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Thrill of the Hill

Snowsport-loving adrenaline junkies will find this ski season to be brimming with adventure, thanks to fresh thrills and attractions—many created specifically with men in mind—at some of the top ski resorts in the United States and Canada. With everything from heli-skiing to snowmobiling and snowbiking, you’re sure to satisfy your need for speed. In addition to these special offerings, our annual ski report also serves up a healthy dose of all that’s new in luxe accommodations, the après-ski scene, bespoke offerings and happening events that you won’t want to miss. Here’s to fantastic turns ahead.

GOIN’ TO JACKSON
Downhill skiing at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort

CALIFORNIA/NEVADA
Lake Tahoe is a powder hound’s dream come true, thanks to 14 ski resorts sprinkled along both sides of the picturesque lake. And while North Lake Tahoe has some impressive improvements this year, it is South Lake Tahoe—specifically at and around Heavenly Mountain Resort—that really has us excited. Skiers and riders will love the varied mountain terrain, but the number of renovated hotels, new après-ski spots and can’t miss events are the real icing on the cake.

South Lake Tahoe
SLEEP IN The swanky new Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Lake Tahoe (king suites from $525 per night)—formerly Horizon—is the perfect locale for a guy’s getaway, thanks to a recent $60 million investment to the 25,000-square-foot casino floor, 539 rooms and four restaurants.

And now there’s even more space to play at Basecamp Hotel (suites from $199 per night). The hip hotel added 24 new guest rooms this season, bringing the total room count to 74, plus several new man-friendly amenities: a beer garden (cheers to that!), a 20-person hot tub, four additional fire pits and two large rooftop decks.

Meanwhile, Harrah’s Lake Tahoe (suites from $279 per night) has invested $12 million in a fleet of new limos and upgraded its 520 hotel rooms (so you can ride and stay in style).

ON TOP OF THE WORLD
Expect an uberposh ambience at the Waldorf Astoria Park City.

And don’t forget MontBleu Resort Casino & Spa (suites from $259 per night), an uberluxe resort that recently completed a $24 million renovation to its casino floor and all 437 rooms.

APRÈS SCENE Swing by The Chateau at Heavenly Village—a $420 million, 11.5-acre redevelopment project located at the California state line across from Heavenly Village—for a wide selection of restaurants and bars. A popular choice is McP’s Taphouse & Grill, which features 20 big-screen TVs and 40 beers on tap.

Another South Lake Tahoe hot spot is the new Cold Water Brewery & Grill. The Sunday brunch comes complete with a stocked Bloody Mary bar.

Starting in January, Heavenly will host a series of outdoor concerts (regional acts) from 1 to 3pm on select Saturdays. And Heavenly is offering Tamarack Tailgate Parties on Sunday afternoons at Tamarack Lodge, featuring drink specials, large TVs showing NFL games and the Heavenly Angels (think snow bunny go-go dancers).

Truly designed for a guy’s aesthetics, the new Tahoe Moonshine Distillery & Speakeasy boasts handcrafted spirits, a game room, fireplace seating and a large outside deck.

HOT HAPPENING Join the party as Heavenly celebrates its 60th anniversary. The Winter Ignite event series, which runs Dec. 4 to 12, kicks off the season with pop-up DJ Cat parties and Unbuckle après parties, plus a free headliner concert in Heavenly Village.

COLORADO
Colorado can easily take one’s breath away, with 21 ski and snowboard resorts that beckon with a siren’s call. Whether you prefer the luxe appeal of Aspen or the intimate yet posh surrounds of the Vail Valley, both locales offer a bevy of high-end hotels and après-ski options. Even better, Aspen and Beaver Creek are debuting daring new experiences that will surely get the blood (and adrenaline) pumping.

