Great uncrowded ski resorts: Red Mountain, Whitewater, Whitefish, Minakami, Alagna and High1

It may be easier to travel than ever before but it is harder to find those intrepid ski resorts that few people are yet to discover. Remember, Whistler was a hidden gem once.

"Undiscovered" is relative but there are still decent places to ski far from the madding crowds, where lift lines are non-existent and beer is poured by locals. You don't have to scrimp on terrain size either.

Try any of these on for size.

Red Mountain, BC Canada

There's an inner circle of elite skiers who would rather I didn't tell you about Red but they really have kept the mountain to themselves for too long now. Red Mountain isn't easy to get to but when you do you'll find 110 runs across three mountain peaks with 1085 skiable hectares of terrain plus 890 metres of vertical.

You won't get bored here: the terrain is varied enough to keep you on your toes, from groomers to tree runs to powder bowls and their legendary steeps. Need more? Aussie Kieren Gaul owns the local Big Red Cats cat skiing operation. Spend a day with him getting fresh powder tracks and thank us later.

Whitewater, Canada

If you made it all the way to Rossland to check out Red, you may as well take a quick trip to Whitewater, near Nelson, while you're there. Whitewater has cult status among powder seekers and an average of 12 metres of snowfall a season. The 480 hectares of terrain are divided into 10 per cent beginner, 32 per cent intermediate, 47 per cent advanced and 11 per cent expert. This is a mountain for those who know how to ski it. The Fresh Tracks on-mountain cafe is legendary in these parts so remember to both dine and take home a copy of its bestselling Whitewater Cooks coffee table recipe book.

Whitefish, Montana

Some of the best powder tree skiing in the US is found at Whitewater. The mountain sits above the town of Whitewater, deep in the heart of cowboy country. The 1200 hectares offer amazing amounts of bowl and tree skiing to keep your thighs burning for days. Of the terrain, 47 per cent is intermediate, 42 per cent advanced and 6 per cent for experts. There's even a giant Jesus statue on the top of the ski hill and the plate of nachos at the ski-in Hell Roaring Saloon is as big as the moose heads found in this region.

Minakami, Japan

Minakami is theoretically a town but it is a town that accesses nine resorts including Minakami Kogen and Minakami Houdaigi. Houdaigi is known for having the steepest run in this region and nearby Tanigawadake Tenjindaira (known as Tenjin) will give backcountry enthusiasts a thrill with steep chutes and open bowls and almost 17 metres of annual snowfall. Beware of avalanches and take a guide.

Alagna, Italy

This resort has it all. Groomers, off-piste, heli-skiing, ski touring, need I go on? Alagna is loved by free riders, who come here for the off-piste powder. The resort is in the Monte Rosa region and is connected within three valleys and six mountain resorts that together boast 180 kilometres of pistes. Expect Italian charm and those jaw-dropping European vistas that the Alps serve up so well.


High1, Korea

The world will know about skiing in Korea come the 2018 Peyong Chang Winter Olympics but before then you can schuss down the slopes of High1 four hours from Seoul and boast about it later. The peak of High1 is 1345 metres, the highest in the country and the runs are up to 1800 metres long. Don't expect the steeps and deeps of Europe and North America but do check out Kangwon Land Casino while you're there if you need more adrenalin rushes. The casino is the only one in Korea that allows both foreigners and Koreans to gamble together.


Entries in our Instagram competition have now closed. Check out all the best entries in the photo gallery at the top of the page. The finalists will be announced next week and the winner, thanks to Ski Max Holidays, will win a ski and snowboard trip to Whistler Blackcomb for two. Flying from Brisbane, Sydney or Melbourne to Vancouver, the winner will have two nights at the harbourside five-star Pan Pacific Hotel and take in the city's sights, including the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park and FlyOver Canada. Then spend five nights in luxury at the Westin Resort and Spa at Whistler Blackcomb with ski-lift passes for two for the week you're there.

Stay tuned next week for your opportunity to vote for the winner.

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