Snow – it defines a great winter sports holiday.
That’s why we don’t go to every resort – we only go to the ones that enjoy phenomenal snow and abundant sunshine. That’s why we specialise in North America.
A ski holiday in North America is truly an exceptional experience. Here are our top ten reasons why we love to ski there.
High snow sure resorts
The snow in North America is phenomenal – light, dry and plentiful. The resorts enjoy reliable snow cover every year, allowing you to ski from well before Christmas right up to (and beyond) Easter.
It’s all about the quality of snow in the USA – winter storms roll in from the Pacific and as the snow moves eastward over the Nevada desert, it loses moisture. By the time it reaches the ski resorts in Colorado and Utah it has turned into light, dry champagne powder. Perfect for skiers!
The skiing in Western Canada is also staggeringly good. Whether you ski Lake Louise set amidst the spectacular Banff National Park, visit Whistler the mega resort that has it all or explore the various resorts of beautiful interior British Columbia, Western Canada offers some of the best powder skiing in the world.
If you go to the mountains to get away from the maddening crowd, you’ll really enjoy the feeling of space and the quiet open slopes in North America. The runs are generally wide with plenty of room to practice those turns and in the mega-resorts of Whistler, Park City and Vail there are so many runs to choose from that you can often find you’ll have the run entirely to yourself.
Well Groomed Runs
The resorts have fantastic slope grooming. Wake up every morning and grab the local grooming report to check out which runs have been prepared overnight. Sharpen up your edges and spend the day carving up the perfectly prepared corduroy.
Well organised lift lines
The resorts benefit from modern, efficient high speed chairlifts and gondolas and well organised hassle free lift lines.
It’s rare to find drag lifts, except to access high or remote parts of the ski area. The focus is always on ensuring the guests get the most ski time – so lift lines are organised with military precision. There’s even a line for singles to ensure every chair runs to maximum capacity at peak times. No jostling allowed in North America!
Wide open tree-lined runs
We love it when it snows while we’re in the resort – but we don’t want to miss out on any ski time.
In North America there is a higher tree line than in European resorts which is great for cover when it’s snowing. Nearly all the intermediate runs can be found mid-mountain and are tree-lined on both sides. The trees provide great cover for when the snow is falling – just stick to the side of the run and enjoy the light, dry, flakes. With the right gear on you can stay out on the mountain all day while others head for the coffee shops in the resort.
First class tuition
North America is renowned for its flexible ski school programmes with enthusiastic, English speaking instructors. Full day ski programmes, teen camps and speciality programmes are the norm. There are even designated slow zones on the mountains for novices to find their ski legs.
Flexible programmes are available that combine child minding with ski tuition. There are great facilities for kids in resort – many resorts have themed ski areas and boarding parks for kids and one-stop children’s centres that have day care, kids ski school, rentals and child-size ski accessories are increasingly common.
Quite simply, the ski schools in North America are second to none and the emphasis is always on fun and the guest experience. Some ski schools are so confident that you’ll have a great time – they even offer a customer satisfaction guarantee.
A warm welcome
North America is renowned for its friendly, welcoming western hospitality. The vibe in the resorts is always laid back and friendly. Everyone you meet on the mountain loves to chat – so you’ll be sure to meet lots of new people when riding on the chairlifts.
Off the mountain, is no different.
With the range of dining options in North American resorts ranging from world class fine dining in resorts like Deer Valley, Whistler and Vail, to family friendly restaurants that cater for all taste buds and all budgets, it’s no surprise to us that North America was voted best for ‘eating out’ in a survey of 17,000 UK skiers that looked at their 2016 holiday experiences.
North American resorts are great for kids with ski schools geared up to offer safe, fun lessons from an early age. Some resorts offer free ski passes for kids when you book early. Some resorts even provide electronic tagging and pagers so you never need worry and with dedicated areas on the mountains for kids to learn on they will have a blast.
The resorts are compact and slope-side accommodation is plentiful, so getting on to the snow in the morning is likely to be tantrum free.
High Quality spacious accommodation
Resorts offer modern, spacious, well-appointed accommodation options. In most resorts you’ll be able to find slope-side condominiums. Generally, these are Condo-Hotels; condominiums that are serviced apartments with a front desk check-in service.
These are great options for groups and families as they offer a spacious ‘home from home’ option with full size kitchens, including dishwashers and washing machines. And as they are serviced apartments all you’ll need to worry about is perfecting those parallel turns!
One more reason
And if you still need one more reason to ski North America, did you know that the resorts in Colorado also enjoy 300 days a year of sunshine? So remember to pack the sun cream for your next ski trip!