Colorado is a mecca for winter sports only if you know where and when to go. If you're arranging an adventurous trip in, say, Summit County, you must prioritize skiing. If, however, you're getting cold feet while planning a ski trip in Colorado, trust this write-up to be your bible. Now, without ado, let's get started.
The 3 steps
Decide your companions on the trip and its length
For making any trip pleasurable, you'd require the company of great comrades and/or family members. Afterward, you'd require setting up the length of the trip too; a trip's duration will get directly influenced by your travel budget. So if you've chalked out your travel budget, you'll get a handle on the number of days and nights that you're willing to spend in the mountains.
Save the dates of yours and of all those who're accompanying you
As an ideal itinerary planner, you shouldn't be lackadaisical in deciding which days (and dates) of the ski season will suit you and everyone. The best months to ski in Colorado start from mid-October to the first week of July, so ask everyone the month and the dates that suit them the most.
Decide the ski resort where you and all the fellow traversers would like to ski and revel
First things first, choose the size of the ski resort that you wish to go to; whether it'd be a huge one or a smaller one. (Actually, that, too, would depend on your budget.) If you're having a lavish budget, we'd advise you to select a resort enjoying Copper Mountain's excellent stature. (For example, if you happen to choose Copper Mountain, we'd advise you to book a seat in a Copper Mountain shuttle in advance; because you shouldn't leave anything to chance.) And if you're planning on a shoestring, go for a small-sized resort such as Ski Cooper.
Are there any other points that need to be remembered before selecting a ski resort?
Yes, there are two of the most important points.
Your budget: You've to choose only those resorts that fit your budget. If there are any beginners, it's better to choose a resort that give ski training sessions. (However, such resorts are costlier than the normal ones, so choose accordingly.)
Know the resort's vertical drop: For those of you who are unaware of the term "vertical drop," it's the distance for which your skis will run. Many ski resorts post the vertical drop on their website.
So by following these three tips and by remembering the two points (to select ski resorts), you'll be able to plan a great ski vacation. Ski happily and safely, Skier.
During the summer months, Arinsal attracts bikers and hikers who visit to enjoy the spectacular mountain vistas but when winter arrives, the area is transformed into a busy skiing and snowboarding resort. If you're a first-time skier, Arinsal has gentle nursery slopes which are perfect for beginners.
Lift passes for Arinsal start at just €36.00 per day for adults and €29.00 per day for children. Alternatively, as Arinsal is part of the Vallnord ski area, you can buy a full area pass that covers three resorts. Prices for these start at just €76.00 for two days for adults and €59.00 for two days for children.
Located right in the middle of the Alps and dotted with some of the world's most iconic mountains, Switzerland is a paradise for skiers. Nendaz Ski Resort caters to skiers and boarders of all ages and also offers easy access to the 4 Valleys ski area at friendly prices.
Nendaz is a family friendly holiday resort with nursery slopes, a moving carpet for beginners and walkers to help them find their feet, and a freestyle park to practice your moves as well as swimming pools and treasure hunts - this is an ideal resort for skiers of all ages.
France has a whole host of high-altitude resorts. With 8000km of pistes spread over 300 resorts and some of the best and biggest names in world skiing. However, quite often, with big names come big price tags. That isn't the case with Avoriaz. Ideally located in the middle of the Portes du Soleil ski area, Avoriaz offers access to high-altitude skiing among some of the most stunning vistas in the Alps.
With 38km of cross country ski trails spread over eight loops, there is plenty of room for you to spread your skis.
Soll has long been a popular skiing destination for British beginners and intermediates attracting skiers of all ages looking for different types of fun. The village of Soll might be small, and there may be a trek to the slopes, but a break in Soll is worth it. Soll is a pleasant, friendly village with chalet-style buildings.
As Soll is part of the SkiWelt, Austria's largest linked ski and snowboard area, there are plenty of opportunities to get out on the slopes. While the slopes of Soll can get a little crowded, it is cheap - even by Austrian standards!
If a trip to a ski lodge is in your near future, it's time to begin thinking through what you'll need to pack. Many first-time and novice skiers wonder what to pack for their ski vacations. And, the packing list might require a trip to an outdoor sports supply store. In extreme temperatures, your primary goal is to stay warm, dry and safe. And, since you will be exerting lots of energy, you'll want to stay hydrated and keep your energy levels up.
