Last snow season, we gushed over our fave international resorts for wowing on the pow. This year, we couldn’t let the season kick off without revisiting the world’s best—there are so many gems out there that we just had to add to the list.
These are aspirational locations that require some serious flyer miles, so we wanted to get ‘em out to you early so you have a chance to save up. And oh, make no mistake—you’ll want to brush up on your skills. Most of these locations are not for noobs. Get ready to shred your lil hearts out!
1. Val d'Isere, France
Val d’Isere is one of the best-known ski resorts in Europe… and for good reason. It has more than two dozen black runs spread across 186 miles of trails and 88 lifts, with a summit that reaches over 11,000 feet. We’d mention the fact it plays home to the most sophisticated snowmaking system in Europe, too, but this season renders that little factoid irrelevant—the Alps have experienced their greatest early season snowfall in perhaps decades. It’s the perfect time for a visit! (Just don't forget to gear up first.)
Note: The town’s Les Barmes de L’Ours hotel at at the base of the 1992 Olympic run comes with 27 suites and a Michelin-starred restaurant.
2. Revelstoke, BC, Canada
We’re showing a little love to North America with this one. It may be a bit tough to get to, but this is a resort with challenging runs, boundless powdery snow (not the wet stuff), and a somewhat more modest peak population of skiers and boarders, meaning you won’t have to deal with quite so many touristy crowds compared to some locales.
Prefer Whistler? Hey, we understand—that’s why it was on our list last year.
3. Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy
Set among Italy’s Dolomite mountain range, Cortina is simply a drop-dead gorgeous location—the Cinque Torri’s peaks are breathtaking. Once a bit of a secret, that all changed following the 1956 Olympics; don’t expect a feeling of seclusion now. However, perhaps the most attractive of its features for many is the fact it’s actually a family-friendly resort with more chill tracks (unlike the other selections on this list).
Note: Consider the Dolomiti Superski Pass. This grants access to a dozen resorts in the area, including approximately 400 kilometers of skiing across a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
4. Courchevel, France
Thrilling off-piste skiing, the world's largest alpine ski domain, and some of the most difficult black runs in the world—that’s Courchevel in a nutshell. Only those serious about shredding need apply, but with 150 kilometers of terrain and 60 lifts—not to mention 600 kilometers of connected runs across the entire Les 3 Vallées region—Courchevel is tough to resist. Mix in seven Michelin-starred restaurants and a robust après-ski scene (post-skiing entertainment/boozing) and you can easily see why this is one of France’s most popular destinations.
5. St. Anton, Austria
Home to the Alps’ first ski club way back in 1901, St. Anton sports 280 kilometers of skiable area at up to 2,800 meters. One of the snowiest spots in the Alps, let us be clear—the runs are some of the most challenging you’ll come across in the region, so don’t head here to screw around.
Tip: The regional Arlberg lift pass grants access to 340 kilometers of slopes across St. Anton, Lech, and Zürs, so not a bad value add. Oh, and there’s a sick après-ski scene, too, so get ready to enjoy the nightlife. //