Originating as a primary mode of personal transport during the winter in Scandinavia and Northern Europe, skiing has since become one of the most popular recreational activities in the world, as well as being a wonderful form of exercise. There are two different types of skiing: Nordic skiing, also called backcountry skiing or, more familiarly, cross-country skiing; and Alpine skiing or downhill skiing.
Alpine skiing is the kind of skiing that is seen at a ski resort destination. Skis used for Alpine skiing have fixed-heel bindings, which means that the toe and heel of a skier’s boot is locked into place. This differs from the Nordic ski binding which leaves the heel free.
Top skiing destinations for beginners and advanced skiers
The original ski resorts were villages in the French, Swiss and Italian Alps. Many of these villages such as Chamonix-Mont Blanc in France; Zermatt in Switzerland, Lech Zurs in Austria, and Cortina d’Ampezzo in Italy, continue to be popular destinations for skiing holidays and professional competitions. These top ski destinations offer a wide variety of slopes, beautiful resorts, quaint local villages and shops, as well as a host of other unique facilities and attractions. However, as a love of skiing has spread throughout the world, many countries have taken advantage of their natural terrain and created wonderful destinations for skiers and snowboarders alike.
The best of European skiing has to be Vebrier, Switzerland. A popular destination for skiers all year round, this excellent resort has guaranteed fresh snow and a village lifestyle to make every tourist fall in love with the area. Ski chalets can be a difficult thing to find, however, luxury travel agent Tempston Luxury help Verbier lovers to find their perfect vacation property!
Skiers flock to Whistler Blackcomb in British Colombia, Canada, the largest ski resort in North America; with wooded slopes, open slopes and some of the best heli-skiing in the world, Whistler and nearby Vancouver were home to the 2010 Winter Olympics and many of the venues built for the skiing competitions are open for use to skiers. Other popular ski destination in Canada include Mount Tremblant in Quebec, and Banff, which has three ski resort destinations all within an hour’s drive of each other.
In the United States, ski resorts are scattered throughout the northeast and western states. When many people think of skiing in the western US, the mountains of Colorado come immediately to mind. Vail is the largest single ski resort in North America and features three areas full of slopes, trails, parks and plenty of areas that will appeal to both beginners and advanced skiers. Aspen is the premier celebrity ski resort offering several terrain parks and half-pipes perfect for skiers and snowboarders alike. Aspen Snowmass is ideal for a family skiing vacation, though most of the trails are for more advanced skiers.
New Zealand is home to some of the most diverse terrain in the world. Mount Ruapehu has become a very popular spot for a skiing vacation with one of the longest vertical slopes in Australasia. Mount Ruapehu is also a stratovolcano, and an active one at that, so plan ahead before making the trip.
Tips for skiing safety
Always check the equipment before heading out on the slopes. Even if skis and other equipment have been carefully stored off-season, it is important to thoroughly inspect each piece and check for damage or deterioration.
Strapping on a pair of men’s or women’s skis can make one feel like an Olympic champion, but there is s a definite difference when actually out on the slopes. Take a few lessons, learn some basics and meet new people.