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The 10 Best Epic Ski And Snowboarding Experiences

Snow sports are an addiction. You start with a taste – most often, a family trip where you ski-wedge your way down a bunny slope. One day becomes two, the seasons start to multiply, and then you realize that the first trip was your gateway drug into a life-long affection for snow-covered mountains. It’s a ravenous, intoxicating appetite that may never be fully quenched. But these ten trips, the apex of skiing and snowboarding, may offer a bit of tantalizing solace — or at least a defined goal to achieve. Don’t forget to gear up with proper clothing such as an electric blue valdez snow jacket for your protection.Tuckerman-Ravine10. Tuckerman’s Ravine, New Hampshire

An icon of New Hampshire backcountry skiing, this bowl in Mount Washington nestled in the White Mountains doesn’t get the most snow when it comes to backwoods locales. But at an average of 50 feet each year, it boasts enough snow for epic yo-yo loops through its gullies and chutes. Come spring, it’s both a party and an East Coast rite of passage — more than 1,000 people have been known to carve it up on a March weekend. It’s a group worth joining. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tuckerman_Ravine

9. Snowcat Skiing at Baldface Lodge, British Columbia

A ten-minute helicopter ride out of Nelson, British Columbia, delivers you to Baldface Lodge, home base for three- and four-day all-inclusive, guided snowcat skiing and boarding. The stats — 500-plus inches of snow each year carpeting more than 32,000 acres of skiable terrain — tell the tale. The cats run in almost any condition, delivering skiers and riders fresh turns through open bowls, vertiginous peaks and evenly-spaced glades for as long as your legs can muster. http://www.baldface.net/

8. Corbet’s Couloir, Wyoming

While this is a single run rather than a multi-day getaway, Corbet’s still populates most extreme skiers’ must-conquer list. To be fair, most of the runs off Jackson Hole Resort’s famed Aerial Tram could qualify for this list, but Corbet’s is special. Sitting skier’s left after exiting the tram, you’ll find a ten-foot-wide opening carved into the mountainside, with a cornice drop that can stretch to 30 feet leading to a narrow, 50-degree-pitch slope that eventually, mercifully, opens out into a wider bowl. Those who dare are best off waiting for when it’s packed with forgiving powder. http://www.jacksonhole.com/

7. Japan’s Mount Yotei

Skiers and riders who hit Japan’s famed island of Hokkaido typically plant themselves at the resorts around Niseko, which is why the daring skiers and riders branch out to skin up and ski down Mount Yotei. At 6,227 feet, this volcano is the highest peak in the region, proffering the most vertical feet on the island. Only the most experienced backcountry explorers need apply. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Y%C5%8Dtei

6. McConkey’s, California

Looming like a silent dare at the top of Squaw Valley’s famed KT-22 Mountain, this singular run traverses an extreme 120 vertical feet on a 68-degree pitch, one of the steepest in the country. Once called Eagles’ Nest, it was renamed in 2009 in honor of Squaw legend and extreme skier Shayne McConkey, and it remains just as formidable as it did when the resort first opened. http://squaw.com/

5. Snowwater Heli-Skiing, British Columbia
Heli-skiing offers easy access to unlimited terrain and a quintessential James Bond experience, unless you get stuck in base camp waiting for the weather to turn so that the birds can fly. Thankfully Nelson, British Columbia-based Snowwater has you covered. Their HQ, nestled in the snow-choked Selkirk Mountains, provides plush lodging, amazing food and two guest copters. And if the conditions ground them, you can hop into one of their snowcats and head into the expansive backcountry to access countless powder turns rather than wait for Mother Nature to cooperate. http://snowwater.com/

4. La Grave, France

As its ominous name evokes, this resort isn’t for the faint of heart. It’s positioned on a steep hillside facing the glacier-encrusted slopes of La Meije, with a pitch that exceeds 50 degrees for more than 3,000 feet. Only one “run” is marked. The rest is an expert’s humbling, off-piste playground. http://www.la-grave.com/index.php?rx=1.6

3. Silverton Resort, Colorado

This one-of-a-kind resort near Durango, Colorado, offers access to more than 1,800 skiable acres — plus another 22,000 acres of hike-in terrain — all of it accessible by a single lift. The amenities are bare-bones, including a yurt-style lodge and a truly convivial, we’re-all-in-this-madness-together vibe. And the terrain is 100 percent expert-only: All skiers are required to have an avalanche beacon, probe and shovel. Better still? With more than 400 inches annually, the snow never quits. http://www.silvertonmountain.com/page/home

2. Hut-to-Hut in New Zealand

More than 62 huts dot the expansive landscape of New Zealand’s Southern Alps, offering countless options for DIY backcountry skiers and riders to connect the dots to as many huts as one’s itinerary allows. Cross high-mountain passes, polish up your mountaineering skills, ski unfettered lines and then appreciate the plush, heated confines of your perfectly rustic accommodations each night. http://www.norwayhut2hut.com/Home.html

1. A Ski Expedition in Antarctica

Deemed the last snow-covered frontier by most extreme skiers and riders, you can make this intimidating world slightly more accessible (and live out your millionaire dreams) by signing up for a 13-day yacht-and-ski expeditions with Adventure Consultants. Cross the Drake Passage, camp on the snow-covered, glaciated Wiencke Island and spend each day exploring new lines in the astounding, unforgiving terrain of Antarctica. http://www.adventureconsultants.com/

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