2003 Spring Party Guide

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When those first rays of spring sun hit and the morning crunch turns to corn, it's time to slam bumps in short sleeves, point 'em down steeps that normally make you cringe, and place faith in well-earned ski legs and hero snow. Just don't forget to celebrate the season. Pour a little unleaded on the briquettes and let that barbie burst into flame. Kick back in a lounge chair with a tall draft. Soak it all in. We've made it easy for you. Here are our top spring spots.

1. SnowShoe, West Virginia

The Lowdown: This upside-down (base lodge on top) 220-acre resort may be in the Appalachian Range, but don't expect hillbillies and moonshine. Snowshoe has a swank base village with 1,600 condos and more than 20 eateries and watering holes.
The Bash: Spring breakers from southern universities head north to, as one local put it, "Get a tan on their buns without getting sand in their shorts." They come for the Spring Break Snow Bash (March 2-6, March 9-12), where contestants can earn prizes by arranging six bandannas on their person-and nothing more. The most eye-pleasing display wins.
The Boast: To run them straight down the last pitch of Lower Shay's Revenge-a steep pitch of head-high moguls-you need to, as one Snowshoe skier said, "tuck your privates away, and give it your best shot, Bubba."
Decked Out: Witness the mayhem on the last pitches of Shay's Revenge and Cupp Run from Arbuckle's deck at the base of the Western Territory.
Drinking & Dancing: At the Connection Nightclub, DJs spin on weekdays and barman Billy Brown pours shots of Snowshoe Hare (don't ask, it's a mystery drink) every night (304-572-1000).
They Did What? The University of North Carolina, Greensboro took on Jacksonville University in snow-beach volleyball. Despite the minus-two-degree temperature, the rules called for players to wear skimpy bathing suits. According to Snowshoe local Joe Stevens, they called the contest a draw when "the balls got too cold."
411: 304-572-1000; snowshoemtn.com

2. Whistler Blackcomb, British Columbia

The Lowdown: A worldwide tribe of snow sliders gathers at this 5,000-vertical-foot super-sized B.C. resort every spring to gulp five percent beer and toast surviving another season. From the highest reaches of the glacier to the lowest nook in the basement of the Savage Beagle nightclub, Whistler Blackcomb pulses with a bacchanalian energy.
The Bash: You know it's April when you start seeing skiers flying five stories high and landing in the middle of Blackcomb Village. The Telus World Ski and Snowboard Festival revolves around a mega kicker that draws thousands of screaming revelers. To keep all those folks entertained, the WSSF (April 11-20; wssf.com) also hosts two free concerts a day, skier- and boardercrosses, and slopestyle and big-air contests.
The Boast: While tourists tackle Saudan Couloir just so they can buy the T-shirt, the seminal springtime slide is off Spanky's Ladder. From the top of the Glacier Express, hike up and over to the couloir that opens northward. Drop into the narrow entrance and keep turning for 2,000 vertical feet.
Decked Out: If the festival is on, the Garibaldi Lift Company's second-story deck provides the best view of the big-air jump and the concert stage.
Drinking & Dancing: When it gets late, you'll find Whistlerites between the mad go-go dancers and the tiki torches of Tommy Africa's (604-932-6090).
They Did What? Local legend "Guitar" Doug Craig paraglided off the top of Whistler with an electric guitar in hand and a UHF transmitter attached to his kite. Once aloft, he began sending his airborne licks to a receiver on the patio of Merlin's Bar and Grill. With a 10-piece Brazilian band backing him up, Guitar Doug floated down-in perfect samba rhythm.411: 800-766-0449; whistler-blackcomb.com

3. Killington, Vermont

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The Lowdown:

When the moguls turn benign, Killington's bumpers return to rule the roost. All across the wide, slanting stage of Outer Limits-where the quad chair guarantees an ever-appreciative audience-zipper-lines unfurl and spring-crazed rippers hit maximum velocity.