Aspen
SLEEP IN The Gant, A Destination Hotel (one-bedroom premier from $595 per night), a trendy resort located at the base of Aspen Mountain, has installed two Tesla Supercharger stations on property. This initiative is in response to the estimated 50,000 Tesla cars that are expected to sell by the end of 2015 and the much-anticipated production rollout of the Model X Crossover. And for those without a Tesla, The Gant has developed a new app, from which you can request the resort’s free shuttle service to and from the Aspen-Pitkin County Airport.

TAILOR-MADE Aspen’s historic Hotel Jerome, an Auberge Resort (rooms from $675 per night), is offering a Find the Shrines Tour (from $700). This guided skiing tour will take your group to shrines (dedicated to legends such as Jimi Hendrix and Elvis Presley) hidden within the trees on Aspen Mountain. And for some serious heart-pounding action, be sure to book Hotel Jerome’s Heli-Skiing Experience (airplane charter from Aspen from $2,000, plus the cost of a lift ticket and $179 per heli run). After a gourmet in-room breakfast, you’ll depart the hotel and take a quick flight to Silverton. Once there, you’ll board an AS350 B3e helicopter to take as many ski runs as you can (totaling about 11,000 vertical feet) before your flight back to Aspen at 3pm. The trip also includes the use of the latest powder skis, backcountry poles, avalanche beacon and meals. A sports massage in the Auberge Spa concludes the experience.

The Little Nell (rooms from $525 per night), Aspen’s beloved ski-in/ski-out property, is expanding its Skiing & Winter Adventures program, which debuted last year. It will still include the popular First Tracks on Ajax, Friday Powdercat Skiing, Sweep the Mountain with Aspen Mountain Ski Patrol and Groom the Mountain in a Prinoth Bison 360 Snowcat programs, but there will also be a new Snowcat Academy (price upon request) for guests to learn how to commandeer a snowcat at nearby Buttermilk Mountain. The resort is also partnering with T-Lazy-7 Ranch to offer the Snowmobile Tour & Apres-Ski adventure ($500 per person) at the Klondike Cabin. Catered by The Little Nell, the Colorado-themed dinners will include wines selected and served by one of the hotel’s sommeliers.

For something really above and beyond, book The St. Regis Aspen Resort’s (guest rooms from $599 per night, presidential suites from $2,000 per night) new High Society Ski Package (from $8,696, book by calling 970.429.9550), including four nights in a recently remodeled presidential suite (between Jan. 3 and April 17), a pair of limited-edition The St. Regis Aspen skis by High Society Freeride Company, six lift tickets valid at any of Aspen/Snowmass’ four mountains and a $35 food and beverage credit to Shadow Mountain Lodge (located in the lobby of the resort). Additional pairs of skis will be available for $600.

APRÈS SCENE Cloud Nine Alpine Bistro, a European-style restaurant that’s located midmountain at Aspen Highlands, is a favorite spot for locals—thanks to the majestic views of the Maroon Bells. The restaurant is undergoing a $1.1 million remodel and will now include two adjacent dining rooms, kitchen enhancements, new restrooms and upgraded features (such as a crackling fireplace).

Beaver Creek
MOUNTAIN IMPROVEMENTS This season, Beaver Creek is refreshing its snowmaking program by adding 23 fully automated fan guns to Red Tail and Centennial trails. Also new this season, Beaver Creek’s Ivy League Ski and Snowboard School (lessons from $190) is offering terrain-based learning for beginners.

SLEEP IN Enjoy a superposh stay at Westin Riverfront Resort & Spa (one-bedroom luxury condos from $399 per night), thanks to nearly $7 million in recent renovations that included a major design revamp to all 230 luxe guest residences, public corridors and the ski valet facility. Don’t miss Parlor 126 in the resort lobby. This new hot spot offers a bevy of handcrafted cocktails, an extensive wine and beer menu, gourmet pub fare and live music nightly during the ski season.

