The World's Best Ski Resorts for Powder
There is nothing better than waking up in the morning in your chosen resort, looking out the window and seeing the sun shining bright with the bluest of blue skies above you. Then looking down at the resort, you see that it has dumped two metres of snow. You poke your head out of the window and it's still around -5 degrees celsius.
It’s going to stay this temperature for the majority of the day which means that the snow will stay light and fluffy. You grab your snowboard and you race out to catch the first lift. It’s going to be the best day! Whether you know the area well or not, there is always the excitement of going off piste and exploring the untouched areas of the mountain,
There are many resorts around the world that have exceptional powder. I have had to be quite strict when researching these resorts as there are so many to choose from.
I have narrowed it down to a few from each country so if I have missed any that are clear favourites of yours, I apologise. First up, and arguably the dream powder destination, Japan.
There are two Islands in Japan that offer incredible powder. The first of which is situated on the Northern Island of Hokkaido.
The resorts that I have selected are well known for their fantastic powder, off piste runs and plenty of tree lined glades.
Asahidike is famous for its incredible off piste, backcountry and tree runs. It has great snow during winter and you will never be disappointed after a few hours here.
Furano, Niseko, Rusutsu and Saharo are also on the list all for different reasons. Some are great for beginners and offer a natural progression through to advanced skiing and snowboarding. But all have been hailed for their fantastic powder and off piste.
The second area is the island Honshu, which is the middle and largest island of Japan. There are four resorts I have picked out that again, have some of the best powder worldwide.
Charmant Hiuchi is the first from this list of resorts in Honshu. Charmant Hiuchi has the essential ingredients for a great powder hound destination.: The ski area generally gets huge snowfalls and snow bases in excess of 5 metres!
You can pretty much ski or snowboard the entire resort and the sidecountry; lots of great tree runs. Charmant Hiuchi isn’t on the mainstream powder hound radar and it’s a bit out of the way so it’s generally very quiet, especially on weekdays.
Canada is known for having the best skiing in the world hands down. So picking the resorts with the best powder was a tricky job. However I have managed to whittle it down to just 4 resorts.
Kicking Horse is the first on the list and the Resort has fantastic expert and extreme terrain. On a powder day you might have to wait for the gondola but once you’re out there it’s easy enough to find fresh tracks. The snow quality is usually amazing.
The combination of the fabulous terrain, snow and freshies make Kicking Horse a very good powder hound destination.
Kicking Horse has good options for lodging that’s ski-in ski-out or very close to the slopes. You can combine your Kicking Horse ski holiday with some heli skiing with Purcell Heli Skiing.
Argentina & Chile
Catedral is known for good tree skiing, and experts also have a range of alpine off-piste options as well as backcountry chutes and bowls. Other resorts that made the list were Las Lena in Argentina and Corralco in Chile.
New Zealand has never been lauded for its incredible snow. However, having friends who have done seasons there, they can’t stop going on about how incredible the powder can be.
Treblecone is first on the list of the best powder resorts in NZ. TC is the largest ski area in NZ (equal with Whakapapa & Roundhill) and it offers plenty of vertical. Treble Cone is a great playground for advanced and expert riders.
There is some fun sidecountry off the top lift as well as backcountry and the ski resort offers spectacular views. Its proximity to the beautiful town of Wanaka and the vibrant town of Queenstown is also a huge plus for Treble Cone.
It's great to have the ability to mix and match resort skiing with nearby heli skiing with Harris Mountains Heliski or Southern Lakes Heliski. Other resorts on the NZ list are Craigieburn and Mt Olympus.
Mt Hotham is the best place in Australia for in-bounds advanced and expert riders by a country mile.
The sidecountry and backcountry terrain are also a major pro. The elevation of the village provides for some spectacular scenery and having an airport nearby is rather unique.
It’s much easier to access Mt Hotham accommodation compared to Falls Creek and Mt Buller where you generally have to catch an expensive snowcat or snow taxi.
Mt Hotham is significantly less crowded than Mt Buller.
The USA is without doubt the largest country that offers the most skiing. I have compiled a list of 4 different states that have some of the best resorts with the best powder.
Out of these incredible resorts, Snowbird really stands out. Mother Nature usually blesses Snowbird Ski Resort with large volumes of snow. Often there is abundant powder everywhere for the taking.
Utah’s claim of having the “Greatest Snow on Earth” is really true at Snowbird, and the quality of the powder is enhanced due to the high elevation.
The resort has a long season that generally goes from mid November through to May. It is a decent sized resort providing lots of terrain variety, and the inter-connection with Alta is a major bonus.
Snowbird has great in-bounds steeps for experts, some of which are amazingly terrifying. The off-piste terrain for advanced riders is also diverse and exceptional.
If you are from the UK, Europe truly is the best and most cost effective place to go, It rivals any other worldwide resort and if you do your research, you can do it without breaking the bank.
To give a review on each of these resorts would be a monumental task and take up around 10 pages. So I shall review them as one, as I have been to each of these resorts, and although different in terms of length, size and cost. They all have incredible powder and off piste locations to leave you exploring to your heart's content.