Where to in the northern hemisphere?? Aspen, Whistler... - Snowboarding Forum - Snowboard Enthusiast Forums
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Old 07-24-2010, 11:20 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Where to in the northern hemisphere?? Aspen, Whistler...

Hey guys/girls,

planning my next snowboarding trip for the coming northern hemisphere winter & need some suggestions Im looking for a location with nice dry powder, wide trails, maybe some off piste trails and also park for beginners. Oh and its gotta be a mountain with plenty of places to go to when the sun goes down, hopefully with plenty of friendly locals & tourists, more so of the femme variety as this time ill be travelling with one of da boyz

ATM pretty much anywhere in the northen hemisphere will be considered. Ive been reading thru a no. of threads here and so far Aspen & Whistler has caught my attention.

Aspen - plenty of dry powder, fantastic nightlife, even heard about spring break parties there during March and if its anything close to the spring break parties ive been to in Cancun, im there, hehehe... Cons: Passes & accom is expensive & not on the mountain

Whistler - good snow but dry powder can be hit & miss, accom. is right on the mountain, nightlife is fantastic but resort & accom on mountain can be expensive

Im from Oz & ive been to a no. of different places around the world chasing the white stuff - Falls Creek in Oz, Queenstown in NZ, Niseko in Japan, Switzerland, Canada. So far Niseko's my no. 1 with the best powder ive been on & mountain was never that busy during the weekdays, only thing i found was missing in the town was a good nightlife.

Ive actually been to Whistler & Banff but it was 10yrs ago & the memory's pretty vague now & i was only just learning to board at the time but i did remember Whistler Village to be very beautiful. Also spent sum time in Vancouver & met some really nice ppl there with one of the girls keeping in contact with me after i left & when she finally travelled down under, i put her up with free accom & food at mine & showed her round the place. Just thought id share that story.

Planning for around a 2 week trip there, maybe around March 2011 or whenever the best time is to go. Throw some ideas at us guys, we're looking for a trip of a lifetime. Cheers!!
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Old 07-24-2010, 11:32 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Maybe I'm jaded but I def want to explore more mountains outside of Colorado. So I def recommend you to hit Whistler if money is no object.

Personally I think some of the best riding is at Jackson Hole but the night life isn't going to compete with Whistler or even Aspen.
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Old 07-24-2010, 01:11 PM   #3 (permalink)
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If you don't mind europe you should check out mayrhoffen, zillertal area, Laax, Films, st anton, ... The state of the powder is a hit or miss but i've had about 12 waist deep days and ive only been in the alps for 8 even if there's no powder there are enough parks around =P. If you're going to austria and have a car avaible i reccomend to stay in insbruck theres loads of nightlife there and +- 1 hour away from some epic resorts and there are a lot of resort wich you can reach in less than 15 minutes. And btw i don't think you'll find dry powder in whistler its known to have wet powder

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Old 07-25-2010, 04:05 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Well i wouldnt say that money is no object but if the best spot is in a more expensive area i will save hard to make this trip happen. I just watched Warren Miller's Impact on the tele this morning, a ski/boarding documentary, some insane champagne powder in the US, cant remember which resort tho.

Zandax, i dont know much about boarding in Europe, alot of talk on this forum is about resorts in the US & Canada. Where are all these spots u mentioned? Can u narrow them down to a couple of the best for dry powder & nightlife? Also is it expensive to ski there?
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Old 07-25-2010, 02:11 PM   #5 (permalink)
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The most spots in mentioned like st anton, zillertal, mayrhoffen are all in austria. Films and laax are in Switzerland. The thing about european resorts is that the most of them are not realy resorts it are just villages wich existed way before the skilifts came there. So not everything in the villages is made for tourists this has it charms but also his downsides like in the smaller places you don't have the real clubs, but there will always be a nice pub around.

Also unlike the US and Canada the resorts often (like 95% of them) are part of a huge linked area (like ski amadé wich has around 900 km avaible with the same pass) wich often means that 1 resort will have an epic park but limmited offpiste/pistes and another one will focus on the pistes/offpiste but will have a smaller park. These areas are or linked with a lift system or with a skibus wich is free. For powder i would recommend chamonix wich gets about 9-10 and often hosts freeride competitions, or damuls wich also has 9-10 meter of annual snow but limmited nightlife. Altough because of the shared passes you would probably be able to find a mountain wich has powder.

As for nightlife just go around the local town and try to find a good bar / disco, be ready to learn some german songs in austria. Just stay in the largest village of the linked area and you will be fine. If you don't mind the powder (wich you do but anyway) you could check out snowbombing wich is a huge festival in mayrhofen each year in the beginning of april it's 4 days with crazy partys and concerts (the editors, crookers, subfocus, ...)

