Some of the best places to ski are places you would never think to look. They attract ski bums of all skill levels because of their natural beauty and challenging slopes. Read on to discover what some of the world’s best skiing venues have to offer.
Fernie, British Columbia, Canada
Located in the Elk Valley area of southeastern British Columbia along Highway 3, the historic mining town of Fernie beckons to skiers of all shapes and sizes. This city is the only municipality in Canada that is totally surrounded by the Rocky Mountains, making it the perfect location for passionate skiers. This funky, small town is one of Canada’s best kept secrets, which is great for two reasons: one, it means crowds are minimal and two, there is often still fresh snow on the slopes a majority of the day due to the small amount of ski traffic! With five distinct bowls and a 3,497 foot vertical drop from the top of the summit, skiers seeking an adrenaline rush are sure to find it in the town of Fernie.
Dubbed the crown jewel of the classic skiing towns, Zermatt is one of the most ultimate places to ski in the world. Home of the Matterhorn, this Swiss skiing village has picturesque views and is dominated by the world’s most distinct mountains. Skiing in Zermatt gives visitors the opportunity to experience four different areas. Skiers can choose from Sunnegga, Gornergrat, Klein Matterhorn, or Schwarzsee, each having their own distinct features and daring slopes. With vertical drops that max out at a whopping 7,152 feet, Zermatt is a definite for thrill-seeking skiers.
While Bozeman has always been considered a university town, it is also home to two of the most acclaimed ski slopes in the United States. Bridger Bowl, Bozeman’s first ski center established in 1955, is a nonprofit ski area that features the wild mountains of Montana. Bridger Bowl offers skiers less of a tourist-town feel and more of a welcoming, ski playground community on a huge mountainside. For those looking for more of a touristy destination, the Big Sky Ski Resort just south of Bozeman boasts some of the best slopes with more vacation amenities.
Crested Butte, Colorado
As a secluded Colorado mining town, Crested Butte offers skiers privacy as they cascade down the slopes of Mount Crested Butte. The townsfolk of Crested Butte welcome skiers of any level, and even offer a bus service called Mt. Express that will take you anywhere in town! The area’s history dates back to the Ute Indians, and later became a predominant town involved in the mining and steel industry. When coal started to be replaced with gas and electricity, the town’s population and level of tourism started to decline, but thanks to two ranchers, Dick Eflin and Fred Rick, who opened up the mountain for skiing in the winter of 1962, the town of Crested Butte was saved. Today, visitors can enjoy the scenic slopes of the mountain and enjoy an authentic mining-town feel. Visitors flock here any time of year, as the town also offersbiking, mountain climbing, and wildflower viewing.
Taos, New Mexico
When you think New Mexico, you typically think dry desert area with sweltering summer temperatures. This, however, isn’t the case in Taos, one of the world’s best places to ski in the winter months. Taos was once a pueblo town in the high-deserts of New Mexico where Native American and Hispanic cultures inspired many writers and artists. Today, adventurous skiers from around the world come to ski New Mexico’s highest mountain, Wheeler Peak. Towering over the town of Taos at over 13,000 feet, skiers can enjoy everything from double diamonds to powder runs. Those looking to challenge themselves should check out the West Basin and Highline ridges. For those skiers who are just starting out, the town of Taos runs one of the most recognized ski schools for skiers of all abilities. If skiing isn’t your thing, there’s still plenty to do, from horseback riding to hot-air ballooning.
These ski venues across the globe feature some of the best ski heritages and slopes any ski bum could appreciate. Pack your bags and head out to any of these ski destinations for an adventure of a lifetime. These ski locations are brought to you by the experts at The Ski Bum.