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Where To Ski This Winter

The ski destinations and experiences to be stoked about this season

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The upside of the rainier-than-average summer most of us experienced at the hands of El Nino is twofold when it comes to hitting the slopes this winter: Temps are predicted to be warmer than the usual yet snowfalls are expected to be heavier. That means a longer, bigger, more satisfying season—and a greater argument for taking the leap to explore destinations outside of your usual. By mid-November, several mountains across the country were already up and running, from Snowmass, Colorado, to Killington Resort in Vermont, which saw a crowd of nearly 40,000 over Thanksgiving for two days of women’s alpine racing at the Stifel Killington Cup. Looking for a little something different this year? Read on.

If you like Jackson Hole… try Park City

Park City Mountain in Utah celebrates its 60th birthday this season with festivities across its nearly 7,500 acres of terrain, including a blowout bash in mid-January and the 5th annual QueerSki week in February. Park City parent company Vail Resorts has also chosen the resort as one of the first to display The Gondola Gallery by Epic, an outdoor art display and online film series celebrating diverse skiers and snowboarders across the globe. At Park City, art by New York native and Park City transplant Lamont Joseph White wraps the QuickSilver Gondola.

Stay: Pendry Park City, a ski-in/ski-out boutique hotel that debuted last year with modern touches—California-inspired design, a Japanese steakhouse, a rooftop pool—among traditional homages to the ski town’s mining roots history.

If you like Aspen… try Snowmass

Technically, you needn’t choose between them—the two towns are close enough that you can easily explore both in one trip. But while Aspen tends to get all the attention, it also gets a lot of the crowds. At Snowmass, you’ve got the best of both worlds: a family-friendly and laidback vibe and something-for-everyone terrain over more than 3,300 acres—and just 9 miles from the more relative glam of Aspen. Non-skiers in the group have plenty of options for snowshoeing, alpine coastering, and hiking, including the Rim Trail South, where 360-degree views of Snowmass are bolstered by the new-this-year Ice Age Discovery viewfinders, which tell the story of the 2010 discovery of thousands of prehistoric fossils down below. Back in the village, guests of all ages can enjoy Snowmass S’mores—branded s’mores carts peppered around Snowmass Base Village and on the Snowmass Mall offering complimentary s’mores every afternoon.

Stay: The Limelight Snowmass, a 99-room, 11-residence, ski-in/ski-out property in the heart of Snowmass Village designed by Stonehill Taylor and featuring a 5-story climbing wall and on-site skating rink.

If you like Tahoe… try Alyeska

The ever-expanding Ikon Pass portfolio now includes the Alaskan mountain resort Alyeska, about half an hour from downtown Anchorage. The mountain is known for its abundant and sticky snowfall (an average of nearly 700 inches at the summit a year) and challenging terrain, including North America’s longest continuous double black run—some healthy competition for some of the better-known “steep and deep” resorts like Tahoe’s Palisades and Kirkwood.

Stay: Alyeska’s on-mountain, chateau-style resort is tough to beat for its ski-in/ ski-out access, views of both ocean and glaciers, and slopeside Nordic spa. The 60-person aerial tram lets even the non-skiers in your crew enjoy frosty views that include seven “hanging” glaciers and the endless peaks of the Chugach Mountain range.

If you like Breckenridge… try Stowe

Or why not both? Breck’s hard to top for quality gnar and plenty of opportunity for après adventure, with five peaks, a summit elevation of nearly 13,000 feet, and a bustling Main Street easily accessible from the mountain with must-visits that include Aurum Food & Wine and Rootstalk. But, of course, Epic season passholders needn’t choose between east and west, with one pass that gives them access to Breckenridge in Colorado, Stowe in Vermont, and dozens of mountains in between.

Stay: While Gravity Haus may be Breckenridge’s most modern offering, with an eco-luxurious sensibility and ski day-soothing amenities like a Japanese-inspired Onsen and stiff drinks at Cabin Juice, One Ski Hill Place lives more like a condo and is ideally located at the base of Peak 8, home of the brand-new Five SuperChair. At Stowe, The Lodge at Spruce Peak remains the on-mountain gold standard, with ski-on and -off access and excellent dining options that include the WhistlePig Pavilion and the après raw bar Tipsy Trout. Down the hill, though, the Talta Lodge offers easy access to in-town action and frequent restaurant pop-ups on its lower level.

If you like Whistler… try Andermatt-Sedrun-Disentis

Canada’s cool, but Europe is cooler. This season, Epic Pass expanded its European resort access with the addition of Switzerland’s Disentis, the neighboring mountain to Andermatt-Sedrun. When combined, the trifecta offers guests access to the largest ski area in the heart of Switzerland with over 112 miles of slopes.

Stay: The Chedi Andermatt, where on-staff ski butlers happily drive guests to the mountain bases and back, rent and fit guests with Head ski equipment and offer tips on the ski area, and whose in-house restaurant, The Japanese Restaurant, recently earned a second Michelin star.