Even though I suffered a serious snowboarding injury five years ago, I still love to carve down a snowy slope strapped into a single board. Half the reason I still snowboard is to stare my fear in the face; the other is for the stunning mountain views from the summit of the highest chairlift. I’ve been lucky to snowboard at many reputable resorts around the world. Here are five of my favourites.
1. Powder King, B.C.
Easily my favourite place to snowboard, Powder King is appropriately named. It’s the only place I’m not afraid to push myself, because there are metres of fluffy white stuff to catch me. It’s akin to falling into a bed of feather-stuffed pillows. Plus, it’s relatively cheap, typically uncrowded and conveniently accessible via a bus from my hometown, GP. PK’s biggest downfall is the painful plastic T-bar to get to the top.
2. Yongpyong, South Korea
Last year, I was lucky enough to board the slopes that will host the 2018 Winter Olympics. When I arrived, my first thought was “where is the hill”? Despite its meager size, Yongpyong impressed me with its slopes, which I could easily carve up. Giant jumps were under construction and even the rental equipment was brand new. But the best part was definitely soaking in fruit-infused hot springs afterwards.
3. Alps d’Huez, France
Some of you might be shocked this ski hill even made my list. After all, it’s where I broke my back. Still, the 300-some days of sunshine it receives a year, accessible gondola and mountains of runs make it one of the most stunning places I’ve ever boarded. Alps d’Huez holds so many painful memories for me, and one day, I hope to snowboard there again. (But I’m never taking another jump.)
4. Hemsedal, Norway
Back in 2012, while staying with friends in Nesbyn, we ventured out on a snowy December day to tackle one of the country’s most popular hills. The snow was falling so thick I could barely see anything, and the rental snowboard I strapped on left much to be desired, but the fresh powder more than made up for it.
5. Tremblant, Quebec
I went snowboarding at Mont-Tremblant just a few weeks ago. Being from the West Coast, with hills such as Big White, Sun Peaks, Silverstar and Revelstoke, I kept my expectations low for what the Laurentians could offer me. Tremblant totally blew me out of the water (er, snow). 96 runs, 14 lifts and four mountainsides to snowboard earns Tremblant a spot on my top five list.
What are your favourite places to ski and snowboard around the world? Have you been to any of the ones I mentioned? Tweet me or comment below!