The Bash:

As the bumpers battle away in the Bear Mountain Mogul Challenge, the airspace above the sun-soaked deck below fills with cigar smoke and the aroma of charred fat from barrel barbecues. Up to 5,000 fans guzzle from 24-ounce plastic torpedoes of beer as bands like Bobby Dick and the Sundowners bomb through a medley of Grateful Dead standards.

The Boast:

Sign up for the mogul challenge now, so you can go head-to-head with world-class freestylers in April (former competitors include Donna Weinbrecht and Evan Dybvig) as northeastern nutcases cheer you on to new levels of self-destruction.

Decked Out:

The south-facing Bear Mountain deck offers unobstructed seats for Outer Limits viewing and 10-pin-sized bottles of beer.

Drinking & Dancing:

Although signs read No Moshing on the Dance Floor, that doesn't stop the action from getting physical in the Wobbly Barn when big-namers like Jimmy Cliff, Blues Traveler, and the Violent Femmes shake the house (802-422-6171).

They Did What?

Every spring, the Pickle Barrel (802-422-3035) hosts its Mini-Skirt Party, which pits men against men in a contest you could lose your lunch over. Covered with razor burn and mascara that could've been applied with rollers, the boys take to the stage. The winner brings home a Killington season pass. Losers are left with lingering questions concerning their masculinity.

411:

802-422-6200; killington.com

4. Vail, Colorado

The Lowdown: The high-pitched whine of a two-stroke engine fills the air, and a snowmobiler hucks a Superman against the jagged backdrop of the Gore Range. No, you're not in an X Games theme park, this is Vail. That's right, Vail, the former home of wedeling. Every spring, though, the place takes the X pill and the action inevitably spills over onto Bridge Street.
The Bash: Bikini contests, hot tubs, beach music, snow volleyball, and the Coors Light Twins: The Revolution Spring weekend (now at Mid Vail, April 10-12) features the old dogs of freestyle in a pro mogul contest on Look Ma. At night, expect snowmobile big-air contests, free concerts, and an under-the-lights rail jam at the base of the Vista Bahn.
The Boast: Vail's Frontside Chutes send you plummeting down steep swaths of boulder-strewn mayhem and provide all the fodder you'll need to talk serious smack.
Decked Out: Savor a hefeweizen at 11,220 feet on the 250-person Two Elk Lodge deck at the lip of China Bowl.
Drinking & Dancing: Built on top of a parking garage with rubber between the joints, Vail's 8150 dance floor bounces up to a foot when the moshing crowd hits critical mass (970-479-0607).
They Did What? At last year's Revolution Spring, motocrossers launched off snow ramps and flew 50 feet high across 80-foot gap jumps as snowmobilers launched in the opposite direction. At the apex of their jumps, going 60 miles an hour, they were close enough to high-five.
411: 970-476-5601; vail.com

5. Mammoth Mountain, California

The Lowdown: Averaging 32 feet of snow a year, Mammoth's 3,500-plus skiable acres are usually open well into June. Since 90 percent of its riders are Los Angelistos, who don't even pull the boards out until it's sunny and warm, springtime is the right time for slushy snow-and (what looks like) more skin per skiable acre than any ski resort in the States.
The Bash: Pro slopestylers take to the Unbound Terrain Park in the West Coast Invitational (May 2-4). There's also a hoedown featuring a mechanical bull and a free concert. Packages for the event start at $129 per person and include two nights at the Mammoth Mountain Inn, a two-day lift ticket, a T-shirt, and drink vouchers.
The Boast: Hike from the top of the gondola and then drop into Huevos Grande, a snaking big-mountain line that slaloms jagged rock and imminent pain. Be sure to make those first few double-fall line turns on the 59-degree pitch; if you miss, you're going over a 40-foot cliff into a rock garden.
Decked Out: Cruise to The Mill at the base of Stump Alley Express for a Cadillac margarita (a marg with a Gran Marnier floater) and a seat in an Adirondack chair by the fire pit.
Drinking & Dancing: Whiskey Creek on the corner of Minaret and Main streets has rafter-shaking live music on the weekends and local fave DJ Rodney O spinning on Wild Wednesday.
They did what? Rapper Coolio started a snowball fight on the Sun Deck that escalated into a war involving hundreds. When senior management came out to stop it, they found it too irresistible and hucked a few bombs themselves.
411: 800-MAMMOTH; mammoth-mtn.com