Headed to a ski lodge? Here's your shopping list:
1. Waterproof clothing. First things first, you're headed to a ski lodge and temperatures are likely colder than you expect. In addition to the typical items you might think of, such as heavy sweaters, hats and gloves, you'll need to purchase items like wool-blend waterproof socks, waterproof ski jackets, gloves and pants to stay comfortable during long periods of activity on the slopes.
2. Ski socks. Ski socks are waterproof and will help keep your feet warm and dry. They also provide extra padding that you will be thankful for once you begin tackling the bumps and curves of the ski slope.
3. Neck gaiter. A neck gaiter is a tube worn around your neck that can also be pulled up over your mouth to protect you from the wind and cold while skiing or snowboarding. It may not be as fashionable as a scarf, but once you're exposed to the cold temperatures, you'll be glad you have it.
4. Long underwear. To stay warm, you'll want to dress in layers, including long johns, or long underwear.
5. Ski equipment. You'll need poles, boots and skis, but you can rent those items at your destination. You may, however, want to shop for ski goggles - which will come in handy should it begin to snow - and a helmet and pack those items for your trip.
6. Snacks. Don't forget, skiing is physically demanding! You'll want to keep your energy levels up by eating healthy snacks. Items like pretzels, fruit and grain bars, dried fruit and vegetables and nuts are great options to have on hand.
7. Hydration pack. It is important to stay hydrated while skiing and hydration packs are a great option if you're unlikely to take frequent water breaks. Hydration packs can be worn comfortably on your back and allow you to easily drink while active. Remember to refill them on your breaks!
8. Moisturizer. Winter conditions are cold and dry. Pack moisturizer for your face and body to keep your skin healthy and comfortable. You'll also want to purchase a lip balm with sunscreen to keep your lips properly moisturized and protected from the sun.
9. Sunscreen. The risk for overexposure to the sun's UV radiation is increased for skiers due to higher altitudes and UV rays reflected by the snow. To avoid increased risk of sun damage and skin cancer, sunscreen should always be used during outdoor activities, even skiing!
10. Hand warmers. Hand warmers are small, disposable packets that provide on-demand heat. They can be activated by air, a solution or battery-powered and range in staying power for anywhere from one to 10 hours.
As one of the largest ski areas in the world, the Three Valleys attracts a huge number of visitors over the festive period. If you're looking for a novel way to ring in Christmas and the New Year, consider one of the last minute ski holidays to the Three Valleys, where you can enjoy a wide range of festive activities.
Courchevel is a perfect place to celebrate Christmas. Throughout the day and evening of the 24th, you'll be able to watch festive parades and little ones can meet Father Christmas. There's also a carol concert outside the tourist office, and a Christmas mass you can attend. Plenty of the local restaurants have a special festive menu on Christmas Eve, so if you book a table you'll be able to treat yourself to a magnificent Christmas meal. Be aware that they may not frequently be heavily publicised in advance, so if in doubt, inquire over the phone as to whether they'll be offering a special Christmas menu.
While you're in Courchevel, don't miss the opportunity to attend one of the 'Chamallow' parties that run throughout the season, including a Boxing Day event. These festive parties have a great ambience and centre (as the name might suggest) on roasting marshmallows over a fire pit. They sometimes include local and visiting DJs spinning tunes.
Another great thing about Courchevel is that, unlike many resorts, the lifts and pistes do not close on Christmas Day. Last minute ski holidays are often restricted (due to ticket price and availability) to specific dates, but even if your holiday spans Christmas Day, you won't lose out on any of skiing at Courchevel.
The foodies may wish to consider a Christmas Eve or New Year's Eve dinner in Meribel. The high-end hotel and restaurant, Le Grand Coeur & Spa, offers a magnificent eight-course Christmas Eve meal, including truffles, traditional Savoyard cheeses, and top quality meats and seafood. On New Year's Eve, the restaurant offers another, similarly opulent, eight-course meal, including scallops, foie gras de canard, veal and macarons. Just because, by their nature, last minute ski holidays may be organised in a rush, it doesn't mean you don't deserve world-class cuisine! Call ahead and reserve a place so you won't be disappointed, however.
If you're a devotee of apres-ski nightlife, look no further than Val Thorens. Every year, on New Year's Eve, Val Thorens holds the party to end all parties. This year's line-up is yet to be announced, but you can expect renowned DJs until 1am, along with fireworks at midnight. It's a brilliant way for visitors to the Three Valleys to greet the New Year.
In short, even if you're booking at the very last minute, ski holidays in the Three Valleys around the festive season offer plenty of fun and lively celebrations. You may find other events that pique your interest as well, to help you form the perfect festive ski holiday itinerary.