TAILOR-MADE New this winter, and exclusive to Vail Valley, Park Hyatt Beaver Creek Resort and Spa is offering a truly extreme ski adventure. The Ultimate Heli-Ski Experience (from $12,000) includes a private helicopter transfer from Beaver Creek to Telluride Mountain for a day of professionally guided heli-skiing. It also includes four nights of luxe accommodations for up to four people, skiing fresh tracks with a Park Hyatt Beaver Creek executive, sports massages, a daily gourmet breakfast, a private dinner at the chef’s table at 8100 Mountainside Bar & Grill and HD Camera Goggles by Zeal. 

APRÈS SCENE Park Hyatt Beaver Creek Resort and Spa is debuting a new German-inspired biergarten this winter (the first and only in Beaver Creek village). After 5pm, Powder 8’s Kitchen and Tap Room will transform into the new Powder 8 Bier Hall, complete with craft beer, live music, games and German-inspired bites.

HOT HAPPENINGS Get in on the racing action at the annual Audi Birds of Prey Men’s World Cup weekend, taking place this year in Beaver Creek Dec. 4 to 6. Watch as the world’s fastest men take to the hill in downhill, super-G and giant slalom competitions. There will also be plenty of world-class village entertainment following the races each day.

What’s not to like about great food, wine and festivities on the slopes? The four-day Weekend of Haute Cuisine, Wine and Celebration (tickets $50 to $200), taking place Jan. 21 to 24, includes events such as Après-Ski Burgers and Beers, a Snowshoe Gourmet Lunch, Ski.Eat.Ski and the finale, Celebrity Chef Ski Race and Brunch.

Vail
SLEEP IN The Lodge at Vail, A RockResort (rooms from $510 per night) recently completed its renovation, capping off a multiyear series of face-lifts to the hotel’s restaurants, outdoor pool area and spa. Changes over the last year have focused on the 165 guest rooms, hallways and common areas.

The Sebastian-Vail, A Timbers Resort (rooms from $495 per night, executive suites from $795 per night) has unveiled its 84 redesigned guest rooms, and added a new category of one- and two-bedroom executive suites. And be sure to invoke the help of the new adventure concierge—they can set up a variety of activities (try curling!).

TAILOR-MADE Stop in for a Cut and Cold One ($37) at The Barber Shop at Four Seasons Resort and Residences Vail. This new man haven is a private room, located inside the salon at The Spa, decked out with dark wood floors, custom cabinetry and retro barber art; and offering upscale men’s grooming services, from classic straight-edge razor shaves ($35) to Moroccan oil scalp massages ($15). Each service comes complete with local libations, such as barrel-aged 10th Mountain Whiskey & Spirit Company bourbon or a craft beer from Crazy Mountain Brewery.

APRÈS SCENE The Four Seasons Resort & Residences (rooms from $679 per night) Vail has a new bar and lounge called The Remedy, and—you guessed it—it’s the cure for any ills you may be feeling after a tough day on the slopes. The hotel has invested more than $2.5 million to deliver a unique space featuring custom-made furnishings and light fixtures accentuated by masculine touches (think white marble, walnut wood, saddle leather and industrial metal). Here you’ll find pre-Prohibition classics, a range of small-production bottled beers, an extensive wine list and whiskey collection; plus artisanal flatbreads, small bites, shareable dishes and crudo. What really gets us excited? An Après Whiskey Cart, offering made-to-order tableside cocktails.

HOT HAPPENING The 34th Burton U.S. Open Snowboarding Championships return to Vail Mountain Feb. 29 through March 5. As the longest-running snowboarding competition in the world, this event draws the best riders to compete for a coveted U.S. Open title. Catch Olympic-level slopestyle and halfpipe snowboarding competitions in Golden Peak by day and enjoy free live concerts from headliner acts by night.

MONTANA
For those looking for something a little different—think seemingly endless terrain—there’s nothing like Big Sky Resort in the Northern Rockies. The resort features four connected mountains and 5,800 acres of skiable terrain. The best part? The ratio of acres to skiers is about 2 to 1, so you’ll feel as if you have the mountain all to yourself.