6. Snowbowl, Montana

The Lowdown: Long before big-air contests and gap jumps were the rage, Missoulians were hucking themselves 200 feet down the hill on alpine gear and betting on the outcome. The name for this lunatic leap is gelà¤ndesprung. But even as a skier launches straight at you in a flying V, you know the event is just an excuse to nurse the best Bloody Mary (secret ingredient: beef boullion) you've ever had.
The Bash: Witness grown men in Lycra body condoms shooting themselves off long ramps on downhill skis at the Montana Snowbowl Cup National Gelà¤nde Championships (Feb. 21-23). Buy a jumper in the Calcutta auction and get to share in the winnings (past Calcutta pots have reached $3,000) or just drink red beers (beer and tomato juice).
The Boast: Dive down the throat of the 2,000-foot Grizzly Chute, get swallowed up by the huge slush bumps, and pray your quads get spit out in one piece.
Decked Out: The Last Run Inn is the center from which all things Snowbowl spin.
Drinking & Dancing: Head down to Front Street in Missoula for an Olde Bongwater Porter at The Top Hat Lounge & Casino. For 50 years this has been the place to kick up your heels to live music four nights a week. Bands range from String Cheese Incident to Crack Sabbath (406-728-9865).
They Did What? Bob Wimmett immortalized naked gelà¤nde jumping when he was caught on film and turned into a poster. Now, it happens whenever it's warm enough for a proud display.
411: 406-549-9777; montanasnow bowl.com

7. Arapahoe Basin, Colorado

The Lowdown: The frozen mud of the Early Riser parking lot doesn't look much like a beach. But when the sun rises over the peaks, the morning air fills with reggae from a pair of speakers on top of an ancient microbus, and whiffs of coconut suntan lotion, hibachi smoke, and ganja float by, you'll soon be a believer.
The Bash: Polynesian fire-eaters and five of Colorado's best brewers come together for the Memorial Day Beach Party blowout and Annual Festival of the Brew Pub on May 24. Buy a mug for about $12 and enjoy four hours of unlimited "tasting" from the Backcountry Brewery, Breckenridge Brewery, Dillon Dam Brewery, Pug Ryan's, and the Great Northern Tavern.
The Boast: Test your backbone on the wind-lashed Spine of Pallavicini. Launch the cornice at the top, bump through the Pali Gully, and then wiggle your way through the tight turns of Pali Wog at the bottom of 1,329 feet of north-facing vertical.
Decked Out: As the afternoon winds down, clomp up to the southwest- facing A-frame deck of the Sixth Alley Bar for an Irish Car Bomb (a shot of Jameson's, Baileys, and Kahlua dropped into a pint of Guinness).
Drinking & Dancing: If you get a second wind, head to the Snake River Saloon to cut a rug to live bands (on weekends) in a roadhouse- Mammoth Mountain Inn, a two-day lift ticket, a T-shirt, and drink vouchers.
The Boast: Hike from the top of the gondola and then drop into Huevos Grande, a snaking big-mountain line that slaloms jagged rock and imminent pain. Be sure to make those first few double-fall line turns on the 59-degree pitch; if you miss, you're going over a 40-foot cliff into a rock garden.
Decked Out: Cruise to The Mill at the base of Stump Alley Express for a Cadillac margarita (a marg with a Gran Marnier floater) and a seat in an Adirondack chair by the fire pit.
Drinking & Dancing: Whiskey Creek on the corner of Minaret and Main streets has rafter-shaking live music on the weekends and local fave DJ Rodney O spinning on Wild Wednesday.
They did what? Rapper Coolio started a snowball fight on the Sun Deck that escalated into a war involving hundreds. When senior management came out to stop it, they found it too irresistible and hucked a few bombs themselves.
411: 800-MAMMOTH; mammoth-mtn.com

