Top 25 Ski Towns in the World.....

Discussion in 'Passport' started by Born2ski, Feb 16, 2012.


    Summit Addicted Member Season Pass Holder

    So the views while skiing Alyeska would make Lake Louise & Telluride seem a bit ho hum ?
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013

    MarkGC Dedicated Member

    My list, with the proviso that I must have stayed there not just heard about it

    1. Myoko Japan
    2. Hakuba Japan
    3. Jindabyne NSW
    4. Queenstown NZ (I know others will say its better than Jindy, but I was there in November)
    5. Bathurst NSW (once again possibly better than Jindy, but Rolly's Run was closed)
    6. Yamba NSW (waterskiing)

    Methinks I need to travel more, now where is that credit card ...

    Summit Addicted Member Season Pass Holder

    I was in Chamonix last year and to me the atmosphere was let down by the amount piss head poms who were there for their once a year pissy holiday.It added a level of tackiness I would have expected from some of the Apre resorts in Austria, not Cham.....but I'm not 25 !
    Lady Mamabear

    Lady Mamabear Part of the Furniture

    Haha. I thought similar about Chamonix. I loved it, but full of rowdy Poms. Zermatt...loved it but full of Ruskies with better than everyone else attitudes. there was a ski town. Majority populace were serious skiers due to world cup events, no attitude, no fooktards, just chillin'.

    Rewt_Manuvas Active Member

    Should Cortina, Italy perhaps be included on the list?

    benchives Part of the Furniture Season Pass Holder

    Interlaken, bottom of grindlewald qualifies IMO. Lovely spot that.

    Summit Addicted Member Season Pass Holder

    Oh yeah Grindelwald, spent 10 days there in 91 a few days after arriving for the first time in Europe. Stayed in the youth hostel near the top of the town at about 1,000 metres with awesome views of the sheer face of the Eiger north face to about 4,000 metres. A Jap was the first to ascend the North face, and heaps of his countrymen would lob there thinking they were gunna climb it in their joggers [​IMG]

    Skiing with a guy who was there for the season, didn't ever look at a trail map. Those first great travel experiences stay with you for ever.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013

    Summit Addicted Member Season Pass Holder

    It is, #6
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013

    Rewt_Manuvas Active Member

    oh dear [​IMG]
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 12, 2013

    piolet Old And Crusty

    I was there a few months ago, just as the snow started and before things started up - sooo quiet you could hear the anticipation from everyone around... magical. pissed poms will annoy almost anywhere (insert aussie if japan)
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013

    Bogong Addicted Member

    Ermm, not quite. The Nordwand was first climbed in 1938 by Heinrich Harrer (author of Seven years in Tibet), Fritz Kasparek, Wiggerl Vorg and Anderl Heckmair. The Japs didn't go near it until 1970.

    A couple of years ago I corrected, indexed and proof read the English translation of Rainer Retter's book Eiger: triumph and tragedy 1932 - 1938. But the publisher has put it on hold, so it may not be published now. [​IMG]
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 26, 2013

    Summit Addicted Member Season Pass Holder

    You'll get over it, welcome to the ski forum. So Cortina's your favourite ski town ?
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013

