December 19, 2007
No matter how much you may dream of a white Christmas—or Hanukah, or New Year—there are ski bums, snow bunnies, and powder freaks all over the world who think about it more. IgoUgo members are no exception, sharing their experiences from some of the best ski destinations around the globe.
Who says the US doesn’t have good skiing? It may be Seward’s Folly, but Alaska’s Alyeska ski resort makes sense to tamtbell. Despite having bad knees that kept her off the slopes, she admits that “the drive from Anchorage to and from Girdwood during the day is extremely breathtaking and has even been listed by numerous sources as one of the top ten drives in America, so, of course, bring a camera and prepare to be wowed!”
For those of you not looking to leave the contiguous 48, the West has plenty for you. IgoUgo member cr008k has been to a few different Colorado mountain towns but claims that “Vail is a great place to go and ski” with “a wide variety of different levels of hills (easy hills straight up to black diamonds for the expert skier). It's often sunny here as well, so you can typically ski in jeans and a ski jacket.”
The West and the Great White North aren’t the only places where snow falls in abundance. While some claim that the Northeast has nothing on the other locales, lizzers won’t accept such nonsense about what she claims is the Happiest Place on Earth: “If skiing's not your thing, there are plenty of other things to keep you busy, from dog-sledding to snowshoeing, and loads of cross-country skiing trails if you fancy a good workout. There are also two terrific spas at the Top Notch Lodge and the Stoweflake if you need to pamper yourself.”
At the bottom of world, you can still get to the top of a mountain. In Ushuaia, Cerro Castor provides some remarkable—even surprising—powder, as experienced by anneka: “I'm not sure what happened, but the next thing I know, I'm riding some of the best powder I've ever ridden. I basically have equated it to being my second best powder day EVER, next to the powder I rode in Utah. It was so light and fluffy—champagne at its finest.”
New South Wales, Australia
Skiing in the Southern Hemisphere is not limited to the Americas. Normally favored for its surf culture, New South Wales has enough slopes to keep the skiers and riders happy. The so-called snowfields were a great source of excitement for auskiwi, who visited two of the better-known mountains, Selwyn and Perisher. Though admittedly no Olympian, auskiwi professes that “Perisher has everything for everyone whether you’re a spectator, a skier or snowboarder, a learner, a tobogganer, a tube rider, a hiker, or an experienced skier/board rider.”
There is no way to talk about downhill skiing without mentioning the Alps. Likewise, you can’t really talk about the Alps without mentioning Switzerland. Ski and snowboard enthusiast KellySenn seconds that, agreeing that at any time of year, “Zermatt is all about the outdoors. The skiing is famous, and in the summer the hiking is equally spectacular. We missed the real ski season, but being the obsessive skier that I am, I could not resist going up even in the late spring. Lucky for me, it is mostly glacier, and there was still a lot of fun skiing to be had.”
Madonna di Campiglio, Italy
It would be unfair to mention only one European destination. The Dolomite range may not be as massive as the Alps, but who doesn’t want another excuse to visit Italy? Though Cantin2 seems to veer more toward warm-weather destinations and activities, she is not afraid of a little snow, as evidenced by her group trip Skiing in Madonna di Campiglio. She was specific about the best parts of this lesser-known spot:
“1. The charm of the town and the feeling that you are in a foreign country with very little English spoken.
2. Hot chocolate, vin brûlée (hot wine), gelato, and pastries sitting at an outdoor café, even in winter.
3. The wonderful lift system and the ease of scanning your lift ticket.
It's easy to get on the lifts because your ticket is scanned through your ski clothing. Wear it on your arm or under your jacket or someplace convenient above your waist, and the scanner will read it and let you through the automatic gates to board the lift.”