We asked the bigwigs of the ski industry to share their all-time favourite ski areas
Mike Jardine, Snowsport Industries Of Great Britain – Nevis Range, Scotland
When it’s got the right cover it’s as good as anywhere in the Alps. The back corries have huge variety, providing the best lift-served backcountry skiing in Scotland: steep, narrow gullies, open snow fields, very few people and spectacular scenery. Since 2010, Scottish winters seem to have got better, with impressive snow cover above 500-600m. Of course, there’s the odd day with cloud, wind and rain, but that’s all part of the very special Scottish experience!
Rob Glenister, Armada skis, UK Director – Morzine, France
It caters for all levels of skier with great pisted and off-piste runs both through the forest and well above the tree-line. It also has a great network of lifts – so not much hiking required to reach the off-piste goods. Nothing better than looking back up the mountain after riding down in the fresh snow and saying to yourself: “I lay down those lines”.
Good lift system: Tick! |Morzine/Matthieu Vitré
Mark Brigham, Ellis Brigham, Marketing Director – Steamboat Springs, USA
Having spent a season there and a few trips with work I’ve got fond memories from skiing there, and know the mountain well. The pistes are always well groomed, the people friendly, the snow is the stuff of legend with its ‘champagne powder’ and there is a good amount of easy-access backcountry as well as some fantastic side country.
Matt Humphreys, Head UK, Winter Sports Manager – Courchevel 1850, France
It’s where I spent my one glorious season. I was there before the Russians took over, and before it became turbo posh.
Lesley Beck, Snowsport Industries Of Great Britain – Gressoney, Italy
It gives access to really BIG mountains (over 4000m) and it has lots of accessible off-piste and backcountry terrain. You can skin into entire different valleys from the lifts and experience descents in splendid isolation, then make your way back to civilisation for a beer/prosecco. It feels like a big mountain environment rather than a ski area.
Lee Hardy, Scott Sports, Northern Sales Manager – Puy Saint Vincent, France
It’s a great little resort that does not get too much traffic and is compact yet super varied – a sort of ‘mini Chamonix’ feel, with the Ecrins National Park looming down over you. And if you are willing to put in the extra effort, there are a ton of backcountry and touring options, from mellow tree-lined plods to 40°+ couloirs. If you are looking for bars and night clubs, then this is probably not the resort for you. But if you are after a big mountain feel, then it is perfect.
Tord Nilson, Atomic, Freelance PR Manager – Heavenly, USA
It is an awesome place with a huge amount of off-piste, beautifully manicured runs and the views over Lake Tahoe are just incredible. Besides, who wouldn’t want to do après-ski in a casino?!
Views of Lake Tahoe and gambling for après-ski in Heavenly |Rachid Dahnoun / Vail Resorts
Paul Griffiths, Salomon, UK Brand Manager – Tignes, France
The vast expanse of accessible terrain is second to none and I’ve experienced some of the best days of my life there. I also enjoy bumping into old ski bum friends who have made Tignes their home and, in particular, the boys at the Loop Bar in Tignes Le Lac (Morgan, you’ll always be my boot b*tch!). More recently, as a father, despite its distance from the airport, Tignes is an excellent place to take kids.
Scott Dobson, Dynastar & Lange, commercial agent – Val d’Isère, France
The variety of runs is excellent. I am a piste guy, very much from a race background, and I really enjoy just having a cruise on open, well-prepared pistes. But when I hit the soft stuff here, I get a big smile too.