5 Unlikely Ski Resorts
Any avid skier or snow bunny will know all about the best ski resorts – and whether your preference is Europe, the US or Canada there are many stunning places to stay. Whether you frequent luxury chalets in Verbier, or mountainside retreats in Banff, the pine-clad towns and snowy cities always have a certain cosy, comforting atmosphere.
But what if you want to trade all that cosiness in for something a bit more wild?
I’m not suggesting that you should take your hired skis out onto unmapped terrain; however, there are resorts you can take off to where you can trade in that fondue dinner next to the fireside for something a little more out there. Here are five unlikely ski resorts that will turn your next holiday into an adventure.
1. Gulmarg (Kashmir, India)
Gulmarg is situated at the base of the 13,500ft Mount Apharwat, and offers extensive, untouched runs on some of the world’s highest slopes. Beware though, there is one cable car up to the runs, and you may be left sitting in mid-air for a while as the power supply isn’t what you’d call reliable! But for the amazing skiing, it’s worth it.
2. Oukaimeden (Morocco)
Just 50 miles away from hot, bustling Marrakesh, are the Atlas Mountains and the resort of Oukaimeden. This is Africa’s highest ski resort with the slopes extending up to 10,700ft, which boast a great variety of trails for all levels. You can access all slopes by chair lift or T-bar, though if you’re in the mood to do things differently, why not hitch a donkey ride up to your favourite run?
3. Mauna Kea (The Big Island, Hawaii)
Thought Hawaii was simply a summer holiday destination? Not at Mauna Kea, the mother of volcanoes. During January and February the 13,800ft high summit can be skied when the weather conditions are favourable, though make sure you can hack it before you leave, as there are no set runs, and no facilities up there!
4. Cerro Catedral (Patagonia, Argentina)
If you want a picturesque holiday, the stunning slopes of Cerro Catedral, which stands at 6,500ft, at the southern end of the Andes is your best bet. With over 60 miles of ski runs catering to all abilities and great access by a multitude of chair lifts, you can marvel at the amazing views of the Nahuel Huapi lake with ease.
5. Pucon (Araucania, Chile)
Pucon stands at 9,300ft at the heart of Chile’s lake district and is perfect if you want to cool off in the northern hemisphere’s summer time. Located next to the Villarrica Volcano, this resort offers a holiday with a twist, as you can easily hike up to the smoking top of one of the world’s 10 most active volcanoes and peer into the summit of bubbling magma!
Have you visited any of these resorts? Any more you’d like to add to the list?
Gavin Harvey is a travel nut with a passion for holidays that are a little out of the ordinary. He currently writes for Dynamic Lives.MORE MOUNTAIN WEEKLY NEWS HIGHLIGHTS: