Nov 26 | Posted by Barry Cohen

Winter is just around the corner, and before we know it our landscape will be white. For some, this sets off the alarm to plan a hot and sunny getaway from the white stuff, but to others it signals the start of the much anticipated ski season.  There are a lot of die-hard ski fanatics around the GTA who can’t wait to get out on the slopes; in fact, they plan their holidays around ski destinations.  If this sounds like you, we have put together a short list of the Top Winter Ski Destinations for 2016 to help you decide where to spend your holidays.

If you can only swing a week or a long weekend these resorts will satisfy your thirst for adventure on the slopes and will also be easy on your wallet.

Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Refers to itself as “the place where serious skiers go to play” and is best known for its high number of powder days.  The brand new Teton lift accesses 200 acres of gladed terrain that was previously only reachable by a lengthy hike.  The tram will take you up 10,450 feet to the top of Rendezvous Peak.

Sugarloaf, Maine

Always on the top 10 list and a quintessential favourite among hard-core Canadian skiers.  It is the largest ski area on the east coast boasting 1230 acres.  In 2014, the summit of Burnt Mountain was opened offering 1200 vertical feet of rugged hike-to terrain, not for the faint of heart.

Squaw Valley, California

Located an hour from Reno Nevada, this resort is best known for its speedy KT-22 lift, and its upgraded Siberia express six person lift which will have you straight-lining chutes in the Palisades faster than ever.  The resort also offers a free shuttle to whisk you to Alpine Meadows, famous for its hike-to side bowls.

Crested Butte, Colorado

Out of the way from the cluster of more famous resorts in the area, this spot just expanded to open Teo2, a 50-acre back bowl, but that is just phase one of the proposed 500-acre expansion that will include two additional lifts.  Advanced level skiers will enjoy the challenge of the precipitous chutes off the North Face.

If you have a bit more time, and money, and are looking for a destination ski holiday, these 4 top the list for 2016.  

Niseko, Japan

When we think of Japan many of us don’t think skiing, however Niseko, on the northern island of Hokkaido is gaining the reputation as the new powder paradise. There are four over-lapping areas on the mountain and you won’t want to miss the 4,291 foot Mount Annupuri. On site resorts Ki Niseko and Grand Hirafu offer views of the Mount Yotei volcano.  After a day on the slopes, soothe tired muscles in the “onsen” a traditional hot-spring-fed mineral bath complete with saunas and cold pools.

Whistler, British Columbia

It’s always great to see Whistler on the list of Top Global Ski Destinations List. Totaling 8,100 acres and offering 5,000 vertical feet from top to bottom, no other ski area in the world offers such a potent combination of quality terrain and bustling nightlife.  

Verbier, Switzerland

The Alps are unsurpassed for extraordinary lines and enticing mountain culture. From the main Medran lift, you can string together lifts and cable cars to take you to the top of the 10,925 Mont Fort.  As Europeans tend to ski mainly on the graded slopes, it is easy to access fresh untracked snow and powder if you are so inclined.

Aspen, Colorado

A perennial favourite with skiers from around the world, you can ski 3,200 foot slopes and with four mountains to choose from you need never ski the same run twice throughout your vacation.

Ah yes, ski season is coming and it’s not too soon to plan your vacation and make your reservations for 2016. See you on the slopes.