Calling all thrill-seekers! We’ve been keen to talk about skiing for months now but as the popular ski season approaches what better time than the present? Whether you’re intrigued by the idea of some fast-paced snow action for the first time or are an avid skier who likes to try a new resort every year, our handy little destination guide to skiing should have at least something you can enjoy whichever end of the spectrum you fit – and in between!
The beginner skier
Meribel, Les Allues, France
Often known as the famous “3 Valleys”, Meribel is a popular choice for many people’s first ever skiing experience. Situated in the well-known Alps, Meribel excels in its appeal for beginners because it’s sheltered by the steep surrounding mountains of Courchevel and Val Thorens, which means it gets the better weather and has a great group of easy runs.
These runs aren’t all green but those starting out shouldn’t be put off by those actually-very-easy blue slopes! As well as the obvious, skiing, Meribel is also fantastic for mountain views and the chance to try activities, including snowmobiling, snowshoeing, husky dog sledding, and swimming at the Olympic centre.
You’ll simply be taken aback by the amount of suitable beginner runs at Breckenridge and with the help of many enthusiastic instructors you’ll be hitting the slopes like a pro in no time! Most of the best runs can be found on Peak 9; make your way halfway up the mountain to discover it’s all about the green slopes.
The QuickSilver chair is great for the sweeping Frontier and Riperoo’s forest, where you’ll be able to follow arrows between trees, through igloos, and even over bridges. Peak 8 with its Four O’clock is also a favourite for those practicing and brings you down to Peaks 6 and 7 for some blue runs.
The intermediate skier
Cervinia boasts miles and miles of spectacular yet gentle cruising for both skiers and boarders alike. Set beautifully at the foot of Matterhorn and with a position just across the border from Zermatt in Switzerland, it really is a unique ski destination. Experience amazing red runs as the Plateau Rosa gondola opens up access; try one of the longest runs in the world, the route to reach Valtournenche.
Take a detour filled with adventure, hold onto your passport, and ski across to Zermatt. The first slopes up to here are the easiest until you reach the real diversity in its runs.
It’s for sure that you’ll be racking up the kilometres when you enjoy a ski holiday in Saalbach. This mesmerising area actually forms a giant ski circus with the neighbouring Hinterglemm, Leogang, and Fieberbrunn and is perfect for those of you who like long days in the mountains with the ability to cruise for miles with testing blue and red runs.
Experienced intermediates can really challenge themselves on the opposite side of the valley thanks to the trickier runs of the Zwolferkogel and Schattberg mountains.
One great thing about this ski resort: the impressively fast lifts make getting around so easy.
The advanced skier
Jackson Hole, USA
We’re getting onto the really difficult stuff here! With a trip to Jackson Hole in the USA you’ll discover that it really does attract the best of the best. The USA’s mecca for extreme skiing, the terrain consists of steep un-groomed pistes, black and double black chutes, moguls, cliffs, and steeps.
Attempt the biggest challenge and head left off the tram and make way for the famous Corbett’s Coulior – an epic 20+ drop into a chute. It’s been said that many have got as far as the edge, taken one look, and changed their mind but are you up for it?
For the advanced skier Whistler is an absolute dream. With so much challenging terrain open the minute you step off the lift, there’s no need to hike for miles to find the best bits! Rising 1,800 metres above sea level, Whistler Blackcomb has a high altitude above treeline, bowls, cliffs, glacier skiing, and so much more for the expert skier.
A guide can take you to all the hidden entrances for backcountry skiing or take the Showcase T-Bar to gain access to Blackcomb Glacier and the triple black diamond terrain park.
Are you starting small or seeking a challenge?