    Summit Addicted Member Season Pass Holder

    This is from the Grindelwald tourism site

    West flank from Eigergletscher: 11th August 1858
    Christian Almer, Peter Bohren – Switzerland
    Charles Barrington – Ireland
    Mittellegigrat on ascent: 10th September 1921
    Yuko Maki – Japan
    Fritz Amatter, Samuel Brawand, Fritz Steuri – Switzerland
    Lauper route: 20th August 1932
    Hans Lauper, Alfred Zürcher, Joseph Knubel, Alexander
    Graven - Switzerland
    North face normal route summer: 21st – 24th July 1938
    Fritz Kasparek, Heinrich Harrer – Austria
    Andreas Heckmair, Ludwig Vörg – Germany
    North face normal route winter: 6th – 12th March 1961
    Toni Kinshofer, Toni Heibeler, Anderl Mannhart – Germany
    Walter Almberger – Austria
    North face normal route solo: 2nd – 3rd August 1963
    Michel Darbellay – Switzerland
    North face descent: 27th – 31st December 1963
    Paul Etter, Ueli Gantenbein, Sepp Henkel – Switzerland
    North face – first ascent by woman: 1st – 4th September 1964
    Daisy Voog with Armin Bittner – Germany
    John Harlin north face route: 23rd February – 25th March 1966
    Dougal Haston – Scotland
    Siegfried Hupfauer, Jörg Lehne, Günther Strobel,
    Roland Votteler – Germany
    Japanese diretissima: 15th July – 15th August 1969
    Michiko Imai, Takio Kato, Yasuo Kato, Saturo Neghisi
    Susumo Kubo, Hirofumi Amano – Japan
    Winter diretissima: 20th – 25th January 1970
    Peter Jungen, Hans Müller, Otto von Allmen
    Max Dörfliger, Hans-Peter Trachsel – Switzerland
    Czech diretissima: 4th – 29th August 1976
    Jiri Smid, Sylvia Kysilkowa, Petr Plachecky, Josef
    Rybicka – Czechoslovakia
    North face in winter, normal route solo: 3rd – 9th March1978
    Tsuneo Hasagewa – Japan
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 26, 2013

    Richard Addicted Member Administrator 30 Day Pass Holder

    I know these sorts of articles have been around for decades prior to the Internet - but I also know that if I was commissioning such a list - my confidential one-on-one brief would be;

    "seo blah blah blah, niseko, seo, blah blah aspen, seo seo seo, blah blah, seo seo seo, whistler still popular, blah seo blah, cortina is fashionable again seo blah blah seo - make sure it index's well in google, seo blah blah seo"

    Zeroz Dedicated Member

    Richard, I was thinking something similar.
    So instead of a useless thread discussing a useless article, put the heavily remunerated, white coat wearing scientists at the elite laboratory to work.

    Crank out a survey or feedback tool so we can rank what we think are the top ski towns (or ski resorts or ski runs or ski town bars or ski wankers. Whatever. Pick one).
    The collective brains trust and experience here likely even exceeds that of the clueless interns that crank out the current Top xx Ski!!! crap that gets regularly released by other media orgs.

    Use the results for a PR based on the survey or tool results that rank (say) The Best Ski Lifts in the World!

    "SKI.COM.AU Announces the Top 20 Ski Lifts in The World! Based on a extensive feedback and survey of's 20,000 users, the following are definitely the best lifts in the world'.
    blah blah blah, niseko, seo, blah blah aspen, seo seo seo, blah blah, seo seo seo, whistler still popular, blah seo blah, fur coats are fashionable in Selwyn again, etc.
    Make a nice summary, then individual pages counting down from 20 to number 1. add photos, plus a link for outraged comments.

    How can this fail? No-one here will object, it drives traffic,seo, helps build your business, and it may even be remotely useful. Exploit the resource of the opinionated collective you have here.
    Lady Mamabear

    Lady Mamabear Part of the Furniture

    After having done the 3 peaks tour (informal name we gave our holiday) this year I think the spark has been lit to do a bit of climbing and revisit some places in summer. The Matterhorn is top of the list, but jeez the Eiger was special also. Third peak - hidden behind clouds 99.9% of our short stay was Mont Blanc.

    piolet Old And Crusty

    hard to get sick of this view:

    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013

    Zeroz Dedicated Member

    Maybe. It's an individual thing. Personally, I think Telluride is the most beautiful resort in Nth America. Love the town, box canyon, views at the top.

    But I have been skiing for 30 years (I am old) and to me Europe has cornered the market on jagged peaks, rising from a pristine valley, perfect town, etc etc.
    There are many highlights, but for stunning, it's hard to beat the ridiculous location, views, and ski starting position of the Aiguille du Midi above Chamonix.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013

    piolet Old And Crusty

    ^^^ and if you fly into tride airport on a clear day it's jaw dropping! it's a very pretty place - and the town is cool as

    Undies Part of the Furniture Season Pass Holder

    They're a comin! Just gotta stop skiing.

