The eighth-annual Backcountry BASECAMP Tour is on! Together with Scott Sports and Nokian Tyres, Backcountry Magazine brings the beta published in every issue of Backcountry to resorts all across the U.S. From Tahoe to the Tetons, the Pacific Northwest to the Northeast, Backcountry Magazine joins local guides, forecasters and avalanche instructors for a series of weekend-long pop-up festivals featuring gear demos, avalanche education, guided tours and a huge raffle benefitting a local non-profit. For more information follow us @backcountrymag.


  • JANUARY 22-23: Sun Valley, Idaho
  • JANUARY 29-30: Grand Targhee, Wyoming
  • FEBRUARY 5-6: Alta, Utah
January 10, 2022 — brett keyes
Best places to go camping in Colorado

Best places to go camping in Colorado

Best places to go camping in Colorado

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If you’re looking to get away from it all — to enjoy some natural beauty and endless outdoor activities — a trip to Colorado is in order. And one of the best ways to experience all that this magnificent state has to offer is by pitching a tent and taking it all in.

There aren’t many other states that boast such notable destinations as Rocky Mountain National Park, Garden of the Gods and the San Juan Skyway Scenic Byway. And it’s really no secret that Colorado offers some of the best camping in the West. So, we’ve put together a list of some of the best places to camp in the state of Colorado, from spots in national forests to those in state and national parks.

Here’s a look at six beautiful camping locations in Colorado:

Maroon Bells

The Maroon Bells, two peaks in the Elk Mountains, are purported to be the most photographed scene in Colorado, and potentially in all of North America. So it’s no wonder that the campsites in this area are incredibly popular.

In addition to their spectacular setting — you’ll drool over the views of Maroon Lake — these campsites are close (enough) to Aspen to make planning and gathering camp supplies fairly easy. With three campsites to choose from, Silver Bar, Silver Bell and Silver Queen, it’s hard to go wrong. But the walk-in sites at Silver Bell and Silver Bar are ideal for tent camping.

Due to the popularity of these sites, and the White River National Forest in general, reservations for both camping and car access is required. Reservations can be made through Aspen’s Chamber of Commerce.

(Photo by Tom Tietz/Shutterstock)

Moraine Park

Moraine Park campground is a fantastic spot for anyone looking to camp with children in Rocky Mountain National Park, mostly due to its accessibility and the fact that it is well maintained and kept very clean. In addition, campers will be treated to breathtaking views and the chance to see lots of wildlife including moose, elk, sheep and black bears.

Open year-round, the site is also a good choice if you’re looking to do some wintertime camping to experience even more solitude and a different, but equally impressive, season in the mountains.

(Photo by Sean Xu/Shutterstock)

Golden Gate Canyon State Park

Located northwest of Golden, Colorado, Golden Gate Canyon State Park is a beautiful area that offers a variety of opportunities to explore. The park is well over 10,000 acres and has 40+ miles of designated trails, making it a great spot for hikers, mountain bikers, and even horseback riders.

With 156 camping sites, it certainly isn’t the spot for those looking to escape the crowds. But it’s a lovely location for an easy and hassle-free camping experience, whether you’re in a tent or an RV.

(Photo by Jennifer CC Carter/Shutterstock)

Bear Lake Campground

Bear Lake campground, located in the San Isabel National Forest, is an ideal spot for anglers, offering access to the nearby Cucharas River too. In fact, a tributary of the Cuchara River runs through the campground and the lake is stocked several times during the summer.

Even if you aren’t interested in catching trout, hikers, mountain bikers and horseback riders can enjoy the nearby 14-mile long Indian Creek Trail.

Each of the 14 campsites come with a table and fire ring. And while rugged toilets and drinking water are available, you won’t find any other amenities here. Again, this makes it a good destination for anyone looking for a more remote experience.

(Photo by Susan Hoffman/Shutterstock)

Pinon Flats campground

If you’re in search of a rather unique camping experience, head to the Great Sand Dunes National Park. This spot will have you believing you’re in the middle of the Sahara instead of Colorado.

With the tallest sand dunes in North America taking the place of the snowcapped mountains you might expect to see, there’s a range of outdoor activities to enjoy. And Pinon Flats is the best camping spot in the park from which to access the hiking trails that cross the dunes.

A number of kid-friendly, ranger-led activities and a junior ranger program are available. Medano Creek, at the base of the dunes, is a great spot for kids (and adults!) to take a cool dip in the summertime. And for those looking for a real thrill, it’s even possible to go sandboarding or sand sledding here.

