Recently Forbes Traveler magazine polled members of the US Ski Team about their favorite ski resorts in North America. Favorites were solicited from athletes Andrew Newell, Torin Koos, Andrew Johnson and Kris Freeman; coach Chris Grover; and the team's Director, Luke Bodensteiner.
The top ten were as follows.
Silver Star Mountain Resort, British Columbia
Mont-Sainte-Anne Cross-Country Centre, Quebec
Craftsbury Outdoor Center, Vermont
Methow Valley, Washington
Royal Gorge Cross Country Ski Resort, California
Telemark Resort, Wisconsin
Devils Thumb Ranch, Colorado
Soldier Hollow, Utah
Sun Valley Nordic Center, Idaho
Trapp Family Lodge, Vermont
Unlike many “top resorts” polls, this one comes from racers' perspectives. But what is interesting is that the top resorts on this list are very similar to those chosen year after year as the best by publications targeted at recreational skiers. Clearly the top racers appreciate many of the same qualities as mere mortals, such as lots of trails, scenic views, good lodging options, etc. While the current trend in ski trail design for racing and training is to create short loops for sprinting and spectator-friendly courses, it appears that the top racers still appreciate the long, scenic trails.
With the exception of Soldier Hollow, which enjoys a home-field advantage in this poll, the areas listed are all ski “resorts” first and foremost, with racing being a secondary concern. But having said that, it should be noted that nearly all resorts on this list have held major races in recent years. After all, the top skiers are most familiar with venues that hold big races.
Nordic escapes: The U.S. Ski Team picks the top cross-country ski resorts in North America
Forbes Traveler, Updated: 8:15 a.m. HT Nov 15, 2006
Stride, kick, push, glide. The smooth cadence of a refined cross-country ski technique is a beautiful thing. And all the more so in an epic setting: a bright winter sky, long mountain views and trees frosty with new snow.
What are your favorite places to ski? Add them in the comments section below.