Budget wise just go to the local spar/shop and buy yourself some bread and spaghetti and some prepacked food for on the piste i wouldnt recommend eating on there if you don't wanna loose money/ alot of time. As for the bars they are expensive but just drink some beer before you go somewhere (atleast if you wanna get wasted)

edit: i forgot to mention st anton wich has great nightlife and +- 7 meter of annual snowfal and i've heard that serre chevalier in france is also a nice resort but i haven't been there yet. Another option would be touring the lyngen alps in north norway (thus march/april) but there are only 3 lifts around there but the snowfall/freeriding is epic if youre into touring, + tromso wich is the city clos to these mountains is a university city with a load of bars, ... . I haven't been to Swiss yet because i heard it's pricey so i don't have any information about it.

Last edited by Zandax; 07-25-2010 at 02:18 PM.
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Old 11-10-2010, 10:46 AM   #6 (permalink)
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if you're thining of europe, do some more research on St Anton in Austria. It one of the most amazing places I've ever been, for both snowboarding and nightlife. We did a european Alps boys trip Feb/March 2010, and it was epic! So yeah, St Anton Austria, you CANNOT go wrong!
Also, Zermatt in Switzerland was wicked, but a bit more on the pricier side. Unbelievable nightlife too, the talent there was eye opening!!!

Im from Perth man, so I understand how difficult it is to save and travel, especially as a student!!!
On another note, how was Niseko? I've been to Hakuba, and that place was off the charts crazy! Never had so much fresh off-piste snow to myself before! The Japanese like to keep to the groomers, thats why boarding there as a foreigner is epic. I think i might go back there, or Niseko, undecided at the moment.

Last edited by saudade101; 11-10-2010 at 10:48 AM.
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Old 11-10-2010, 07:38 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Yea i have heard that St Anton was awsum for boarding but person that told me didnt rave on bout the nitelife... hmmm... Anyway, looks like my trip for the coming winters off now due to a change in financial situations Oh well, it'll give me more time to research & save for winter after. Ive been lookin into France - Tignes & Val D'Isere has had sum good reviews. Im also still quite keen on Canada, maybe the rockies area for the powder.

Niseko was sick hey, and pretty much as u said for Habuka, plenty of off-piste to urself. Ive made runs where there was not a single person in sight!! And being right on the mountain it was ski in & out to our accom in 5mins.

Btw... im frm Perth too, small world!! Wish it'd snow here...
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Old 11-18-2010, 10:53 AM   #8 (permalink)
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If you're coming to Canada, Whistler will tick all the boxes for nightlife and park but local riders know that for REAL champagne powder, you have to go to the interior to places like Big White, Fernie, Revelstoke, Kicking Horse. Less busy compared to Whistler, where lift queues can be long; only problem is that the nightlife cannot compete with Whistler.

If you're willing to hire a car and drive a bit. You could stay in the town of Nelson (the Spirit Bar has some good DJ nights) and ride Red and Whitewater, the latter mountain is decent but a small locals hill really. Red is where it's at for awesome terrain, park and pow!

Sounds like you're not heading out for a while but when you do, you should check out Powder Rangers 2010-2011 | Tailor-made Ski Snowboard Holidays Canada | Canada Ski Vacations. They're a boarder owned-and-managed ski tour op. We booked for Whistler and they hooked us up with a sweet deal; gonna book a trip to KH with them later this season too.
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Old 11-18-2010, 12:32 PM   #9 (permalink)
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If you want the super dry stuff in March you need to stay away from the coast. I think even at the best of times Whistler never gets Champagne Powder.

I would look at Banff for that time of year. From mid March to Mid April you are almost guranteed loads of the dry stuff. There is plenty of night life here as well. Plus you have Kicking Horse which is an easy day trip. If you have the cash you could do a bit of an Alberta/Eastern BC circle trip. Fly into and out of Calgary, head to Fernie first, then Revelstoke, and do Kicking Horse on the way to Banff.

**I'm from Banff so I am biased but this time of year is when we are at our best!
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Old 11-18-2010, 08:19 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Hey mojo, I'm a Perth guy too.

Been to Niseko 7 times and Whistler and St Anton twice each. I have loved each and every one of my trips (hence the repeat journeys).

I would recommend going to St Anton if you can as you get everything there, a different but super fun culture (my first Red Bull and Jager was here about 15 years ago), great people from throughout Europe (including some very nice ladies), great nightlife and great terrain and (usually) snow.

If you are after pure powder shots however go Niseko, the snow is out of control there and the nightlife is slowly getting better (I first went when the best you could hope for was takeaway beer from the Seicomart to have in the Pension common room, or on your tatami mat...also salty fish for breakfast was considered "western style" continental breakfast). I now find it a bit too "Aussfied" are there are just thousands of us there. That said I will still go back. Also hit up Rusutsu for a bit of crazy tree fun.

Whistler was brilliant but I am not entirely sure I will go back again - everyone should go there at least once though.
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