(Photo by Kris Wiktor/Shutterstock)

Angel of Shavano campground

Located in the San Isabel National Forest and next to the North Fork South Arkansas River, the Angel of Shavano campground offers just 20 sites that are rarely ever crowded thanks to the campground’s more remote location.

With a variety of recreational activities nearby, this is a fantastic spot for anyone, whether you’re out adventuring solo or with your family. In fact, the site sits right along the 486-mile Colorado Trail, making it a perfect spot for hikers and mountain bikers. There’s also fishing in the nearby North Fork Reservoir.

(Photo by Jackson Fox-Bland/Shutterstock)
Do you have plans to get out on a road trip this summer? Or any favorite campsites in Colorado? We’d love for you to share your comments below!

Featured image by Johnny Adolphson/Shutterstock.


Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)


September 11, 2020 — brett keyes

Ski Gear Checklist

Skiing is one of the most exciting winter sports that you can participate in. From bunny slopes to black diamonds there is something for people of all skill levels and ages. While skiing can be an exciting adventure and a chance to make unforgettable memories it is crucial that you have the right gear. If you have the warmest and best gear it can make your experience much better. Here is the best ski gear checklist that you can find. This ski gear checklist lists the best brands and products no matter how good you are on the slopes.



This company has taken the ski gear checklist to the next level. They understand how crucial having your phone is while on the slopes for emergencies and fun, but they also know the dangers of bringing it with you. They have created a thermal capsule for your phone to keep it protected.



This company makes some of the best goggles on the market. They take pride in making goggles that do not fog up and are very comfortable. Their goggles are very clear and help you see everything with full color.



Skis are essential if you want to hit the slopes and renting them can be a painful process. If you are an avid skier you should buy your own skis from Gilson Snow. They can help you find the perfect skis for your body, size, and style of skiing.



Truck makes some of the best ski gloves on the market. They are warm, durable, and water-resistant. Some of the best types of gloves you can get are the UAC M1 Pro and the Trigger gloves.



Rhino Skin Solutions makes some of the best hand sanitizer and non-greasy skin repair cream on the market. These products are essential after a day on the slopes. You can keep your hands clean with the hand sanitizer and then use the skin repair cream to keep your hand moist after being the cold for hours.



Huppy Bars are delicious energy bars to keep you going all day long. Why take a lunch break when you can power through and eat a Huppy Bar on the lift?



Ombraz makes high quality sunglasses that are ideal for skiing. When skiing in the sun you often experience a glow and shimmer on the snow. This can hurt your eyes and make it difficult to see. A great pair of sunglasses from Ombraz can make all the difference.



To make sure you stay warm and comfortable on the slopes you need to invest in a warm and water resistant pair of ski pants and jacket. NWT3K makes the perfect combination of ski pants and jackets to fit any style and body.



Grass Sticks makes hand made bamboo ski poles that are great for all skiers, both novice and advanced. They include a lifetime warranty.



This company makes some of the best gear imaginable for skiers. From their undershirts to sleeping pads you are sure to stay warm.


Ski boots are a necessity for any ski gear checklist. There are many options available and the ones you choose to get should be based on personal preference and comfortable fit.


Ski bindings are a necessity but there are many on the market that you can choose from.



A ski helmet is meant to keep you safe and protected on any slope. Unit1gear makes some fo the best and highest quality helmets on the market.



After a long day on the slopes, no one wants to change into something uncomfortable. Livsn Designs pants are comfortable and warm to keep you relaxed after a long day and get you ready to hit some après ski.

May 18, 2020 — brett keyes
Tags: ReddyYeti

Biking Gear Essentials


Biking Gear Essentials


Stock on Biking Gear Essentials 

The next time you are planning for a long bike ride, make sure you have the biking gear essentials you need to have safe and enjoyable trip. After buying your bike through an up and coming mountain bike brand like a GT or Kona, you may want to consider some additional items that will only add a few pounds of gear but allow you to make your entire trip enjoyable. 


