Tired of the same crowded run, endless ski schools queuing for the T-bars and overpriced apres-ski establishments? Take your pick from these new places and quench that thirst for fresh powder.
Sainte Foy, France
Nestled between the resorts of Les Arcs, La Rosiere, Tignes and Val d’Isere, Sainte Foy is a relative new face among its established neighbours. There’s no denying it’s a small resort and most of the village has been rebuilt with traditional materials. With 20 runs dotted around the 2600m mountain, available to all abilities, you’ll also find enough helisking and off-piste tracks to keep that adrenaline pumping through your stay.
To relax, visit one of the villages two spas before returning to Chalet Merlo, which comes with 6 ensuite bedrooms spread over two floors, a fully-equipped gym, hot tub and sauna facilities. Now how’s that for aprés-ski?
Visit the Sainte Foy website if you wish to find out more about this ski resort.
Situated in the Val d’anniviers area of the country and only two hours away from Geneva, this welcoming chocolate box locale contains everything you’d expect from a traditional Swiss resort. With an abundance of hillside chalets, 10 restaurants and choice of three 3-star hotels and numerous self-catered lodges, it’s a buzzing little enclave of sociable locals and unfussy tourists.
With 1,400m of runs running from a station 3,000m high, its north and east-facing slopes ensure they keep a perfect layer of snow all season, plus there are good links to the neighbouring Zinal, St Luc and Chandolin resorts. The nightlife might be lacking to a certain extent (only two bars are open past 12am), but it’s not something you’ll worry about when you’re tearing down another off-piste path.
For booking enquiries or further information, visit the Grimentz ski resort site.
Crested Butte, USA
While Aspen can play the celebrity card, Crested Butte can easily match it as a destination for thrill seekers and alpha males. This former mining town maintains an air of exclusivity akin to Notting Hill with its independent boutiques, art galleries, craft breweries and locavore restaurants, but its runs and experiences are the talking point here.
Our tip is to book Scarp Lodge through Eleven Experiences, which grants you access to a private 1,000- acre area of the pristine Elk Mountains with 10,000ft of virgin powder that’s all yours. Combining the best in rarefied and heart-racing runs, you can choose to zip down the Red Lady bowl or perfect those epic turns with some fierce Snowcat skiing. And the six-star Lodge itself? Unwind at the end of a hard day on the slopes with the indoor salt-water pool, massage room, steam, sauna, hot tub and chill with a cold beer in its cinema.
If you wish to book your stay, or simply want further information, see the Crested Butte website.
If you want to combine sushi with well maintained and attractive slopes, then head to Niseko on Japan’s northernmost island, Hokkaido. And with an airport located handily nearby, it’s an hour from Tokyo’s transport hub, so getting there doesn’t require an undertaking of Phileas Fogg-esque proportions.
Resort-wise, you’ll be looking at skiing or riding on the finest, particle-size snow over 40 runs and 61 pistes, so you can experience the rush of powder bowls, tree runs, half-pipes and exhilarating mogul fields all day long. Accommodation-wise, you’re spoilt for choice with a number of high class hotels in the area, but we’d recommend the luxe Hakuchozan chalet, available from the Oxford Ski Company Complete with 4 staff and its own chef, you’ll have access to a private driver for pick-up and drop-off anywhere, as well as 7 ensuite bedrooms, 80-inch flat screen TV and outdoor Jacuzzi deck with fire pit. It sure beats Aviemore.
Fancy seeing Japan in a new way? Visit the Niseko site for more information.
If you’re already set on going skiing, read our guide on what grooming products to take with you when you go skiing.