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    While You Were Away: 2013 Resort Upgrades

    By By Amanda Markert
    September 28, 2012, 8:03:21 AM EDT

    Songwriter Fran Landesman must have been a skier: What else could explain her lyrics to "Spring Can Really Hang You Up The Most" but that snowless window between April and November? Sure, we endure the warm weather and clear skies all summer, but our hearts belong to winter and to our beloved ski hills. The only thing that makes our six-month separation bearable—especially this time of year—is the knowledge that when we finally get back on the slopes, they'll be better than we left them. Resorts spend all spring, summer, and fall making improvements—installing new chairlifts, glading trails, expanding terrain, and renovating amenities—to ensure that we'll fall in love with them all over again. Here’s a quick roundup of the changes you can expect when you finally reunite with your favorite hill in just a few short weeks.

    Breckenridge, Colorado Breck recently announced its long-anticipated plans to expand onto Peak 6, but that terrain won't open until next season. The resort is hoping to hold over eager guests with private tours of the moutnain’s already massive trail system. An extension of Breck’s Ski and Ride School, the Peak to Peak Challenge program is an all-day, thigh-burning expedition across Breck's four peaks. For $230 plus the cost of a lift ticket, intermediate and advanced skiers in groups of no more than four guests to one instructor can explore hidden powder and jump to the front of long lift lines, all in an attempt to ski Breck's 10 most difficult trails. Succeed, and you'll be handsomely rewarded at the end of the day.


    Sierra-at-Tahoe, California So your boss isn’t too keen on you playing hooky for a week to heliski with your buddies in far off B.C. or remote Alaska? If finding a cooler boss isn't a reality, how about this alternative? Sierra-at-Tahoe is offering the next best thing to a heli expedition—backcountry cat skiing closer to home and office. Huckleberry Cat Tours will deliver you to the summit of Huckleberry Mountain where you can blow off steam charging through bowls, glades, cliffs, and chutes. All you need is a weekend. The TPS Reports will be right where you left them. A short lesson on avalanche safety along with a shovel, probe and beacon are included with the cat ride for $79. The cats carry up to ten guests and the excusion lasts from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. with a short break for lunch provided by Huckleberry Cat Tours. Snowmass, Colorado Aspen Ski Co. started adding 230 acres to Snowmass’s Burnt Mountain earlier this summer. On September 5, the Ark Institute filed suit against Aspen to stop the removal of some trees in a roadless section of the forest. Aspen has stopped all construction but hopes to resume and open the area before the ski season. Tucked away on the westernmost side of the resort, Burnt houses some of the resort’s best intermediate terrain. Rolling hills, loosely packed trees, and ungroomed glades cover most of the area. The addition would boost the resort’s total skiable acreage to 3,362 acres, making it the second largest ski resort in Colorado. Click here to read more.

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