I was a lucky man. I’ve skied quite a few hills and here they all are along with a brief comment about each. Whilst to some this will appear like a huge list but I’ll be honest with you; many of these places I only skied for a few hours on the one run (the life of a ski coach/pack horse). Any ski racers out there will have skied about 20x this list but be nice and let me have my fun!
So here is my list! It’s not really in any order. I tried to do it alphabetically but then I gave up as I forgot where I’d been. This is just a bit of fun so if you live in one of these places then don’t take offence. Even the worst place I’ve ever skied (Puy St Vincent closely followed by Flaine) is still awesome. It’s just at the lower end of awesome.
Soldeu – If you like cruising around then this isn’t a bad shout, might get boring after a while.
Pas de la Casa – Good for a lads break but similar to its neighbour Soldeu and not as cheap as people think.
Lienz – Great town, has two decent hills with some hidden descents, not well known by Brits. I like it.
Innerkrems – Standard Austrian. This is code for I really can’t remember much other than one stupidly steep black run.
Pitztal – Great off-piste (with a guide) but with many villages spread along the valley, choose your accommodation wisely.
Solden – Party town, glacier, huge vertical. TICK.
Kaunertal – Great drive up with plenty of road gap potential. Flat glacier.
Moltaler – Full of ski teams in the office season. Good pitch for training. Coffee and a bowl of pasta is well priced at the top.
Sillian – Shhh. This hidden place is awesome. Don’t tell anyone, I love it.
St Johann – Reasonable McDonalds. Standard Austrian.
Niederau – Fun place, I got heavily drunk here and didn’t do much skiing. I’d like to go back.
Obertauren – AWESOME! Can ski on runs facing in all directions and very snow sure.
St Lambrecht – It snowed lots when I was here and I got my butt kicked racing in the Hungarian FIS Uni Champs here in 03. That is all.
Reiteralm – Do you like ski racing? Go here.
Ramsau am Dachstein – Can’t remember.
Pamporovo – First ever foreign ski trip. Bloody cold and there was a burger van run by scousers at the side of one of the pistes.
Whister Blackcomb – Best place on earth. The only people who don’t think so haven’t skied there. Needs a separate blog.
Mt Seymour – Close to Vancouver city centre. Slow lifts but great night skiing so close to the city is great.
Spindleuv Myln – One of the few places left in Europe where I can afford a beer. Friendly people and quite quirky.
Horni Miseky – Erm, seemed small. I left and went to Prague to crash a stag do.
Tignes – Best in France for me. Seasonaires are actually a laugh here, it’s snow sure and TC’s bar is very welcoming. They offered me food before “I had to leave”.
Val d’Isere – I don’t like it that much. Don’t know why but I just don’t.
Alpe d’Huez – Quality place for a big resort. Sports centre is great. I lost some epic table tennis matches here. Made to feel very welcome when here for races.
Les Deux Alpes – Loads of runs but annoyingly far from Grenoble. Even worse if you don’t fly to Grenoble.
Le Sauze – Do you like Poma’s? Then go here. I like it. It’s small, friendly and doesn’t break the bank. Stay in Barcelonette down the valley which is a quirky little town with mexican influences.
Flaine – Avoid at all costs.
Les Contamines – Awesome, empty pistes and great views.
La Touissuire – Very cool. One of those places the French keep to themselves which makes it cost effective.
Megeve – Decent enough McDonalds now its been refurbished.
Meribel – Had many a bad time here but it is an annoyingly good ski resort.
Val Thorens – I shouldn’t like it but I do. It just works. The terrain is awesome and the nightlife is worryingly effective.
Courchavel – You need a credit check done if you want to ski here. Only go if you speak Russian and have your own jet.
La Tania – Quaint with some nice trees…
Puy St Vincent – Hell. AVOID AT ALL COSTS.
Saint Lary Solan – I think I had lunch with the mayor. Great place, few too many poma’s but for something other than the alps then it’s worth a go.
Grasgehren – Snowed loads here. If you can find it then let me know.
Sudelfeld – Proper club field. Love it. Great people and the gasthof where I stayed had an endless supply of boiled eggs. The must have kept chickens.
Bormio – I should like it but I don’t. Probably as things always go wrong when I’m there. That and being made to feel very unwelcome at a Europa Cup. I never went back. Neither did the Europa Cup.
Innichen/San Candido – Lovely town, awesome people. Coldest place on the planet and that is a fact. They brought the coaches as sandwich on race day. This went down very well.
Cervina – Only really skied in from Zermatt for lunch. It still counts right?
Sierra Nevada – Love it. Surprisingly expensive and lots of beginners but at least they don’t get out of bed till lunch time. Village feels like a half assed Whistler which is a very good thing.
Davos – I don’t get it. Good Ice-Hockey team though.
Zweisimmen – Local skiing for local people.
Nendaz – One of my many homes in the alps. Great town but annoying lack of lifts and a pain to get to the bigger hills from here.
Grindelwald – I learned to ski here. I know every bump on Firstbahn. I love it.
Wengen – Feels like a small and not as good Zermatt but its a great town and has some awesome skiing.
Murren – Small and perfectly formed.
Zermatt – Strangely, I prefer it in the summer time but you must, I repeat must ski here.
Saas Fee – I like it but it seems to be full of “cool people” so I don’t fit in. Good training in the off-season but needs some lift upgrades.
Leysin – Spent a weekend here. Had no idea where it was until I got there. I challenge you to find a better view of Lac Leman.
Verbier – I don’t get it. I can’t afford it. This doesn’t bother me in the slightest.
Laax – Seriously kids. Buy some clothes that fit. Amidst all the jibs and grabs is actually a very expansive ski area which is worth a visit.
Disentis – No idea. Honestly can’t remember a thing about this place.
Lenzerhiede – See above.
Siviez – Hidden above Nendaz, this place is where I relax best. Perhaps due to good company and good cheese from Anne and Marcel in Cafe les Bergers. The best thing about Siviez is you can get up Mont Fort quicker than the folk from Verbier. The downside is the number of Belgian buses.
Olso, Tryvann – Oslo is on my list of cities where I could make my home. Tryvann is one of the reasons why. Close to the city centre and offers great fun and a great atmosphere. Just save up before you go!
Mt Baker – It’s got bite! If I could ski one hill for the rest of my life, this would be it.
Palandoken – Stunning view, ruddy cold.
Glenshee – Scotland’s 3 valleys? This place is good.
Nevis Range – Some of the best lift served decents in Europe here. I’m not lying.
Cairngorm Mountain – This is where skiing was invented. Of that I am convinced. It’s cool but they need to stop removing lifts.
So there is my list. I think i’ve missed a few out and hopefully i’ll add some new places soon. It is a constant embarrassment to myself that I still haven’t skied at Glencoe. I live 90 minutes away from an awesome hill and I haven’t skied there. I will in 2012! Who wants to join me??