Until snow falls in Orange County, hitting the slopes elsewhere will always be a thrill. And yet, the same questions haunt the planning of every trip: Colorado or Utah? Ski, or should we finally learn to snowboard? Why must we spend so much time crammed in shuttles and lifts with strangers? That sort of thing. If you are beginning to feel taxed by this tedium, then read on. Our recommendations will make skiing magical again.
Experienced skier? Double-black-diamond slopes getting to be ho-hum? Time for heli-skiing. After a bit of instruction (yes, it’s required), you’ll hop onto a helicopter, fly to the top of a mountain, and disembark on untrammeled powder. Far from the packed ice of the bunny slope, out of reach of any ski lift, these slopes require a guide—and chutzpah—but you’ll be rewarded with fast runs, varied terrain, and deep powder. Mike Wiegele Helicopter Skiing offers packages galore, but every one of them includes guides, ski gear designed for powder, three gourmet meals a day, and accommodations in the Log Chalet. The seven-day deluxe package is most popular, and begins at $8,183 per person, all-inclusive, with unlimited skiing. You’ll be flying in a helicopter, skiing near-vertical slopes, and wearing an avalanche transceiver on your way down. Don’t tell your mother. More info: wiegele.com