Go Skiing! 5 Great Spots in the Alps
Skiing can be an incredible sporting and recreational activity for almost every individual. First used in its early days as a means of transportation, it involves moving over snow with a pair of long flat runners called skis, which are attached to the feet. Over the years, skiing has been divided into different categories, depending on location.
Some of these categories include Alpine skiing, backcountry skiing, cross country skiing, ski touring and freeskiing. In this article, we shall be discussing Alpine skiing or skiing in the Alps.
Also known as Downhill skiing, Alpine skiing originated in the highest and most extensive mountains of Central Europe called the Alps. All over the alpine countries, ski resorts can be found in great numbers as villages and towns near mountainous areas. These resorts provide skiers with year-round skiing, beautiful sceneries, and the largest ski domains in the world.
However, skiers attracted by what the Alps offer still have to decide where they prefer to ski. Among the numerous ski resorts available across the Alps, only a few spots truly epitomise the experience of skiing in the Alps.
Here are five great spots to go skiing in the Alps.
#1. Courmayeur, Italy
Courmayeur is an Alpine resort on the sunny Italian side of Mont Blanc. This ski resort attracts all levels of skiers and is well known for the Sky Way Mont Blanc cable car that gives a glimpse of more than a dozen of Europe's highest peaks, such as the Monte Rosa and Matterhorn.
Its unique selling points include its big-mountain scenery, a historic town, and mountain restaurants which offer simple Italian meals. Even after the pistes close, the cable car still provides transportation to mountain top rifugios till midnight.
The ski terrain consists of a 1,545-meter vertical descent from the ski resort area and a formidable off-piste descent of over 2,150 meters from Punta Helbronner on the flanks of Mont Blanc. It also shares access to the renowned 20-kilometre glacial run of the Vallée Blanche with Chamonix in France.
Courmayeur is a beautiful spot with an adventurous mountain spirit excellent for both family-friendly and action-packed skiing.
#2. Zermatt, Switzerland
Zermatt is a mountain resort in the Valais village of southern Switzerland popular for skiing, climbing, and hiking. At an elevation of 1,600 meters, the resort lies beneath Switzerland’s most famous mountain, the Matterhorn, and is surrounded by the Alps’ highest peaks.
It has a total of 223-mile runs in its four ski areas, some reaching altitudes of over 10,000 feet. So it's not unusual to find snow well beyond the winter. This car-free resort offers year-round and world-class skiing, a state-of-the-art lift system, rich history of farming and climbing, and lively après-ski detours.
#3. St. Moritz, Switzerland
St. Moritz is a luxury alpine resort town located in Switzerland’s Engadin valley. Having hosted the Winter Olympics games twice, it is reputed as the most established ski resort in the Alps and the best in Europe. Others also claim it is the oldest winter holiday resort in the world.
This resort offers excellent skiing off-piste, world-class hotels and restaurants, trendy shopping, and 322 days a year of sunshine. Although its prices are often more pricey than other spots in the alps, its panoramic views, beautiful scenery, and year-round snow makes it worth it.
#4. St. Anton am Alberg, Austria
Often referred to as the “cradle of alpine skiing”, St. Anton is the largest interconnected ski resort in Austria and the fifth largest in the world. St. Anton is located in the Tyrolean Alps and forms the heart of the Arlberg ski region.
The ambience in St. Anton is a unique mixture of fun and tradition. Apart from the 305km of pistes, 88 lifts, and 200km of freeriding terrain, St. Anton offers a history museum that outlines the development of skiing, an array of excellent restaurants, and the most pleasing après-ski scene.
#5. Chamonix, France
Chamonix earned international recognition when it became the site of the first Winter Olympic games. Located just below Mont Blanc, the highest mountain in the Alps, its slopes are scattered among six ski areas, including some of the world's most challenging terrains.
Beginner and less experienced skiers can also have lots of relaxed and enjoyable skiing down slopes that match their abilities, along with picturesque views from some trails. A Two-stage cable car transports skiers to the top of the mountain at 3,275 meters.
Even without its French Alpine village, the Chamonix would still be an outstanding ski spot that offers a fantastic year-round skiing experience.
While skiing is an overall great and entertaining sport, skiers gain varying levels of satisfaction and fun from different ski locations. Therefore, when choosing your perfect ski spot, you should aim for one that fits your personal taste regarding height, descent and scenery. But most importantly, you should aim for comfortable and functional clothing.At Fat Moose, our outerwears -jackets, pants, fleece and vests- are specially designed for both urban and outdoor lifestyles. So be sure to add more to your experience by choosing the right clothing when next you go skiing in the alps.