Thursday, February 24, 2011

World’s Best Skiing: The Best Peaks, Resorts & Cities

World-class skiers come to the United States to explore our myriad mountains, terrains and slopes, but many of the world’s most popular skiing cities and resorts lie just north of, or across the pond from, the U.S.

Join us as we explore the world’s best skiing locales – from exotic European resorts to the thrilling slopes of our Northern neighbor!

1. Switzerland
Our neutral friend is anything but when it comes to skiing towns and resorts. The highly lauded Zermatt resort features over 195 miles of trails, not to mention designer boutiques, luxurious accommodations, and fantastic restaurants. This quintessential Alpine resort keeps its fairytale-like scenery thanks to strict zoning laws which prohibit buildings taller than 4 stories, and regulations against car ownership for everyone but doctors which means you may find yourself dashing through the snow in a horse drawn sleigh! Peaceful yet exhilarating, Zermatt consistently ranks within the top 3 for Switzerland’s best resorts. Also popular? St. Moritz, a historical resort town in the Engadine valley, has been a go-to escape for the glamorous for decades. The site of both the 1928 and 1948 Winter Olympics, St. Moritz has also thrice hosted the Alpine Skiing World Championships.

2. France

Chamonix-Mont Blanc is the ultimate name in luxurious French skiing resorts. Located by the eponymous Mt. Blanc, Europe’s highest mountain peak, Chamonix-Mont Blanc is nestled amongst Alpine peaks and features some of the best dining in Europe, as well as exquisite hotels and inns. Ready to hit the slopes or snowboard? A two-stage cable car will whisk you up to the peak at 10,745 feet where you have the option to descend via the rough runs of Point de Vie, or the Pylones. Enjoy some of the most stunning vistas in the world as you ride the cable-car to the tip of the steep and spiny Aiguille du Midi (Needle of Midday, so named for the way the sun sits directly over this spiked peak at noon). We recommend taking a guided exploration of the multitudinous chutes, snowfields, glaciers, and high bowls. Soak up some history while you explore the town – Chamonix hosted the first ever Winter Olympics in 1924!

3. Canada

Oh, Canada! With rugged slopes and steep drops, Canada is a skier’s haven. Whistler, British Columbia is world-renowned as one of the best places to ski and snowboard while Banff, Alberta has a reputation for having some of the most beautiful scenery and expansive trails. Quaint Mont Tremblant in Quebec is situated on the highest peak of the Laurentian mountain ridge and its villages feature cobble stone streets and colorful houses. Both Mont Tremblant and Whistler have the added bonus of being located only a few hours away from big cities – Montreal for the former and Vancouver for the latter. Clearly, Canada leads the pack with a variety of notable, popular ski resorts both on the Eastern and Western ends of the country! Whistler also features over 100 restaurants, catering to ever single palate.

4. Italy

Host to the 1956 winter Olympics, Cortina is one of Italy’s most stylish ski resorts while still offering some of the most brutal and exhilarating runs and trails. Situated near Venice, Cortina is neatly placed amidst the Dolomite mountains and is a popular escape for wealthy Italianos who come to sip espresso, lounge in the sun, and zip around in their Ferrarris. Join the glitterati on the 87 miles of groomed runs and enjoy the sights on one of their 52 lifts. Not ready to strap on your skis? Take advantage of their year round ice-skating rink, adapted from the Olympic rink built for the 1956 games. The city is bordered on all sides by teetering mountains, allowing for spectacular views from any part of the town!


Colorado Ski Shop is the online destination for ski and snowboard gear. Find supplies and apparel from LibTech, Salomon, K2 and many more for all your skiing or snowboarding needs. Browse our selection of ski binding, snowboard boots and other accessories to find the right gear for you!

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