As the temperatures soar in Australia, it’s reassuring to know that other places around the world are cooling down – right down! Whether you’re a beginner skier, a thrill-seeking snowboarder or simply a hot tub enthusiast, there are endless snowy mountains and resorts you can flee to.
But with so much to choose from, booking your next adventure might seem overwhelming. Better to just turn on the air-con and watch Frozen on DVD, right?
Snow way! Pack your Patagonia because we’ve found five unique ski resorts that will suit any kind of snow-lover, and help you escape the blistering Brisbane heat.
Niseko is a must-visit for the snow enthusiast who loves a bit of culture. It may have been a hidden gem for many years but more than 15 metres of annual snowfall and plenty of fresh tracks for everyone has made Niseko Japan’s number one ski resort.
While you’re there, experience life like a local and warm up your insides with some Umeshu (plum wine) or visit a traditional onsen (my pick: Onsen Yukoro in Lower Hirafu Village). But be warned: no clothes allowed at an onsen, so keep the giggling down, would you!?
Mt Baker is renowned for consistently bringing the pow pow. Averaging the world’s biggest annual snowfall at 641 inches, this is most certainly a playground for the powder hounds amongst us (and really, if you don’t like powder days, what are you even doing here?).
Based in Northern Washington, Mt Baker is in a relatively coastal location and, due to the lower elevation, doesn’t always see the same fluffy snow quality as other mountains. BUT if you just want snow, and lots of it, Mt Baker offers regular dumps of pow and an incredible backcountry ripe for exploring. Pack your avalanche kit and get going!
The name of this little-known ski resort in the French Alps says it all. La Grave (the grave) is a wild and unpisted mountain only for the VERY advanced adventurer. With just one serious lift, La Grave’s vertical drops total 2150 metres and without any groomed runs, taking a guide is mandatory.
Gaining a cult-like status with experts, this is one mountain you need to visit if you’re looking to take your adventure to the next level. However, if you’re after a relaxing holiday for the whole family, best to stick to something a little more kid-friendly.
FOR THE FAMILY/BEGINNGER
BIG WHITE, CANADA
SEASON RUNS: NOV 24, 2016 – APR 17, 2017 (DATES TENTATIVE)
Also lovingly referred to by some as “Flat White”, this family-friendly ski resort is the perfect destination for riders of all abilities with its long, laidback runs perfect for learning, and valleys of tight trees and cliff runs for the more experienced.
Drop the kids off at the ski school, located right in the centre of the village, and feel comfortable know they’re in capable hands while you hit the slopes. Fireworks every Saturday night, an ice-skating rink, and regular games nights – Big White Ski Resort has something for everyone.
FOR THE PARK RAT
If you consider yourself a bit of a park rat and love to push the boundaries, hit big jumps and jib off epic rails, then Laax Snow Park is the place for you. Boasting an incredible 200-metre long, 6.9-metre superpipe, a P60 run plus your classic straight-cut kicker walls and rails, there’s no wonder Laax hosts some of the most elite events in snowsports, including the Burton European Open. Channel your inner Travis Rice and set off to Switzerland for an epic travel and snow experience!