There are those who chase the sun, and those who chase the snow. If being surrounded by mountains, snow and apres ski chalets is your idea of a good time, then have we got a treat for you. Based on the time of year we’ve discovered the top luxury ski locations and lodges. Time to don your ski gear, put on that beanie and hit the slopes.
December, January, February: Whistler, Cortina d’Ampezzo & Niseko
It’s easy to understand why Whistler is a favourite amongst skiers, with its epic yearly snowfall, over 200 pistes and of course Whistler Blackcomb, the largest ski resort in North America. For movement between Whistler and Whistler Blackcomb, you can jump on a gondola and travel peak to peak.
Almost unreal in its beauty is Cortina d’Ampezzo in Italy. Located in The Dolomites, this gorgeous ski field has been known to turn on the charm. Not only are the ski fields wonderful and the views picturesque but the township nearby is sure to take your breakaway.
On the northern Japanese Island of Hokkaido is Niseko. With an almost overwhelming amount of snow waiting for you to carve it up, Niseko is known as one of Japan’s premier ski resorts. It’s actually one of four premier ski resorts collectively known as Niseko United. In this area, you’ll have access to world-class tree runs, pipes and parks as well as some epic backcountry ski zones outside the nine entrance gates.
March, April, May: Stevens Pass & Vallée Blanche
For snowy mountains that stick around, look no further than The Cascade and Stevens Pass in the United States. Averaging 110 inches in March and April alone, Stevens Pass has mid-season skiing written all over it. There are ten lifts which cover a massive 1,125 acres of terrain. You can tackle up to 37 runs and get involved in some thrilling tree skiing sessions.
Western Europe’s highest peak, Mont Blanc, offers skiing all year round. However, it’s no easy feat to reach. With that in mind, the nearby Vallée Blanche, just north east of Mont Blanc, offers some of the most spectacular runs in the region. Heading up the Aiguille du Midi in a cable car, you’ll fly down the mountain (not too quickly… remember to enjoy the views) and Chamonix’s town centre. However, it’s unmarked and unmaintained, so hiring a guide isn’t a bad idea.
June, July, August: Perisher, Thredbo & Treble Cone
It may come as a surprise to some but Australia gets cold. So cold in fact, there are ski resorts. The top two are Perisher and Thredbo. For the works, head to Perisher. It has a four interconnected ski resorts in the Snowy Mountains. And is known as the biggest resort in the Southern Hemisphere. Thredbo is a little less family focused than Perisher and offers longer runs through the mountains. Whether you’re a Perisher or Thredbo fan, you’re sure to have fun.
We can’t mention the Southern Hemisphere and not talk about New Zealand. Treble Cone is the largest ski field on the South Island, straddling four above-tree basins. It offers wide runs and steep trails – it’s no place for beginners. The resorts popularity is partly due to the snow. Being at the edge of the Southern Alps, storms passing through are known for dumping plenty of dry powder, perfect to ski on.
September, October, November: Portillo & Killington
Portillo in Chile is as much fun on the fields as it is off. The 35-run ski resort offers skiers everything from beginner to expert. There are plenty on unmaintained slopes in the area favoured by experts. When the skiing stops, Portillo comes alive with music, drinking and dancing. For those who love to ski and socialise, there is no better place.
With snow-making guns of pumping out enough snow to cover 80 acres with 12 inches of snow, it’s no surprise Killington in Vermont is always one of the first resorts to open at the start of the season. You can head up to the highest peak on the K-1 gondola (the fastest way up) and head down either taking your time or, for those who like a bit of speed, by taking the Cascade run straight below the gondola. Be warned, your legs might turn to jelly by the time you reach the bottom. But, that’s half the fun.
For more personalised information tips and advice, or to book this incredible holiday contact your local TravelManagers’ personal travel manager here.