A record 300 ski at steep Silverton | VailDaily.com

A record 300 ski at steep Silverton

Allen BestVail, CO Colorado

SILVERTON There were lines at the coffee shop, lines at the restaurants, and lines of cars. But the longest lines, thanks to an exceptional snowstorm, were of people waiting to ride the Silverton Mountain Ski Areas lone chairlift.Lines may be common in Silverton during warm-weather months, when the narrow-gauge train arrives, unloading hundreds of passengers for mid-day ramblings. Otherwise, even lines for the womens restrooms have been virtually unheard of since the last mine closed near Silverton several years ago.Whats going on? The Silverton Standard explains that the ski area got nearly four feet of snow, far more than other areas, resulting in a record crowd of 500 people showing up at the four-year-old ski area. The ski area could accommodate only 300 with avalanche gear, which is requisite on Silvertons steep, steep slopes.

McCALL, IDAHO Since at least 1950, people have been peeling out of Aspen, looking to find the next best ski mountain.Ex-Aspenite Pete Seibert rummaged around the San Juans and Grand Lake before his eureka moment at Vail in 1957. Ex-Aspenite Kingsbury Pitcher created something new in Ruidoso, N.M., and strengthened Wolf Creek, Colo.Joe Zoline, who had a ranch on the outskirts of Aspen, liked Aspen so much he decided to start the Telluride ski area. The tradition continues even today on various levels. Kelly Hayes, who lives in Old Snowmass, a few miles downvalley from Aspen, writes of a visit to McCall, Idaho, halfway between an old-fashioned ski area called Brundage and a new resort called Tamarack.Writing in The Aspen Times, Hayes proclaims Tamarack a wonderful place, with $360 million of real estate in the ground, the occasional presence of tennis royalty Stefanie Graf and Andre Agassi, and a jewel of a mountain for skiing. The ski area has size, 2,100 acres, and snow, 300 inches annually.While in McCall, says Hayes, he came upon a shop-owner who had fled Aspen 25 years ago and is now scouting out the next best place.Where?In the tradition of the game, he would not say.

JACKSON HOLE, Wyo. Home rental costs surged 14 percent in the last year in Teton County. A state survey found that the average rent for a two- to three-bedroom home jumped from $1,464 in January 2006 to $1,767 this January, reports the Jackson Hole News&Guide.

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