When it comes to picking out the best skiing resort, one of the key aspects that separate elite resorts from good resorts is the quality and the quantity of snow. Other important factors to take into consideration are terrain, lift-serviced vertical, skiable acreage, efficiency of lifts, town, and ambience. Here’s a list of my top three skiing resorts based on these factors.
1. Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, Wyoming
Jackson Hole is the place to ski and more and more skiers are finding out about it. In 2014, broke its record of skier visits with a total of 563,631 visitors – an increase of 12% compared to the season before that. That said, Jackson Hole does not get annoying packed with never-ending lift lines. When you put it in perspective, Jackson Hole’s numbers are only about a third of the visits seen in Breckenridge or Vail.
One of the coolest things about Jackson Hole is the tram; it’s one of the best ski lifts out there. It scales 4,139 feet in 9 minutes while carrying 100 passengers. Moreover, the tram operator will select cool music to be played through the ceiling speakers, so you can count on riding the tram while listening to some classic Rolling Stone or Frank Zappa jams.
2. Alta, Utah
To many skiers, Alta is considered holy ground especially because they do not allow snowboarders into its snow-bound steeps, chutes and bowls. Another reason why this place so awesome is because it collects so much snow. Surrounding resorts, like Snowbird also benefit from this climate advantage, but not to the degree that Alta does. Snowfall records show that Little Cottonwood Canyon, which is where Snowbird is located, collects an annual average of 540 inches. Alta tends to get 17% more snow than Snowbird – that’s a lot of snow to rip through!
3. Aspen Snowmass Ski Resort, Colorado
Aspen Snowmass is a combination of 4 hills together between towns of Aspen and Snowmass Village: Snowmass, Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands, and Buttermilk. These four skiing areas cover a massive amount of terrain (3,000 acres to be exact), rivaling Vail just in pure size.
Buttermilk, although it is a smaller terrain, has gained popularity by hosting the Winter X-games. It also has a good ratio of beginner and intermediate runs. On the other hand, Aspen Mountain and Aspen Highlands are known for their advanced and expert runs. Snowmass is the largest of the four with 4,406 vertical feet, 150 miles of trails, and 21 lifts. It literally has everything a skier can ask for – steep cliff chutes, bowls, glades, cruisers, bumps, etc.
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