The most rewarding part of a long day on the mountain is the après that follows. After careening down the Front Four, cascading through he woods, or cruising on mellow blues, there's nothing like coming together around a sparkling fire with your loved ones. Skiing is all about those moments of connection—laughing over stories from the slopes in between bites of a melty s'more, playing a family game of Crazy Eights, or sipping a glass of red wine in your coziest slippers while the wind howls outside.
Whether it's the "Hideout" (the kids' retreat under the Alpine Club), the Club wine room and lockers, or pop-up tasting and retail events, the Club at Spruce Peak specializes in clandestine treasures for its membership. The newest exclusive experience is the Igloos.
Located at the 10th tee box at the Mountain Course, the six Igloos make slopeside unwinding an unforgettable adventure in and of itself. Equal parts rustic and refined, these 200-square-foot geodesic domes are decked out with plush throws, leather chairs, bean bags, and a gravity-fed pellet stove. The sides are transparent, so you can gaze at the winter weather while keeping comfortable inside.
"You truly feel like you are one with nature," says Tim Eldridge, general manager of the Club. Yet with the Cottage only steps away, it's easy to access anything you need. (Most menu items can be delivered straight to your Igloo.)
Although they're designed to be a private refuge, you can also mingle with other Club members, warming up at the bonfire or ducking into the Cottage for lunch or a fireside cocktail while the kids build snowmen on the putting green.
What's more, the Igloos are also the home base for a slew of new winter activities being offered this year. Here's a sample of what you can look forward to.
Club at Spruce Peak members can reserve an Igloo through the Club Concierge. They are available every day of the week except Tuesday, and can be rented for the morning (10am-2pm) or afternoon (2-6pm).
Want a break from the downhill scene? The Mountain Course is operating as a Nordic ski course, featuring five miles of groomed trails. "As soon you cross the bridge, you feel worlds away," says Michael Harger, director of golf and member services at the Club. "There are no houses or buildings in sight, and the incredible views are best in Vermont—you can look out over Peregrine Lake and down the valley, as you are surrounded by Mt. Mansfield and Spruce Peak."
Either go out on your own or call the Club concierge to book a guide or join a group tour—they're held on weekend afternoons, and are followed by apres-ski snacks and drinks at the Cottage. Free ski rentals for Club members are available at the Nordic Shop (aka the Golf Shop).
For a truly otherworldly experience, slip on your down coats—and your headlamps. Once a month, at the peak of the full moon, the Club hosts an hour-long moonlit snowshoe trek around Peregrine Lake, culminating in a family-style dinner at the Cottage.
"You are walking through a completely white-washed landscape, moonlight shimmering on the crystalline snowflakes," Eldridge says. "When the moon reflects off the frozen lake, it looks larger than life—it almost feels like you are on the moon." Halfway around the lake, make a stop for a steaming mug of hot cocoa under a glittering string of twinkle lights.
If you'd rather not head into a sea of snow at night, you can DIY snowshoe on the nearly 10 miles of trails anytime—the Nordic shop offers complementary snowshoe demos for Members.
Grab a spare sled or snow tube from the Cottage and channel your inner kid by discovering your own secret sledding hill on the fairway, across the bridge from the igloos. "The undulating topography of the golf course combined with the windswept landscape makes it like a natural wintertime playground," says Harger.
You can still bike when the flakes are flying!A fat bike is a hardtail mountain bike with large-volume tires designed to splay out so you can make your way through deep snow without sinking in. Sometimes the tires are studded for better traction on ice.
"Fat biking feels completely foreign, as if you are floating on air—it's nothing like regular biking," Eldridge says. "The bikes themselves look comical because of the size of the tires. I smile and giggle the whole time because it's just so silly and fun."
You can rent a fat bike from the Nordic Shop, join for a demo day (the Club will hold several of these throughout the winter) or grab a spot in a group tour with an instructor. Prepare for an intense workout, since you're trekking through snow.
Mark Your Calendars!
Don't miss our much-anticipated Winter Family Weekend on February 26, when the Club team builds flumes into the sledding hill, turning it into a toned-down luge track featuring over 1000 feet of sled runs. While the kids are busy cruising down the snow, adults can head over to the Igloos for a progressive cocktail party complete with an outdoor ice bar and themed drink served at each Igloo.
When the sledders are too exhausted to take another run, families can gather for a big bonfire on the putting green, hot cocoa in mittened hands and live music under the wintertime stars.