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16 Images

Hitting the ski slopes

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Durango Mountain Resort: A skier plunges downhill through fresh powder at the southern Colorado resort formerly known as Purgatory. Notable for its long-rolling snow boulevards, Durango Mountain is an easy 25-mile drive north from the town of Durango on U.S. 550. (Scott D.W. Smith)
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Methow Valley: In the Cascades of northern Washington, Methow Valley has 108 miles of dedicated cross-country ski trails through whisper-quiet forests and farms. Some trails even sport poetry markers along the way. (Methow Valley Sport Trails Assn.)
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Durango Mountain Resort: Against the backdrop of the Needles range, a snowboarder receives a tutorial. From the top of almost every lift, visitors are treated to fabulous mountain views. (Scott D.W. Smith)
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Crested Butte Mountain Resort: A snowboarder takes flight at Crested Butte, renowned for its steep bowls. It’s another southern Colorado destination that, like Durango Mountain, offers respite from overcrowded slopes. (Tom Stillo)
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Crested Butte Mountain Resort: Youngsters lead theway during a family outing. Advanced skiers, meanwhile, check out Teocalli Bowl and other intimidating slopes. (Tom Stillo)
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Crested Butte Mountain Resort: A steep run tests a skier. For those who build up a thirst during such strenuous fun, it’s nice to know that Crested Butte’s owners have expanded the on-mountain availability of beverages. One of the finest on-slope coffeehouses in Colorado can be found at the Camp 4 shack atop the Painter Boy lift. (Tom Stillo)
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Crested Butte Mountain Resort: A couple walk through the town of Crested Butte on their way to the slopes. The area has a history aside from skiing, having been the site of gold- and coal-mining ventures. (Tom Stillo)
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Crested Butte Mountain Resort: There’s nighttime illumination from the sky and along streets at the town of Crested Butte. The resort’s owners and others also have kick-started a building spree near the lifts at Mount Crested Butte. (Tom Stillo)
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Wolf Creek Ski Area: Often boasting the most snow in the state, this spot in southern Colorado is near Pagosa Springs, home to natural hot-springs soaking pools. Something for this adventurous skier to keep in mind. (Sven Brunso)
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Wolf Creek Ski Area: The area is known for not only for its abundance of snow but for the snow’s quality. Its powder has lent Wolf Creek a mystique throughout the region. (Sven Brunso)
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Wolf Creek Ski Area: In amenities, Wolf Creek may be down home. But its patrons’ feelings about the place reminded reporter Grace Lichtenstein of the awe with which others speak of Utah’s Alta. (Sven Brunso)
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Sun Peaks Resort: At the south-central British Columbia ski area, a 45-minute drive from Kamloops Airport, a ride uphill is followed by a bracing descent. That’s because Sun Peaks has the biggest vertical drop (2,891 feet) in interior B.C. Spread across three mountains are 121 downhill runs up to five miles long. (Margo Pfeiff)
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Sun Peaks Resort: A welcoming sight during the day, the resort’s village -- a cozy cluster of lodges hotels, restaurants and pubs -- makes for a busy hive of night life. (Margo Pfeiff)
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Methow Valley: Groomed cross-country ski trails continue over a bridge in the Cascade Range in Washington. The area offers the nation’s second-longest network of trails, some coursing over riverbeds and ranchland. (Methow Valley Sport Trails Assn.)
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Methow Valley: Birch trees line one patch of trail in the North Cascades. The trees and the sport of cross-country skiing remind one of Sweden. (Methow Valley Sport Trails Assn.)
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Methow Valley: A rosy-cheeked youngster has fun cross-country skiing in the North Cascades. (Methow Valley Sport Trails Assn.)
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