Singing the Blues
Our Editor in Chief's favorite three resorts to hit the slopes
I love to ski! When I was growing up in Wyoming we skied at Antelope Butte in the Big Horn mountains and I'm delighted that a non-profit team led by my childhood friend and Antelope Butte skiing companion, Sandy Suzor, is working to resurrect the resort. We spent every winter weekend there with friends Cyndi, Gayle and Heather, often skiing in blue jeans.
These days, after a skiing accident a few years ago, I don’t push myself as hard; I enjoy the fresh air, snow and scenery—spending more time on blue runs. Some of my snobby skier friends (Maggie Swift ☺) scoff at my love of blues, but my saying is, “cruise the blues, done by 2:00," (actually I leave around 3:00 to try to miss traffic but that doesn’t rhyme with blues).
The list below includes my top three favorite resorts: they aren’t overly crowded (compared to some extreme lift lines where people haven’t figured out merging yet). They all have breathtakingly beautiful terrain and wonderful food—I get hungry just thinking of the burger at the Handle Bar in Jackson! In addition to blues, they have something for everyone including plenty of black diamond and green runs.
There’s no place like Snowmass. Some runs have incredible rolling terrain that feels like skiing on a roller coaster. Many of my favorites are accessed by the Elk Camp gondola and lift.
When conditions are right, it’s fun to clip out of your bindings, put your skis on your shoulder and hike up to Long Shot, a blue run that isn’t serviced by a lift. Typically very few other skiers are there. And to prepare for the hike, treat yourself to lunch at Elk Camp. Many resorts have upgraded their food service but the lamb stew at Elk Camp on a cold day can’t be beat.
As a Wyoming native who lived in Jackson for years, I heart Jackson. Even when it’s “crowded,” it’s really not. I like taking the Teton Quad lift up and skiing Crags. And for people who have never skied at JHMR before, riding the iconic red Tram to Rendezvous Bowl will give you bragging rights (it’s expert terrain), and skiing the runs serviced by the Sublette Chair are a nice way to spend the day. Lunch choices at the base include the Four Seasons Handle Bar with the best burgers in town or the Old Yellowstone Garage with pancetta wrapped mozzarella to die for (ask Maggie).
Last year I skied Sun Valley for the first time and fell in love. Many of the people we met skiing were locals or people who return to ski Sun Valley each year. They were incredibly friendly, recommending their favorite runs to us.
Although on our first day the locals at the base told us to turn back because it was raining on top, the next day the snow globe-style snow was perfection. Lunch was a bucket list treat—the legendary Roundhouse restaurant on Baldy Mountain opened in 1939 and has served many notable guests. You don’t have to ski to enjoy the food, you can take the Roundhouse Gondola up without skis. We met a couple who drove all the way from Phoenix to celebrate their anniversary lunch there.