At a minimum, you want to make sure you have some biking gear essentials that are geared more towards emergencies you may encounter on your trip or necessary resources to keep you alert and energy high. A hydration bladder or water bottle is always important as the body will easily drain fluids even after just a few miles of biking. Second, most riders often forget but should really bring a first aid kit with them in case an injury occurs on the trail. Finally, the most important biking gear essentials are of course a bike helmet, and the next up and coming bike helmet brand you could consider is a model like Octal X Spin from POC or FL-1 Trail Helmet from Bern. POC is a Swedish company that was founded in 2005 and has been an industry leader in helmets since 2014. Bern has been in the helmet industry for 15 years and focuses on more stylish yet safe helmets.

As the amount of gear, you provide starts to add up, it is important to bring a backpack on your trip. With a backpack, you can store all your essentials, like a first aid kit, and in the summer months, skin protection such as bug spray or sunscreen. Also, for long trips, make sure to bring truck gloves or official bike gloves so you do not subject yourself to blisters on your journey. If you do not plan to bring a lunch, at least consider bringing some snacks such as trail mix or an energy pouch like Nakee butter. Nakee butter is a startup that creates consumable spreads in a pouch that provides instant energy. 

Screen Shot 2020-04-29 at 3.24.22 PM.png

If you are a professional biker, participating in long road journeys or more extreme off road biking, than it may be appropriate to invest in biking attire. From the bottom up you will want to start with comfortable bike shoes that are light and flexible, and bike socks that provide great muscle support and wick away moisture from your feet. If you're going off roading, than you may want to consider investing in body armour, such as knee and elbow pads as general biking attire will not protect you from injury if you were to fall off your bike in a rocky area.

Finally, the main attire should consider bike shorts with or without padded liner shorts and a riding jersey. If you do not like form fitting bike shorts consider Boulder Denim, a company that makes jeans appropriate for biking. Also make sure that you are not wearing a bike jersey against your skin, but rather invest in an up and coming baselayer brand such as a REI Co-op Lightweight Crew or a Patagonia Capilene Air Hoody during the winter months. REI standing for Recreational Equipment, Inc. is a popular outdoor sports retail chain and Patagonia is a clothing company within the United States that focuses on outdoor attire. If you do like a standard for fitting bike jersey, consider Livsn Designs, a small manufacturing firm of outdoor jerseys.

Screen Shot 2020-04-29 at 3.24.34 PM.png

 Other Accessories

If you are one of those riders that wants to be better than safe and sorry, consider bringing just a few more key items especially if you intend to be on a longer trip. A compass or GPS is great for off road trips where it is easy to get lost in the woods. Also consider a bike light or headlamp in case a mechanical leaves you out after sunset. Also consider bringing a lightweight packable shell and extra layers in case you get sweaty or need to bunker down overnight. Also invest in eye protection such as Shred Optics - sunglasses, a brand of sunglasses that is specifically meant for bikers and other outdoor sports. Finally, as expected, you should bring a phone plus a portable charger in waterproof case.


May 18, 2020 — brett keyes
Tags: ReddyYeti

Best Outdoor Clothing Brands — ReddyYeti

Best Outdoor Clothing Brands


If you're into camping or an avid outdoorsmen, finding clothing that offers durability, functionality, and style is easier said than done. For people who enjoy spending their time outdoors, there is nothing more important than finding the perfect pair of running shorts, stretchable denim jeans or a durable pair of gloves. Below are the 5 best outdoor clothing brands, which is based on personal experience and outstanding customer reviews.

Livsn Design 

Livsn Designs is an outdoor clothing company and they make it their mission is to produce the highest quality outdoor wear. They employ a team of award-winning designers who are committed to longevity and sustainability. Their name "Livsn" originates from the Swedish word "livsnjutare" which means "an enjoyer of life." Their clothing is designed for people who value experiences more than stuff. One of their biggest sellers has to be their flex canvas pants, which are slim-fit outdoor pants that deliver versatility and durability. These pants are perfect for hiking, camping or any other outdoor activity.

Truck Gloves

TRUCK Gloves is a clothing company that provides top quality gear at a competitively low price point and have an understanding of what good quality gear is. When it comes to purchasing gloves, you want gloves made from top-quality materials. Truck Gloves creates products that are not only durable but also affordable. Their products are created by people who enjoy the outdoors and understand the importance of quality. One of their most popular products are their ski gloves, which feature beautiful goat-skin leather and comfortable insulation.

Boulder Denim

When it comes to denim, there is nothing more important than quality. Boulder Denim was established by two outdoor enthusiasts on a mission to create clothing that was both stylish and functional. The idea came, after its founders, Taz and Brad returned from a rock climbing exhibition to discover their clothing tattered and torn and their legs bruised and scraped, which was when they decided to create climbing pants that were equally stylish and durable.

