5 of the Most Breathtaking Ski Resorts in the World

If you love skiing as much as I do, the time of year is irrelevant when it comes to our favorite pass time. There is always somewhere around the globe where you can find some powder white slopes, and I’m here to give you my favorites.

Whether your ideal ski vacation includes zipping down the slopes or curling up with a mug of spiked cider, there’s a resort with your name on it. Here, ten incredible options.

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BEST VIEWS: AMANGANI HOTEL (JACKSON HOLE, WY)

This 40-room resort perched over Grand Teton National Park boasts some serious amenities. (Hi, heated beds.) Still, the real reason to go is the breathtaking views, which you can spot from your private suite’s floor-to-ceiling windows–as well as the slopes themselves.

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BEST FOR BEGINNERS: THE PARK HYATT (BEAVER CREEK, CO)

Over 60 percent of the runs on this Colorado mountain are specifically designed for newbies, and ski instructors are on hand to offer private lessons in how not to crash into trees. In other words: bring your kids (or your klutziest girlfriend).

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BEST FOR EXPERTS: THE OMNIA (ZERMATT, SWITZERLAND)

With its diverse terrain, high elevation and plentiful snowfall, Zermatt is a serious skier’s dream come true. The Omnia hotel is built into a rock 148 feet into the air, and a tunnel and elevator transport guests directly from the lobby to the slopes.

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BEST FOR LOVEBIRDS: THE WOODSTOCK INN (WOODSTOCK, VT)

This picturesque New England B&B is a golf resort by summer and ski destination by winter. The rooms are elegant, the spa is luxurious and the quaint library is made up of wood-paneled furniture and stone fireplaces where you can canoodle to your heart’s content.

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BEST FOR FINE DINING: FLOCONS DE SEL (MEGÈVE, FRANCE)

This small town near Mont-Blanc in the French Alps has recently become quite the foodie hot spot. The luxurious Flocons de Sel is home to chef Emmanuel Renaut’s three-star Michelin restaurant, where you can chow down on smoked free-range egg yoke with mushrooms or langoustines in a violet-infused broth.

For more amazing ski hotels and resorts, check out this article.

Jack Ryger’s Essential Ski Trip Packing List

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Aspen Sees An Increase In Visitors

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Aspen, a small city nestled in the Rocky Mountains and thought to be the heaven of skiing destinations. Home to luxurious resorts and breathtaking views Aspen, Colorado is not only a destination for domestic skiers but international skiers as well. Since the late the 20th Century, Aspen has also been a popular destination for celebrities of all backgrounds to escape the hectic lifestyles that they pursue. Although the city has plenty to offer it has seen a decrease in business over the last few seasons, but promising news has been delivered.

One of the main representative bodies of Aspen, the Aspen Skiing Company has reported that this winter, Aspen saw a 3% increase in visitors to the destination. During the annual Colorado Ski Country Meeting the announcement broughts signs of relief to the city, that has been stagnant over the past few seasons. Colorado Ski Country USA, the representative body for the actual resorts reports that the 21 Aspen Ski Resorts documented a record 5% growth in business this past season.

This season started off with cold temperatures in the fall, resulting in large snowmaking operations that were ideal for kicking off the winter months in the right way. Paired with perfectly timed storms, the weather was dangerously cooperative with this year’s ski season and it was just what the city of Aspen needed to get out of their rut. Warmer days spread out in the earlier months of 2016 didn’t hurt numbers at all due to fact that Aspen was so spoiled with the weather patterns. This season Aspen also saw an extended closing date which was great news for the Skiing community as a whole.

Although there was an increase in visitors overall, Aspen actually saw a decrease in international visitors. This can be attributed to a strong American Dollar that may have discouraged international markets and international travel overall. There is no signs of worry however, since Aspen has such an international presence in Ski Markets. The international market will bounce back in the near future which will only contribute to the positive statistics that have already been produced.

Look for Aspen to remain consistent in the seasons going forward, even with a large part of business contingent on the weather patterns and climate that “Mother Earth” chooses to produce.

For more on this, check out: http://www.aspentimes.com/news/22397069-113/breaking-news-aspen-skiing-co-says-its-visits

Best Ski Destinations In Europe

How to Become a Better Skier

As John Snow would say, “winter is coming.” Yes this may be an exaggeration, but with October coming to an end, ski season is upon us. For those of us looking to take their skiing to the next level, take a look at these seven helpful tips in how to improve your skiing. In this article, I highlight a variety of guidelines and strategies of how you can improve your ski game every time you hit the slopes. 

