The Best of the Best: Skiing

January signals the start of the winter doldrums for many people. But if you’re a skier or snowboarder, there’s no such thing as the post-holiday blues. It’s time to hit the slopes! We’ve compiled a Best of the Best-of Lists for those who thrive in the winter:

Top North American Ski Resort  – Forbes
Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Forbes uses an algorithm that considers more than 30 categories of data, then assigns a Pure Awesome Factor (PAF). Jackson Hole earned a PAF of 99. Enough said.

Best Ski Resort in Europe – Condé Nast Readers’ Choice
Lech Zürs am Alberg, Austria
The quaint villages of Lech and Zürs are located in the western sliver of Austria near Liechtenstein and Switzerland. Formerly small farming villages, they are now home to five-star hotels and some of the best skiing in the world.

Best Snowboarding Resort in the World –
Whistler/Blackcomb, Canada
Whistler has 37 lifts that whisk boarders to 8,000 acres of terrain, backcountry access, bowls, steeps, trees, five terrain parks, a superpipe and a boardercross track. Plus, it’s close to beautiful Vancouver.

Top North American Ski Resort to Learn to Ski
Aspen Snowmass, Colorado
This resort offers excellent ski and snowboard instruction for all ages, and one lift ticket gets you access to four ski areas—Snowmass, Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands and Buttermilk—with terrain ranging from novice to expert. With more than 300 days of sunshine per year and fluffy powder, if you fall, you’ll have a soft place to land and a beautiful sky to look at while you lay on your back.

Best Secret Ski Town of North America
– National Geographic
McCall, Idaho
Located in the west-central part of the state, McCall sits on the southern shore of a lake and abuts a National Forest. Though it can be a challenge to reach—you’ll either need to drive the 100 miles north from Boise or charter a plane—great skiing and an annual winter carnival make it a draw for those who prefer to travel a bit off the beaten path.

#1 Best Place to Heliski
– The Telegraph
Riksgränsen, Sweden
With a name that translates to “The National Border,” Riksgränsen is 200 kilometers north of the Arctic Circle; the local heliski guide operates under the midnight sun into the end of May. You might also spot some snazzy, new European cars—several manufacturers do their winter testing of pre-production models in the area.

World’s Best Ski Chalet
– World Ski Awards
Bighorn at Revelstoke, British Columbia
A 5-star chalet that includes a house helipad, luxe furnishings, an in-house theater and spa, and a private chef, among other amenities, you can heliski, Snowcat ski or lift ski from Bighorn at Revelstoke. The facility is available to rent for a week at a time and can accommodate up to 16 guests.

World’s Best Ski Towns
– Travel + Leisure
Park City, UT
Some ski towns are located a distance from the hill. Not so in Park City, a walkable town that even boasts a ski-in distillery—High West Distillery & Saloon. It’s also got the only certified kosher restaurant at a U.S. ski resort.

National Sports Center for the Disabled
Winter Park, Colorado

More and more resorts are creating adaptive ski programs for individuals with mobility, vision and other impairments, such as autism. The National Sports Center for the Disabled is one of the largest in the world, offering winter options like alpine skiing, snowboarding, cross-country skiing, Nordic hut trips, snowshoeing and ski racing.

Book your vacations now—prime times like Spring Break are already sold out at many locations.  Based in Colorado, we at Kelly Klee have a soft spot for winter sports. Maybe we’ll see you at the après ski!

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