Big Sky
MOUNTAIN IMPROVEMENTS Big Sky Resort is working on an expansion to its Swifty 2.0 terrain park, next to the Swift Current chairlift, widening the terrain park more to the skiers’ right. The upgrades, which include dirt work to build up jumps and expanding the park with more features, will improve the park’s flow—all while bringing more creativity to the park’s features. An added bonus: Big Sky Resort can open the terrain park much earlier than normal, since it won’t have to rely on moving snow around to build the jumps.

Over at Bridger Bowl Ski Area, be sure to check out the New Alpine Experience at Bridger Bowl. It includes a new powder park and Alpine triple chairlifts, 500 acres of skiing and riding for beginners and intermediates, and the new 2,500-square-foot Alpine Cabin (located off Limestone run accessed from the Alpine chairlift) that offers up food and beverage options, plus a toasty fireplace.

APRÈS SCENE Everett’s 8800, a beautiful log cabinesque restaurant located at the top of Andesite Mountain, recently began offering fine-dining evening service ($151 per person) on weekend nights. That means you can nosh and imbibe while enjoying spectacular views of Lone Peak and the ski slopes from the expansive deck and dining area. The massive indoor/outdoor fireplaces provide the perfect perch from which to watch the sunset.

HOT HAPPENING For something completely out of the ordinary, don’t miss Big Sky Resort’s Snobar Jan. 16 and 23. This outdoor raging dance club—built completely out of snow and then torn down—happens only on these two nights. Expect walls of snow, dazzling laser lights, dance music and bartenders in parkas.

UTAH
Skiing in Utah can best be described by the quality of the snow, which is so good that it’s been trademarked as The Greatest Snow on Earth. Not only that, but Utah boasts 11 ski resorts all within an hour’s drive of Salt Lake City International Airport. Fly in, hit the hill and enjoy fantastic nightlife all in the same day? No problem! Even better is the recent news of a merger that created the largest ski and snowboard resort in the United States (with more skiable acres than you can shake a ski pole at). Who says you can’t have it all? Hello, Park City!

Park City
MOUNTAIN IMPROVEMENTS Big news last fall was Vail Resorts’ acquisition of Park City Mountain Resort. Even bigger news comes this ski season with the merger between PCMR and Canyons Resort, which now makes it the largest ski and snowboard resort in the United States. Simply branded as Park City, it has over 7,300 skiable acres, more than 38 lifts and seven terrain parks. A new eight-passenger interconnect gondola—called Quicksilver—along with two new lifts on the Park City side, make up just some of the $50 million in single-year planned improvements for the 2015-16 ski season.

Another of our favorite resorts, Deer Valley Resort, recently purchased Solitude Mountain Resort and is adding new terrain options and lifts.

And Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort is investing $35 million in capital improvements this ski season, including the debut of The Summit at Snowbird (a mountaintop guest oasis that will greet Aerial Tram riders atop Hidden Peak), which will offer a 10,000-square-foot deck and 360-degree views from 11,000 feet. The 23,000-square-foot facility will house an upscale restaurant, a coffee/pastry shop and Ski Patrol.

SLEEP IN Snowbird is completing a full remodel to its 350 guest rooms in the east wings at its flagship, ski-in/ski-out property, The Cliff Lodge (one-bedroom suites from $1,099 per night). Expect to find elegant marble counters and imported tile in the bathrooms, the latest ergonomic mattresses, contemporary furnishings, modern entertainment systems, upgraded Wi-Fi and more.

TAILOR-MADE Waldorf Astoria Park City (rooms from $449 per night) is offering the new Wasatch Extreme Experience (from $9,500 for two guests), which includes a personal airport pickup in a full-size luxury Range Rover that will shuttle you and your buds throughout your two-day experience, a custom ski stylist who will properly gear you up for backcountry exploration, dinner and a private tour at High West Distillery, a private heli-ski tour with PC Powder Cats in the backcountry of the pristine Wasatch Mountain range and a Mountain Salvage Sports massage at the Waldorf Astoria Spa.

