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Where to Ski Now

Category : Travel

Fresh terrain is opening up, a new megaresort beckons, and a Godzilla El Niño promises major storms. Why should you be amped for winter? Let us count the ways.

1. El Niño Is Back (And They’re Calling It Godzilla!)

Crafting the corduroy.   Photo: Mike Stolp-Smith/Active Junky

Since 1950, about one-third of winters have been granted El Niño status. “If it feels like we’re constantly talking about it, you’re right,” says Joel Gratz, the CEO of OpenSnow, a weather-forecasting website for skiers. But the strong El Niños—the winters that bring more than 500 inches of snow to places like Telluride in Colorado and Mammoth in California—happen only about once a decade. The good news: this winter, forecasters at the National Weather Service are predicting a particularly strong El Niño, expected to last into March. But let’s back up: What is El Niño, exactly? It’s when water temperatures in the equatorial Pacific Ocean become warmer than usual, which affects the prevailing winds and ultimately brings heavy precipitation to the southern half of the United States. So when you’re planning a ski trip this winter, keep your eyes on California, Utah, New Mexico, and southern Colorado for deep powder.
Megan Michelson

2. You Don’t Know Vail

From left: Skating in Vail; tele turns on the Minturn Mile.   Photo: Chris McLennan/Vail Resorts; Jeff Cricco

It has a reputation for catering more to oligarchs than young rippers, and yes, there are luxe hotels and gondolas with heated seats. But with all the Epic Pass options available, Vail has never been more affordable, and the mountain is full of...  Read More

Frederick Reimers

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