Ah, the much awaited winter is finally here! Yes, the harsh cold might be an issue for many, but winter allows for the fun outdoor activity of skiing. And who in their right minds doesn’t love skiing? (Okay, I admit, I’m not a skier.) The sheer sight of dramatic vistas from the ski lifts, the enchanting feel of the cold air nipping at one’s cheeks, the crazy adrenaline rush and experience of flying through the snow are a few of the things that make a perfect ski trip. The general rule when it comes to selecting a ski resort is to either head north or head high. If the chosen resort includes a glacier, your experience is going to be even better. Here are our top 5 places for skiing this winter, including the most popular places in the US and around the world!
05. Jackson Hole, Wyoming, USA
Whether its secret powder caches, chutes or steeps and whether its snowboarding, cross country skiing or Telemark skiing, Jackson Hole is a perfect choice. The resort is famous all over the world for its enormous vertical terrains and back country access. It also offers ski enthusiasts with a wide range of terrains to choose from. One of the most popular features of the resort is its 100 passenger aerial tram which journeys from the Teton Village to the Rendezvous Mountain summit which is located at a height of 10,450 feet. This magnificent journey takes tourists through 4,139 feet vertically lift and offers jaw dropping 360 degree views of the Teton area. Any trip to Jackson Hole is an experience which you will never forget.
Insider Tip – The lift lines at the Aerial Tram are known to be quite long. So make sure that you get in as soon as possible.
04. The Fairmont Banff Springs, Banff, Canada
While skiing seems to be quite uncharacteristic with the breathtaking natural beauty of Banff, Banff National Park does offer tourists with an unspoiled ski area where one can find the occasional elk wandering or a moose sliding down the slopes. The Fairmont Banff Springs Resort is by far the most popular resort of the area. Its iconic beauty, magnificent ski facilities, its unsurpassed dining experience and legendary service attract thousands of tourists from all over the world year after year. With a ski season running from mid November through mid May and terrains to suit ski enthusiasts of all levels, the Fairmont Banff Springs is an ideal getaway for the ski vacation of your dreams.
03. Riksgransen, Sweden
The Riksgransen is one of the most northerly ski resorts in the world and it lies about 200 kms above the arctic circle. Known the be the most legendary ski resort of Sweden, the Riksgransen is also famous for allowing tourists to ski under the midnight sun! (The sun may shine for up to 24 hours a day.) The skiing opportunities are endless here as their property is larger than several small countries. The Riksgransen offers close to 100 terrains to choose from, including a heli-skiing area, which is extremely popular. And if this is not enough, the Riksgransen lies in the very heart of the Aurora Borealis territory and the views of this natural phenomenon from the resort are simply fantabulous!
02. Vail, Colorado, USA
Vail might be small in its size, but it is one of the most loved ski destinations in the US. Located between the Gore Mountain Range and the Sawatch Mountain Range, Vail is a narrow valley which is home to several top notch ski areas, including the largest single mountain resort of the United States of America. The frequent celeb visits (Cameron Diaz and Justin Timberlake are known to frequent the area), perfect terrains, rugged peaks and ample skiing areas are known to attract thousands of visitors each year.
01. Val Thorens, France
Topping the list of the Top 5 Places for Skiing this winter is Val Thorens, the highest ski resort of Europe. In fact, most of the skiing at the Val Thorens takes place at a height which is over 2000m. One of the most unique aspects of the resort is that its unique plan and design give it a village type setting around a compact centre and guests get access to doorstep skiing, irrespective of where they stay. Needless to say, the Val Thorens also offers some of the best skiing facilities and experiences in the world. Newbies can start off at the La Masse and Cime de Caron fields while the more advanced ski enthusiasts can move on to the endless skiing opportunities that are found on the Peclet and Chaviere glaciers.
Even if you don’t ski, like me, these resorts have plenty for the non-skier to do. Do you ski? If yes, where are your favorite places to ski? Or, where would you love to ski?