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The specific promotions described in this article have now passed, but it remains online so that the resources named will be of future use to travelers.


As the East coast highlands continue to get pelted with snow from Vermont to Maryland, and Olympians continue to race down mountains at absurd speeds, skiers across the world eagerly await their next run. With school off for President's Day and college kids preparing for spring breaks, the mountains are crowded as snow keeps on falling. The weather reports are blinking with even more snow and most ski resorts are operating at full capacity. Go ahead, pretend you're on the U.S. snowboarding team. It's time to gear up, buy lift tickets and take advantage of mid- and late-season deals before winter's gone.

As we've reported here before and for good reason, Ski.com (tel. 800/778-8589; www.ski.com) is the go-to site for discounted ski deals at the best resorts around the world. A March special to Keystone in Colorado starts at $613 per person for double occupancy for a four-night three-day lift ticket ski vacation. This deal is available from March 1 to March 31, 2006, and also includes round-trip airport transfers from the Denver airport. Accommodations are at Slopeside, a condominium located at the base of the mountain just fifty yards from the lifts. Slopeside has two hot tubs and much-needed laundry facilities for guests. It's also just walking distance to shops and restaurants, meaning a car rental is not necessary. Each unit comes with a fully-functional small kitchen unit.

Also from Ski.com, a fifth-night free special at Big Sky in beautiful Montana starts at $875 per person for five-nights lodging, four-days of lift tickets and round-trip airport transfers from Bozeman. Current snow conditions on the mountain are "Packed Powder," with a base of 54 inches of snow on the mountain and 84 inches of snow towards the peak. Weather is warming up from the current temperature of 1 degree F. Accommodations are at the Huntley Lodge, founded by NBC broadcaster Chet Huntley. The three-story slope side lodge has an outdoor pool, two hot tubs, fitness facilities, a spa, and two on-premise restaurants.

For packages, try Crested Butte (tel. 877/326-1468; http://winter.skicb.com/page.php), Colorado, where three new inches of snow have hit the ground and temperatures hover around 15° F with light to no winds. A four-night trip to Crested Butte from Chicago with round-trip airfare and hotel starts at $708 per person. The package includes four nights at the West Elk Condo, three days of lift tickets, round-trip airfare from Chicago and airport transportation to and from the lodge. The package is good from travel from March 17-26, 2006. Similar packages are available from other U.S. cities including Los Angeles from $745 and Dallas from $716. A late season, land-only deal to Crested Butte good for travel from April 3-9 includes two nights at the Crested Butte International Lodge and Hostel and two days' lift tickets for just $48 per night per person. Other lodging is available for higher package prices. The International Lodge and Hostel is a new facility with dorm-style and couple-type accommodations. The town of Crested Butte, Colorado is known for a lively nightlife and music scene with several good barbecue joints including Butte 66 Roadhouse BBQ (tel 970/349-2999) famous for its pulled pork and baby-back ribs.

For college-aged skiers looking for a ski not beach spring break, College Ski Trips (tel. 800/848-9545; www.collegeskitrips.com) has some great price breaks on week-long ski trips coinciding with spring break time periods. A five-night trip to Killington, Vermont which has seen plenty of snow lately to go with temperatures in the low-30s starts at just $339 per person for accommodations in a four-unit condominium. The same unit goes for $455 per person for double occupancy. Lift tickets for both skiing and boarding are included in the above prices. The lodge is a mountainside and comes with a full-kitchen, gas fireplace, cable TV, a living room with a pull-out sofa, and a dining area. A shuttle bus takes you from the condos to the lifts with additional access to the downhill runs located across the street from the condos via a ski trail. This trip is available weekly during the month of March. Additional ski resorts nationwide include Breckinridge in Colorado, Heavenly in California, Mont Sutton in Quebec, and Mount Snow also in Vermont.