Some resorts offer lots of easy runs, while others provide challenges for even the most adrenaline-seeking skiers and snowboarders. If you’re looking for the latter, you’ll find it at any of these outstanding resorts around the world.
This iconic ski and snowboard destination has developed a cult following due to its snow, extreme inbounds terrain and massive accessible backcountry. It receives an average of 701 inches of snowfall every season, much more than most other lift-serviced ski resorts in the world.
Some of California’s very best skiing and snowboarding can be found at Mammoth Mountain. Mammoth is an extreme sports junkie’s paradise. There is more than 3,500 acres of terrain for skiing and snowboarding as one of the state’s largest resorts, along with an extensive system of 28 lifts to get you up the mountain, including express 6-pack chair lifts, high speed quads and gondolas.
The high altitude resort of Les Arcs, France, has some of the best off-piste terrain in Europe. Advanced skiers and snowboarders are spoiled for choice here, with every type of terrain, from powder bowls to extreme steeps and fast groomed trails.
This unspoiled area is nestled beneath the grand Monterosa massif, which soars for more than 14,300 feet, dividing Italy from Switzerland. Stretching over three valleys, the ski area features nearly 112 miles of piste skiing and incredible off-piste skiing in a stunning natural environment with minimal resort development.
You’ll find extreme terrain in every direction from the top of Lone Mountain, the singular peak in the heart of Big Sky. Before the tram, Big Sky Resort was known for its intermediate terrain, but its core riders were clamoring for the extreme, resulting in management installing the Lone Peak Tram that takes riders to the summit.
Sunshine Village is made up of three mountains in Banff National Park and includes some rather terrifying off-piste terrain. When ski patrol gives a thumps up, Delirium Dive, a freeride zone, opens up – only to skiers with a buddy and full avalanche gear.
Smugglers’ Notch is a great resort for families with members that have a variety of abilities, including adrenaline connoisseurs. SKI Magazine readers named it No. 1` for families for 15 consecutive years due to its numerous off-slope winter activities that include everything from ice skating and zip line canopy tours to arcades, rope courses, nightly entertainment and more.
Chamonix is considered one of the world’s most legendary ski areas –it’s often been referred to as the “place where fantasies can become a reality” for expert skiers and snowboarders. Its extensive ski-touring and off-piste terrain draws huge numbers of experts, many of whom end up becoming addicted to this spot and ultimately call it their home.
It wasn’t all that long ago that you had to hop aboard a helicopter to access this area now known as Kicking Horse. Located in the Purcell Mountains of British Columbia, a full 60 percent of its 128 runs, including 85 inbound chutes, are considered advanced. Many say it’s the very best ski mountain on the planet.
Squaw Valley is one of the resorts that gave birth to extreme skiing. It offers an outstanding experience to advanced snowboarders and skiers alike. The ridgeline features cliffs, couloirs, steep bowls and chutes that are sure to get your heart pounding.
Utah is famous for its ski resorts that typically get massive dumps of dry, powdery snow. Snowbird boasts an average of nearly 42 feet a year, twice as much as famous Alpine resorts like Chamonix, Tignes and St Anton and 50 percent more than nearby Park City ski resorts.
Crested Butte is famous for its delightfully gnarly terrain and the kind of mountain you want to go to if jumping off cliffs sounds like the perfect way to spend your vacation. It has some of the very best steep terrain in the entire state of Colorado.