Meh. That is the general consensus on the snow season that wasn’t in Australia. But enough mulling over that one, we have snow on the ground north of the equator and ski and snowboard trips to plan.
The future is now looking snow white bright. Colorado resorts Telluride Mountain Resort, Aspen, Breckenridge, Silverton and Arapahoe Basin have all posted pre-season snowfall images on Facebook this week that have us waxing our skis and boards in anticipation.
Now is the time to plan ahead for the northern winter to cash in on early bird deals and limited package deals. Lucky for you I've been doing some sourcing and have listed some of the best currently on offer. Some of these do have booking deadlines so get in early and as always, some conditions apply.
US and Canada
The Epic Season Pass remains the best value for lift pass money on the market. Hand over $US709 ($757) and ski 26 mountains in four countries including unlimited days at Vail, Tahoe and Utah in the US, and now five days in Verbier in Switzerland, Arlberg in Austria and Les Trois Vallees in France. After five days of skiing the pass has already paid for itself.
Storm chasers with time on their hands will enjoy The Mountain Collective pass for $US379. Holders of the pass get two days at Alta Snowbird in Utah, two days at Aspen Snowmass in Colorado, two days at Jackson Hole, two days at Mammoth in California, two days at Whistler Blackcomb in Canada and two days at Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows.
Always wanted to ski Jackson? Mogul Ski World have a week long family package to Jackson Hole from $2200 for a family of four with kids aged under 14 staying and skiing for free. Accommodation is in a two-bedroom condominium and includes six day lift passes for two adults and two children under 14. Must be taken between January 3 and February 13.
First time and intermediate skiers looking for something different away from the Australian masses may like Badger Pass in Yosemite in California. The mountain is small with only 10 runs dedicated to beginner and intermediate but the skiing is cheap. Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite offers a midweek stay ‘n play pass for $US50 per adult and $US30 per child including lift pass, rental, group lesson, ice skating, a valley floor tour and a tubing session.
Get extra ski days for nix with Travelplan Ski Holidays who have a "ski for 14 days, pay for eight days" deal at Aspen Snowmass and also at Steamboat Colorado. Plus "ski seven pay for five" and "ski 10 pay for seven’ at Revelstoke Canada and "ski 12 pay 10" at Telluride Colorado.
Breckenridge, Colorado celebrates a 23 per cent increase in skiable terrain this season with the opening of the Peak 6 bowl and terrain. Ski Max are offering 25 per cent off a stay of seven nights or longer at One Ski Hill Place, Rock Resort, Crystal Peak Lodge, Mountain Thunder Lodge and the Village if booked by November 15.
Mecca Travel Company specialise in Utah Ski holidays and has a great deal to Snowbird. Stay seven nights at the ski in ski out Cliff Lodge with seven day lift passes and return airport transfers to Salt Lake City for $1175 per person twin share.
First timers and those looking for something different can head to Mammoth Mountain's sister resort June Mountain in California, a great beginner and intermediate resort. Kids aged 12 years and under ski for free all season, as do Mammoth Mountain Pass holders.
Go early and beat the masses before Christmas. Fly direct from Sydney to Vancouver between December 1 and 23 to ski at Whistler Blackcomb with Snowcapped Tours from $972 per person including airport transfers, seven nights accommodation at Listel Whistler in a Standard Room and a six of seven day early bird lift ticket. Flights are not included. Book before November 15.
Mt Washington on Vancouver Island in British Columbia Canada regularly receives one of the highest snowfalls on record across Canada. Ski between December 6 and 19 this year from $US58 per person per day including accommodation in a two bedroom slopeside condominium. Conditions apply.
The Powder Highway of Canada is a bucket list destination for many. Join Mint Tours 14 day guided snowboard Powder Highway tour of Canada including Revelstoke, Kicking Horse, Panorama and Whitewater from $3099 per person including all ground transfers, accommodation, lift passes and guiding.
Fairmont Banff Springs is celebrating its 125th anniversary and offering a luxury ski package for the cashed up. The package starts from $US484 per person and includes accommodation at the Fairmont Banff Springs, parking for one vehicle, lift passes to Sunshine Village, Lake Louise and Norquay ski fields, shuttle transfers to the ski resorts, breakfast daily, access to the Willow Stream Spa relaxation areas and all gratuities.
Travel Associates are offering 20 per cent early bird discounts to Ski in Japan. Book before December 1 for seven nights at lux ski in ski out The Green Leaf Hotel Niseko in a Deluxe Room with a six day ski pass for $1655 per person traveling between January 13 and 30.
Travelscene American Express have a Hakuba and Tokyo combination package including airfares for $A2897 per person. The deal includes seven nights at Hakuba Springs Hotel and three nights at Shiba Park Hotel in Tokyo, return airfares from Sydney with Thai Airways, breakfast daily and a six day lift pass. Travel between March 1 and 31 and book before October 31.
Snowboarding girls will love Mint Tours eight night Mint Chicks snowboarding tour to Niseko for powder riding and freeride progression. The tour launches this year from $1899 per person.
Ski the Dolomites in Italy over Christmas for $1294 per person with Dolomites Ski Tours. Based on a four share in a two bedroom apartment in Campitello for seven nights including six day lift tickets and transfers.
Fancy a ski chalet in France, Switzerland or Austria? European Ski Chalet specialists, Powder White have a buy one get one free ski pass at chalets in Courchevel, Val D’Isere, Meribel, Verbier and St Anton. Valid for catered chalet holidays, conditions apply.
Nira Alpina hotel in Surlej in the St Moritz region of Switzerland has a special deal for Australians. Two people stay three nights in a twin or double room and receive breakfast daily, ski passes and ski/board rental for two people for three days, one massage each, one cheese fondue in the apres hut per person from $2306. Make sure you tell them you're an Aussie for this deal.
Will you be skiing north of the equator this year? What is your favourite or bucket list ski and snowboard destination and why?
There endeth another year of the Snow It All blog. Thanks for being part of our seventh year - your instagrams, feedback, comments and social media chatter continue to inspire me each year.
You can read more of my snow musings over the northern winter at miss-snowitall.com, where I will also be blogging from the Sochi Winter Olympics as Australia enters the world class competition with our highest medal hopes in Winter Olympic history.
Follow Snow It All on twitter @misssnowitall, instagram @misssnowitall, facebook facebook.com/misssnowitall and visit the wordpress blog miss-snowitall.com for more. Email me: firstname.lastname@example.org