VERMONT
Vermont—and especially Stowe Mountain Resort—reminds us all that there’s also fun to be had on the East Coast. For starters, the resort has undergone a number of improvements, including new high-speed lifts, new base facilities, new restaurants and more. And with 2,360 feet of vertical drop, an average snowfall of 314 inches and 116 trails (the majority of which are for intermediate and expert skiers), Stowe is a great destination for a buddies’ ski getaway.

Stowe
MOUNTAIN IMPROVEMENTS Stowe Mountain Resort recently joined the Mountain Collective, an international alliance of premier ski destinations that provide the Mountain Collective Pass ($399). With this lift ticket, skiers and riders can enjoy two days at all partner resorts and 50 percent off additional days at each resort. That type of access equals 21 mountains with more than 43,400 acres of terrain and 271 lifts. Stowe joins AltaSnowbird, Aspen Snowmass, Jackson Hole, Mammoth Mountain, Ski Banff-Lake Louise-Sunshine Village, Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows, Sun Valley, Taos, Thredbo and Whistler Blackcomb as the only Eastern resort among the destinations.

Stowe Mountain Resort is also unveiling its next major phase of development at Spruce Peak. Several new facilities are being built around a new ice rink that will double as a community plaza and green space during the summer. Amenities will include a new state-of-the-art children’s Adventure Center, a new Stowe Mountain Club Alpine Clubhouse, retail shops, restaurants, food markets and a parking garage for Club members.

SLEEP IN A new boutique hotel from Lark Hotels, dubbed Field Guide (rooms rates on request), recently opened in Stowe, bringing luxe lodge accommodations and a rustic-modern design aesthetic to the area. The hotel features 30 accommodations, composed of 17 standard guest rooms, 10 suites and three private-entrance cottages. Boston-based interior designer Rachel Reider fused unique textiles and finishes with a rich, sunset-inspired palette to create spaces that are warm and welcoming any time of year. Furnishings evoke shapes and textures found in nature, such as custom live-edge wooden headboards, bathroom walls of reclaimed wood and end tables made from silver leaf trees. Amenities include plush beds; a daily, curated breakfast of small plates (a Lark Hotels signature); a seasonal heated pool and year-round hot tub; a spa treatment room; and a lounge where guests can play games, peruse a collection of vintage field guides or simply relax in front of the fire. An on-site restaurant and bar will open in winter 2016.

APRÈS SCENE Stowe Mountain Resort is debuting some new snowshoeing offers, such as the evening snowshoe tour and yurt dinner ($125 per person). A guided snowshoe tour through Mansfield State Forest is followed by dinner at an elegantly rustic yurt.

Stowe Mountain Lodge, by Destination Hotels & Resorts recently added a new culinary all-star team, made up of experts from some of the best ski hotels in the Rocky Mountains, to take the hotel’s food and beverage offerings to new heights. Leading the team is Director of Food & Beverage Scott Cochran (who opened The St. Regis Deer Valley and recently arrived from the Wildwood Resort in Snowmass); Executive Chef Ronnie Sanchez (who most recently served as executive chef at Westin Snowmass Resort and at Wildwood Snowmass); and Chef de Cuisine Jeremy Martin (a former chef at The St. Regis Deer Valley and the Waldorf Astoria Park City).

WYOMING
While it may not be as big as some of the other Western resorts, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort certainly has its charms. And talk about a warm welcome: Nearly 2,500 acres of in-bounds terrain, one of the highest vertical drops in North America (at 4,139 feet) and the famous Corbet’s Couloir will all be there to greet you.

