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Where The Whales Play: Where to Find Whales Skiing & Drinking

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Finding the elusive (and at times, deliberately non-elusive) whale in your favorite ski town is much more than simply wondering around the lobby of the hotel with the most expensive room rates on Expedia. To catch the biggest of the whales, you have to be on the right gondola, eat lunch at the right mid-mountain lodge or hit the right bar for aprés, take the right ski lesson, or simply pay a boatload of money to go skiing and salmon fishing via helicopter in Alaska. Here's the inside info on where to run into the biggest whales in ski country.

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1. T Bar

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1521 Ski Hill Road, White River National Forest
Breckenridge, CO 80424

The T Bar is a potent spot for aprés in Breck, and is wildly popular because of it: you'll rarely walk in to find an open table. Sitting in the ground floor of the ski-in, ski-out One Ski Hill Place luxury hotel, whales will naturally pass through T Bar to feed before migrating up to their suites.

2. Caribou Club

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411 East Hopkins Avenue
Aspen, CO 81611
(970) 925-2929
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The members-only Caribou Club is high on the list for most exclusive venues in ski country. But if you can pony up for a guest membership, which starts at $500 a week, you'll be having dinner and/or dancing until dawn with Hiltons, Saudi royalty, and Mariah Carey.

3. Silver Queen Gondola

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601 East Dean St
Aspen, CO 80611
(970) 925-1220
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The Silver Queen gondola climbs from downtown Aspen over 3,000 non-stop vertical feet to the top of Aspen Mountain. Stay watchful around the base area and you may have 18 whole minutes to yourself in the gondola with Jack Welsh, Victoria Beckham, or one of the thousands of other wanna-be whales desperate to make social contact with them. Plus the $117 ticket price is slightly more affordable than the $500 access to the Caribou.

4. New Sheridan Bar

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231 West Colorado Avenue, Uncompahgre National Forest
Telluride, CO 81435
(970) 728-4351
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Just as Telluride the mountain attracts the down-home wealthy looking for a real skiing experience and less glam, the Historic Bar at the New Sheridan Hotel, Telluride's oldest, attracts whales looking for an authentic and low-key outing. The Victorian stylings and Old West feel give plenty of whales an excuse to throw on their seldom-worn cowboy boots after skiing and head into town for a whiskey.

5. Jackson Hole Steep & Deep Camp

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3200 McCollister Drive, Teton National Forest
Jackson, WY 83001
(307) 733-2292
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The Steep & Deep camp attracts a host of fitter whales who've been ripping around their Manhattan gyms for months getting ready to ski Jackson Hole's gnarliest terrain with former Olympic ski racers like Tommy Moe. Whales drop $1000 apiece (sans lift tickets) for three days of on-snow coaching

6. Mangy Moose Restaurant and Saloon

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3295 Village Drive, Teton National Forest
Jackson, WY 83001
(307) 733-4913
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The Mangy Moose is legendary ski town bar at the base of Jackson Hole that is staffed only with cute women. It's the default aprés spot for any and all ski bums, and whales just playing the part for the weekend attend just as often. Not to mention that the aforementioned Steep & Deep camps will bring their rich clients here every day.

7. Yellowstone Club

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2100 Black Otter Road, Gallatin National Forest
Big Sky, MT 59730
(406) 995-4900
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Ah, yes, the Yellowstone Club. A place so obnoxiously exclusive they actually trademarked the phrase "Private Powder." Protected by former Secret Service agents, the Yellowstone Club requires a $300,000 membership fee (or a $2.5 million condo) for admission, and gives the 0.01% 2200 acres of private Montana pow. Dan Quayle, Jack Kemp, and even Warren Miller all have houses here. Good luck sneaking in.

8. The Roundhouse

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Serenade Lane & 3rd Avenue
Ketchum, ID 83340
(208) 622-2012
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Mid-way through their day at Sun Valley, whales will stop over at the Roundhouse restaurant, halfway up the namesake gondola, to chomp down on elk and fondue in front of a live accordion player. Pack your turtleneck.

9. Le Chamois & Loft Bar

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1960 Squaw Valley Road, Tahoe National Forest
Squaw Valley, CA 96146
(530) 583-4505
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The old red and white facade of the Chammy, is it is known locally, catches the late afternoon California light perfectly, and as such its patio and interior play host to a raucous crowd after every good day on the hill, with plenty of young San Fran start-up and tech types throwing back pitchers alongside their college classmates who moved to Tahoe and have been full-time ski bums ever since.

10. Kings & Corn EpicQuest Trip

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Arlberg Avenue
Anchorage, AK 99587

This five-day trip to Alaska combines two of whales' favorite wilderness activities: heli-skiing and heli-fishing, which we bet you didn't know was a thing. Taking place in June in a luxury lodge deep in the Alaskan bush, adventurous whales get guided heli-skiing on spring corn snow in the morning and then fly to virgin streams to land enormous King Salmon fish. On the flight back they get to discuss which couple thousands acres of AK wilderness they'll snatch up for a retirement ranch.