1. Buy the Correct Gear

First and foremost, understand that this is an outdoor sport. Many people either underestimate or overestimate the amount of layers they need to wear. When you are out on mountain, you want to feel as comfortable as possible. Make sure you are wearing a variety of layers. Do not make the mistake of overdoing this. Wearing too many bulky layers can oftentimes compromise your mobility.

As for equipment, this tip is tailored more for the advanced skiers out there. Start off by backwards planning which mountain you are looking to ski. Whether you are focused on skiing freestyle runs, skiing in the backcountry, or hitting kickers in the park, it is crucial you know the terrain. Having knowledge of that type of style and setting will help you with your decision in which ski equipment you want to get. If you want to learn more about ski gear, check out the link here

2. Know the Basics, Practice the Fundamentals

Unless you took an introduction class on skiing that goes over the turns, stops, and jumps, you will never be able to ski better than what you are now. Practicing these rudimentary ski skills will allow you to manipulate your game for the better. To do this, start off by pushing yourself little by little.  For example, if you have a tendency to make wide long terns, push yourself to make shorter quick turns instead. 

3. Get Fit and Increase your Strength

Skiing is an incredibly strenuous sport. While at times it can be done for leisure, the setting and muscle strength you need to perform is incredibly high. Skiing requires that you have strong legs, abs, and chest. It is therefore imperative for you to keep a good level of fitness. The main areas to work on in the gym are increasing your overall core strength, flexibility, agility, and most importantly your leg strength. 

4. Push Yourself Beyond Your Comfort Zone

Like any thing in life, if you want to master something, you need to test yourself beyond the boundaries every so often to develop your skills, confidence, and strength. One way to become a stronger skier is to follow and watch skiers who are more advanced than you. Learn from them. Ask them questions. And if possible, try and see if you can ride the slopes with them. Remember, as good as you are, you always want to adapt your style. Good skiers are able to perform at a variety of conditions and terrains. 

5. Take a Lesson

No matter how much skiing and training you have done, you can always learn something new and improve your skills. Remember, even professional skiers have coaches and trainers by their side to help them improve their game. Take a look into short private lessons or a 10 or 12-week course. You will be shocked at how much you can improve. 

6. Be realistic with your Goal

It is fantastic that you want to improve your skiing, but at the end of the day you want to be realistic of your abilities. Keep in mind how long it took you to master just going up and down the hill. Be tangible and choose goals that you can achieve. In addition, make sure they are challenging enough to push you as a skier.  

7. Be Confident and Push Yourself

When learning or improving a skill, people often find the task to be difficult and, at times, frustrating. Try not to let this bring you down. There is a strong learning curve, but it does not mean it is impossible. Do not underestimate your ability to learn. Focus on the positive aspects of your skiing and learn from the negatives. Use those negatives as opportunities for growth. And of course practice!

California Ski Destinations

California has plenty of options to offer when searching for a destination to ski. It is important to first decide what it is that you are looking for when planning a ski trip to California. Are you hoping for the big mountain feel or a small and intimate local atmosphere?

This list exemplifies just a few of the numerous locations California has to offer it’s skiing community.

Badger Pass Ski Area – California’s original ski area, Badger Pass, is located in one of California’s most beautiful national parks, Yosemite. Badger Pass is a full-service ski resort who offers ski and snowboard instruction, rental equipment, childcare, and even a cafeteria/lounge. If you are a beginner skier or just not yet as comfortable on the slopes as you would like to be, then Badger Pass is the place for you, with 85 percent of its’ slopes devoted to beginner and intermediate levels. They also offer a course for mini skiers ages 4-6 called Badger Pups, making Badger Pass a great destination to travel with the whole family.

Heavenly – Heavenly Ski Resort is located on the California-Nevada border in South Lake Tahoe. Heavenly is one of the world’s largest ski resorts, set on Tahoe Lake’s south shore. With its’ spectacular views, the resort has the largest snowmaking and grooming fleet on the West Coast. It features multiple terrain parks, 94 trails and a 3,500-foot vertical drop.

Mammoth – Mammoth is located in Eastern California along the east side of the Sierra Nevada mountain range. It features 1,000’s of acres of terrain and an altitude that keeps things white into summer making it one of the longest ski seasons in North America. Mammoth has about 300 days of sunshine a year, so don’t forget the sunscreen as a part of your ski gear.

