My friends are already eager with anticipation for the local ski resort to open within the next month. Complaints about the weather turning cool are transitioning to hopes of snow. Ski season is nearly upon us. However, with these ski resorts spread out across five continents, skiing can become a year-round pastime.
With the Himalayans known for hosting some of the world’s tallest mountains, skiing there is the next logical step. Gulmarg is the answer. Due to its almost absurd amounts of snowfall, fresh powder is readily available. With its well-tailored runs, fresh snow, and international instructors, Gulmarg is an ideal place to learn how to ski. Afterwards, stuff yourself with a multi-course meal featuring the local savory Kashmiri cuisine.
Les Trois Vallées (The Three Valleys), France
Comprised of Méribel, Val Thorens, and Courchevel, Les Trois Vallées are near one another, allowing for ample variety and over 600km of pistes. Along with well-maintained tracks, there are numerous off-piste areas to explore. From smooth cruising to thrilling vertical drops, there are runs for every level of skier. After getting in your last run for the day, stay in the nearby Meribel resort in one of their luxury chalets.
Nevados de Chillan, Chile
Those in need of skiing when the Alps are closed can head over to Nevados de Chillan between June through October. This ski area is notably uncrowded—making your chances for nabbing fresh powder higher. Nevados de Chillan is built on the slopes of a Chillán volcano in the Southern Andes. The past volcanic eruptions and lava flow have added interesting bowls, gullies and natural half pipes to the terrain. With the ski resort settled at the base of an active volcano, natural hot springs await for evening relaxation.
Beaver Creek, Colorado
With over 300 inches of snow a year and lavish accommodations (their slogan is “not exactly roughing it”); Beaver Creek is an outstanding skiing destination for the well-heeled. Continuous grooming, a ski school, and over 100 beginner and intermediate trails are perfect conditions for kids and novice skiers. The more experienced can test their skills on the black diamond and double-black diamond runs, including the noted World Cup Birds of Prey downhill course. For après-ski activities, enjoy a good drink and live jazz at one of the local bars.
Craigieburn, New Zealand
Craigieburn is a ski area in New Zealand’s South Alps described by Powderhound as “steep, deep, and cheap.” This is for the serious skiers. With no grooming, all the runs are off-piste and decidedly not suitable for beginners and most intermediates. In exchange for a no-frills experience, there is a lack of crowds, near-suicidal triple black runs, and the entrance point to countless acres of backcountry terrain. With this sort of hardcore skiing, after skiing activities are limited. All you’ll want to do is sleep and recover anyways.