They developed the perfect stretch denim for climbing. Although the jeans were created for rock-climbing, they can be worn all the time, which features a hidden zipper pocket so you won't have to worry about losing your keys or wallet. Their Slim-fit jeans are my personal favorite and one of their best-selling products, which are stylish, adventurous, and perfectly tailored for men and women.

True Revo

If you're an avid runner, you want to purchase a pair of shorts, which will keep your phone secure and provide you the breathability you need. True Revo is a clothing company that provides functional, high-performance sportswear. Dropping your phone is the worst-case scenario for a runner; True Revo produced a pair of running shorts that solved this problem. There sports shorts feature 2 side pockets, a zipper back pocket, and reflective details to ensure you're visible at night.

Roman Trail Outfitters

Sometimes it's nice to break from technology and go out and experience Mother Nature firsthand, but to do so, you need clothing, which can endure harsh conditions and will provide you the comfort you need. Roman Trail Outfitters is a clothing brand that caters to your wearable needs and provides everything needed to conquer the great outdoors. There Merino Wool Women's Long Sleeve Top is made from 100 percent merino wool, which is perfect for camping, backpacking, and running.


Finding comfortable, durable and weather resistant clothing shouldn’t be hard. If you love the outdoors and are looking for some new clothes for your next adventure, check out these Clothing Best Outdoor Clothing Brands and you won’t be sorry. 



May 18, 2020 — brett keyes
Tags: Blog ReddyYeti
How to Spend 7 Days in Park City, Utah (and Why it Should Be Your Next Winter Vacation)

How to Spend 7 Days in Park City, Utah (and Why it Should Be Your Next Winter Vacation)

Seven days isn't nearly enough time to cover all there is to do in Park City, Utah, but here's quick guide to making the most of your ski getaway.
February 01, 2020 — TRUCK
7 Excellent Spots for the Best Spring Skiing in North America

7 Excellent Spots for the Best Spring Skiing in North America

From warmer temps to that glorious corn, here are the best places for spring skiing in North America.
February 01, 2020 — TRUCK
Ski Exercises To Get You Ready For The Slopes

Ski Exercises To Get You Ready For The Slopes

Prepare for the rigours of the downhills with this workout from personal trainer Jamie Lloyd.

When you consider what skiing involves – pelting down snowy inclines at 40km/h-plus with only your skill in using two thin planks strapped to your feet keeping you upright – it’s not surprising that it causes more than its fair share of injuries.

It’s not only high-speed crashes that can derail a ski holiday either. Sore muscles from the previous day’s exertions might not be as dramatic as hitting a tree at full tilt, but they can kill your ski spirit just as effectively.

Given that most ski holidays involve a hefty outlay to cover flights, accommodation and equipment hire, not to mention the money put aside for après-ski activities, it’s well worth spending some time in the gym prepping your body so it can handle the rigours of the trip. That way you can maximise your enjoyment without the fear of crippling DOMS come day two.

For some advice on the best exercises to help you prepare for a trip to the slopes, we enlisted fitness coach Jamie Lloyd.

“Skiers and snowboarders need stability, strength, power, endurance and flexibility, as well as good technique, which all needs to be built up over time,” says Lloyd. “I’d advise you to aim for 12 weeks of strength training and specific exercises, but even if you’ve left it late it’s still worth trying this routine three times a week, rather than just lifting some weights and doing a bit of cardio.”

One of the most demanding parts of skiing is the repeated twisting and turning of your body, which is why you can suffer a particularly acute case of DOMS, because you’ll be challenging muscles that are largely dormant during your day-to-day life.

To successful train for a ski trip, then, you need to mimic the movements of the sport by working in the frontal, sagittal and transverse planes. Frontal plane exercises are any that involve moving laterally, like a side lunge. Sagittal plane exercises move you forwards and backwards, as in a standard lunge. Finally, transverse plane exercises involve rotating your body, such as a woodchop.

Lloyd demonstrated a variety of different exercises in the frontal, sagittal and transverse planes to us at Fitness First in Covent Garden for our Facebook Live video. Check out the video and find out more details on form, sets and reps below to get into tip-top shape for the slopes.


Before you begin the workout, start with this gentle warm-up of mobility drills.

1 Shrimp roll

Reps 10

Lie on your back and grab your knees to your chest. Then roll back and forth on your back to mobilise your spine.

