When preparing for the big trip, be ready to hit the roads early. Most mountains open their chair lifts at 8 a.m., and if you've ever made the first tracks on a trail in the morning you will know how special the experience can be. The early wakeup time is well worth the experience of the fresh corduroy snow and having the run all to yourself.
When preparing for your day trip to the mountain, make sure your car is equipped with winter tires that are filled to the correct tire pressure, even if the temperatures are mild in the city and there is no snow on the ground. By the time you get to the mountain, the temperatures will have certainly dropped, and you should expect some snow on the roads. You are also going to want to make sure you have enough fuel to get there—and back. Don't rely on there being a gas station conveniently located near the mountain resort.
The ski season is just getting started, with peak ski weekends around Martin Luther King Day and Presidents Day holidays considered some of the biggest ski days of the season. Check out these popular resorts for ski loving city dwellers in New York, Los Angeles, Boston and San Francisco.
Killington Ski Resort
Located 250 miles north of New York City in the Green Mountain State (Vermont), Killington is a massive mountain to those who are accustomed to the smaller resorts common along the East Coast. With 155 trails and 22 ski lifts, Killington has terrain for everyone no matter how experienced you are on the slopes. In 1963, Killington introduced the ticket wicket. Most skiers would recognize this as today's ubiquitous sticker ticket.
A quick two-hour drive from Boston will take you to this New Hampshire gem of a resort. Opened in 1937, Gunstock Mountain's ski facilities were a public project built by the Works Progress Administration as part of President Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal during the Great Depression. The resort recently completed several renovations projects to their ski terrain and buildings, including a significant improvement to their snowmaking operations. And it had the first chairlift in the eastern United States!
Just 100 miles east of Los Angeles is Snow Summit, one of the largest ski areas in Southern California. The resort sits near Big Bear Lake along with its sister resort Bear Mountain, so there is plenty of adventurous winter fun to be had by all. Although Southern California is known for its hot and dry climate, the Big Bear Lake area started this winter season with four feet of snow in just one storm. Get ready for a great season, LA skiers!
Squaw Valley is one of the top ski resorts in the Lake Tahoe region of California. That reputation is no easy feat with a total of 14 ski resorts lining the shore of the largest alpine lake in North America. Located three and half hours north east of San Francisco, Squaw Valley has more than 170 trails and 29 ski lifts. The resort can handle the most experienced skiers and beginners alike. It also played host to the 1960 Winter Olympics, the first ever to be televised live.
Wherever your passion for skiing takes you this season, be safe and enjoy the ride. Keep an eye on the weather, take care of your car and, occasionally, stay the night and take the more relaxing ride home in the morning. You deserve it.