Jackson Hole
SLEEP IN Hotel Jackson (suites from $895 per night) opened this summer as the first luxury boutique property to be built in the Town of Jackson in more than 15 years. The hotel offers gorgeous views of the Grand Tetons, 58 stunning guest rooms and spacious suites, and contemporary Western design that’ll make you feel like you just stepped onto a luxe dude ranch (think reclaimed barn wood, leather and hand-painted metal).

TAILOR-MADE Amangani (superior suites from $750), a premier luxury destination in Jackson Hole, is launching a first-ever partnership with Foil (foilskis.‌com)—a renowned luxury developer of handmade custom skis. Take advantage of exclusive access to test-ride and purchase Foil skis in the comfort of the Amangani Ski Lounge at the base of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort.

And over at Four Seasons Resort and Residences Jackson Hole (rooms from $580 per night), a few new elite experiences are on offer. Through the resort’s new Backcountry Experience program (from $2,780), local guides and athletes will take your group on epic customized skiing adventures. Upon returning to the resort, you’ll have an après mixology lesson (from $350), to learn how to make signature winter cocktails, and enjoy inventive après fare by the pool bar and open fire pit. For some meaty goodness, be sure to try out the resort’s new Game Night ($200 per person). It’s a chef-led culinary experience that teaches you how to prepare and cook Jackson Hole’s local game meats (such as elk and bison), followed by a gourmet meal that showcases the game meats and other local ingredients.

HOT HAPPENINGS Jackson Hole Mountain Resort is celebrating its 50th anniversary this winter season, complete with an exciting lineup of events. The grand opening of the new Teton Lift (a high-speed quad lift that will carry skiers and riders 1,600 vertical feet to an area previously only accessible via hiking) is scheduled for Dec. 19, with a gala, fireworks and live music. And from Jan. 11 to 31, guests can show their season pass to any ski resort in the world and receive a 50 percent discounted lift ticket. The party continues with a throwback reunion weekend featuring the famous Power 8’s Contest Feb. 5 to 7 and the third annual Rendezvous Music Festival March 17 to 20.

ALBERTA, CANADA
High in the Canadian Rockies, you’ll find the ski towns of Banff and Lake Louise—home to three stellar resorts: Lake Louise Ski Resort, Mt. Norquay and Sunshine Village. These destinations, which are known collectively as the Big 3 (skibig3.com), total nearly 8,000 acres of skiable terrain on one tri-area lift ticket.

Ski Banff-Lake Louise-Sunshine Village
Mountain Improvements Just in time for the ski season, Canada’s first heated chairlift, dubbed TeePee Town, debuts at Sunshine Village. The new high-speed quad features 47 chairs with heated seats, footrests and protective orange bubble covers. The lift offers access to blue runs with expansive views of Mountain Assiniboine off of the Continental Divide while also opening up challenging black and double black terrain like the Shoulder—a favorite among locals—and the popular TeePee Chutes.

SLEEP IN Banff’s only ski-in/ski-out hotel, Sunshine Mountain Lodge (main lodge suite from $337 per night, including two lift tickets per suite), recently updated the rooms at its eco-boutique property. The 48 rooms in the main lodge wing feature plush new carpeting, updated wood furnishings and built-ins, new HDTVs and luxe linens. The eight main lodge suites now feature custom sofas with pullout beds to complement the existing fireplaces, private balconies and spa-like bathrooms.

The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise (rooms from $227) recently renovated its suites within the Fairmont Gold collection (like a hotel within a hotel, offering dedicated concierge, free breakfast, parking and more). For example, the Belvedere Suite, a two-level presidential suite with towering views of Lake Louise from two private covered balconies, now features modern yet sophisticated decor.

APRÈS
SCENE There’s a new sushi bar within the Lodge of the Ten Peaks at Lake Louise Ski Resort. This new resto features AAA Alberta beef tataki, nigiri, sashimi and custom maki rolls designed and named after classic trails and terrain from around the resort.

