(CNN) - Whop, whop, whop. The thump of the rotors fades as the helicopter lifts away. Silence, just for a moment -- a chance to drink in the pristine peaks. Then the rush of excited chatter as skis or snowboard are clicked on and the group turns to listen to the guide.
Winter may be over, but who says you have to stop enjoying the mountains? After all, as the wise locals say, "people come for the winters but stay for the summers." We as skiers may be disinclined to believe this, as we're always hankering for that next powder-packed adrenaline rush.
"From the moment you drive into the valley, the streets and public spaces are all lit with Christmas lights, creating a Norman Rockwell moment," says the broker for Sotheby's International Realty. Even if his mom still hassles him about what shirt he wears to his aunt's dinner party, "Vail is the most beautiful place I've ever seen for the holiday season."