By LL Editorial StaffEnvision an Endless Summer. Could there be anything better than year-round sunshine, surf and bronze-skinned beauties baring bikinis in sandy paradise? Are you crazy? Of course there is! How about a straight vertical drop into an untouched pocket of pristine powder, the feathery snow billowing up around you in a divine haze as you continue down, carving fresh tracks into an immaculate landscape that glistens in golden light? Welcome to cloud nine, my friends. And while the boys over at Endless Summer have some great ideas, they’ve forgotten one crucial element integral to the good life: Ski season. We’ll forgive them, but not without first giving attention where attention is due. Satisfy your craving for icy-adrenaline by checking out our picks for the Top 10 Resorts to Get Your Powder Fix, and scope out our tips on how to extend your favorite season into an Endless Winter.
If there’s one Ski Resort you absolutely must visit before your shredding days are done, it’s Whistler Blackcomb. Cruise over to Canada and ride the white-hot mountain that has claimed the name of the “Best North American Ski Resort” over the past decade. The soaring peaks boast epic vertical drops that cause even the most seasoned skiers to look twice, and guarantee the gnarliest of adrenaline-addicts among us a satisfying fix. Furthermore, the Canadian resort features a charming villages catering to every need of its international clientele. And if you’d like to squeeze some golf into your snowy itinerary, try our Best of Both Golf & Ski Package, and balance pleasure with… pleasure. Let’s just say that we’ll give a whistle for Whistler.
Buried deep in the bottomless powder of this next epic mountain lays the rationale for unveiling our next choice: Vail, Colorado. Welcome to 5,300 acres of Skier’s Paradise. As the largest ski resort in the United States, Vail features extensive stretches of immaculate Rocky Mountain snow that beg to be cut up by freshly sharpened skis; no one can cramp your style with this much terrain. Three terrain parks and seven bowls are the icing on the frosted cake, adding an extra touch of adrenaline to a perfect day on the mountain. And once you’re done for, the Vail Cascade Resort & Spa is the perfect place to throw your boots off, grab a hot cocoa and hit the Jacuzzi to regenerate for tomorrow.
Sunshine, surfing and celebrities usually come to mind when people think of California, but what about world-class skiing? Perhaps one of California’s best-kept secrets, quietly draped in layers of thick snow, can be found in the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range: Squaw Valley. But just because we’ve suddenly learned that Cali has snow, hardly means it’s lost its sun: golden light dances over this stunning location, which features a heavenly contrast of glistening snow against the strikingly blue backdrop of Lake Tahoe shimmering below. And the beauty isn’t just skin-deep—for its marvelous mountain and conditions, Squaw Valley hosted the 1960 Winter Olympic games. So if you’re sold on Squaw, check out the Resort at Squaw Creek and check-in to our favorite California ski experience.
To the same respect, there’s much more to the Swiss than chocolate, clocks and army knifes. If you haven’t guessed by now, here it is: exceptional skiing. Gstaad, Switzerland, one of the largest ski-areas in the Alps, is easily one of the world’s premiere ski resorts, well equipped with high-altitude and high style. Exhilarated eyes trace steep vertical drops and take in the feathery billows of soft snow that spray gracefully away from the clean lines cut by the sharp-edged skis of the mountain’s vogue frequenters. Gstaad is not only a place to ski, but to see and be seen. And if you stay at the Grand Park Hotel, people will be looking. You, on the other hand, will experience the peace of luxury at its very finest as you pull off the ski boots and wrap yourself in opulence.
Although we generally associate ‘hole’ with a descent below the surface, there’s absolutely nothing low about Jackson Hole, Wyoming, other than perhaps stress level. Find room to take a breath of fresh air in this spacious destination, which lies in the least populated state in the country. But where it lacks in citizens, it makes up for in mountains: if you’re looking for soaring snow-caked peaks that glisten beneath an infinite expanse of clear blue sky, you’ve just found your paradise. Keep this luxurious sense of seclusion going well into the evening by indulging in a lavish room at the elegant Amangani Resort, where contemporary chic blends ideally with the rugged nature of this unprocessed destination.
The Eiffel Tower isn’t the only peak in France worth visiting. Snow connoisseurs agree that shredding the gnar in lofty Courchevel, France is an absolute must. The breathtaking mountain features a wide range of terrain, from bunny hills to daring couloirs, making it an excellent choice for novice and expert alike. A luxurious Alpine playground, Courchevel blends steep slopes with high style to capture the quintessential in ski-chic: top-class riding followed by some of the most decadent dining and lodging in the Alps. The luxe Hotel Des Neiges is an ideal place to lavishly warm-up as you chill-out after a long day on the mountain, and sip on some fine French wine to truly revel in the exquisite experience.