The following accompanies the “Have Kitchen, Will Ski” article (and travel tips) in the Winter 2010 edition of Allergic Living. All are written by AL’s food allergy/celiac travel writer, Scott McKenzie. To purchase that issue, click here .
Owl’s Head – For more than 20 years now a large group of 50 family and friends has gone skiing every spring at Owl’s Head (www.owlshead.com ) in the Quebec Eastern Townships, about 1.5 hours east of Montreal. Owl’s Head is one of the last family-owned ski resorts in Canada and also one of the best values. The resort offers one- to three-bedroom condos with full kitchens with excellent ski-in, ski-out access. It is rarely crowded, has a good mix of runs for all levels, but après ski activities are limited. Views of Lac Memphremagog are stunning.
Mont Tremblant – We have been to Mont Tremblant (www.tremblant.ca ) in both winter and summer. It’s located 132 kms north of Montreal and consistently rated the Number One ski resort in eastern North America. It is pretty much the opposite of Owl’s Head, and is a full fledged four-season resort with shopping, swimming and lots of restaurants. It also has golfing, swimming, boating and biking in the summer. Tremblant has studio to four-bedroom condos with good ski-in, ski-out access. There is a good mix of runs and lots of après ski activities. But it can be crowded, and sometimes very cold.
Smugglers Notch – Smugglers Notch, Vermont (www.smuggs.com ) is about 165 kms south of Montreal and is consistently rated the Number One ski resort for family programs in North America. Accommodations range from studio to five-bedroom condos with full kitchens and good ski-in, ski-out access. There is an excellent learn to ski program for children as young as 2½ years old, as well as more non-skiing activities for children than any resort I have been to. These include: a fun zone with inflatable slides, bouncy house, pools, basketball and mini-golf. Resort has a good mix of ski runs for all levels, but can be crowded on weekends because there are no high-speed chairlifts.
Sugarbush – My favourite ski area in the east is Sugarbush, Vermont (www.sugarbush.com ), 235 kms south of Montreal. It has studio to five-bedroom ski-in, ski out condos with an outdoor, heated swimming pool and hot tub. There is a great variety of skiing, with lots of easy and intermediate runs as well as among the best expert terrain in the east. The luxurious new Claybrook Residences have a valet to park your car, a ski valet to stow your skis and a boot valet to dry and warm your boots.
Silver Star – My daughters’ favourite ski trip was to Silver Star Resort (www.skisilverstar.com ) in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley, about an hour from Kelowna. There are reasonably priced studio to six-bedroom condos and chalets with excellent ski-in, ski-out access. The chalet we stayed in was so close to the run at Silver Star that the kids could ski right onto the back porch. It has a good mix of runs for all levels, lots of après ski activities and rarely gets crowded.
Big Sky – My wife Keely’s favorite ski area is Big Sky (www.bigskyresort.com ) in Montana, 70 kms from Bozeman. The village has ski-in, ski-out studio condos to five-bedroom homes. It features lots of groomed, intermediate cruising runs as well as easy and hard runs and never has crowds. There are swimming pools, restaurants, a spa, shops and it’s also near Yellowstone National Park.
Whistler Blackcomb – The largest resort in North America is Whistler Blackcomb (www.whistlerblackcomb.com ) in British Columbia. This is a huge resort, 125 kms from Vancouver, which will host the alpine skiing event of the 2010 Winter Olympics. It features over 200 trails for every level of skiing. There are three villages at the base of two mountains with studio to six-bedroom units. Some of the accommodations are ski-in, ski-out, but others require you to walk or shuttle to the lifts. There lots of activities to keep you busy, regardless of whether you ski or not, but it is not cheap.
Next Page: More ski resorts.
Other Ski Resorts
Eastern North America
- Mont-Sainte-Anne (www.mont-sainte-anne.com ) near Quebec City is my favorite eastern Canadian resort for its variety of terrain for all levels.
- Mont Sutton (www.montsutton.com ) in the Eastern Townships of Quebec is known for its tree skiing. There is some ski-in, ski-out accommodations, but not much après ski activities.
- Killington (www.killington.com ) is in central Vermont and is the largest resort in the east with six different mountains and base areas.
- Jay Peak (www.jaypeakresort.com ) in northern Vermont gets the most powder in the east and has great early and late season specials with Canadian at par.
- Sugarloaf (www.sugarloaf.com ) in northern Maine has the only above the tree-line skiing in the east.
- Sunday River (www.sundayriver.com ) near Bethel, Maine is known for its grooming and intermediate runs. It has 8 different peaks and 3 different base areas.
Western North America
- Big White (www.bigwhite.com ) one hour south of Kelowna, BC, is known for lots of dry powder and has the large ski-in, ski-out village in BC.
- Sun Peaks (www.sunpeaksresort.com ) is one hour from Kamloops and is the second largest four season resort in B.C. after Whistler Blackcomb.
- Fernie (www.skifernie.com ) in south-eastern B.C., is a 3.5 hour drive from Calgary and is known for its bowls and powder.
- Crested Butte (www.skicb.com ) near Gunnison, Colorado, is known for expert skiing, but also has good beginner and intermediate runs.
- Jackson Hole (www.jacksonhole.com ) in western Wyoming is has a good mix of runs for all levels in addition to its reputation for challenging skiing. It is also near Yellowstone National Park.
Next Page: Ski Resort Statistics
Ski Resort Statistics
Here are the key statistics for the North American resorts mentioned. The vertical rise, number of lifts and trails will give you an idea of the size of the mountain and the lift ticket price will help you get a sense of the relative cost. (Prices are for the 2008-09 season.)
|Eastern Ski Resort||Vertical Rise||Num
|Nearest Hospital||Lift Ticket|
|Mont Tremblant , QC||650 m||13||94||381 cm||35 min||$78 Cdn|
|Mont-Sainte-Anne , QC||625 m||13||66||475 cm||5 min||$62 Cdn|
|Mont Sutton , QC||457 m||9||53||511 cm||20 min||$56 Cdn|
|Owl’s Head , QC||540 m||8||44||445 cm||45 min||$39 Cdn|
|Killington , VT||930 m||24||141||635 cm||30 min||$82 US|
|Sugarbush , VT||792 m||16||111||683 cm||30 min||$72 US|
|Smuggler’s Notch , VT||792 m||8||78||732 cm||50 min||$62 US*|
|Jay Peak , VT||655 m||8||76||955 cm||35 min||$65 US*|
|Sugarloaf , ME||860 m||15||138||508 cm||60 min||$75 US|
|Sunday River , ME||713 m||16||131||394 cm||30 min||$77 US|
*Smuggler’s Notch and Jay Peak offer Canadian at Par deals.
|Western Ski Resort||Vertical Rise||Num
|Nearest Hospital||Lift Ticket|
|Whistler Blackcomb , BC||1600 m||38||200+||1022 cm||50 min||$89 Cdn|
|Sun Peaks , BC||881 m||11||122||559 cm||60 min||$75 Cdn|
|Fernie , BC||857 m||10||114||875 cm||10 min||$80 Cdn|
|Big White , BC||777 m||16||118||750 cm||40 min||$75 Cdn|
|Silver Star , BC||760 m||10||115||700 cm||20 min||$75 Cdn|
|Big Sky , MT||1325 m||21||150||1016 cm||70 min||$78 US|
|Crested Butte , CO||846 m||16||121||762 cm||45 min||$82 US|
|Jackson Hole , WY||1262 m||12||116||1166 cm||25 min||$85 US|
We highly recommend reading: Scott’s Rules for Travelling with Food Allergies 
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