Ari­zona: where sun­screen and slopes col­lide

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - DESTINATIONS -

Ari­zona, Sun­rise Park near the New Mex­ico state line and Mount Lem­mon above Tuc­son. Snow­bowl is the only ski area with snow­mak­ing ca­pa­bil­i­ties — it was added in 2012 — but snow hasn’t been a prob­lem this sea­son. Af­ter years of drought and hit-or-miss snow on the moun­tains, Ari­zona ski ar­eas have reaped the ben­e­fits of El Niño as one storm af­ter an­other has moved across the state. Snow­bowl was 100 per cent open around the Christ­mas hol­i­day and had 147 cen­time­tres of snow from a se­ries of storms the se­cond week in Jan­uary, cre­at­ing some “rad” con­di­tions across the moun­tain. “We el­e­vated to al­most epic con­di­tions with all that fresh snow,” Mur­ray said. “The ski­ing in Ari­zona right now is as good as it gets.” An added ben­e­fit is the deals that can be had. High sea­son in towns like Flagstaff and Greer, where Sun­rise Park is lo­cated, is in the sum­mer, when peo­ple in the south­ern part of the state head north to cool off. So while ho­tel rates can be ex­or­bi­tant down in the Val­ley of the Sun and Tuc­son, deals are there to be had in the moun­tains, leav­ing ex­tra money to ski mul­ti­ple days or din­ner. “You re­ally can get some great deals,” said Mur­ray. Lo­ca­tion: Wil­liams, about 30 min­utes west of Flagstaff. Size: Two lifts, 12 trails. Ter­rain: 30 per cent begin­ner, 50 in­ter­me­di­ate, 20 ad­vanced. Base el­e­va­tion: 2,286 me­tres. Ver­ti­cal drop: 183 me­tres. Lift tick­ets: US$30 adult, US$25 kids. Half day US$25/$20. Sea­son: De­cem­ber-March. Snow­mak­ing: No.

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