2 Glute bridge

Reps 10

Lie on your back with legs bent at the knees, feet on the floor and arms at your side with palms flat on the floor. Drive your hips up, then lower back to the start.

3 Downward dog

Reps 10

Start in a press-up position. Raise your hips towards the ceiling until your body is in an inverted V position. Then come back into a press-up position. Like the glute bridge, this mobilises the hamstrings, lower back and core.

4 Crab grab

Reps 4 each side

Sit with your feet flat and your hands on the floor slightly behind you. Tuck one elbow in to your stomach and raise your bum slightly off the floor. Push your hips up until your supporting arm is straight, then reach the tucked arm up and over, as if trying to touch the floor behind you (you won’t be able to). This will also help warm-up your hips.

5 Lunge and reach

Reps 5 each side

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Raise one knee, grab it with both hands and pull it towards your chest, then lunge forwards and reach your arms up straight above you. Bring your back knee forward, grab it and pull it towards your chest and continue, alternating legs.

6 Monster walk I

Time 30sec

Hold a resistance band and stand on it with your feet more than shoulder-width apart. Pull the band up with both hands until it stretches up to your chest. Walk forward, moving each foot in and out again with every step.

7 Monster walk II

Reps 6 each side

Hold a resistance band and stand on it with your feet shoulder-width apart. Pull the band up with both hands until it stretches up to your chest. Step out to the side with one leg, then return to the starting position.

Ski Workout

1 Bosu squat

Reps 10

How Stand on a Bosu ball with your feet shoulder-width apart. Carefully bend your knees, keeping your knees tracking in line with your feet, until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Then push back up through your heels to a standing position. Look forwards throughout in order to help maintain a natural arch to your back. Take four seconds on the downward part of the movement and two seconds on the upward phase.

To make it harder try doing it barefoot. Once you get used to that, up the ante by turning the Bosu the other way up.

Why This is a great stability exercise in the sagittal plane that will also boost ankle stability.

2 Bosu lateral hop

Reps 5

How Place two Bosu balls side by side. Jump from one to the other. Build up to ten reps. Once that becomes easy, add a squat every time you land.

Why This movement will develop the quads, glutes, hamstrings and stimulate your core muscles. “Jumping on the Bosu trains your core and helps give you a strong centre of gravity, but be sure to keep your upper body upright while doing this to maintain proper spinal alignment,” says Lloyd.

3 Speed skater

Sets 4 Time 30sec Rest 30sec

How Stand on one leg, keeping your body upright. Then leap to the side and land on your other foot, swinging your arms in front of your body as you jump. Leap back again.

To make it harder you can leap with both feet at the same time.

Why “The speed skater is great choice for single-leg stability,” says Lloyd. “Be sure to use your torso and rotate back and forth during the exercise.”

4 Medicine ball slam

Sets 3 Reps 8

How Stand with a medicine ball on the floor in front of you. Bend your legs and pick up the ball, then raise it above your head with your arms straight. Slam it into the ground. When performing the movement, stay firmly on your heels and focus on contracting your abs and slamming the ball into the ground as explosively as possible.

Add sets as you get stronger. When you can do five sets of eight reps, move up to a heavier ball.

Why The medicine ball slam is a great pulling exercise which integrates the core, legs and upper body, as well as building explosive strength throughout your body. “It serves to develop strength in the exact opposite muscle groups from the squat,” adds Lloyd.

5 Gym ball hamstring curl

Sets 3 Reps 6

How Lie on your back with your calves resting on a gym ball. Lift your hips and bend at the knees to drag the ball towards you until the soles of your feet are on it. Roll it away and lower your hips to the starting position.

Build up the reps until you can do three sets of 15 reps with ease. Then move on to single-leg hamstring curls, where you keep one leg extended in the air throughout.

Why Even if you aren’t planning on going skiing, it’s worth incorporating this into your training sessions, especially if you spend a lot of time sitting at a desk. It’s great for training the glutes, back, hamstrings and core all in one go.

6 Medicine ball woodchop

Reps 10 each side

How Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, holding a medicine ball in both hands with your arms extended in front of you. Bend one knee and simultaneously reach down to that side with the ball so it ends up outside your knee, keeping the other leg straight. Twist your torso and lift the medicine ball with straight arms so the ball ends up above your shoulder on the opposite side. Twist back and down again. Aim for two seconds up and two seconds down as you move.