    And Carveman, yes we did. Once before lunch and then for our final run of the day. I have no legs today.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 26, 2013

    Heinz Part of the Furniture Season Pass Holder

    I never have much time for these sort of lists. Far too subjective and vague. A bit of fun for someone writing an article an article to generate some debate but in the end pretty meaningless. Even if you have visited all of those places your judgement will be coloured by the conditions at the time that you visited and the experiences you had. For the record I've only skied at 12 from that list (1,3,5,6,8,9,10,11,17,19,22,23) and wouldn't want to rate them myself, although I have always said that Chamonix is one place any serious skier / mountaineer really must visit at some stage.

    Also why I never give anyone a straight answer when they ask where the best place to ski is. Far too many variables and depends on what you really want.

    I will add throw in another example though - Narvik - scenery wise amongst the best anywhere and the skiing is quite a bit more than what appears at first glance.

    gareth_oau Old And Crusty Season Pass Holder

    more fun in successfull convincing your editor that you will need to visit all these town for research and to be able to write a fully informed article! [​IMG]
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 12, 2013

    Heinz Part of the Furniture Season Pass Holder

    [​IMG] If that was the case I definately would have come up with a far more diverse list.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013

    tbnext Dedicated Member

    Wasn't it about towns, not slopes? How on earth could chamonix not be 1, you get to hang out with le creme of skiing hanging out at their dream- I just do t know how you top that

    sly_karma Part of the Furniture Season Pass Holder

    I would put Rossland, BC in there as a real ski town. The lifts at Red are 5 minutes away and they have a history of skiing more than a century old. They've sent more racers to the national team than any other town or city in Canada. Hell, you can ski right back into town and through the streets and yards if you know how. I'll be subjective and say the only other ski town in BC is Whistler. Everywhere else has too big a gap between lifts and town.

    And another vote for a big ol' poll on ski towns as Zeroz says. Probably needs an open thread discussion first to develop a voting list.

    Bogong Addicted Member

    If we do have a poll, many people won't be objective, they'll just nominate their 'home' resort.

    So if there is a poll, people should be required to say what their home resort is in Australia and their main foreign resort and they would be excluded from voting for those places and have to vote for their favourite places other than their home resort.

    That may sound awkward, but it's the only way I can think of to stop if degenerating into an expanded version of Thredbo v. Perisher... or Hotham v. Falls. v. Buller. [​IMG]
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 12, 2013

    CarveMan Moderator Commercial Member

    After the day I just had, here is my list of the best ski towns in the world:

    1) Chamonix.


    absentskier Part of the Furniture

    couldn't agree more about rossland.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013

    Summit Addicted Member Season Pass Holder

    My first trip to Colorado was in August 92 when I picked up a car and map of the Colorado scenic byways from the airport. Following that scenic byways route took you through most of the top ski resorts. From the airport drove to Independence Pass, Aspen, Glenwood Springs, short cut on a gravel road only open in summer to Crested Butte, down the Million Dollar Highway, near Ouray the scariest drive in my life, Durango then Telluride. So I'd just seen some of the best Colorado had to offer, but it was Telluride that blew me away. Caught the Coonskin chair up and did some hiking up the See Forever trail, drove and had a look at the awesome Box Canyon. There's a chance I'll get there this year in mid Sept for Telluride Blues & Brews. Then did a long drive to Steamboat, Rocky Mountain National Park, Winter Park and back to the airport. Did take a bit of a detour to Vail at some stage and the purpose built imitation Tyrolean village left me cold ! and right on a major highway ! Didn't take me long to get back, skiing Tellurde & Aspen in March 93.
    I preferred Telluride in 92/93 than when I next saw it in 2006, seemed to have just the right amount of development back then, and no way would I ever stay in the purpose built Mountain Village when you've got such a great authentic town with 2 chairlifts from the town to the heart of the skiing. Same goes for Crested Butte (even though there's no lift from the town) or Aspen.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013

    Summit Addicted Member Season Pass Holder

    Where to Ski and Snowboard is a book that was first published in 1996, that gets revised each year. It's edited by a couple of Brits, Chris Gill and Dave Watts, with further contributions from another 20 or so people including Bronwen Gora for Oz/NZ resorts. They rate the resorts on 12 different classifications and also give their top 10 resorts for things such as international oversights, reliable snow in the Alps, off-piste wonders, powder paradises, black runs, weatherproof slopes,high mileage piste bashing, specially for families, dramatic scenery, lively nightlife and village charm.

