Three More Ski Resorts Join The Mountain Collective

Way back in August of last year we told you about the Mountain Collective, a group of independent ski resorts in North America that had joined forces to offer skiers and snowboarders access to each of their mountains at an amazing price. The collaboration between these iconic ski destinations was unprecedented at the time and yesterday it got even better.

The resorts that were on board at the launch of the Mountain Collective included Alta in Utah, Aspen/Snowmass in Colorado, Jackson Hole in Wyoming and Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows in California. On Tuesday it was announced that three more great resorts would join their ranks as Snowbird, Mammoth Mountain and Whistler Blackcomb were all added to the Collective.

The inclusion of these new resorts makes an already amazing ski deal even better. The Mountain Collective Pass costs just $349 and provides two free days of skiing at each resort with an additional 50% off an unlimited number of lift tickets thereafter. Furthermore, the pass grants discounts on lodging and other amenities too, making it a fantastic option for those who simply can’t get enough time on the slopes.

After announcing the addition of the new resorts, a limited number of passes for the 2013/2014 season went on sale at both the Mountain Collective website and These passes are being offered at the same price as the 2012/2013 tickets, but once they are sold out, that price will be gone. If you want to be able to take advantage of this amazing deal, you’ll want to grab a ticket while they last.

I know that the 2013/2014 ski season sounds like a long way off, particularly since we’re still wrapping up the current season. But this is just too good of deal to pass up. The price is likely to increase in the fall, so get your hands on one of these passes while you can.

[Photo Credit: Alta]

World’s only ski-up Starbucks open for business at Squaw Valley

Two days ago, while visiting my brother and his family in Lake Tahoe, my nephew uttered the words I’d hoped never to hear. “Starbucks just opened a ski-up window at Squaw’s Gold Coast mid-mountain complex!” he snorted, before pondering aloud how it was possible to ski with a triple venti Cinnamon Dolce Latte while wearing gloves and holding poles.

Truly, I think the world has enough Starbucks in it, and if you can’t get through a day of skiing without a fix, you just might have a problem. Not everyone feels that way, however, as reported on today. Says Squaw Valley president and CEO Andy Wirth, “Nowhere else in the world can skiers and riders enjoy a delicious Starbucks coffee without missing a beat on the slopes.” My nephew might disagree with the logistics of that statement, but never underestimate the power of a Frappuccino habit.

Video: “Stuff” skiers say

I’m in Lake Tahoe–California and Nevada’s premier ski destination–visiting my brother and his family. My teenage nephew, a member of the Olympic Valley Freeride & Freestyle Team, turned me on to this farcical video about things skiers say. If you’re a skier–or snowboarder–you’re fully aware that there are certain phrases ubiquitous to those who spend their days on the slopes–even if the language between the two sports differs slightly.

Even if you don’t dig snow, you’ll likely appreciate this. And if you’re a flatlander heading to the mountains for a weekend of shreddin’….please…don’t act like a gaper. “Now go get your sesh on.”

Warning: this clip contains language that may be offensive to some.

Zimride announces new route to Lake Tahoe

Just in time for the start of the ski season, ride sharing website Zimride has announced the opening of a new route between San Francisco and Lake Tahoe. To celebrate this new option, they’re also giving away free gas and partnering with local resorts as well.

Launched back in 2008, Zimride is an interesting mash-up of carpooling meets social media. The site allows drivers to sell the empty seats in their cars to passengers who are traveling along the same route, saving everyone some cash in the process. Touting the economic and environmental benefits of ride sharing, the company says that it has helped facilitate more than 26,000 carpools, covering over 100 million miles, at an estimated cumulative savings of $50 million.

The San Francisco to Lake Tahoe route is expected to open on Thanksgiving Day, which is often seen as the unofficial start to the ski season as well. To commemorate the new route, Zimride is giving away a free tank of gas ($40 value) to the first 500 drivers who successfully book the new route between now and the end of the year.

Lake Tahoe has long been considered one of the truly great ski destinations in North America. Nestled high in the Sierra Nevada mountains along the border of California and Nevada, the region is home to more than a dozen resorts, such as Alpine Meadows and Squaw Valley. Travelers who stay at either of those resorts, or one of Zimride’s other Lake Tahoe partners, will will also be entitled to discounted lift tickets, VIP parking, and more.

I’ve never personally used Zimride, but it sounds like a great way to not only save a little cash, but also take a road trip with some like minded people. It sounds like fun to share a ride from San Fran to Tahoe for a weekend on the slopes. Considering the price of gas these days, it never hurts to split the costs either.

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Ski resorts announce Independence Day skiing

This past winter saw record amounts of snow fall across the western United States, which made for one of the best ski seasons in recent memory. (not to mention great rafting too!) All of that snow allowed some resorts to stay open well into the spring, extending the season beyond all expectations. Now, in an unprecedented move, two resorts have announced that they’ll be open for skiing over the July 4th Independence Day weekend as well.

Late last week, California‘s Squaw Valley and Oregon‘s Mt. Bachelor, announced that their respective mountains would be open for business July 2nd through the 4th. Both resorts still have quite a bit of snow on their main runs, and they don’t seem to anticipate that changing dramatically between now and the Independence Day weekend. That means that skiers and snowboarders will get the very rare opportunity for summer fun on the slopes.

Both resorts will also be offering special activities on that weekend as well. For instance, Squaw Valley will be hosting a pool party, live bands, and a fireworks display. Private lessons are also 50% off as well. Mt. Bachelor will also have live music and have reduced lift tickets to just $30 per day. Additionally, the first 250 skiers and snowboarders to purchase lift tickets each day will receive a special “JulySki” t-shirt to commemorate this special event.

I think it is safe to say that when the ski season began late last year, no one was expecting to still be able to hit the slopes in July. If you’re a skier or snowboarder, I’m not sure how you could pass up an opportunity like this one.