When it comes to vacation time some like it hot and some like it cold, and when it comes to skiing and snowboarding around the world it’s the cold places that are required. Dramatic snowy peaks gild mountain slopes that are perfectly primed for some winter sports action and the choice today spans numerous resorts around the world. So where to get some of the best action? Here’s a guide to the best five resorts.
Midway between Montreux and Interlaken, this Swiss ski resort is a magnet for skiers and snowboarders and it’s also a popular destination for international celebrities. Its 220km of pistes reach heights of up to 3000 meters above sea level, and with several snow parks and a number of toboggan runs, not to mention over 150 kilometers of cross-country skiing trails, the resort offers everything the winter sports enthusiast could ask for. Gourmet restaurants, world-class shopping and luxury hotels await for après-ski relaxation.
The majestic Rocky Mountains form the backdrop to this Canadian resort in British Columbia. Considered by many experts to be the best skiing in North America, huge vertical drops make skiing and boarding here an experience to remember. The Whistler Blackcomb resort sprawls over 8,100 acres, and if skiing and boarding need to take a back seat there are plenty of other activities such as zip lining and snowshoeing to take part in. An outstanding mix of cuisines is available in the restaurants and there is plenty of shopping in international stores.
Colorado’s premier resort is the United States’ largest single ski area with around 5,300 acres of terrain that is skiable. Offering pistes for the beginner to the highly experienced, ski lessons and equipment hire, this is a great resort for all levels of skill and experience. Vail also has more to offer its visitors: High-speed detachable quads are not for the fainthearted but are an exhilarating way to come down the mountain, and other activities include snowmobiling and ice skating. For the artistic at heart there are museums and art galleries to provide a break from the pistes.
In the heart of the Austrian Tyrol, Kitzbuhel is considered to be the “Pearl of the Alps”. The village itself is 700 years old and leisure skiing started there in 1892. With some 170 kilometers of slopes reached by a fleet of modern gondolas and lifts, the resort offers snowboarding fun parks and cross country ski trails to add to the off piste excitement.
Beneath the towering, iconic Matterhorn, this Swiss resort gets huge snowfalls making it an immensely popular destination. Completely car-free it has the world’s second biggest vertical drop served by lift - a challenge for any skier.
Good quality equipment and clothing are an essential part of any skier or boarder’s enjoyment of a winter sports vacation. Boots should fit well and ski suits should keep the cold out but allow perspiration to escape. Ski helmets are also a sensible purchase; safety first but it’s not the only reason to wear one – it also keeps the head nice and warm.
All summer long, High Cascade snowboard camp has been going off. Each session has brought out some really impressive snowboarding, and the session five video continues the trend. With the summer quickly winding down on the glacier the riding is showing now sings of slowing down, as this is possibly the best edit of the summer.
Riding from Jaeger Bailey, Mike Ravelson, Bode Merrill, Deadlung, Scott Stevens, Spencer Schubert, Justin Bennee, Bode Merrill, Randy Vannurden, Sage Kotsenburg, Vinny, Pat Bridges, Richie Conklin, Marie Hucal, Max Warbington, Garrett Warnick, Andrew Aldridge, Brandon Reis, Red Gerard, Zack Normandin, Brandon Sakiewics and Jayell White.
High Cascade Snowboard Camp Session Five Recap
Just becasue it’s August doesn’t mean that High Cascade Snowboard Camp is slowing down at all. In fact, it’s still going full throttle. This Session five recap is no joke. It features riding from all your summer time favorites such as Jaeger Bailey, Mike Ravelson, Bode Merrill, Deadlung, Scott Stevens, Spencer Schubert, Justin Bennee, Bode Merrill, Randy Vannurden, Sage Kotsenburg, Vinny, Pat Bridges, Richie Conklin, Marie Hucal, Max Warbington, Garrett Warnick, Andrew Aldridge, Brandon Reis, Red Gerard, Zack Normandin, Brandon Sakiewics, and Jayell White. Watch it, or miss out.
DENVER – John Backowski said he feared for his son's life when the young man went snowboarding, cringing every time he heard about an avalanche.
Backowski said he would talk with his son after every report of a snow slide to make sure 25-year-old Collin Backowski of Pine Junction was safe.
"He would say, 'I'm OK, Dad. It wasn't me,'" John Backowski said. "I think he quit telling me, 'Don't worry about me.' He knew his mother and I were never going to stop worrying."
Collin Backowski and five of his companions were traveling on Mount Hood in Oregon when an ice tunnel collapsed Saturday, killing the young man. The friends were not hurt and tried to dig out the expert snowboarder, but the ice and snow were too thick.
Hood River Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Tiffany Peterson told The Associated Press that after removing tons of debris by hand, searchers found the body of Collin Backowski, who had been buried by 8 to 10 feet of snow and ice.
The ice tunnel was on the White River Glacier, which begins about 6,000 feet up the south side of the mountain.
"The area they were going into, it's extreme, extreme terrain," John Backowski of Denver told The Denver Post on Sunday.
John Backowski said authorities told him his son headed into the area to shoot photographs. Companions took photos of the area just before the collapse, giving searchers a better idea of where to look. Warm temperatures made snow on the mountain slushier and more easily sloughed off the surface, adding to the challenge of finding him.
Collin Backowski was working this summer as a coach at High Cascade, a youth snowboarding camp on Mount Hood. He last spoke to his father earlier Saturday. He didn't mention the trek.
"He knew better than to tell me he was going to do something that extreme," John Backowski said. "He was fine. He was enjoying himself. He was loving his summer job out there and looking forward to where it led."
High Cascade wrote on its Facebook page that the collapse happened at a location that is out-of-bounds and off-limits for campers. The camp said it is "deeply saddened by this loss" and will provide crisis counseling for staff and campers.
Video by Brendan Rice
Cover Photo by Chris Wellhausen
Behind The Cover shoot. All the product was selected and laid out on the ground of the TransWorld photo studio. Photo Holly Estrow
Behind The Cover: 2014 Gear Guide
Check out all the products shown on our new 2014 Gear Guide Issue out now and the behind the scenes of getting the shot.
About the issue
On newsstands now, our 2014 Gear Guide features 260 pages of boards, boots, and bindings built for your riding style. To create the totally redesigned Guide, our editors dug through thousands of products and handpicked everything you’ll find inside based on the season’s best new developments and innovations. It’s the stuff that makes this year’s gear matter, from bindings with flexible Kevlar heelcups to no-backs, asymmetrical to spooned boards, and easy lacing, custom-fitting boots.
We’ve also included our Good Wood results featuring the top 36 men’s and women’s all-mountain and park boards from the most comprehensive test in snowboarding. It’s all been designed around a few key categories so you can pick the gear that best suits the way you ride, whether you’re looking for an all-mountain setup, something for park laps, or a splitboard kit to tap untracked lines.
Subscribe now HERE for advance copies of all TransWorld SNOWboarding issues or call 1.866.897.7669. You can also get the Gear Guide by downloading the TransWorld SNOWboarding app for your iPad.