Greg Limeberry’s Top Five Ski Resorts in the US

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There is an abundance of first class ski resorts around in the US for people with a healthy budget and an acquired taste for winter sports. Take a look below to see someone of my favorite spots to ski year around. With summer ending it is never too early to start thinking about winter sports and pinpoint some vacations spots. Hope you enjoy it. 

5. St. Regis Deer Valley Resort located in Deer Valley, United States. The resort is located in the magnificent slopes of Wasatch Mountains, where guests can enjoy outdoors activities such as biking, hiking as well as an abundance of concerts located right outside the resort. It offers 177 rooms that are custom designed and about 64 suites with sizes ranging from 500-2500 square feet. Guests can enjoy amenities such as first class dining at the J&G Grill, handcrafted cocktails at the St. Regis Bar as well as private dining in the exclusive Wine Vault. 

4. Alta Ski Resort , Utah opened in 1939, making it one of the oldest ski resort in the United States. Still relying on its old traditions and foundations, Alta is a favorite among locals and in the past few decades has become a major tourist attraction. The amazing powder like snow brings many snow sport lovers to Alta’s doors, but unfortunately snowboarders are not allowed. The town and community embrace the ski culture and welcome outsiders who have the share this passion.

3. Grand Targhee is located 45 minutes away from Jackson Hole, but with its Nordic skiing trails and powder like snow, this resort can hold its own against the well know surrounding trails. Grand Targhee is a great place for people who enjoy to ski off the beaten path as well as explore new terrains- this resort focuses in improving their customers’ experiences on slopes rather than indoors. Getting more than 450 inches of snow a year, Grand Targhee is a resort for people who love to ski, snowshoe and snowboard. It is a secluded and laid back resort, which reflects most of its consumer base, but it also caters to people who are looking to experience the town and all it has to offer. 

2. Snowbird, Utah covers about 2,500 acres, with its top elevation going to 11, 000 feet. It produces some of the steepest slopes in the country, and is graced with dry and powdery snow during skiing season. Snowbird also host multiple other activities that can be enjoyed year round- such as biking, hiking, fishing, as well as facility related amenities. In the summer visitors can enjoy summer concerts and outdoors activities such as alpine slides, mountain coaster, bungee trampoline and much more. 

1. Located in one of the most popular ski town in the United States, Jackson Hole is a huge attraction for tourists and locals alike. It has a great ski resort and a lot of terrain to explore. Most people who do not consider themselves “experts” would usually shy away from Jackson Holes’ slopes, especially Corbet’s Couloir. For snow lovers who would like have a more relaxed experience, the resort offers other options other than skiing, such as hiking up ridges and backcountry skiing. 

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The World’s Greatest Summer Ski Festival

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Greg Limeberry

Skiing in Norway

Sometimes you just can’t give up the ski season. That’s the case for attendees of the world’s northernmost ski touring festival,  Toppturfestivalen Svalbard in the north of Norway. As Yahoo travel reports, ski bums from all over the world who could not bear to part with winter made the trek this year to the festival that took place from May 29 – June 1 of this year.

Svalbard archipelago, the festival’s location and namesake, is located halfway between continental Norway and the North Pole. The area is cold, has snow year round, and is remote enough that is does not make it on to many tourists’ “must visit” lists.  But that has been changing over the past three years since the festival began, with tickets to attend becoming harder and harder to come by. This year, 80 hardcore ski enthusiasts opted to make the trip to ski amongst the polar bears in the midnight sun.

Most Norwegians embrace what little summer they have, but there are those who will never miss a chance to hit the slopes. They weren’t alone with many skiers attending the fest from Russia and Germany. Each day, skiers would set out to tackle another nearby mountain. The excursions were all accompanied by volunteers armed with rifles, trained in warding off polar bears. After the day’s skiing, the sun stays out all night and so do many of the skiers partying in the bright midnight sun.

With each year, tickets are getting harder and harder to come by, so anyone hoping to attend should be on their computer the moment they go on sale in January at Toppturfestivalen.no. Cost is around $750 can includes a ferry ride, local food for four days, campsite, seminars and entertainment and of course, armed polar bear guards.

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Summer Skiing Kicks Off At Mount Hood

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Greg Limeberry

Mount Hood in Oregon

Each year on the longest day, a group of die hard ski bums make their way to Illumination Rock on the southwest side of Mount Hood. The destination is the site of the annual Illumination Saddle solstice celebration that serves as the unofficial beginning to the mountain’s summer ski season, Powder reports.

