Fight For Day Areas

Condos, alpen-malls and lift-serviced snowshoe trails – resort development has overrun many of North America’s classic ski haunts. Here are four which strive to remain true to their local base while dealing with the challenges upgrading and competing. Featuring Bridger Bowl, MT Alpental, WA Powder Mountain, UT and Mad River Glen, VT.

“Cloaked in fog, a skier quickly darts off the Ridge into the shadows. The figure makes a beeline for a clump of trees that will conceal his poaching mission. This risky move is an effort that has rewarded him countless times. Silent tendrils of cold smoke drift behind him in 1,500 vertical feet of bliss. Near the run-out, the skier ducks into the trees and promptly rips the yellow jacket off. Now dressed in a blue fleece, he merges onto the groomer as an innocent tourist.”

Ducking ropes is nothing new. Skiers have been doing the Limbo into out-of-bounds terrain since the dawn of bamboo boundary lines. Some find the thrill of poaching worth the threat of getting their pass pulled. Yet at a few North American resorts, such as Bridger Bowl in Montana, that threat is being reduced by more liberal boundary policies that allow open access to backcountry terrain under certain conditions. This newfound freedom is exciting to many, but to some entrenched locals it is no less than an invasion into their favorite stashes…”

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