Whilst glamorous and attracting the wealthy film stars and celebrities Aspen really should be given a go by all. What it has that really should attract you to try out this resort over any others is tranquility. If you are used to the hecticness of some European slopes, Aspen takes this in completely the opposite direction with uncrowded slopes. Whilst I start in positivity, the next negative may wipe out half of the ski market, and this is that the ability of having a chalet/apartment close the slopes is highly unlikely. Bus requirement is almost a certainty and for those that don’t like this little chore of getting to the slopes, then Aspen really isn’t the place for you, for me the scenic perfection of Aspen along with extensive slopes to suit every level of ability really does for me make this resort truly worthwhile a visit. If you have deep enough pockets then this idyllic ski resort is worth while trying out.
Fancy a bit of altitude sickness? Head to Breckenridge. Joking aside a few Brits have complained that heading to Breckenridge whilst experiencing high terrain in Europe they can experience altitude sickness in Breckenridge with the resort being based at 2925m one of the highest we have encountered. Now get this sickness out of your system, because Breckenridge is an absolute cracker, with the combination of a traditional chocolate box resort with extensive ski slopes and numerous areas. Couple this with a superb snowboard park and terrific off-piste, as long as you can deal with maybe acclimatising in Denver for a couple of days, Breckenridge certainly will not disappoint.
Now head to the other coast of the USA, north of New York City in Vermont and you find Killington, what the locals describe as a proper ski resort (this made well and truly apparent by the serious lack of anything to do which is not ski related). As a snowboarder I find this resort to have everything one would need, it has what is claimed to be America’s largest run at 10 miles, claims to have the biggest skiable area, several snow making facilities allowing the resort to open as early as October. Burton recently installed their famous ‘Stash’ park, a snowboard park made entirely from natures resources rather than artificial rails and boxes, this as most snowboarders will understand is an absolute dream. Couple this with a terrific après-ski scene, the resort doesn’t go far wrong.
Into the more centralised area of America away from the coasts and we find ourselves at Jackson Hole. Ever wondered if it is possible to combine the Wild-West with Skiing, Jackson Hole has managed this, and the terrain is large in many ways, it has what is classified to be Americas greatest vertical drop. Walk through the village and you find an array of pool halls and cowboy bars, however like many resorts it must be noted the village is about 15 minutes from the slopes, but once there it is an experts paradise, and for snowboarders, yes Burton last year also brought the ‘Stash’ to the Wild-Wild-West. They are trying to develop Jackson Hole by introducing more snowmaking facilities to extend the season which can only be a good thing.
We can not talk about American resorts without mentioning Vail, as it is a superb mountain with one of the biggest skiable areas in the US, the tree runs are fabulous in what can be a blue bird haven, when you find yourself doing knee deep powder with bright blue skies it’s hard to complain..yet somehow with Vail we can. It has crowded slopes which is just not usual to find in the USA. As a ski area, it’s hard to find things wrong with Vail it’s just the little things that can make it not quite as favourable as the other resorts already mentioned.