While some dread the thought of the cold and snow that winter brings, for others it is the best time of year. Winter brings the perfect conditions for skiing and snowboarding fans. But, even though all you need is a slope and some snow, there are definitely resorts that separate them-selves from the pack. Here’s the top ten resorts for even the most extreme skiers and snowboarders.
1. Snowbird Ski Resort
This resort, which can be found in Utah, includes the 11,000-foot Hidden Peak, which is sure to not disappoint. “Just 29 miles from Salt Lake City airport and its hundreds of daily domestic and international flights, the big selling point here is you can fly and ski on the same day to max out long-weekend slope time,” according to Alistair Wearmouth, an Away contributor. There are 85 runs on a massive 2,500 acres with plenty for beginners and experts.
2. Jackson Hole
With its world-famous chute that begins with a 30-foot drop, this Wyoming resort is perfect for any skier or snowboarder. According to USA Today, it also has “cliffy double black diamonds galore and backcountry gates opening up to terrain that makes bowl lovers salivate.” Jackson Holes includes a 100-person aerial tram, 10 lifts, and 2,500 acres of skiing on two neighboring mountings. Jackson Hole’s terrain is about 10 percent for beginners, 40 percent for intermediate, and 50 percent for experts, Wearmouth writes.
This Switzerland ski town has three interconnected Swiss skiing zones, each with its own lifts, according to National Geographic. With vertical drops of up to 7,152 feet and beautiful scenery, this resort has everything a snowboarder could ask for. Hungry? Enjoy one of the more than 50 on-mountain restaurants in the area.
4. Crested Butte
This Colorado resort is not for the faint of heart. This resort has some of the most challenging terrain in the United States, including the steeps of the Banana Funnel, as well as it’s collection of aline bowls and glades. One of the scariest steeps is even called Body Bag, according to USA Today.
5. Mammoth Mountain
According to Discovery News, this resort has nine terrain parks with three half-pipes, spread over 100 acres. Its most famous run is Hangman’s Hollow, which is sure to provide you with plenty of speed. “The uninitiated need only to remember that the Panoramic Gondola will take you all the way to the very top, where you should tack right to the Upper Bowl and a series of plunging drops fanning into a wider bowl,” according to Wearmouth. “If you make it that far, you’ll have some time to catch your breath and reconsider your recklessness.”
6. St Anton
“Those who know about where to ride would have to agree that St. Anton has the best terrain in Austria, making this place an absolute must,” according to World Snowboard Guide. The slopes include steeps, deep power, and trees on all sides of the mountain slopes. Ready to take a break and see some of the night life? Enjoy many of the restaurants and bars St. Anton village provides.
USA Today ranks this Colorado resort as a top resort for adventurous skiers and snowboarders. The Palmyra Peak offers extreme drops into the Palmyra Basin, as well as your choice of Gold Hill Chutes or the Black Iron Bowl to plummet down. The resort has more than 2000 skiable acres, and boasts an average of 300 inches of snow and 300 days of sunshine for its guests.
According to World Snowboard Guide, this France resort is another top-notch location. “Chamonix excites even the most hardened of pros and it doesn’t disappoint. Above on your right towers Europe’s highest mountain, Mont Blanc, (don’t tell the French about Mt Elbrus) the blue ice from a brimming glacier tumbles towards the road threatening to break off and take you out,” World Snowboard Guide writes. This resort boasts excellent free riding and great natural freestyle terrain, making it more of a resort for the more experienced.
This Utah resort is at the top of ZRankings list, which assigns points for snow quantity, quality, consistency, and deducts for the probability of prolonged drought. According to Forbes, skiers have a 22 percent chance of hitting a snowy day and a 51 percent chance of skiing during a month where more than 90 inches of snow falls. So, if you’re looking for optimal snow at your resort, this is the place for you.
Repeatedly ranked as the No.1 resort in North America, the Whistler/Blackcomb resides in Canada and is known for its unbelievable terrain, according to World SnowBoard Guide. “Whistler has it all — 37 lifts accessing over 8000 acres of varied and challenging terrain, amazing backcountry access, bowls, steeps, trees, 5 terrain parks, a superpipe, and boardercross track.”