6. Snowbowl, Montana

The Lowdown: Long before big-air contests and gap jumps were the rage, Missoulians were hucking themselves 200 feet down the hill on alpine gear and betting on the outcome. The name for this lunatic leap is gelà¤ndesprung. But even as a skier launches straight at you in a flying V, you know the event is just an excuse to nurse the best Bloody Mary (secret ingredient: beef boullion) you've ever had.
The Bash: Witness grown men in Lycra body condoms shooting themselves off long ramps on downhill skis at the Montana Snowbowl Cup National Gelà¤nde Championships (Feb. 21-23). Buy a jumper in the Calcutta auction and get to share in the winnings (past Calcutta pots have reached $3,000) or just drink red beers (beer and tomato juice).
The Boast: Dive down the throat of the 2,000-foot Grizzly Chute, get swallowed up by the huge slush bumps, and pray your quads get spit out in one piece.
Decked Out: The Last Run Inn is the center from which all things Snowbowl spin.
Drinking & Dancing: Head down to Front Street in Missoula for an Olde Bongwater Porter at The Top Hat Lounge & Casino. For 50 years this has been the place to kick up your heels to live music four nights a week. Bands range from String Cheese Incident to Crack Sabbath (406-728-9865).
They Did What? Bob Wimmett immortalized naked gelà¤nde jumping when he was caught on film and turned into a poster. Now, it happens whenever it's warm enough for a proud display.
411: 406-549-9777; montanasnow bowl.com

7. Arapahoe Basin, Colorado

The Lowdown: The frozen mud of the Early Riser parking lot doesn't look much like a beach. But when the sun rises over the peaks, the morning air fills with reggae from a pair of speakers on top of an ancient microbus, and whiffs of coconut suntan lotion, hibachi smoke, and ganja float by, you'll soon be a believer.
The Bash: Polynesian fire-eaters and five of Colorado's best brewers come together for the Memorial Day Beach Party blowout and Annual Festival of the Brew Pub on May 24. Buy a mug for about $12 and enjoy four hours of unlimited "tasting" from the Backcountry Brewery, Breckenridge Brewery, Dillon Dam Brewery, Pug Ryan's, and the Great Northern Tavern.
The Boast: Test your backbone on the wind-lashed Spine of Pallavicini. Launch the cornice at the top, bump through the Pali Gully, and then wiggle your way through the tight turns of Pali Wog at the bottom of 1,329 feet of north-facing vertical.
Decked Out: As the afternoon winds down, clomp up to the southwest- facing A-frame deck of the Sixth Alley Bar for an Irish Car Bomb (a shot of Jameson's, Baileys, and Kahlua dropped into a pint of Guinness).
Drinking & Dancing: If you get a second wind, head to the Snake River Saloon to cut a rug to live bands (on weekends) in a roadhouse-rustic atmosphere where tequila shots are considered Colorado cordials (970-468-2788).
They Did What? Last spring CJ "Turbo" Turner picked A-Basin for a test flight of his rocket-powered monoboard. Unfortunately, the rockets went off as he got onto the chairlift. No one was hurt, but Turbo was persona non grata. "I think we might've asked him to leave at that point," said management's Leigh Hierholzer. "He was scaring our guests."
411: 888-272-7246; arapahoebasin.com

