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10 QUIRKY FACTS FROM 5 US RESORTS - Katie Bamber, Senior News Reporter
Thursday November 22, 2018 - Email this article to a friend

Steamboat, Winter Park, Deer Valley, Mammoth Mountain and Squaw Valley. Here's what you may not know about them. NEW

All 5 resorts are joined by the new lift pass that comes into play this winter - The Ikon Pass.

The Ikon Pass connects resorts in the USA, Canada, Chile, Australia, New Zealand and Japan.

It is offered by the newly formed Alterra Mountain Company.

We have reported on its growth since it formed in spring last year:
And we were at a launch event in London earlier this month for this season's pass:
But now the 10 facts from five of some of its best resorts in the USA:

Steamboat, Colorado

1. There's a snowcat at Steamboat which serves tacos and beer on the mountain.

Taking the food truck to new levels, Steamboat will unveil the Taco Beast this season; an on-mountain, roaming snowcat serving street tacos, breakfast burritos, Mexican street corn and Mexican-style beer.

Redefining ‘slopeside' dining, the Taco Beast travels to various locations on the mountain and can be tracked by visitors online.

2. The snow at Steamboat is officially trademarked as Champagne Powder®

With an average water content of 6 percent, compared with 15 percent found typically at other locations, the snow at Steamboat is incredibly light and dry, leading it to be officially trademarked as Champagne Powder®.

The phrase was first coined in the early 1950s by local rancher Joe McElroy, who said the snow tickled his nose like champagne.

Here at PlanetSKI we were lucky enough to visit last winter. Check out our stories from the time:

Winter Park Resort, Colorado

3. There's a train from Denver which takes visitors direct to the slopes at Winter Park

Visitors to Winter Park who arrive via Denver won't waste any time, as there's an AmTrak train which takes passengers directly to the slopes at the resort.

The Winter Park Express takes around two hours and drops travellers at the base of the mountain, so they can grab their skis and make the most of the snow.

4. Guests can join a yoga class in the snow at Winter Park

Every Friday at Winter Park during the ski season, guests can join SNOWga, a 30-minute yoga class on the snow.

Led by a certified yoga instructor, SNOWga will teach stretches and techniques to help relieve aches and pains from a day on the slopes.

There's also music and delicious hot chocolate, a well-deserved post-SNOWga treat.

Check out our stories from when we visited:
Winter Park, ColoradoPlanetSKI arrive in Winter Park, Colorado

Deer Valley Resort, Utah

5. Deer Valley is one of only three ski-only resorts in the USA

Located less than one hour's drive from Salt Lake City, Deer Valley Resort in Utah is one of the most exclusive destinations in the USA.

The resort is ski-only, and limits the number of people allowed on the mountains each day, so skiers know that they are guaranteed few lift queues and virtually endless space on the slopes.

6. Guests at Deer Valley can make use of UberSKI

Deer Valley is one of the few places in the USA serviced by UberSKI, where cars are specially equipped with racks to carry ski equipment.

Launched last year, the service is one of the easiest ways for visitors to get themselves and their gear to the mountains.

Deer Valley, UtahDeer Valley, Utah














Mammoth Mountain, California

7. Mammoth Mountain is home to an award-winning terrain park which is a favourite of Shaun White

Spread over 100 acres of terrain, the Unbound Terrain Parks at Mammoth Mountain have plenty to offer adrenaline junkies, including three half pipes and over 100 jibs.

The 22-foot pipe at the Main Park is frequently recognised as the top snowboarding pipe in the USA and is where legendary snowboarder Shaun White often practices new tricks.

8. Mammoth Mountain has one of the longest winter seasons in North America

Of over 800 ski resorts in the USA, Mammoth Mountain has one of the longest winter seasons.

This year, the resort opened on 8 November 2018 and it often stays open until July, giving skiers and snowboarders nine months of snow action.

Our editor at PlanetSKI visited last winter:
Mammoth Mountain, CaliforniaMammoth Mountain, California

Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, California

9. The Winter Olympics took place at Squaw Valley in 1960

Squaw Valley had the prestigious honour of hosting the Winter Olympics in 1960.

A lot of debuts were seen at the event including the men's biathlon and women's speed skating.

French athlete Jean Vuarnet also became the first skier to win a medal on metal skis instead of the traditional wooden ones commonly favoured at that time.

It's not uncommon for renowned athletes to frequent the resort now, and professionals such as Cody Townsend can be seen on the slopes.

10. Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows will soon run on 100% renewable energy

From 1st December 2018, Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows will be powered solely by electricity that is 100% renewable.

With this change, the resort will reduce its annual carbon footprint by an estimated 49 percent, which is equivalent to the emissions generated by the annual electrical use of 959 homes.

Squaw Valley, CaliforniaSquaw Valley, California














About Alterra Mountain Company

Alterra Mountain Company is a family of 14 year-round destinations, including the world's largest heli-skiing operation.

It spans five US states and three Canadian provinces:

Steamboat and Winter Park Resort in Colorado;

Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, Mammoth Mountain, June Mountain and Big Bear Mountain Resort in California;

Stratton in Vermont;

Snowshoe in West Virginia;

Crystal Mountain Resort in Washington;

Tremblant in Quebec, Blue Mountain in Ontario;

Deer Valley Resort and Solitude Mountain Resort in Utah;

And CMH Heli-Skiing & Summer Adventures in British Columbia.

IKON pass resorts in North AmericaIKON pass resorts in North America












About Ikon Pass

All these resorts are on the pass:


California: Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, Mammoth Mountain, June Mountain, Big Bear Mountain Resort

Colorado: Aspen Snowmass, Steamboat, Winter Park Resort, Copper Mountain Resort, Eldora Mountain Resort

Maine: Sugarloaf, Sunday River

Michigan: Boyne Highlands, Boyne Mountain

Montana: Big Sky Mountain Resort

New Hampshire: Loon Mountain

New Mexico: Taos Ski Valley

Utah: Deer Valley Resort, Solitude Mountain Resort, Alta Ski Area, Snowbird, Brighton Resort

Vermont: Stratton, Killington Resort, Sugarbush Resort

Washington: Crystal Mountain Resort, The Summit at Snoqualmie

West Virginia: Snowshoe

Wyoming: Jackson Hole Mountain Resort


Alberta, Canada: SkiBig3 (Lake Louise, Sunshine Village, Mt Norquay)

British Columbia, Canada: Revelstoke Mountain Resort, Cypress Mountain, CMH Heli-Skiing & Summer Adventures

Ontario, Canada: Blue Mountain

Quebec, Canada: Tremblant


New South Wales, Australia: Thredbo


South Island, New Zealand: Coronet Peak, The Remarkables, Mt Hutt


Hokkaido, Japan: Niseko United


Central Andes, Chile: Valle Nevado


See here for the main PlanetSKI news page with all the latest stories from the mountains.

For the Spirit of the Mountains - PlanetSKI: Number One for ski news

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