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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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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.

Caribou Club

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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.

Silver Queen Gondola

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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.

New Sheridan Bar

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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.

Jackson Hole Steep & Deep Camp

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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

Mangy Moose Restaurant and Saloon

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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.

Yellowstone Club

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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.

The Roundhouse

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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.

Le Chamois & Loft Bar

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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.

Kings & Corn EpicQuest Trip

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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.

T Bar

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.

Caribou Club

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.

Silver Queen Gondola

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.

New Sheridan Bar

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.

Jackson Hole Steep & Deep Camp

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

Mangy Moose Restaurant and Saloon

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.

Yellowstone Club

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.

The Roundhouse

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.

Le Chamois & Loft Bar

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.

Kings & Corn EpicQuest Trip

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.