9 best winter sports resorts

(Image credit: Unknown)

1 Boreal, California, USA

‘This small resort has a reputation for having good snow really late in the season, as well as one of the most innovative park setups in the US,' says Santa Cruz snowboarder Iouri Podladtchikov. ‘It also has some cool tree runs with jumps and sliders built into them. Parts of the resort are floodlit at night so you can carry on riding when the sun goes down.’ rideboreal.com

2 Sapporo, Japan

‘Its powder is the stuff of legend – I've heard you get head-high dumps,' says Podladtchikov. ‘Last year I got invited to go and ride at the Toyota Big Air, a freestyle competition that takes place there every winter, but I was ill and couldn't make it. I was devastated. This year nothing will stop me going.' sapporo-kokusai.com

3 Flumserberg, Switzerland

‘The reason to go here is because of the off-piste riding,' says Podladtchikov. ‘There are loads of good places to build off-piste jumps and tons of good natural hits too. If you go in the week it's pretty quiet so you'll have the mountain to yourself. Avoid it on the weekend, when its close proximity to Zurich means it’s packed with city types.' flumserberg.ch

4 Haines, Alaska, USA

‘It's quite simply the best place in the world to go heliskiing,' says Red Bull pro skier Tanner Hall. ‘It has all the terrain you could ever want – there are natural kickers, massive wind lips and crazy chutes down super-steep slopes. The locals are really friendly too. I normally go there at the end of the season to shoot moves.' alaskaheliskiing.com

5 St Anton, Austria

‘It's not just the amazing terrain in the resort itself that makes this part of the country so good for skiing,' says Hall. ‘It's the fact that there are loads of small satellite resorts around St Anton with exceptional free ride potential. Go there and build off-piste jumps when St Anton gets busy.' stantonamarlberg.com

6 Valle Nevado, Chile

‘Even the lowest part of the resort is around 10,000ft [3,000m] so it’s really high-altitude,’ says DC pro snowboarder Devun Walsh. ‘Being in good shape before you go will help you deal with the thinner air and get the most out of its unpisted valleys, which are packed with cornices, cliff drops and fast lines.’ vallenevado.com

7 Mount Seymour, Canada

‘This resort is only ten minutes from my house and it’s awesome,’ says Walsh. ‘It’s only got a couple of pisted runs and an average park, but there are tons of cool natural halfpipes and kickers to ride. We get up to 50cm of snow a night during the winter and the powder is damper and heavier than in a lot of countries so it’s really good for building jumps.’ mountseymour.com

8 Niseko, Japan

‘There are amazing tree runs here,' says Hall. ‘And there are loads of pillow lines – descending steps of deep powder – to ride. Along the highway that leads to Niseko there are a bunch of avalanche barriers and jump spots to hit too.' niseko.ne.jp/en

9 Val d’Isère, France

‘It may be one of the busiest resorts in Europe but there’s some amazing terrain here that doesn’t ever get touched by the skiing masses,’ says Walsh. ‘Take the main chairlift up from the resort and look out for a big tunnel people have to ski through. You’ll find some cool tree runs leading down from it.’ valdisere.com

Coach Staff

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