This is the second part of our journey down the piste to find the world’s number one ski resort. In part one we traveled to North America, and Switzerland to see some exceptional but very different resorts. In this blog we continue our snow plowing to Europe and Japan and see what surprises we can unearth.
Cortina d’Ampezzo – Italy
Cortina is one of the oldest and most well-established ski resorts in the world, it is where movie stars and the rich and famous enjoying their skiing. And it is hardly surprising why, as the resort is situated in possibly the most beautiful setting in the world, in the enchanting Dolomites. The skiing in the Dolomites is not taxing and is great for families and intermediates, but Cortina is all about the setting, it encourages visitors to take their time and feel at one with nature at its most beautiful. Take a packed lunch and some vino and have a mountain top feast on the top of the world.
La Clusaz – France
Just under an hour from Geneva you can find La Clusaz which offers great lift-accessed off piste skiing. Or take the lift and go exploring through great remote areas of stunning countryside. La Clusaz has the reputation of having the best freestyle in France. La Clusaz is a closely kept secret by the French and almost exclusively so. Just like the best wines that the French keep for themselves, La Clusaz is the same in the form of skiing. If you venture to La Clusaz outside the French school holidays you probably won’t see any other skiers on the pistes at all.
Niseko – Japan
Our first visit to Asia takes us to the Japanese island of Hokkaido which receives on average 15 meters of snow per year. Niseko resort is actually four resorts that are linked together. They form Niseko United, it is not a football team but rather a zone with an exceptional choice of terrain to choose what type of skiing or boarding you want to participate in. The mountain is actually a volcano and offers skiers snowy bowls or perfect powder pistes lined by deciduous trees. The Niseko United is accessed by nine gates, and outside of that is a vast back country that is not controlled or monitored but offers some great and pristine tree skiing.
Telluride – Colorado
Deep in the heart of the magnificent San Juan Mountains there is Telluride, a skier’s paradise. Once famous in the gold rush these mountains were exploited by the miners but now are explored for their beauty and great snow. The mountains are spiky and sharp meaning very steep pistes for the adventurous, but there are also more gentle slopes for the learner and intermediary making it also a great family resort. The fun part starts being based in an authentic Wild West mining town that adds a different flavor and experience to a traditional skiing experience. In our concluding part of traveling the world and testing the pistes we visit marvelous St Anton in Austria and lovely and remote Shames Mountain in British Columbia.