Après-Ski With Bears and Other Adventures Before Hitting the Bar
(Bloomberg Businessweek) -- Sure, you could head straight for the bars, but wouldn't those beers taste better after a hike through some ice tunnels?
Hop on a sunset helicopter ride from the Four Seasons Resort & Residences in Whistler, and you’ll get to fly over Canada’s largest and southernmost ice cap. The seasoned pilots will touch down to let you explore a series of stunning blue ice chambers.
East of Davos is Arosa Lenzerheide, one of Switzerland’s most scenic ski spots. It just opened a 7-acre sanctuary for rescued bears. Its first resident, Napa, is a former circus performer from Siberia. Take the Arosa-Weisshorn gondola to see Napa and as many as four other bears who will be introduced here.
A Magic Sled Ride
In Chamonix, the Evolution 2 ski school can send you for an exhilarating final run on a traditional wooden sled shaped like an oversize ice skate. The ride leads to a yurt in the woods where a true Savoyard feast awaits, cheese-smothered tartiflette and all.
Fondue al Fresco
When the moon is full, the visibility in St. Moritz is so good, you can ski without a headlamp. Stay at the Grand Hotel Kronenhof Pontresina just outside town and try it—working your way to an outdoor fondue dinner right on the mountain.
Want some excitement after happy hour? At the new 15-room Compass Rose Lodge, set in a Dark Sky Reserve next to Utah’s exclusive Powder Mountain, you can view the rings of Saturn or one of Jupiter’s moons through a high-powered telescope in the hotel observatory.
Go heli-skiing at Eleven Experience’s Deplar Farm in Iceland ( even in spring), and you’ll be rewarded with fire and ice—but mostly ice. The property’s traditional “sauna” is actually a cold outdoor tub; you’ll be helped along in the “mind over matter” muscle-recovery ritual with Viking battle cries and shots of brenavin, a local spirit.
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