BEST OF THE MOUNTAINS
Here is an unscientific list, drawing on reputation, personal experiences and best-of lists from a variety of sources, of what some ski areas are best-known for.
Best powder -- Steamboat Springs, Colo. Best terrain park -- Echo Mountain Park, Colo. The whole place is a terrain park. Best lifts -- Snowbasin, Utah. Its gondolas let skiers avoid the cold and wind on the ride up. Best deal -- The Colorado Pass, which gets you unlimited lift access to Keystone, Breckenridge and Arapahoe Basin, plus 10 days at Vail or Beaver Creek (restricted).
Best apres ski -- Stowe Mountain Resort, Vt. Nightclubs, pizza joints, restaurants, inns and shopping. Best snowboarding -- Stratton Mountain Resort, Vt., home to Olympic gold medalist Ross Powers. Best family skiing -- Smugglers' Notch, Vt., has a variety of events and programs for toddlers to teens. Best expert terrain -- Killington Resort's double-black diamonds on Bear Mountain in Vermont. [ASSOCIATED PRESS]