The destination is appropriate. At 9,500 feet, the ballast outcropping is known for catching the last of the afternoon sunlight and scattering the light, thus the name. So what better place to spend the longest afternoon of the year than Illumination rock. Besides the views, there is a conveniently placed ski pitch on the mountain’s south side.

The yearly event was began by Asit Rathod, an avid skier and famous partier out of Portland. This years event reportedly involved a “serious jump-building mission” on the part of the Home Grown crew made up of Tommy Ellingson, Josh and Mike Larkin, and Rhonda Shaheen. The crew took advantage of the late evening light with a succession of both-way 360s, backflips and saddle jumps.  All of this goes right until sunset at around 9pm, when the real party begins. The whole party made its way down firm, crisp snow back to the Timberline Lodge.

The Illumination Saddle solstice celebration is held every year on the longest day of the year. Learn more at Powder.

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Roughing It Goes Digital

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Camping made Easier!

Summer is here and it is time to get out into the great outdoors and test your mettle when faced with the elements. Of course, when you do get out in nature, there is no reason to not have a little help from a smartphone or a tablet. After all there are apps available that can be just as useful to campers as a canteen or bug spray, and some even more so. The folks over at recombu have listed some of the best apps for campers.

Compass and Google Maps (iOS and Android, free)

Google Maps is the old standby for finding your way both on and off the beaten path. What you should remember to do before leaving civilization is searching out your destination on Google Maps and using the ‘Save map to use offline’ option. This way, you will still be able to see exactly where you are even without a wireless signal, so long as your GPS is enabled.  A compass app also helps, but you might want to invest in a physical compass in case you find yourself lost and unable to charge your phone.

BootPrint Pocket Survival (iOS, $0.99)

In the woods, losing mobile service is a common occurrence, but in an emergency it can be a real problem. The BootPrint Pocket Survival app tracks cell towers as you pass them, so that you will be able to find

This handy app records the exact location where your phone last picked up signal, in case you desperately need to call home and tell them to record Corrie or Britain’s Got Talent. It’ll even guide you to the golden spot using the iPhone’s built-in compass, so you don’t need to fiddle around with maps.

Army Survival Guide (Android, free) / Survival Guide (iOS, free)

These are actual military survival guides, free and downloadable to your phone or tablet. Frankly, most of the advice in these is going to be a little extreme for your weekend excursion, or even your extreme kayaking trip. But it doesn’t hurt to be prepared and this app will tell you everything you need to know about knots, purifying water, and making traps to catch a meal. It also has a good deal about evading enemy capture, if you find yourself in the situation.

Disco Light LED Flashlight (Android, free)

This app has a number of features including police light, strobe light and glow stick. While it may sound like it was designed so that users could carry a rave in their pocket (which it probably was) it could end up being very useful in a survival situation for attracting rescue vehicles.

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Ski All Season On Grass

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Grass Skiing

Alpine skiing depends on hills and snow, at least according to conventional thinking. Not for Brian McKay, The Columbian reports, who has been trying to get extreme sports enthusiast on board with his niche sport of grass skiing.

Grass skiing is precisely what it sounds like. Exiting the slalom gates, carving your way down hill, just on grass and not snow. It makes for an exciting ride down, and often a rough landing.

“It’s just like sliding into home plate,” McKay says. “No big deal.”

Believe it or not, grass skiing is not a new idea. It was actually developed in the 1960s when competitive snow-skiers in Germany were looking for a summer training regimen. Some folks picked up on the idea in Europe and it made its way to the US east coast and eventually was introduced to crowds in San Francisco in the late 1970s.

Obviously it never really took off, but there are loyalist like McKay who like to take out their poles and grass skis – short runners with wheeled treads on traditional downhill skiing boots. McKay says that he is willing to take any other extreme-sports enthusiasts out for a test run if they find themselves in Southern Oregon looking for something different to do.

“I want some ski buddies,” McKay says.

Snow skiers can have a difficult time mastering grass skiing because there is no gliding or sliding to speak off. The skis must carve and they leave no trace in the grass. Also, it can be very difficult to regulate your speed.

“You just go faster and faster until you run out of hill or reach terminal speed,” McKay says. Though he would insist that its that kind of risk that makes it fun.

