Lounge around any ski lodge come après time and listen in as guests tick off their ski or boarding memories across Colorado, Utah, Wyoming and north to Canada. It's as though their first name is Google and their last name is Maps.
Of course it is hard to imagine a time, pre savvy marketers, when Australians didn’t know about skiing in North America, Europe and now Japan. We've written about the most extreme and remote ski destinations before, but did you know you can ski in England, Tasmania and even Africa? Add Greece, Turkey, Lebanon, Pakistan and even Afghanistan ski resorts into the mix and you have the ultimate bucket list of "who knew" ski destinations.
Next time Mr GPS starts mouthing off at the lodge dining table, try throwing these seven destinations into the banter.
The Pennines won’t ever be the Pyrenees but they are the closest that England has to the Alps, sans fondue. Yad Moss ski hill near Alston has a ski tow with the longest single button lift in England and a six hundred fifty metre undulating groomed slope. On a good year you will need to take a shovel to clear your path, on a bad year it skis like frozen grass.
Never let snow get in the way of a ski resort. Ireland’s dry slope skiing centre south of Dublin is aptly titled the Ski Club of Ireland and offers desperate skiers and boarders three slopes covered in an artificial surface that mimics the feel of snow. Theoretically you could ski in jeans here, like a Texan. Expect a hundred and fifty metres of ‘piste’ accessed by travelator lifts.
Scotland’s ski resorts can be hit or miss depending on the conditions, but the same can be said of even the world’s best resorts. Cairngorn Mountain is the most popular with over thirty kilometres of ski runs, a day base lodge and a snowboard park. The resort is accessed by a two kilometre funicular. Kilt jokes apply.
Across 'the other ditch' you'll find Ben Lomond Ski Field Area, commonly referred to as 'The Ben'. Expect an Alpine Village in the Ben Lomond National Park with a handful of t-bars and four poma lifts plus a community funded terrain park and a passionate snow community. Interpret that last phrase how you like.
Join the five million (and counting) skiers in China at any of the country’s seventy-odd ski resorts. Try the oldest ski resort in China, Yabuli Sun Mountain Resort, twelve hundred kilometres north of Beijing and first opened in 1957. $100 million has been invested in recent times to upgrade gondolas, chairlifts and accommodation so you don't go cold or hungry.
Expect a mix of natural and man made snow at Tiffindell Ski Resort in the Eastern Cape Highlands of South Africa. The resort is 2720 metres above sea level, ski runs are groomed and the longest run is 1.3 kilometres, plus there’s a terrain park and base day lodge. Skiing in Africa is worth double boasting points.
Visit Tehran in winter and salivate over the Alborz mountain range that dominates the horizon. These snow-laden peaks of over three thousand metres serve up some seriously good powder. Try Dizin resort for three gondolas and twelve chairlifts and mocktails at après. We don't recommend bringing a hip flask.
The chairlift at the rustic Oukaimeden ski resort in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco rises to 3258 metres, has five official runs and a base village at 2600 metres. There’s even heli skiing in the region for those who are cashed up and daring.
Have you skiied or snowboarded at any of these destinations? Where is the most obscure place you have made turns in the snow? What other destinations should we add to the list? Post a comment on the blog below.
INSTAGRAM2WIN Skullcandy and an EPIC SEASON PASS
Tag your instagram #misssnowitall and share the snow love. We'll publish our favourites each week right here and our guest judge will choose a winner that will go into the final gallery at the end of the season when you get to choose the winner.
Each week's winner receives a Skullcandy Hesh 2.0 set of headphones (RRP$99.95) in a variety of colours and goes into the finalists gallery at the end of the season for readers to vote on who wins.
The final winner scores Skullcandy Mix Master Headphones (RRP$379.95) and an Epic Pass season pass valid at 18 mountains in the USA and Europe including Vail in Colorado, Heavenly in Lake Tahoe and Canyons in Utah, home to Skullcandy HQ (RRP US$689).
Check out the gallery at the top of this page for this week's top five finalists. You can also view all instagram entries here.
THIS WEEK'S WINNER
We asked veteran snow photographer, Steve Cuff, from Skitracks.com.au, to judge the five instagram finalists from this past week.
"@walker_events image of the frost is stunning, it's a no brainer"
Congrats @walker_events you've won this week's Skullcandy Hesh 2.0 headphones and will be in the final gallery at the end of the season.
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