8. Sunday River, Maine

The Lowdown: Though the clapboard churches of Bethel, Maine, suggest a sedate vibe, the skiers at Sunday River leave all puritanical reserve behind when a three-story-tall José Cuervo bottle rises up from the last pitch of the Monday Mourning run. And you know winter's melting down when you see boiled wool jackets shed in favor of cotton T-shirts.
The Bash: Bring your lost shaker of salt to Margaritaville in the mountains, also known as the Parrothead Festival (April 5-6) at the Barker Base Lodge. Jimmy Buffett cover bands fill the air with steel guitar and harmonica riffs as local restaurants compete for the title of best margarita.
The Boast: Brave Maine's monster bumps on Agony. Try to ignore the unforgiving Yankee crowd on the Barker Lift that runs overhead.
Decked Out: Swill a Goat Island Light from the Shipyard Brew Haus on the south-facing Barker Base Lodge deck while stick dodgers provide the entertainment in the adjacent Monday Mourning race arena.
Drinking & Dancing: Duck downstairs of the Sudbury Inn on Main Street for low ceilings, live music, and lots of elbow rubbing at Suds Pub. Though weekend nights host blues and bluegrass bands, Thursday's Hoot Nite (an 18-year open mike tradition) is the town's hottest take (207-824-2174).
They Did What? On April 20 (notice the numbers: 4/20), the Sunday River Brew Pub hosts the Food Service Olympics, a carnival of drinking games among restaurant employees. When spring fever hit one couple, they decided the front deck was a private enough place to consummate their attraction. They didn't count on 50 people in the bar cheering.
411: 207-824-3000; sundayriver.com

9. Mt. Hood Meadows, Oregon

The Lowdown: Clouds cloak the conical summit of Oregon's Mount Hood most of the winter. So when locals look up and finally spot the peak, it's not just a mountain they see; it's a harbinger of spring. When the skies clear enough in Portland to see Mounts Rainier and Adams, the masses throw microbrews in coolers and head for the hills.
The Bash: The Vegetate spring bash (March 12-16) includes boarder- and skiercross, slopestyle, and superpipe contests, and it turns Stadium run into a Full Sail Ale beer garden. Don't let the name fool you; this bash is not about letting the moss grow on your ass. It refers to the party's function-raising money for wildflower revegetation on Mount Hood.
The Boast: From the top of the Cascade lift, hike 1,700 vertical feet up (or grab the Superbowl SnowCat for $10) past Heather Canyon and drop down The Wall for 4,000 vertical of steep north-facing corn.
Decked Out: Ski up to the sprawling 16,000-square-foot South Lodge deck for a Cascade Punch (Bacardi 151, dark rum, and juices) and a grilled brat.
Drinking & Dancing: Slurp an oyster shooter to prime yourself to bust loose on the 100-year-old hardwood floor of the River City Saloon (541-387-BLUES).
They Did What? In the annual Cardboard Derby that sends handmade crafts of cardboard and duct tape sliding downhill, one competitor once set his Viking ship on fire with lighter fluid while racing down the course. As if that didn't cause enough alarm in the crowd, the copilot emerged from the cardboard comet without a leg. He was an amputee who'd left his prosthetic at the bottom of the course. But still...
411: 503-337-2222, skihoodd.com

10. Snowbird, Utah

The Lowdown: As your legs work through the Great Scot chute, the music from the reggae band doesn't reach you until you hit the last face of the Peruvian. Finally you pull up to the wide cement expanse of the Plaza deck-a barbecue sizzling at its center, the band jamming in the shade, and picnic tables overflowing with Snowbirders.
The Bash: Snowbird's 7th annual Gigantissimo is a 50-gate race from the top of Hidden Peak to the bottom of the tram. Burn your quads for four minutes over this 2,900- vertical-foot, 2.5-mile course, and then boast about it and chow barbecue as a live band blares. Entry is $25; dates TBD.
The Boast: Opening from the crest of the Cirque, Great Scot demands a dozen must-make turns in the steep throat, then opens for another 1,000 vertical feet of Snowbird-steep sweetness. Tackle it when the tram's going over for maximum exposure.
Decked Out: Everyone who's skiing the tram (usually the best skiers) has to tromp through the Plaza deck to get to the tram line. The constant parade makes it the perfect place to kick back, grab a cold one, and toast their effort.
Drinking & Dancing: Wear your fast-drying acrylic shiny shirt to Salt Lake City's downtown four-level Club Splash-it has a glass-enclosed shower room where you get spritzed while you get down. There's also a huge dance floor surrounded by aquariums and waterfalls where the fish are the only ones getting wet (801-363-2623).
They Did What? April Fools' Day used to see a huge local's bash at Snowbird. Two years ago, some guys built a monster kicker and then sat back to watch the fun. It didn't take long for someone to land on his head. As ski patrol was working on him, the inebriated crowd pelted them with snowballs. The tradition has since been discouraged.
411: 801-933-2222; snowbird.com