Sugar Bowl – Sugar Bowl is located in Norden, California. If you are particularly fond of backcountry skiing, then Sugar Bowl is the place for you. Sugar Bowl’s backcountry tours are professionally guided and give people the chance to participate in educational seminars, snowshoe hikes, and much more.

Boreal Mountain Resort – If you are looking for a smaller more intimate skiing experience, you must go to Boreal Mountain. Located just 80 miles from Sacramento, Boreal Mountain provides its’ skiers with night lighting and a sound system on the mountain to enhance your skiing experience. How cool is that?!

Top 5 Skiing Resorts in Switzerland

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Are you an experienced or expert skier looking for your next, new ski resort to hit this winter? Travel to Switzerland to experience the beauty of the country while enjoying some of the best and most beautiful slopes in the world. Here is a countdown of five of the country’s resorts to visit this winter if you’re still deciding your vacation (most are on the more expensive side, but they’re worth the price.):

1. Verbier

Though particularly popular with its French-speaking clientele, all are still welcomed to Verbier with its network of cable cars and gondolas giving you convenient access to more resorts including Veysonnaz and La Tzoumaz. After you day skiing, you can relax and enjoy some of the most creative and delicious cuisine. If you’re also a food connoisseur then this is your resort as the others serve simple and typical ski resort menus.

2. St. Moritz

Jack Ryger nycHaving more of an Austrian influence compared to the other resorts on this list, St. Mortiz showcases authentic medieval architecture including folkloric fixtures, hand-carved paneling, and local granite throughout. There are slopes for all levels here. The Corvigilia, located just above St. Moritz is the most suitable for new or beginner skiers. If you’re looking for more of a challenge then head over to Sils Maria (Corvatsh) or Pontresina (Diavolezza). Both feature difficult slopes that you will challenge you all day long. Intermediate-level skiers should take the one cable-care connection to Piz Corvatsch and ski all the way back to St. Moritz’s lake.

3. Arosa

Relatively new to the scene amongst the ski resorts, Arosa is one of the most isolated and quiet vacations spots you’ll find. If you’re a nature lover then escape here as you head in on the one the road that leads to town. Lined with alpine meadows as far as your eye can see, Arosa couldn’t been any more serene.

4. Zermatt

In the Southwest region of Switzerland, Zermatt is located on a high-altitude plateau. It’s known for its slopes just as much as its party scene with beer-drinking heading into the early hours of the morning. Primarily tailored to intermediate skiers, it also feature a difficult course with a drop of (3,280ft) from start to finish.

5. Gstaad

Located in Saaneland, Gstaad is a cool option with plenty of action off the slopes as much as there is on them. During your downtime, you can attend music festivals, shop till you drop, and people-watch. You can people watch there for hours or enjoy the view as the sun goes down.

Brighton Mountain Ski Resort

Brighton Mountain in Utah is a favorite amongst skiiers of all ages. With an average of 500 inches of light, fluffy snow each winter, the mountain is a lot like heaven for those who love to ski. Since Brighton is located in a pathway of winter storms and sits at the top of Big Cottonwood Canyon, the snowfall is great and plenty for all to enjoy.

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Brighton Resort is a great place to stay if you want to plan a ski trip on the mountain. The resort has access to 100% of Brighton’s terrain by five high speed quads. Along with 1,875 vertical feet dedicated to the wonders of Utah skiing, Brighton Resort also has 1,050 acre of trip and magic carpet service. You can also find day lodges, rentals, a ski and snowboarding school, lockers, cafeterias, a pub, and bus transportation to the downtown Salt Lake City area as part of the resort’s amenities.

In order to maintain safety precautions and offer its guests the best quality ski and snowboard trails, Bright Resort’s grooming is consistently top quality. Beginner, intermediate, and expert trails are all groomed as needed and if you’re ever wondering how your trail looks for the day, a grooming report is posted daily, which details the conditions of each trail.

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Jack Ryger skiing on Brighton Mountain in Utah

In addition, Brighton Resort has terrain parks, which are great for those who enjoy freestyle riding and skiing. There are four terrain parks available for every ability level, and with a supreme terrain park crew, the parks’ features move and improve as often as possible.