    The National Geographic uses the following basis to pick their top 25 -:

    "Just what makes a classic ski town? It starts, naturally, with skiing and snowboarding so good they attract people like youth-bestowing fountains. Then add an inviting mountain burg steeped in ski heritage, amenities, and culture" and as people have said it's very Americanised.

    Where to Ski and Snowboard uses the following criteria to pick their best resorts for village charm -:

    "Resorts with traditional character that enriches your holiday - from mountain villages to mining towns"
    So nothing to do with the quality of the skiing. This list is compiled by people who visit ski resorts as a job, and they do it well enough to sell enough books to release a revised edition every year.

    My most recent edition is 2006, but village charm isn't likely to change much. The only resorts that they gave 5 stars for village charm are-:
    Alpbach, Austria and 4 Swiss resorts - Murren, Saas-Fee, Wengen & Zermatt.
    The other 5 that made up the best 10 were given 4 stars and are Champery, Courmayeur, Lech, Telluride & Crested Butte.
    Other resorts that they gave 4 stars to were -:

    St Anton

    La Clusaz
    Les Contamines




    Tremblant (It seems the Brits like the fact they can find some of Europe in North America)

    It seems Brits don't get to Japan much, no detailed reports on Jap resorts.

    Only one Oceania resort received a detailed report, Queenstown and it only got 2 stars for village charm - well it's not a village or a mining town !

    The book is great and I'm sure I'll get another updated version sometime, just gotta remember it's from a Brits perspective. One of the things they really harp on is the need for very classy lunches, so the US lunchtime on mountain refuelling stations really rubs them the wrong way.

    cin Part of the Furniture Season Pass Holder

    I have 2 editions of that book, its fantastic for using when your trying to decide where to go.
    One ski town that I would love to stay in is Samoens in France.
    From what I've read and seen of it it seems to be one of the most beautiful traditional alpine towns in the world.
    The altitude is quite low however, at approx. 700m above sea level it would not have too much snow in the village except for in the peak of the ski season.
    If i was to win lotto then I think this is where i'd probably buy a chalet and spend as much time as possible in, all seasons.
    I also use the reviews in snow-forecast as a good guide to how good a resort is. They now have a ratings system like the ski & snowboard book too, scroll down for the reviews;
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 14, 2013

    Apresski Old And Crusty Season Pass Holder

    I have a copy of that guide, but the best ski guide I've ever owned is unfortunately no longer available, it was The Peter Stuyvesant Guide to Skiing, published in 1985.

    cin Part of the Furniture Season Pass Holder

    How funny is that now to think that the best ski guide of the time was produced by a cigarette manufacturer! [​IMG]
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 12, 2013

    Apresski Old And Crusty Season Pass Holder

    I know, I think it used to amuse me even back in the 80s, but it was common then for tobacco companies to sponsor sporting events.

    Heinz Part of the Furniture Season Pass Holder

    Samoens in 1994. Can't really comment on the village - we only stayed overnight while transitioning between the Porties du Soliel and the Grand Massiv regions.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013

    Summit Addicted Member Season Pass Holder

    I think Samoens is the only ski village listed as a National Trust site in France. In July 2007 we called in there for lunch on a bit of a detour between Annecy and Chamonix. Some beautiful old buildings, only small with a direct lift link into the Grand Massif, though you'd have to catch a bus to the lift, just a bit far to walk with skis from the centre of town, though I guess you'd have a car. Very traditional atmospheric place, wouldn't get much of an international crowd. You'd need to be able to speak French.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013

    dawooduck Pool Room

    So many towns, such a short list
    Lady Mamabear

    Lady Mamabear Part of the Furniture

    Wengen was pretty special. [​IMG]
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 12, 2013