tic atmosphere where tequila shots are considered Colorado cordials (970-468-2788).

They Did What?

Last spring CJ "Turbo" Turner picked A-Basin for a test flight of his rocket-powered monoboard. Unfortunately, the rockets went off as he got onto the chairlift. No one was hurt, but Turbo was persona non grata. "I think we might've asked him to leave at that point," said management's Leigh Hierholzer. "He was scaring our guests."

411:

888-272-7246; arapahoebasin.com

8. Sunday River, Maine

The Lowdown: Though the clapboard churches of Bethel, Maine, suggest a sedate vibe, the skiers at Sunday River leave all puritanical reserve behind when a three-story-tall José Cuervo bottle rises up from the last pitch of the Monday Mourning run. And you know winter's melting down when you see boiled wool jackets shed in favor of cotton T-shirts.
The Bash: Bring your lost shaker of salt to Margaritaville in the mountains, also known as the Parrothead Festival (April 5-6) at the Barker Base Lodge. Jimmy Buffett cover bands fill the air with steel guitar and harmonica riffs as local restaurants compete for the title of best margarita.
The Boast: Brave Maine's monster bumps on Agony. Try to ignore the unforgiving Yankee crowd on the Barker Lift that runs overhead.
Decked Out: Swill a Goat Island Light from the Shipyard Brew Haus on the south-facing Barker Base Lodge deck while stick dodgers provide the entertainment in the adjacent Monday Mourning race arena.
Drinking & Dancing: Duck downstairs of the Sudbury Inn on Main Street for low ceilings, live music, and lots of elbow rubbing at Suds Pub. Though weekend nights host blues and bluegrass bands, Thursday's Hoot Nite (an 18-year open mike tradition) is the town's hottest take (207-824-2174).
They Did What? On April 20 (notice the numbers: 4/20), the Sunday River Brew Pub hosts the Food Service Olympics, a carnival of drinking games among restaurant employees. When spring fever hit one couple, they decided the front deck was a private enough place to consummate their attraction. They didn't count on 50 people in the bar cheering.
411: 207-824-3000; sundayriver.com

9. Mt. Hood Meadows, Oregon

The Lowdown: Clouds cloak the conical summit of Oregon's Mount Hood most of the winter. So when locals look up and finally spot the peak, it's not just a mountain they see; it's a harbinger of spring. When the skies clear enough in Portland to see Mounts Rainier and Adams, the masses throw microbrews in coolers and head for the hills.
The Bash: The Vegetate spring bash (March 12-16) includes boarder- and skiercross, slopestyle, and superpipe contests, and it turns Stadium run into a Full Sail Ale beer garden. Don't let the name fool you; this bash is not about letting the moss grow on your ass. It refers to the party's function-raising money for wildflower revegetation on Mount Hood.
The Boast: From the top of the Cascade lift, hike 1,700 vertical feet up (or grab the Superbowl SnowCat for $10) past Heather Canyon and drop down The Wall for 4,000 vertical of steep north-facing corn.
Decked Out: Ski up to the sprawling 16,000-square-foot South Lodge deck for a Cascade Punch (Bacardi 151, dark rum, and juices) and a grilled brat.
Drinking & Dancing: Slurp an oyster shooter to prime yourself to bust loose on the 100-year-old hardwood floor of the River City Saloon (541-387-BLUES).
They Did What? In the annual Cardboard Derby that sends handmade crafts of cardboard and duct tape sliding downhill, one competitor once set his Viking ship on fire with lighter fluid while racing down the course. As if that didn't cause enough alarm in the crowd, the copilot emerged from the cardboard comet without a leg. He was an amputee who'd left his prosthetic at the bottom of the course. But still...
411: 503-337-2222, skihood.com