1. T Bar

1521 Ski Hill Road, White River National Forest, Breckenridge, CO 80424

The T Bar is a potent spot for aprés in Breck, and is wildly popular because of it: you'll rarely walk in to find an open table. Sitting in the ground floor of the ski-in, ski-out One Ski Hill Place luxury hotel, whales will naturally pass through T Bar to feed before migrating up to their suites.

1521 Ski Hill Road, White River National Forest
Breckenridge, CO 80424

2. Caribou Club

411 East Hopkins Avenue, Aspen, CO 81611

The members-only Caribou Club is high on the list for most exclusive venues in ski country. But if you can pony up for a guest membership, which starts at $500 a week, you'll be having dinner and/or dancing until dawn with Hiltons, Saudi royalty, and Mariah Carey.

411 East Hopkins Avenue
Aspen, CO 81611

3. Silver Queen Gondola

601 East Dean St, Aspen, CO 80611

The Silver Queen gondola climbs from downtown Aspen over 3,000 non-stop vertical feet to the top of Aspen Mountain. Stay watchful around the base area and you may have 18 whole minutes to yourself in the gondola with Jack Welsh, Victoria Beckham, or one of the thousands of other wanna-be whales desperate to make social contact with them. Plus the $117 ticket price is slightly more affordable than the $500 access to the Caribou.

601 East Dean St
Aspen, CO 80611

4. New Sheridan Bar

231 West Colorado Avenue, Uncompahgre National Forest, Telluride, CO 81435

Just as Telluride the mountain attracts the down-home wealthy looking for a real skiing experience and less glam, the Historic Bar at the New Sheridan Hotel, Telluride's oldest, attracts whales looking for an authentic and low-key outing. The Victorian stylings and Old West feel give plenty of whales an excuse to throw on their seldom-worn cowboy boots after skiing and head into town for a whiskey.

231 West Colorado Avenue, Uncompahgre National Forest
Telluride, CO 81435

5. Jackson Hole Steep & Deep Camp

3200 McCollister Drive, Teton National Forest, Jackson, WY 83001

The Steep & Deep camp attracts a host of fitter whales who've been ripping around their Manhattan gyms for months getting ready to ski Jackson Hole's gnarliest terrain with former Olympic ski racers like Tommy Moe. Whales drop $1000 apiece (sans lift tickets) for three days of on-snow coaching

3200 McCollister Drive, Teton National Forest
Jackson, WY 83001

6. Mangy Moose Restaurant and Saloon

3295 Village Drive, Teton National Forest, Jackson, WY 83001

The Mangy Moose is legendary ski town bar at the base of Jackson Hole that is staffed only with cute women. It's the default aprés spot for any and all ski bums, and whales just playing the part for the weekend attend just as often. Not to mention that the aforementioned Steep & Deep camps will bring their rich clients here every day.

3295 Village Drive, Teton National Forest
Jackson, WY 83001

7. Yellowstone Club

2100 Black Otter Road, Gallatin National Forest, Big Sky, MT 59730

Ah, yes, the Yellowstone Club. A place so obnoxiously exclusive they actually trademarked the phrase "Private Powder." Protected by former Secret Service agents, the Yellowstone Club requires a $300,000 membership fee (or a $2.5 million condo) for admission, and gives the 0.01% 2200 acres of private Montana pow. Dan Quayle, Jack Kemp, and even Warren Miller all have houses here. Good luck sneaking in.

2100 Black Otter Road, Gallatin National Forest
Big Sky, MT 59730

8. The Roundhouse

Serenade Lane & 3rd Avenue, Ketchum, ID 83340

Mid-way through their day at Sun Valley, whales will stop over at the Roundhouse restaurant, halfway up the namesake gondola, to chomp down on elk and fondue in front of a live accordion player. Pack your turtleneck.

Serenade Lane & 3rd Avenue
Ketchum, ID 83340

9. Le Chamois & Loft Bar

1960 Squaw Valley Road, Tahoe National Forest, Squaw Valley, CA 96146

The old red and white facade of the Chammy, is it is known locally, catches the late afternoon California light perfectly, and as such its patio and interior play host to a raucous crowd after every good day on the hill, with plenty of young San Fran start-up and tech types throwing back pitchers alongside their college classmates who moved to Tahoe and have been full-time ski bums ever since.

1960 Squaw Valley Road, Tahoe National Forest
Squaw Valley, CA 96146

10. Kings & Corn EpicQuest Trip

Arlberg Avenue, Anchorage, AK 99587

This five-day trip to Alaska combines two of whales' favorite wilderness activities: heli-skiing and heli-fishing, which we bet you didn't know was a thing. Taking place in June in a luxury lodge deep in the Alaskan bush, adventurous whales get guided heli-skiing on spring corn snow in the morning and then fly to virgin streams to land enormous King Salmon fish. On the flight back they get to discuss which couple thousands acres of AK wilderness they'll snatch up for a retirement ranch.

Arlberg Avenue
Anchorage, AK 99587