Snow sports: Which slopes should you hit this ski season?
Summer is finally behind us and it’s time to think about the fun filled winter season
Summer is finally behind us and it’s time to think about the fun filled winter season. Skiing and snow drifts are calling but which pistes should you head to this year? From fancy new hotels to traditional valleys we take a look at some of the best options.
Love France? The traditional ski resort of Les Arcs has a new five star hotel, which is simply superb. Located high up the Paradiski, the ski in/ski out Taj-I-Mah is home to Le Diamont Noir run by Michelin-starred chef Eric Samson and offers a more boutique escape with only 48 rooms and five suites. Round the other side of Europe’s impressive Mont Blanc, in party town Chamonix, comes a new hotel that caters to a younger crowd. The Rockypop Hotel is bright, breezy and fun with a casual pizza restaurant and table football in the lobby.
No one does a traditional Alpine ski experience like the Swiss and Adelboden, a small valley at the end of the Engstlige valley is a welcome respite from the packed huge resorts elsewhere. An hour’s drive from Berne, Adelboden has both downhill and cross-country skiing, snow tubing and a fondue igloo. Stay at the chic Cambrian Adelboden where you can borrow a toboggan and explore 15km of local sledging routes.
Want something more daring? Verbier in Switzerland is famous for its off piste experiences and every winter there’s plenty to do without skis including the Polaris and Impulse music festivals plus the Freeride World Tour final rolls into town in March. Experienced guides can show you the best backcountry routes or try your hand at high adrenaline helisking and there’s accommodation for every budget.
The Italian Dolomites are some of the most stunning mountains Europe has to offer and you can make the most of them on an organised ski safari. Ski from resort to resort, taking in traditional mountain rifugios which serve up rustic fare every night, never doing the same slopes twice- plus you can add a gourmet or luxury twist to this experience. Or base yourself in Cortina D’Ampezzo, one of the region’s most charming and historic towns to have access to the Domomiti Superski – 1,200kms of downhill pistes and 1,100kms of cross country skiing on your doorstep.
If you fancy something in the US, then Park City in Utah has something for everyone. It is America’s largest resort with 300 trails accessible by 41 lifts and eight terrain parks for snowboarders. Park City has a fantastic foodie scene too, so there’s plenty to do come nightfall such as dine on a seasonal menu at Farm Restaurant at Canyons Village. Park City comes under Vail Resorts who run an EPIC ski pass deal that includes resorts in Colorado, Tahoe as well as Utah plus a set number of days skiing in France, Italy and Switzerland as well.
And of course you can’t forget Whistler. Canada’s most famous mountain resort hosted the Winter Olympics in 2010 and it’s not hard to see why. It mixes 8,000 acres of pistes (200 runs) with 1,610m of vertical skiing across two mountains (Whistler and Blackcomb) and is suitable for all ages and levels with a season that runs until May. It’s a great place to learn or brush up on new skills and there’s plenty to do aside from the slopes such as snowmobile safaris, ziplining and bobsleighing. There’s also a pedestrian only shopping village with all the designer brands you’d expect from a world class resort. Book into the Fairmont Chateau Whistler for some old fashioned luxury and try out one of its experienced guides for off the beaten track experiences and insider knowledge.
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