Lifetime Fitness

Open Roads. Open Spaces. Open Season.

This article was produced in partnership with Ikon Pass.

Like many in the Ikon Pass community, if you’ve been dreaming about the mountains, the open road becomes a welcome means to an end this winter. Whether you are home mountain bound or planning a series of intrepid rambles–an Ikon Pass connects open spaces and endless adventure across regions packed with unique destinations. From California to Colorado, Utah or the Northeast, Canada and beyond, now is the time to start planning how you’ll ride in ’20/21.

Photo: Courtesy of Ikon Pass

Open Road.

Imagine it: Vast blue sky fills the dashboard horizon. As the city dwindles in the taillights–exchanging tall buildings for towering peaks–you turn up the volume on the recently finished playlist and settle into cruise control. It’s time for another new adventure with the same old, beloved crew.

Looking back, you’ve been planning this since September, drafting itineraries, collecting gear, calling friends, aligning dates. Finally, the road trip is here.

How to Road Trip:

ikon pass
Photo: Courtesy of Ikon Pass

-Itinerary Basics: With an Ikon Pass unlocking so many destinations in densely packed regions, there are many options to choose from. As you start to build out your trip, be sure to balance time away from home, time on the road, and time on the slopes. Take into consideration where you’ll be sleeping, and outline backup options that might come in handy.

-Itinerary Fun: When the road represents a blank slate, you can fill it up with any and all types of fun. Carve out time for roadside attractions, think about where your favorite, crazy aunt lives, and keep an eye out for regional cuisines you’ve always wanted to try.

-Prep Your Ride: Successful road trips are all about getting there and back again, and making it easy on yourself along the way. This means it’s essential to ensure that your vehicle is ready for the ride. Top off all fluids, cover off on maintenance, and any necessary carry snow traction equipment.

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-Get Comfortable: Tunes, snacks, games; these easy to enable niceties keep the miles moving while helping the crew to find their road-ready groove. Designate food responsibilities to the crew members skilled in culinary escapades, work on a collaborative playlist, and assign games to the friend who can never stop laughing.

-Plan for Maximum Flexibility: The word “adventure” is defined by a certain amount of unknown. Discuss the potential need for backup plans with everyone and identify what options are on the table ahead of time. If Plan A takes a turn, Plan B can keep the good times moving.

Open Spaces.

ikon pass
Photo: Courtesy of Ikon Pass

• California: Connecting four powder-power-house destinations, there are vast amounts of both skiable territory and open road to explore in California. Leave the congested Los Angeles scene and head toward a dense collection of SoCal jewels. Mammoth Mountain, June Mountain, and Big Bear Resort are all ripe for road trip rambles. Just slightly north and nearer to the crowded metro bay area, the immense open spaces of Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows are worth a dedicated road trip all their own. Seek sunshine and snowy stashes of solitude off of Mammoth’s backside, at Santiago Bowl, or try on some of the sparsely populated (yet expert only) 2,000 feet of vertical at SVAM’s KT-22.

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ikon pass
Photo: Courtesy of Ikon Pass

-Colorado: Thick with six different destinations that span several Colorado ranges–meaning a multitude of varying snowfalls and terrain types–a road trip through Colorado’s Rocky Mountains is truly a unique experience. From the pinnacle heights of A-Basin to the diverse territories of Winter Park, and the enchanting western atmosphere and “Champagne Powder™” of Steamboat. From the elevated experiences at Aspen Snowmass and Copper Mountain, to the front range’s finest at Eldora, every road in Colorado leads directly to clean mountain air and buckets upon buckets of adventure. With so many places to seek adventure, carve out time to explore the wide-open spaces of Winter Park’s Parsenn Bowl, Steamboat’s Christmas Tree Bowl, Highland Bowl at Aspen, and A-Basin’s Montezuma Bowl.

-Utah: Rich in deep dry, light snow and rich in five of the best destinations on the Ikon Pass, Utah plays right into a road-trippers dream scenario. Draw a line between Alta, Snowbird, Solitude Mountain Resort, Brighton, and Deer Valley in order to unlock a full season worth of mountain memories. This winter tree skiing pairs perfectly with social distancing, so–pending your skills–make sure to duck into X Files and Ontario Bowl at Deer Valley for some solo styling.

ikon pass
Photo: Courtesy of Ikon Pass

-The Northeast: Densely dotted with eight destinations for road trip roaming, spending some time away from the cities and wandering the wild Northeast landscapes can be good for the soul. Plan several road trips and explore all of that the pristine wilderness that the NE has to offer, with trips that connect Stratton, Killington–Pico, Sugarbush Resort, Snowshoe Mountain, Sunday River, Sugarloaf, Loon Mountain, and newly added Windham Mountain. Obviously, there’s a ton of terrain to explore, but this winter might be a good time to check in for some socially distanced glade skiing between Cupp and Shays in the Western Territories of Snowshoe Mountain, or the infamous Castlerock Glades at Sugarbush.

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Open Season.

Celebrating the belief that the best adventure is the next adventure, winter ’20/21 is getting geared up, and so is the Ikon Pass community. Now is the time to start calling the crew and dialing into what awaits. Setting aside some time to explore the open road will likely be a critical element to adventure this season. Locking in an Ikon Pass can help turn road-tripping dreams into a road-ready reality.

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