Brighton Resort offers hours of operation all seven days of the week from the middle of November through mid-April. In addition to the daily hours of operation for 9 am to 4pm, the resort offers night skiing from 4pm until 9pm every day except for sunday from December until March. So if you want to get the most out of your ski vacation, Brighton Resort is undoubtedly the place for you.

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For more information about Brighton Resort and the Brighton Mountain, please visit their website here. Happy skiing!

Mountain Biking at Ski Resorts

As the snow melts and the sun stays out longer, many ski resorts from all of the nation open trails dedicated to summer mountain biking and hiking. Either taking a summer vacation to one of your favorite ski resorts or checking out a local ski resort that has hiking and mountain biking trails is a great way to spend some quality time in nature this summer.

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Mountain biking in particular is a very popular summer activity that ski resorts have increasingly been accommodating towards. Many ski resorts have been building and maintaining certain lift-accessed mountain biking trails throughout the summer, which is great news for skiers who crave the feeling of skiing all year long. Although there may not be any snow and you probably don’t have your skis strapped in, being outside and on the mountain is very satisfying.

In fact, downhill mountain biking is very similar to skiing. Not only do you get to start your day in a base area trying on different equipment that is best for your body type and skill level, but you also get to: hop on a chairlift or gondola, adjust your helmet and gloves, warm-up on a blue trail, experience nature through trees, meadows, and wildflowers, feel a cool mountain breeze against your cheeks, enjoy beautiful mountain views, and end your day back in the base area village with a satisfied smile stretched across your face. Sounds a lot like skiing, doesn’t it?

If you’re not sure where to find a mountain bike park, make sure you look online at various ski resort websites, especially if you’re fond of a particular resort. But, if you’re in the Northeast, Killington Mountain Bike Park in Vermont is a great New England resort to check out this summer. Not only is it surrounded by lush mountains, but the Park hosts several professional-level downhill races and provides lessons up until October.

If you’re out west, California’s Northstar Bike Park offers cross-country bikers and downhill mountain biking in Lake Tahoe. The instructors there are extremely friendly and offer two-hour beginner classes. Mt. Bachelor in Oregon is another mountain to think about visiting if you want to head west, equipped with a breath-taking bike park featuring both smooth turns and fun features. Plus, they just ordered a new shipment of Norco all-mountain and downhill rental bikes for you to enjoy.

For more information about mountain biking at ski resorts, and a more detailed list of resorts to visit this summer, check out Ski.com’s article here.

Ski Anytime of the Year

Yes, yes, it is time for the weather to hang its wintry cloak in the closet and don the springtime suit. But before those skis get stored for a whole summer, take a look into some great spots for summer skiing on this side of the globe. Whether in the southern hemisphere or in the more polar of northerly locations, there is always a place for the avid skier. Lose not all hope of getting back out on the slopes and feeling the rush of the wind against your goggled eyes. Here’s to five more months of winter!

The Andes of South America are quite a good choice as they offer the longest mountain range in the world, and some of the highest slopes. Throughout Argentina and Chile, there are more socially-oriented, family-friendly ski resorts, and more secluded backcountry zones. The qualities of snow are a mix of compact and dry powdery snow. The Ski Portillo resort remains an uncrowded favorite due to a visitor cap they set at 450. It is also the oldest ski spot in South America.

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For those located in the United States and wishing to stay within borders, the Pacific Northwest offers a wide range of locations along the Cascade Mountains, which span from Oregon and Washington to British Columbia. The Timberline Ski resort features Mt. Hood, the highest elevation in Oregon, the most reputable site in the state for high-speed downhill skiing. It is also the only site in the country open and offering lift service year-round. Fun fact, the Timberline Ski lodge is a national landmark and the locale featured in Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining. For one of the largest skiing areas in the state, visit Mount Bachelor’s ski resort with peak heights of 2600 feet.

 

Just North of the Pacific states is the Blackcomb slope in Whistler, British Columbia, Canada. With surprisingly warm temperatures and some of the steepest slopes it remains a trusted resort for the skilled skier. Elevations soar up to 7,500 feet where panoramic views of the valleys below are something to marvel at.

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Among the Swiss Alps stand some of the historically most impressive (and intimidating) mountains, and the highest ski resort in all of Europe, including that of the Matterhorn in Zermatt. Even during the summer months, while most of Europe is down by the Mediterranean, the Alps stay open for the keen skiers with the highest snow certainty in the continent. One can also visit idyllic mountainside villages and lakes along the grassier knolls of Switzerland for a break in the all-white scenery.