The Weekend Snowdown: Monarch, Beaver Creek and Crested Butte

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The tupperware mountain in our refrigerator is almost as enticing as the high country, where more resorts are open than not at this point. We bring you three of the best for your weekend escape from consumer hell.

1. Crested Butte They've got a respectable 3 lifts and 8 trails running for opening weekend, but they get the top spot mostly because The Man is keeping Crested Butte down by not allowing a proposed expansion to Snodgras mountain. So you can combine skiing/riding and political action, sort of.

2. Monarch They've got the deepest base in Colorado at 27 inches, and 33 trails await your christening. That's 80% of the resort, which makes Monarch one of only a couple places that's approaching midseason form. Plus, the local-friendly resort celebrates its 70th anniversary this year, so tip of the poles to them (it's like a tip of the hat, see?).

3. Beaver Creek They're about average, conditions-wise. But if you're planning of making a weekend of it, Beaver Creek's got things covered. In addition to having ski-country's most famous burger -- The Epic -- they're introducing North America's only performing arts center made of ice and featuring concerts played on ice instruments. How this is not the world's only all-ice concert I have no idea.

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