IT’S a favourite debate among snow nuts – which continent lays claim to the best skiing? When you’ve got the multi-valley likes of Val D’Isere and Verbier up against Rocky Mountain resorts such as Aspen, Steamboat and Vail; Whistler inCanada, Snowbird in Utah and Lake Tahoe in the Sierra Nevada range, it comes down to an argument of style and preference, not quality. Alpine skiing is perhaps less family friendly than the sweeping mountain bowls of north America, which cater beautifully to intermediates as well as beginners and the super advanced. For daredevils, France, Italy and Switzerland offer the best vertical runs and most beautiful stark snowfield vistas in the world.
As for apres-ski, the ritzy resorts of Europe attract a more international crowd of playboys and girls and it’s more Laurent Perrier than Budweiser. The US is more laid back, a bottle or two of Corona and some live music as wind-down after the day out. Here are six enduring classics of the ski season – each a world class resort.