Saga Shop Winter 2019

62 Icelandair Stopover BY JONATHAN THOMSON. PHOTOS COURTESY OF GB-FERÐIR. Here are eight of the best options from the Colorado capital, includ- ing driving times from the interna- tional airport. So, when you land, all you need is a hire car and an appetite for the white stuff … Aspen Driving time : 3 hr 30 min One of the most famous ski towns on the planet, Aspen is where the rich and the beautiful come for their powder. But this former silver- mining town also has the downhill muscle to back its glittering repu- tation—ranging from beginner- friendly slopes on Buttermilk to more challenging terrain on Aspen Mountain itself. Needless to say, the après-ski is world class too: You could easily find yourself clinking glühwein glasses with the A-list in legendary venues like J-Bar and Cloud 9. Steamboat Driving time : 3 hr The snow here is so light and fluffy—and so pleasurable to ski—that it’s been officially trade- marked “Champagne Powder.” Pretty Steamboat has plenty else to commend it, too, from the town’s famous western charm to some of the finest tree skiing in the world—not to mention a number of geothermal hot springs in which to soak your weary limbs after an action-packed day on the slopes. Echo Mountain Driving time : 50 min Something of a local secret, Echo Mountain remains a largely undis- covered gem, hidden in the hills just under an hour from downtown Denver. If you’re looking for an easy, affordable day trip from the city, this is it. With just one ski lift, the terrain is a little limited—but then again so is the traffic, because you don’t have to join the masses on Interstate 70. New for 2018–2019 is a dedicated snow- tubing hill, which kids of all ages will love. Breckenridge Driving time : 1 hr 45 min More people visited Breckenridge last season than any other ski resort in America. There are multiple reasons for its unshake- able popularity—ranging from an abundance of affordable lodging to the country’s highest ski lift (which climbs to a dizzying 12,840 ft; 3,914 m). But mostly, people flock to Breck for its welcoming, laid-back atmosphere and profusion of scintillating runs, spread across five huge peaks. Copper Mountain Driving time : 1 hr 45 min Copper Mountain is traditionally one of the first resorts to open every season—a fact acknowl- edged by the US Ski Team, which assembles here for early training each November. A fantastic all- rounder, the mountain’s topo- graphy naturally divides itself into beginner, intermediate and expert terrain, while extensive artificial snowmaking makes it a safe bet for solid season-long skiing conditions. Winter Park Driving time : 1 hr 30 min Uniquely, Winter Park Resort was developed—and is still owned—by the city of Denver for the recrea- tion of its citizens. They flock here in their droves on winter week- ends, to make the most of reliable snowfall and an excellent range of terrain—which means it’s nice and empty on weekdays. In recent years, Winter Park has also started forging a reputation as one of the best resorts in the world for teaching those with disabilities to ski and snowboard. Arapahoe Basin Driving time : 1 hr 30 min Particularly popular with snow- boarders, the strengths of “A-Basin” include its gnarly steeps, extreme chutes and deep caches of fluffy powder, combined with a noticeably younger, laid- back local vibe. Excellent value for money, it’s also the perfect place for some late season riding, usually staying open into early June and sometimes even July, while most of its neighbors shut up shop in mid-April. OUR DESTINATIONS: ALL DOWNHILL FROM THE MILE HIGH CITY Denver is the gateway to some of the finest skiing in North America.