Why This is a great example of a training movement that to prevents injury, because it integrates the upper and lower body on the transverse plane.

7 Single-leg step-up

Sets 4 Reps 15 each side

How Find a box that you can step up and down from comfortably. Place one foot on top of the box and then drive up, raising the opposite leg until your knee is level with your waist. Step down.

When this exercise begins to feel easy to do, add weight – try a sandbag on your shoulders.

Why This move trains your quads, which are vital for skiing. They help straighten your knees and control them as they move from a straight position into a bent position.

Proprioception Drill

Proprioception is your body’s positional sense and it’s as vital for skiing as it is for other sports. As a daily challenge, stand on one leg with your eyes closed for one minute (make sure to hover your hands over something to grab in case you fall). Build up to two minutes on each leg.

Once you’re comfortable with that, add some small movements, like lifting the arms over your head.

Speed, Agility and Quickness (SAQ) Drills

Once you’ve built up a base level of cardio conditioning from cycling, rowing or running, and have developed your stability and strength with the workout above, add some SAQ drills to work on movement patterns until they become fast, dynamic and precise. Doing this will lead to improvements in your reaction times and your ability to move into the correct positions when skiing around sharp bends.

1 Letter T

Sets 3 Time 1min Rest 30sec

Set up cones to form a letter T. Start at the bottom of the T, then run to the middle of the top. From there do lateral hops to one side, hop back to the centre and run backwards to the starting position. Then run forward again and do a lateral hop to the other side and back.

2 Bunny hop

Sets 3 Time 1min Rest 30sec

Lay a ladder on the floor. Hop over each rung with two feet. Absorb the impact as you land and try to keep your back straight throughout.

3 Speed ladder

Sets 3 Time 1min Rest 30sec

This time you’re going to be side-stepping laterally through the spaces between the ladder’s rungs. Stand at the base of the ladder to one side, then put the foot nearest the ladder into the first space between the rungs. Bring in the other foot, then side-step out. Then move on to the next space between rungs. Move as fast as you can.

Written by Coach Staff for Coach and legally licensed through the Matcha publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to

January 21, 2020 — brett keyes
The 6 Scariest Inbounds Runs in the Wasatch

The 6 Scariest Inbounds Runs in the Wasatch

For a serious adrenaline shot, the six scariest inbounds runs in the Wasatch certainly deliver. How many have you notched?
January 21, 2020 — brett keyes
Skiing the Steeps: Pro Tips from Noah Howell

Skiing the Steeps: Pro Tips from Noah Howell

Catching up with local pro Noah Howell for tips on skiing the steepest spring slopes in the Wasatch.
January 01, 2020 — brett keyes
The Ski Trips That Make You A Better Skier

The Ski Trips That Make You A Better Skier

A week on the slopes – and in the bars – can be an outstanding social holiday. But what if your goal is to return home a better skier?

For all their physical demands and opportunities for exhilaration, winter sports can still sometimes be seen as just an excuse to stuff yourself full of fondue and Milka. Now, as people begin planning and booking their ski holidays, if your idea of a superb trip is spending your evening chasing your pals around in a Morphsuit, no one should be trying to talk you out of it, but if you’d prefer to take your slope-riding beyond just what you do in between après-ski sessions, to the “next level” even, there are some excellent options, whatever your current ability.

Laax, Switzerland

If you need an indication of just how world-class Laax is when it comes to the more extreme side of snowboarding (ie busting huge airs off jumps, sending untouched powder flying), then know that Nicolas Muller, legend of the halfpipe and hero of backcountry riding, lives there permanently. This is the spot to be in if you’re looking to go beyond the groomed slopes and up the ante in the park – it’s the leading freestyle resort in the Alps, with four parks of varying difficulty to choose from, as well as an indoor Freestyle Academy (essentially a playground for riders) pumped up with airbags aplenty to break your fall, as well as plenty of tuition and training camp options. All this, plus it’s in the shadow of the longest halfpipe in the world. You’ll want to work your way up to that one. Trust us.

Get there: Fly to Zurich (easyJet can get you there) and jump on the rail connection to Chur, which is a 30-minute taxi from Laax.