Enjoy high-altitude dining, with the breathtaking backdrop of Mount Temple, at Lake Louise Ski Resort’s newly renovated Whitehorn Bistro. In addition to a new look, the resto features a new menu with dishes like signature seafood chowder and a housemade bison burger.

For an ubertrendy après option, try the Park Distillery—a mountain-chic restaurant that features cocktails made from hand-milled, hand-mashed and hand-distilled spirits.

HOT HAPPENINGS This ski season, Mt. Norquay—the oldest ski resort in the Canadian Rockies—is celebrating its 90th anniversary with special events to mark the occasion. Celebrations will center on Moonlight Ride & Dine events at historic The Cliff House Bistro, featuring a fireside dinner at 7,000 feet overlooking the town of Banff. Mt. Norquay is also celebrating with an updated trail map, new ski runs, the launch of a special limited-edition Norquay 90 Kölsch craft beer by Banff Ave. Brewing Co. and more.

BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA
One visit to Whistler Blackcomb, nestled within Canada’s coastal mountains along the Sea to Sky Highway, and you’ll see why this is an award-winning ski resort. Here, you’ll find two mountains—linked together by the PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola—with 8,171 acres of varied terrain that’s all accessible on one lift ticket. You’ll also find one of the longest ski seasons on the continent (Blackcomb Mountain is open well into May) and nearly 460 inches of annual snowfall.

Whistler Blackcomb
MOUNTAIN IMPROVEMENTS This season, Whistler Blackcomb is introducing WB+, a new online interactive platform that allows you to create a personal profile to collect stats and data about your day on the slopes. Just scan your lift passes at the RFID chairlift access gates, and easily keep track of your personal stats (such as total vertical feet ridden).

TAILOR-MADE Whistler’s latest luxury adventure and wilderness experiences provider, Headline Mountain Holidays, is offering exhilarating experiences that will up the ante on your guys’ getaway (from $988). Enjoy half- to multiday expeditions on the Pemberton Ice Cap (where you can experience helicopter or snowmobile adventures, explore natural ice caves or indulge in a gourmet meal complete with an overnight stay in a snow hotel).

At Four Seasons Resort & Residences Whistler (rooms from $340 per night), you can choose from a number of over-the-top experiences. Try the Ice Cap Adventure & Exploration (from $1,300 per person), which includes a helicopter ride over expansive ice fields and a guide who will lead your group on an exploration of the ice caves. Meanwhile, the Heli-Snowmobile & Snowbike Adventure (from $1,395 per person) starts with a helicopter flight that will drop you off at a base facility where state-of-the-art snowmobiles and snowbikes await. From there, you’ll follow expert guides as you race at 8,000 feet above sea level. While you’re at it, ask for the snowmobiles to be outfitted with ski racks so you can partake in some backcountry glacier skiing.

APRÈS SCENE Rendezvous Lodge, a restaurant located on Blackcomb Mountain, recently experienced a $5.4 million upgrade to increase capacity and functionality. The fresh new look complements the new menu options—including everything from a fresh sushi station, a wok station dishing up ramen and rice bowls, and a burger bar that uses only naturally raised chicken and beef.

A new dual-concept restaurant, run by the popular Araxi Restaurant, is scheduled to open soon on two levels. Bar Oso, on the Village Stroll level, will offer Spanish-inspired tapas and charcuterie, an approachable wine list and handcrafted cocktails, while The Cellar, located on the lower level, will offer a private entrance, private dining and a show kitchen.

HOT HAPPENINGS Whistler Blackcomb is celebrating its 50th anniversary this winter with a massive party Dec. 12. Throughout the month of January, ongoing events and activities on the mountains and in Whistler Village will provide even more reasons to visit this iconic ski destination. Expect bands, giveaways, surprise guests and legendary après-ski parties with live music. The resort is also releasing a beautiful coffee-table book and a documentary-style film to mark the occasion.