Learn more about grass skiing in The Columbian.

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The Battle for Park City Ski Properties Heats Up   

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Park City

Rarely is the adventurous world of Park City skiing associated with hostile corporate strategy, but in reality the resort-peppered mountains make up a businessman’s battlefield in the midst of a full-scale war. According to an article on Outside, owners of a few ski resorts are vying for land and eying a 7,500-acre mega resort along with it.

The Park City Mountain Resort (PCMR) operates almost exclusively on private land. PCMR owns the base, but a company named Talisker owns the land that holds the lifts and inclined runs necessary for skiing. Talisker had been operating Canyons Ski Resort, one of a trio of resorts located northwest of PCMR; however, in March 2011, PCMR failed to send in the paperwork to renew the land it leased from Talisker.

Though it may seem a simple mistake could be rectified, it’s important to note that PCMR had a lease dating back to the 1970s that gave them full use of the land, estimated around 3,500 acres for only $150,000 a year. By industry standards, it was the best deal in the sky business, giving PCMR an incredible advantage against its competitors.

Once realizing the mistake, PCMR tried to cover up its misstep by post-dating the paperwork. Still, it was too late. Talisker promptly sold the operating lease of Canyons to Vail Resorts, the largest sky resort company in North America for $25 million plus a percentage of revenue. Vail Resorts’ decision to purchase would put it in control of both the PCMR property and Canyons, leaving them with a combined mega resort of 7,500 acres.

Naturally PCMR attempted to fight it out in court but as of late May, a judge ruled that Talisker was legally within its right to lease the land it owns to Vail Resorts. Now, to add insult to injury, PCMR has threatened to remove its lifts and disallow access to the resorts from the private land it owns at the base. Valid threats or not, it’s clear that the resort owners plan to continue this battle throughout the summer.

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7 Destinations to Blast Off On Your Next Vacation

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For most of us, vacation is a time to get away from it all and relax. Others among us like to take things further, looking to the great outdoors for a little adventure. Then finally, there are those who like to take the adventure of our vacations and turn it up to eleven. In a recent article, Yahoo Travel gave its list of recommended destinations for the third group, and they are not for the faint of heart.

Greg Limeberry

Adventure Travel Ideas

(Photo credit vehiclepassion.com)

1. Jetpack America – Based in Newport Beach, California, Jetpack America allows travelers to strap into a 200-horsepower, water-fueled jetpack that can reach 25 feet in the air and allow speeds of up to 30mph. For $259 and under the watchful eye of a nearby instructor, vacationers can soar and dive-bomb all over Newport Bay for 25 minutes.

2. Dream Racing – Horsepower is a theme on this list. Dream Racing is a Las Vegas attraction that allows adrenaline junkie travellers get behind the wheel. Starting around $189 for a five-lap session, drivers can get strapped into a six-point seatbelt and helmet and put the pedal to the metal in specialty racing cars such as the Ferrari F430GT.

3. Dig This – Travellers with fond memories of playing with toy dump trucks and cranes as a child will love the adult version. This Las Vegas destination has turned a construction site into a playground, and for starting at $249 travels can use industrial machinery to make large holes, smash objects, or toss objects that weigh a metric ton like they were a toy.

4. Sky Combat Ace  – Vegas does it again. For $599 dollars, the traveller can get the “Top Gun Experience” strapped into an acrobatic stunt plane (along with an instructor with dual controls) and perform loop-de-loops, barrel rolls and simulated dive bomb. The instructor does most of the flying but the guest controls the intensity which can bring 8Gs of pressure and quite a rush.

5. Desert Wolf Tour –  This Scottsdale, Arizona destination will take you into the desert in a military style vehicle and let you hose down targets with bullets from your Glock, AR-15 assault rifle or whatever other boomstick they have on hand. You can squeeze off a long distance rifle shot at an explosive charge and then watch the fireworks. All for $199.

6. Xtreme Hummer Adventures – For only $55, a professional driver will take you on an extreme drive through the sand dunes of Pismo Beach, California. Taking it to extreme speeds and making wild jumps off of hill peaks, a traveler gets a lot of adrenaline for a small price tag.

7. Drive A Tank – The name says it all. For $399, this Kasota, Minnesota will allow travellers to pilot an actual WW2-era British tank with only a periscope to guide you. For an additional $599, travellers can use the tank to crush a car.

To read more check out the original article Yahoo Travel.

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