10 Reasons to Ski in North America
With summer coming to an end and the festive seasons just around the corner, many British holidaymakers jet off to Europe to hit the slopes. While the Alps offer incredible skiing with breath-taking panoramic views and amazing après ski, why not embrace icy winds and snowfall further afield by booking a ski holiday across the pond?
Skiing in North America is a long flight away and a huge holiday investment, thus begs the question- does the contrast between the two continents make it worth the trip?
Here are tripsology’s top 10 reasons why you should consider donning those snow boots and embracing all that North America has to offer.
Snow at some resorts in Europe can be sporadic, with a respectable snowfall mostly down to luck. North America experiences a heavy snowfall with states such as Washington and Utah often surpassing 13 meters of snow per season! Whilst the snow quality between the two continents is at constant debate when there is a big dump of snow, the European tendency to groom slopes means it’s easier to ‘shred some pow’ in North America.
Additionally, North America is far more prepared for snowy weather, with rental cars often having the correct equipment and everything usually staying open, including the shuttle buses! However, this increased snowfall doesn’t necessarily mean baltic temperatures- states such as Colorado boast over 300 days of sunshine per year which lends itself to plenty of great Instagram photos!
Exploring off-piste in Europe is a guaranteed way to nullify your insurance, so skiers and snowboarders tend to stick to labelled slopes. On the other hand, in North America everything within the ski area is considered ‘in bounds’. This not only enables the capacity to explore your heart’s content but also means there is no need to don avalanche equipment as the ski patrol to ensure the entire area is avalanche safe; it also means you can pursue some of that sweet champagne powder!
More Runs for Beginners
With the runs being a lot quieter, the USA and Canada are more apt to deal with novice and beginner skiers. The pistes are often wider and with a variety of runs as well as great classes offered in resort ski schools, novice skiers can experience a lot more freedom without worrying about getting in the way of more experienced skiers. Additionally, despite North America as a continent taking great pride in its multi-cultural heritage, you are still pretty much guaranteed to get an English-speaking ski instructor.
Epic Non-Skiing Options
Due to the sheer size, a lot of North American ski resorts offer a wide variety of snow sports and activities. From dog-sledding to snowmobiling there are a wide array of activities to keep you entertained if you don’t feel like hitting the slopes.
Increased Travel Opportunities
Travelling further afield provides the perfect excuse for a multi-stop journey. The location of many ski resorts provides a perfect opportunity to pair your snowy escape with a nearby city, town or other outdoor activities!
Skiing is a hardcore culture in North America, with lift passes being expensive, locals use every inch of skiable time out of the lift pass, meaning that most people are out on the slopes by 8am. Additionally, in Europe the weekends are usually quiet due to transfer days however many North American locals hit the slopes after the working week so across the pond the weekends are usually a lot busier.
While skiing has an elitist undercurrent in Europe, mainly because people have to travel big distances to get to the mountains, ski resorts in North America welcome all demographics. Everyone just wants to ‘shred the gnar dude’!
Value for Money
Despite the flights being more expensive, the favourable exchange rate ensures that accommodation, food and petrol are usually cheaper in North America. Ski resorts in Europe are notoriously expensive with meals out eating into your budget considerably yet this is not the case in North America as dining out is a lot cheaper.
As well as being cheaper there is more variety in the cuisine offered at North American ski resorts. From sushi to burgers, the broad cuisine choice means you can have different meals every day!
Lunch is generally had at 12pm so to avoid queues eating into your ski time try to eat earlier or later!
The Canadians and Americans are miles ahead in both organisation and service. The lift queues are more effectively managed (and generally quicker) as well as staff members regularly monitoring speeds and confiscate passes of reckless skiers and snowboarders to ensure safety. Additionally, the tip culture ensures outstanding customer service, resulting in a far more friendly user experience than found in its European counterpart.
Snow much choice!
America has more ski resorts than anywhere else in the world, from the champagne powder of Colorado to the 12m+ of snowfall in Utah there is so much choice on where to hit the slopes meaning that each trip you can have offers a totally different experience!
However, whether you’re an avid skier or a beginner, its snow doubt that the sheer size of the country can make researching where to ski overwhelming; so stay tuned with this series to get the 411 on ‘shredding some pow’ in the USA and Canada, one region at a time…