St Anton, Austria 

. Coach

St Anton is well known as a place even seasoned skiers sometimes fear to tread; even if you’re just wanting to get better, there’s nowhere else that will challenge you so much on even its moderate runs. If you’re keen on making the transition to the dreaded black diamond – and do it somewhere you can get a little schnapps to settle your nerves – this is the venue. Off-piste heads are well catered-for, and there’s a plethora of options for you to find a guide who’ll hold your hand, or arrange a helicopter to the nearest hospital.

Get there: easyJet flies direct to Innsbruck, then you should get a deliciously cheap European train

Steamboat Springs, USA

. Coach

Yorkshire may crow about its medal tally at London and Rio, but this tiny Colorado village has produced a whopping 88 Winter Olympians over the years, which suggests that its residents know what they’re doing. You can book lessons and courses with Olympic legends – local hero Billy Kidd runs a school – but many will offer free rides down choice slopes with them at regular times during the season. Recommended is joining former world champion Nelson Carmichael on a trip down Nelson’s Run – a trail named after him. Sounds cuddly, but it has more moguls than Hollywood, and has seen twice as many broken dreams.

Get there:  Book a direct return flight to and from Denver with British Airways 

RECOMMENDED: Ski Exercises to Get you Ready for the Slopes

Cervinia, Italy

. Coach

Situated right underneath the mighty Matterhorn, Cervinia’s high altitude means it gets the best and most reliable snow in Italy, and its links with Zermatt in Switzerland mean you’ll have plenty of options. Non Stop offers well-regarded courses for every ability, and are a tad more hardcore than the firms making a living teaching the hungover how to snowplough. While the wide-open runs might not offer the drama of St Anton, this is a perfect place to work on technique in an environment where you’ll be at once challenged and in control.

Get there: British Airways flies direct to Turin

Whistler Blackcomb, Canada

. Coach

This Canadian winter sport stronghold receives 38.5 feet of snow a year, which puts it near the top globally if you’re looking to take your chances at the beginning or end of the season. It may be a trek to get to, but its location and its Olympic heritage mean the available area is huge, and it offers everything from baby slopes on which to dump the kids to mogul-heavy leg breakers. All Tracks Academy offers solid tuition, and the chance to wind up your affable instructors with unappreciated impressions of their accents when you get your breath back. Ideal for skiers who want to try snowboarding and vice versa.

Get there:  Take a direct return flights to and from Vancouver with Air Canada

Méribel, France

. Coach

Méribel is in the middle of the world’s biggest ski area, the Three Valleys, and offers an unparalleled selection of slopes that cater for all levels. But while the beginners will undoubtedly make the most of Altiport, those who want to improve will head to the likes of Pointe de la Masse and Mont Vallon – and the off-piste options are just as legendary. New Generation Ski School offers a cracking course that will take you there, bring you home alive – and make you feel a much better skier than you were when you arrived.

Get there: Eurostar offers direct trains from London to Moutiers (25 mins from Méribel), or save money by changing trains in Paris

Professional Skiing Tips

Want to make huge strides on the slopes? Here are four shortcuts from the people who really know best

Video Yourself

. Coach

“Skiing or boarding can have you so in the moment, it’s hard to be very aware of what you’re doing. Everybody has a smartphone now, so get someone to video you, or do it yourself – it’s far better to review a whole run, then re-do it, than to just have someone yelling at you.” Pat Sharples, Team GB Park and Pipe Freeski head coach,

Get Some Edge

. Coach

“If you’re an intermediate looking to improve, it’s time to think about edging. Instead of skidding on every turn, work on digging the edges of your skis into the snow so you can be more controlled and efficient. Efficiency should always be the goal.” Dave Ryding, Team GB skier,

Work On Your Core

. Coach

“For skiing and snowboarding, the assumption is always that you need to work on your legs, but if you’re pushing yourself, your core is far more valuable. Your legs can help with endurance, but control comes from a stronger core. I’ve found that yoga really helps with this.” Aimee Fuller, Team GB snowboarder,

Surround Yourself With Your Superiors

. Coach

“It’s a good idea to harness your natural competitiveness – if you’re training yourself up, always be in a group where you’re the worst skier. Then you’ll always be upping your game, and if you move up in the ‘rankings’, just switch groups. It’s not what you want if you’re a social skier, though.” Jenny Jones, 2014 slopestyle Olympic bronze winner. Jenny is hosting a workshop for adventurous snowboarders in March 2017,

Written by Andrew Lowry for Coach and legally licensed through the Matcha publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to

December 09, 2019 — brett keyes

Skiing in the French Alps: How to Actually Make it Happen

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