10. Snowbird, Utah

The Lowdown: As your legs work through the Great Scot chute, the music from the reggae band doesn't reach you until you hit the last face of the Peruvian. Finally you pull up to the wide cement expanse of the Plaza deck-a barbecue sizzling at its center, the band jamming in the shade, and picnic tables overflowing with Snowbirders.
The Bash: Snowbird's 7th annual Gigantissimo is a 50-gate race from the top of Hidden Peak to the bottom of the tram. Burn your quads for four minutes over this 2,900- vertical-foot, 2.5-mile course, and then boast about it and chow barbecue as a live band blares. Entry is $25; dates TBD.
The Boast: Opening from the crest of the Cirque, Great Scot demands a dozen must-make turns in the steep throat, then opens for another 1,000 vertical feet of Snowbird-steep sweetness. Tackle it when the tram's going over for maximum exposure.
Decked Out: Everyone who's skiing the tram (usually the best skiers) has to tromp through the Plaza deck to get to the tram line. The constant parade makes it the perfect place to kick back, grab a cold one, and toast their effort.
Drinking & Dancing: Wear your fast-drying acrylic shiny shirt to Salt Lake City's downtown four-level Club Splash-it has a glass-enclosed shower room where you get spritzed while you get down. There's also a huge dance floor surrounded by aquariums and waterfalls where the fish are the only ones getting wet (801-363-2623).
They Did What? April Fools' Day used to see a huge local's bash at Snowbird. Two years ago, some guys built a monster kicker and then sat back to watch the fun. It didn't take long for someone to land on his head. As ski patrol was working on him, the inebriated crowd pelted them with snowballs. The tradition has since been discouraged.
411: 801-933-2222; snowbird.com

skihood.com

10. Snowbird, Utah

The Lowdown: As your legs work through the Great Scot chute, the music from the reggae band doesn't reach you until you hit the last face of the Peruvian. Finally you pull up to the wide cement expanse of the Plaza deck-a barbecue sizzling at its center, the band jamming in the shade, and picnic tables overflowing with Snowbirders.
The Bash: Snowbird's 7th annual Gigantissimo is a 50-gate race from the top of Hidden Peak to the bottom of the tram. Burn your quads for four minutes over this 2,900- vertical-foot, 2.5-mile course, and then boast about it and chow barbecue as a live band blares. Entry is $25; dates TBD.
The Boast: Opening from the crest of the Cirque, Great Scot demands a dozen must-make turns in the steep throat, then opens for another 1,000 vertical feet of Snowbird-steep sweetness. Tackle it when the tram's going over for maximum exposure.
Decked Out: Everyone who's skiing the tram (usually the best skiers) has to tromp through the Plaza deck to get to the tram line. The constant parade makes it the perfect place to kick back, grab a cold one, and toast their effort.
Drinking & Dancing: Wear your fast-drying acrylic shiny shirt to Salt Lake City's downtown four-level Club Splash-it has a glass-enclosed shower room where you get spritzed while you get down. There's also a huge dance floor surrounded by aquariums and waterfalls where the fish are the only ones getting wet (801-363-2623).
They Did What? April Fools' Day used to see a huge local's bash at Snowbird. Two years ago, some guys built a monster kicker and then sat back to watch the fun. It didn't take long for someone to land on his head. As ski patrol was working on him, the inebriated crowd pelted them with snowballs. The tradition has since been discouraged.
411: 801-933-2222; snowbird.com

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