Combine with the reliable snow fall, is the access to steep groomed pistes that are avalanche patrolled, so without the need for expensive mountain guides.
Ski Line offer 14 of the best ski resorts in the USA, the majority being in Colorado, in resorts such as Breckenridge, Vail, Beaver Creek and Aspen. If you have never skied on Colorado powder you are in for a treat. Locals tell us the snow is light and dry because the moist air above the seas is so far from Colorado. I’m not sure if this is the case or not but when I ski on Colorado powder I ski like a God!
Most American ski resorts get serious snow fall, most ski resorts get at least 6 to 12m each winter and because of the high altitude the snow stays in excellent condition for most of the winter. This is about double the snow fall that settles in the top ski resorts in Europe such as Chamonix, St Anton and Val d’Isere, which in a good year might get 3m to 6m of snow.
There are draw backs to skiing in the USA, long haul flights aren’t cheap, nor are the ski passes in the USA, but we think that at least one of America’s ski resorts should appear on every skiers bucket list.
The piste classification differs from Europe, in the USA they use colours and shapes to describe the slope suitability. The USA doesn’t use a red run grading. Instead a Green circle will be similar to a European Green or Easy blue run. A Blue square is similar to a steeper Blue or easy red run in a European ski resort. The steeper runs which in Europe are flagged as red or Black runs, in the USA are labelled as double squares or as a Blue /Black square. Finally the Double diamond runs are seriously steep, generally steeper than you would find in European piste. Some ski resorts in the USA are now grading some of the steepest runs are Triple diamond! The Ski Run photo’d above is Corbet's Couloir in Jackson Hole and is regarded as one of the most difficult runs in the World. Not all ski resorts in the USA have Double Diamond runs fewer still have triple Diamond runs.
Another difference in the USA is the method used to measure the pistes. In the USA they refer to how many acres of skiing are available, which when you are used to measuring piste length by how many KM of pistes are available, even the USA’s biggest ski resorts are only about 30% of the skiing that’s available in the Three Valleys in Europe.
Lift queues are never a problem except on the Spring Break weekend and Presidents day. In the USA the piste groomers are masters of their game. If you like your piste groomed to a corduroy stripe you are going to love skiing in the USA. This doesn’t mean you don’t get moguls, far from it! The Yanks love their bumps, in fact it’s common for wider pistes to have one side with moguls and the other flat.