24
Mar
2015
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Skiing & Riding

Best Ski Runs in the Mountain Collective

It seems only fitting that Sun Valley would join the Mountain Collective, especially when you realize it includes not only some of the best skiing in the West, but on the entire planet for that matter. It’s the type of alpine company our snowy patch of Idaho deserves.
 
That’s because when you get right down to it, the other seven resorts offer some of the sport’s most famous and beloved runs; a list Sun Valley—the birthplace of the chairlift—certainly adds to. To prove this point (or at least to start a good après ski argument or two) here’s a rundown of the most well-known runs from the impressive members of the Mountain Collective.

Blackcomb Glacier at Whistler Blackcomb
It’s tough to pick just one run from any area on the list, but it’s perhaps hardest for the “largest ski area in North America.” This popular run does require a little hiking, but offers a 5,000-foot descent over about 13 kms and covers a variety of terrain. Plus, there’s something cool about skiing on a glacier.

Photo: Jackson Hole, courtesy of JHMR

Corbet's Couloir at Jackson Hole
Known for its big drop into a steep, rock-lined chute, Corbet’s is not a run for the weak of heart, knees or bladder. It’s been called “the world’s scariest slope,” for good reason. Many a skier has decided to skip dropping into the inverted funnel of a run and just hit Jackson Hole’s other famous adventure, après skiing at the Mangy Moose.

Cornice Bowl at Mammoth Mountain
While it’s not the easiest run on California’s highest ski area, skiing the steep face at Mammoth is a rite of passage for Golden State alpine fans. The view from the top of 11,000’ Cornice Bowl is as impressive as you’ll find anywhere in North America—it does have Yosemite National Park for a backyard. It’s also pretty easy to link turns from the top of Cornice all the way down to Stump Alley, nearly 3,000’ feet below, where a wind-shielded, sun-drenched deck is waiting to help you celebrate.

Photo: Mammoth Mtn

Corkscrew at Alta/Snowbird
Alta’s most popular run has recently been widened and, when connected with Mamba, offers those seemingly endless turns that carve up skier’s dreams. One of the few skiing-only mountains left, Alta has held on to its old school vibe.
 
K2-22 at Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows:
Supposedly named for the 22 turns it took for the wife of one of Squaw’s founders to safely get down the run, K2-22 is actually a chairlift. The home of the 1960 Winter Olympics rates chairs instead of runs. And as they say in California, even a bad day at Squaw/Alpine Meadows beats a good day at Hell (aka Heavenly).

Ruthie’s Run at Aspen/Snowmass
While Aspen and the four mountains that make up the resort have long been known for their family-friendly, intermediate terrain, Ruthie’s Run is popular for having one of the truest fall lines in the country and for hosting World Cup races for more than a half-century.

Sunset Terrace at Lake Louise/Sunshine Village
Part of Banff’s “Big 3” and home to “Canada’s best snow,” it’s also pretty tough to pick just one run from this Canadian Rockies complex. Sunset Terrace gives skiers a variety of options for terrain and starts at the Top of the World, which, unfortunately, means there’s only one way to go from there.

Warm Springs at Sun Valley
While it may not be as technical or as challenging as some of the other flagship runs on this list, its continuous steep pitch offers arguably the best lift-access Giant Slalom run in the country. There’s nothing like bombing 3,000’ vertical feet of consistent pitch and snow, served by a high-speed quad. As if the run itself isn’t sweet enough, it ends at one of the best spring skiing après lodges in the country.

Photo: Warm Springs

No matter how you slice it or how you like to carve it up, 16 days of skiing some of the best runs in the world for only $369 is a pretty sweet deal.


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Birding Heaven


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If you like to birdwatch, Sun Valley has an amazing opportunity for you. A three-day “Birds of a Feather” itinerary includes amazing early summer birding on the one-of-a-kind Silver Creek Preserve and the beautiful Camas Prairie Marsh with lots of time built in to learn, socialize, nibble, and nosh. From June 1 – 4, join fellow minded enthusiasts for demonstrations, presentations, and guided birding field excursions. All levels of birders are welcome.
This June, the opportunity for unparalleled bird watching in spectacular places can be yours over an action-packed, fun-filled long weekend The first day welcomes participants to the beautifully appointed and historic