After last winter’s pathetic excuse for a ski season, a few of the West’s best resorts came up with the Mountain Collective pass ($379) to ensure that you’ll always have access to plenty of powder. This first-of-its-kind pass includes a pair of tickets to resorts in four states. So when the Sierras let you down, consider these alternatives.
Jackson Hole, Wyoming
New nonstop flights from SFO have made Jackson Hole into something it has never before been for us: super-accessible. Take your pick of slope-side luxury: You can’t go wrong with the Four Seasons (from $259), and ecochic Hotel Terra (from $170) is fun, too. Missing home so soon? Hit Michael Mina’s new gastropub in the Four Seasons, the Handle Bar, for a hearty wood-grilled burger.
As if Aspen Mountain weren’t already over the top, now there’s a roving Veuve Clicquot champagne and caviar bar from the luxe Little Nell (from $461), as well as complimentary yoga for skiers at the 11,212-foot summit. For digs, Auberge Resorts has overhauled Hotel Jerome (from $640), and Wildwood (from $99) is a hip new addition to Snowmass.
Famed Little Cottonwood Canyon has just five traditional lodges, but the longoverlooked Snowpine Lodge (from $240, includes breakfast and dinner) is fresh off a major facelift—with 21 ski in, ski out rooms, an outdoor hot tub, and a fire pit.
Tahoe for Tahoe Buffs
Originally published in the January 2013 issue of San Francisco.