Top 10 skiing destinations

If you’re tired of winter in the city, go soak up some seasonal fun at these snow-capped ski havens.
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Updated on Jan 30, 2011 01:32 AM IST
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If the chill’s keeping you tucked in your quilt, it’s time you traded that comfort and boredom for some real thrill. Here is a list of the top ten ski destinations from around the world, so that you can make the most of the last few winter months and go soak up some snow.

1 Park City, Utah, USA: Just south of Salt Lake City, Park City is no little sibling when it comes to drawing tourists. Famous for hosting the Sundance Film Festival each year, it’s also home to serious alpine skiing. Six mountains and 114 trails give cold weather adventurers plenty of room to roam, and other mountain activities like tubing and an alpine coaster don’t disappoint.

2 Whistler, Canada: Alpine skiing and mountain biking are big at Whistler Blackcomb, which is consistently voted a top ski destination each year. But watch out for the bears — the fuzzy friends in Whistler have been known to open even locked car doors for a snack.

3 Zermatt, Switzerland: Just near the border of Italy, situated in the Swiss Alps at the southern end of Matter Valley, Zermatt is a prime starting point for explorers who take the Haute Route to Chamonix and the Patrouille des Glaciers. You can also get an international lift pass that allows you ski on the Italian side of the border in Cervinia. Another distinct note about Zermatt — you can ski here in the summer.

4 Val d’Isere, France: In southeastern France, on the border of the Vanoise National Park, sits Val d’Isere. Its lively slopes cater perfectly to its even livelier nightlife, and making the transition between the two is made easy. A free shuttle between the towns of Val d’Isere and La Daille runs every five minutes during the day, and every 30 minutes at night.

5 Verbier, Switzerland: Often known as some of the most challenging skiing in the Alps, Verbier offers nothing short of exhilaration. Located in a high and sunny spot, this beautiful area can be downright intimidating, especially on something like its black run, down the front face of Mont-Fort. Classic runs, like the unmarked route from Col des Gentianes and Mont Gele, are notables.

6 Chamonix, France: Sitting right under Europe’s highest mountain, Mont Blanc, Chamonix, has a wide range of intermediate and advanced skiing options. Known as the extreme free-riding capital of Europe, it’s also a hot spot for snowboarders as well. Once the day of downhill fun comes to a close, gear up for its dynamic town filled with more than 100 restaurants and bars.

7 St Anton, Austria: Holding its head high with a glamourous reputation, St Anton is no one-trick pony. Beyond its glitzy facade, it brings the thrills with world-class skiing, fantastic powder and lots of unmarked trails. Experts enjoy steep drops like that of Zura and the challenging powder bowls of the Valluga. Beginners find excitement on the lesser-demanding slopes, or can head to the neighbouring resort of Lech.

8 Vail, Colorado, USA: Time after time, Vail is classified as one of the finest ski resorts in the world. Its seven Back Bowls and exceptional powder draw expert skiers from around the globe. Due to the mountain’s size, there is plenty to do for beginners, regulars and veterans — the only problem is that most skiers run out of vacation time before they can truly explore the entire mountain-scape. 9Banff, Canada: With a long ski season, light and dry snow, fantastic facilities and three major resort areas, skiing in Banff is a pleasure. Settled in the Canadian Rockies, the unspoiled area is home to nature’s elks and moose, among other creatures. The resort area crawls with five-star hotels to welcome tired skiers.

10 Jackson Hole, Wyoming: Beginners beware, this is expert territory. Set in the Grand Teton Mountains, Jackson Hole adds a little attitude with its altitude — offering up steep runs, deep powder and narrow chutes. A few outstanding parts include the Cheyenne, Tensleep and Laramie Bowls, and for more challenges, you should head to Grand Targhee.

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