Daily Escape

Taos Ski Valley

Photo by BUD FORCE / Aurora Photos

Taos Ski Valley

Taos, NM

Toas Ski Valley by the numbers: 12,481 - the elevation of Kachina Peak in feet; 1,294 - the total acreage of the valley; 305 - the average annual snowfall in inches; 300 - the average days of sunshine; 110 - the number of trails; 11 - how giddy you are to hit the slopes on a scale of one to ten.


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Utah Olympic Park held the 2002 Winter Olympic Games, and it now hosts national and international competitions and training events, including Nordic jumping and bobsledding. It’s open year-round, so come here to see Olympic memorabilia, or take your own bobsled spin if you’re feeling adventurous. 960 1280

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The Sundance Film Festival is a 10-day event held every January in Park City, showcasing independent movies from all over the world. The festival is named for Robert Redford's character in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. While the renowned actor and former Utah resident didn’t found the festival, he has played an integral park in building the festival's status over the years. 960 1280

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There is plenty to do when the snow melts in Park City as well, like riding an alpine slide. Park City Mountain Resort's alpine slide is “one of the longest in the world, with more than 3,000 feet of gliding and sliding down a luge-like track.” 960 1280

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High West Distillery and Saloon, an Old West and whiskey theme park of sorts, describes itself as “the only ski-in/stagger-out distillery in the world.” Come here for the true spirit of Park City and a shot of whiskey, of course. 960 1280

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Park City’s iconic Main Street is a hub of activity during the Sundance Film Festival, with celebrity sightings on every corner. 960 1280

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Sundance Resort spans more than 5,000 acres on the slopes of Mount Timpanogos in Utah's Wasatch Range. Actor Robert Redford owns the property, a year-round resort that spawned the Sundance Film Festival and the nonprofit Sundance Institute. 960 1280

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Utah's largest single ski and snowboard resort, Canyons Resort has perfect Utah powder, endless mountain terrain and amazing views of the peaks of the Wasatch Mountains. 960 1280

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Zoom, opened in 1995 by Robert Redford, is a vibrant restaurant that's centrally located at the foot of Main Street in Park City. 960 1280

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Montage Deer Valley resort combines luxury with mountain craftsmanship to create a traditional yet upscale lodging experience in Park City. 960 1280

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In 1986, Wasatch Brew Pub became Park City's first brewery since Prohibition. For the best brews on the mountain, head to this popular pub on Main Street and order their signature Polygamy Porter. 960 1280

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The Sky Lodge is an upscale resort and major hub hotel of the Sundance Festival, with large high-end suites and a central location for hitting the slopes and the Park City’s nightlife. 960 1280

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Ice Climbing
Ice Climbing

Ice Climbing

Travel to Switzerland’s cold tundra to go ice climbing -- if rock climbing isn’t extreme enough for you. Ascend up ice formations like frozen waterfalls, ice slabs or rocks covered with frozen water flow or ice. This adrenaline-driven winter activity is recognized as a competitive sport. The International Mountaineering and Climbing Federation organizes both the Ice Climbing World Cup and International Championships every year. 960 1280

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Snowcross

Snowcross

It’s snowmobiling with an extra kick! In snocross, riders race at a speed of up to 60 mph on a track that usually consists of tight turns, banked corners, steep jumps and obstacles. From November through March, AMSOIL Championship Snocross events are held all over the US, including in Duluth, MN; Traverse City, MI; Deadwood, SD; and Lake Geneva, WI. 960 1280

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Snow Polo

Snow Polo

St. Moritz is just one place sports fans can visit to see snow polo players in action. This variant of polo is played on compacted snow, on flat ground or on a frozen lake. Each team usually consists of 3 players who battle it out by hitting a light, bright-colored plastic ball into a goal. Save the date -- Aspen, CO, usually hosts the USPA World Snow Polo Championship in Marloth Park on the third weekend in December. 960 1280

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Skijoring

Skijoring

The first competitive skijoring races were held in Scandinavia as an offshoot of the older sport of pulka. For those unfamiliar with this winter sport, skijoring involves a horse, dog(s) or a motor vehicle pulling a skier. Races are held all around the world where there is snow in the winter. The longest race is held in Kalevala, Karelia, Russia. Skiers pulled by dogs must race 270 bone-chilling miles to cross the finish line. 960 1280

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Snow Scooting

Snow Scooting

Go snow scooting! Cut your snowboard in half, screw on some handlebars and hop onboard. The unconventional sport is popular in Europe, but has yet to catch on in the US. We recommend traveling to Tignes, a ski resort in southeastern France, to experience snow scooting in the Alps. 960 1280

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Ice Swimming

Ice Swimming

Swimming in a body of water with a frozen crust of ice is normal practice in several countries, including the UK, Finland, Belgium, Russia and China. In the US and Canada, members of polar bear clubs take the plunge and go swimming in the winter. Take the plunge yourself and go swimming in the winter or ice swimming. The Coney Island Polar Bear Club (Coney Island, NY) is the oldest ice-swimming club in the US. 960 1280

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Heli-Skiing

Heli-Skiing

Instead of hopping on a ski lift, jump from a helicopter to start your ski run downhill. These off-trail runs sometimes consist of high alpine glaciers, wooded areas and steep slopes. Skiers, looking for an adrenaline-rush adventure, should head to heli-skiing destinations like Alaska, Iceland, Nepal, Chile, Russia and New Zealand. 960 1280

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Ice Yachting

Ice Yachting

Go sailing in an iceboat -- also known as an ice yacht. Ice yachting is very popular in the Netherlands and in the Gulf of Finland; Minnesota’s Lake Minnetonka, Wisconsin’s Lake Pepin, Maine’s Bar Harbor Lake are a few hot US destinations for this unique sport. 960 1280

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Ice Cross Downhill

Ice Cross Downhill

The first inaugural race for ice cross downhill was on Jan. 20, 2000, in Stockholm. Wearing skates, hockey players have a head-to-head battle down an ice track packed with gap jumps, ice steps, high vertical drops and razor-sharp hairpin turns. These competitions -- Red Bull Crashed Ice -- are held in various locations like Quebec City, Canada; St. Paul, MN; Niagara Falls, Canada; and Landgraaf, Netherlands. 960 1280

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Snow Kayaking

Snow Kayaking

Forget about sledding down snowy hills -- hop into a kayak for an exciting twist to traditional sledding. Go snow kayaking, an extreme sport not allowed at most ski resorts. Professional competitions consist of bumps, turns and other obstacles to keep competitors’ adrenaline pumping. 960 1280

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Snow Kiting

Snow Kiting

Snow kiting is an outdoor winter sport where people use kite power to glide on snow or ice. This unique sport is similar to kite surfing, but snowboarding or skiing footwear is used. Snow kiting is becoming popular in places often associated with skiing and snowboarding like Sweden, France, Canada, Austria and central and northern US. 960 1280

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Tesoro Arctic Man Classic

Tesoro Arctic Man Classic

More than 13,000 people converge on Paxson, AK, to witness the Tesoro Arctic Man Classic. Teams of 2 compete with the skier starting the race out at a 5,800-foot summit. They then drop 1,700 feet in less than 2 miles, where the skier meets up with his snowmobiling partner. The snowmobiler pulls the skier uphill at top speeds of up to 86 mph. On the final leg of the race, the skier separates from his partner and drops another 1,200 feet to the finish line. 960 1280