699. Available December 1-April 10, but not December 17-January 2. Reservations: (907) 754-2111; www.alyeska resort.com.

Deals: Alyeska Prince Hotel guests save $US10 on adult day lift tickets.

Why go now: The freedom of skiing without crowds is enough reason to go anytime. Eventually, the resort plans to expand Winner Creek, a wide-open space adjacent to the North Face.

Jackson Hole, WY
(tel: 888-DEEP-SNO; www.jacksonhole.com)

Jackson Hole's tough, diverse terrain is why expert skiers head back to The Big One year after year. Test your ability on Jackson's famous Corbet's Couloir, with its almost vertical entrance and steep pitch. Wyoming's Wild West-attitude has certainly captured female hearts, offering a women's only expert camp. Not for ski bunnies.

What a lift ticket costs: Adult $US67.

Where to stay: Located at the base of Rendezvous Mountain, Jackson Hole Resort's Village Center Inn is affordable and convenient (ski-in, ski-out). Rates starts at $US59 per person per night for lodging and skiing (quad occupancy, three-night minimum required). Reservations: (800) 443-8613; www.jhrl.com/inns/inns.html.

Packages: The Powder Package starts at $US289 per person for four nights in a two-bedroom condo at the Jackson Hole Racquet Club and three-day lift tickets (based on quad occupancy). Available January 3-April 5. Reservations: (800) 443-8613; www.jacksonhole.com.

Deals: Head to the hills December 4-17 and pay just $US49 for adult day tickets.

Why go now: The Crags terrain, previously a closed inbounds area, will be opened for the first time this year. A 30-minute hike will bring expert skiers to the 305 vertical metres of bowls, chutes and tree skiing above the popular Casper Lift area.

Vail, CO
(tel: 800-404-3535; http://vail.com)

Vail has it all: its own Eagle Airport 20 minutes away, 2140 hectares of skiable terrain that will take days -- and a guide -- to cover, six expansive backbowls and powder so deep you'll need to tie your skis to your boots.

What a lift ticket costs: Varies depending on when you book and how. A good bet is the Season Starter Ticket which gives you six days of skiing or riding between November 19-December 11 for $US179. That's about $US30 a day. Must be pre-purchased online 14 days prior to arrival.

Where to stay: Forget the crowds and sleep in East Vail Village, a short, free shuttle ride from the mountain. East Vail's Gore Creek Meadows offers affordable, well-maintained condos and an outdoor hot tub year-round. Check http://vail.com for rates. Reservations: (877) 204-7881.

Packages: Ski three days, stay three nights in Vail and get the fourth day of skiing and night of lodging free at participating properties. Packages start at $US394 from January 3-February 9, and $US251 from April 3-17 for a four-night stay, quad occupancy in a two-bedroom condo. Must be purchased at least 14 days in advance. Premium and luxury lodge rooms are available at other rates. Reservations: (877) 204-7881; http://vail.com.

Deals: You'll always save on lift tickets if you buy them online. Info: http://vail.com. Prices go up January 31, but you can pre-purchase now.

Why go now: Thirty-three percent more grooming and 10 new snowcats is good news for corduroy lovers. Powder skiers can still touch 1620 hectares of untouched runs. A new stone-and-steel bridge welcomes skiers and riders across Gore Creek at the base of LionsHead, replacing Vail's original skier bridge. Redevelopment projects in both Vail Village and LionsHead are in the works.

Killington, VT
(tel: 800-621-MTNS; www.killington.com)

Close to Montreal and Burlington, Killington is eastern North America's largest ski resort. From the leg-burning moguls of Bear Mountain to the expert steeps of The Canyon, Killington is an expert skier's paradise. Take the free guided tour to find your way around its seven mountains and 200 trails, then hit the award-winning après-ski scene.

What a lift ticket costs: Prices are only available the week the hill opens.

Where to stay: The mountainside Killington Grand Resort Hotel offers hotel rooms, studios and suites with walk-to-the-slopes convenience. Amenities include an outdoor heated pool and hot tubs. From $US185 per night. Reservations: (877) 4-ktimes; www.killington.com.

Packages: Killington's two-day/two-night Ski and Stay package includes lodging and lift tickets starting from $US58 per person per night early/late season and $US92 per person per night mid-winter (based on two people in a motel room or four in a one-bedroom condo). The five-day Killington Ski Week Package is the best value. Arrive on Sunday and depart on Friday for mid-week skiing. A mid-winter package starts at $US62 per person per day and includes lift tickets. Reservations: (800) 621-MTNS; www.killington.com/packages.html.

Deals: Buy eTickets online (minimum 14 days in advance) and get up to 20 percent savings on regular-priced lift tickets.

Why go now: Killington has invested a cool $US2 million in snowmaking system upgrades. New trail signage has gone up for better mountain navigation and the Snowshed Base Lodge has been renovated. New tree skiing will be added at Bear Mountain and its double-black-diamond Devil's Fiddle gets its own quad chair.

 

This article was accurate when it was published. Please confirm rates and details directly with the companies in question.

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