Snow is falling on the high peaks of the Alps and the Rockies, and ski resorts have cranked up their snowmaking systems. Ski season gets serious this week, and by holiday time it'll be in high gear throughout the northern hemisphere by the holidays. There's only one problem: How do you get the most ski time for your down-hill dollars? Here are ten memorable ski destinations where skiers get several mountains for the price of one lift-ticket.
Park City UT
This lively resort town boasts three major ski areas (Park City Mountain Resort, Deer Valley, The Canyons). Also visit Utah Olympic Park, where bobsled, luge and ski jumping were contested at the 2002 Winter Olympics. Located less than an hour from Salt Lake City Airport and right off Interstate 80, it is extremely accessible.
Aspen and Snowmass CO
Ski four areas (Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands, Buttermilk and Snowmass) on a fully interchangeable lift ticket, and stay in glamorous, family-friendly Snowmass Village. Free buses connect them all. Snowmass is in the midst of a major makeover, while historic Aspen keeps polishing its glow.
The year-old "Over Easy" transfer lift links trails on the commanding, compelling Mount Mansfield -- Vermont's highest peak -- with those on the improved Spruce Peak. Gondola access to the mostly intermediate terrain on the Chin area as well as the beginner terrain of Toll House sector gives the resort unsurpassed variety. The quaint village of Stowe is right down the road.
Vail Valley, CO
Vail is the largest single-mountain ski area in the US, with more lifts, more acreage and more trails than any other. Beaver Creek's vast network of lifts and trails link three "villages." A fully interchangeable lift ticket is valid at both, as well as at Breckenridge and Keystone. Lodging choices match the scale and variety of the skiing itself.
North Lake Tahoe CA/NV
Slope-streaked mountains surround this achingly beautiful lake, which is so deep that it never freezes. The Ski Tahoe North lift ticket is valid at the seven resorts arcing around the North Shore. The biggest are Alpine Meadows, Northstar and Squaw Valley, site of the 1960 Winter Olympics. There's lodging at several of the resorts and also in Truckee, Tahoe City and even lively Reno.
Banff/Lake Louise AB
The neighboring towns of bustling Banff and smaller Lake Louise are located within Canada's magnificent Banff National Park. They serve as a base for three ski areas: Lake Louise, Sunshine and Mt. Norquay. Ski them all on the local Tri-Area Lift Ticket.
Combine he convenience of North American skiing with French charm and joie de vivre by staying staying in Quebec City and skiing at Mont Ste.-Anne, Stoneham and Le Massif with a Carte Blanche lift ticket. The first two are the closest to the city, and the latter is the newest ski area.
Les Portes du Soleil, France/Switzerland
Fifteen ski resorts in two countries are linked by lifts, runs and a passion for skiing and snowboarding. The largest and best-known are modern, purpose-built Avoriaz and historic Morzine. The smallest are former farming towns that now are intimate jewels providing the ultimate Alpine experience.
Innsbruck, the bustling sophisticated capital of the State of Tyrol, twice hosted the Winter Olympics (1964 and '76). From the city center, buses fan out to the closest of nine ski domains, ranging from Hungerberg right above town to the Stubai Glacier, with reliable conditions through a very long ski season.
St. Moritz, Switzerland
St. Moritz has been welcoming visitors for 144 years. The region now comprises one glamorous resort community (St. Moritz-Dorf), one less formal village center (St. Moritz Bad) and nine ski areas (five of them close). Multi-day ski passes access them all and also the ski bus.