Winter is upon us! Here are some of the best places to enjoy yourself on the slopes and practice skiing like a pro.
With amazing terrain and trails, it's no wonder Whistler Blackcomb was picked as the host mountain for the Official Alpine Skiing Venue for the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. If that doesn't say it all, we don't know what does. Whistler Blackcomb is a top-of-the-line ski resort and has everything you are looking for, whether you're just starting out or are ready to take the plunge and try out heli-skiing or boarding. With more than 200 trails combined and more than 400 inches of snow annually, you will never run out of ways to have fun at Whistler Blackcomb.
Vail Mountain sits at an altitude of 8,150 feet, which causes the winters to be quite cold, but when you have close to 300 days of sunshine a year, that doesn't affect the amount of skiers who rush to Vail every winter! With three distinct areas to explore at Vail Mountain you will never run out of trails, bowls or parks to try. There are just enough beginner trails for those starting out and plenty of expert trails for those looking for more action. Vail is the largest single ski resort on the continent and receives on average 350 inches (29 feet) of snowfall annually, making this a must-visit mountain.
Aspen has been and remains the celebrity ski mecca of North America, and with the incredible trails, parks and half pipes, you can see why people flock here. Aspen Snowmass has three terrain parks, one superpipe and one beginner pipe, so if you are trying to practice for the 2014 Winter Olympics, this is the spot. Most of the trails are difficult to expert so if you're an avid skier or snowboarder, this is your mountain.
Aspen Snowmass is only one of four mountains so if you are planning a family ski trip, this would be a great pick.
Lake Louise is considered one of Canada's favorite ski areas and is one of the largest in North America at 4,200 acres. Located in the heart of Banff National Park, this is definitely a wonderful ski area to visit. With stunning views and trails for every skill level, you are bound to have a memorable experience. With 127 runs and affordable lift ticket prices, you get to enjoy skiing and snowboarding in one of the best ski areas the Rockies have to offer.
Telluride is nestled in the San Juan Mountains, which are located in the southwest corner of Colorado. This popular getaway is perfect for anyone who wants to feel the remoteness the mountains have to offer as well as enjoy the modern and chic spas. With more than 115 trails, Telluride is a great place to spend a few days exploring and building your skills as a skier or snowboarder.
Although there are many beginner runs, this mountain is perfect for those who are seeking a bit more action with more than 75 percent of the trails being intermediate or expert runs.
Mount Ruapehu in New Zealand consists of two ski resorts. Whakapapa, which is on the north side of the mountain, and Turoa, which is on the southern slope. This ski area provides the longest vertical drop in Australasia, with a wide variety of runs for everyone to enjoy. Whakapapa is open from June 27-Oct. 26 and Turoa is open from June 7-Nov. 8. Mount Ruapehu is a stratovolcano, so people making the trip will have to do some research before they get there.
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