Best ski resorts in the world (according to athletes) | Thule (2023)

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We interviewed international ski champions and athletes for their favorite ski destinations – here are their responses!


We asked professional skiers, snowboarding champions, and other winter athletes for their favorite places to go skiing – in their hometowns, or around the world.

And they had some awesome responses. From Mount Baker USA with its insane amount of snowfall per year, to the mother of mountains herself: Mont Blanc.

Mount Baker, USA

Last time I was [at Mount Baker] we had three meters of snow in five days! The snow there is high in moisture so it’s truly bottomless. It has everything from mini spines to long rolling meadows and steep tree runs to monstrous cliffs.

- Matthias Giraud

Best ski resorts in the world (according to athletes) | Thule (3)

Why you should check it out:
Mount Baker is a small ski area but it’s popular with locals and has a lot of variety. It’s perfect if you want to avoid the large, bustling resort experience. Also, on average, Mount Baker receives an insane total of 15 m / 600 in of snow per year, some of the largest amounts in the world.


Great for: Families, friends and all ski levels


(In this picture: A ski lift at Mount Baker. Photo credit: Kallerna licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0)

Mount Bachelor, Oregon, USA

Mount Bachelor is one of my favorite local destinations near my home.

- Matthias Giraud

Best ski resorts in the world (according to athletes) | Thule (4)

Why you should check it out:
One of the largest ski resorts in North America, Mount Bachelor has 4,300 acres / 1740 hectres of skiable land, 121 unique runs, and 1025 m / 3,365 ft of vertical drop.

The Summit Chair is also unique for this ski resort. Perfect for intermediate skiers and up, the Summit Chair gives you breathtaking 360-degree views, and the option to ski all 360 degrees off the top of the mountain.


Great for: Intermediate skiers, advanced skiers, groups of friends.


(In this picture: The summit of Mount Bachelor. Photo credit: Brian Cripe licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0)

Mt. Hood Meadows, USA

If I want to ski late in the season, I go to ski on the glacier at Mount Hood, where I can get a couple of thousand meters vertical which is great for training.

(Video) Top 10 Ski Resorts in the US - Most luxurious ski resorts - Travel2day 2022

- Matthias Giraud

Best ski resorts in the world (according to athletes) | Thule (5)

Why you should check it out:
The playful terrain is what makes Mt Hood unique. Mt Hood is known for its diversity, including the steep pitches of powder at the Heather Canyon with about 1,371 m / 4,500 ft of vertical. The “experts only” area consists of extremely difficult glade trails with cliff outcroppings, enough to challenge even the most talented skiers.

There are also, of course, more gentle slopes for beginners.


Great for: All levels of skiers, families and friend groups.


(In this picture: Mt. Hood Meadows.)

Rogers Pass, Canada

We love Canadian powder! Rogers Pass is one of our favorite places to ski tour in Canada, surrounded by tall and thin trees packed with snow. Here we find a real deep connection with nature.

- Alice Linari and Lorenzo Alesi

Best ski resorts in the world (according to athletes) | Thule (6)

Why you should check it out:
Rogers Pass is located in the Glacier National Park and is popular for backcountry ski touring. On average it receives around 10m / 32 ft of snow per year and boasts some of the finest powder in the world. Here you can experience steep runs or heavily glaciated alpine terrain. Of course, if you’re ski touring, make sure to be prepared and follow the recommendations for avalanche safety.


Great for: Experienced backcountry skiers (go in a group!).


(Photo credit: Lorenzo Alesi.)

Warth-Schröcken, Austria

Naming the top destinations for skiing in Austria is a tough one because we have so many and, depending on the conditions, you can find so many different resorts or places to go. We are so lucky to have the Alps as our huge playground. But if I had to choose one, I would definitely choose my home resort, Warth-Schröcken.

- Martin McFly Winkler

Why you should check it out:
Warth-Schröcken boasts its “snow guarantee” with an average of 11 m / 36 ft per year, and the most snow-abundant area in the Alps. The resort also has the longest ski circuit in the Alps at about 85 km / 52 mi.M


Great for: Families, friends and all ski levels.

Sölden, Ötztal, Austria

Best ski resorts in the world (according to athletes) | Thule (7)

Why you should check it out:
Sölden is one of Europe’s most popular ski resorts, with 2 glaciers, over 144 km / 89 mi of slopes, and spectacular views of the Alps at elevations over a whopping 3,000 m / 9,842 ft. What more could you ask for?


Great for: Families, friends and all ski levels.


(In this picture: A ski lift at Sölden ski resort © Christoph Nösig / Bergbahnen Sölden / Ötztal Tourismus)

Engadin, Switzerland

Then …over the border into Switzerland, you have Engadin - which is an amazing place.

- Martin McFly Winkler

Best ski resorts in the world (according to athletes) | Thule (8)

Why you should check it out:
The Corviglia ski area in St. Mortiz has hosted both World Championships and the Olympics, so skiers come here for tried-and-tested excellent slopes for all skills ranges, with great snow conditions and spectacular views.

It has all the après-ski charm you could ask for, with wood mountain lodges and the cozy Swiss village of St Moritz at the bottom of the valley.


Great for: Families, freeride, freestyle and piste-riders.


(Photo: Source Engadin St. Moritz Tourismus AG / Copyright: Engadin St. Moritz Tourismus)

Chamonix, France

I really like Chamonix because you have really easy access to high alpine conditions. It's not far from me and you can get a whole day's adventure without lots of travel.

- Xavier De Le Rue

Best ski resorts in the world (according to athletes) | Thule (9)

Why you should check it out:
The spectacular views of Mont Blanc are the biggest reason to head to Chamonix. This ski resort offers some of the most magnificent panoramic views of Mont Blanc and most terrain is over 1900 m / 6,233 ft.

(Video) Is This The Best skier in the World? Sam Kuch Two Years of Shred


Great for: Friend groups and skiers of different levels.

(In this picture: Lorenzo Alesi also enjoys skiing in Chamonix France. Photo credit: Lorenzo Alesi.)

Verbier, Switzerland

One of my favorite places near where I live is Verbier in Switzerland. It feels like home and I know every little detail of the place by now. I like the fact that there is no pressure on me there. It's a big international place with lots of freestyle spots.

- Xavier De Le Rue

Best ski resorts in the world (according to athletes) | Thule (10)

Why you should check it out:
One of the biggest ski areas in Switzerland, Verbier, attracts extreme freeriders, alpine ski professionals and more relaxed skiing enthusiasts from around the world. This is a ski resort in world class, that’s also famous for its luxurious après ski and nightlife.


Great for: Groups of friends, freeriders, alpine skiers and skiers of different levels.


(In this picture: A snowboarder in Verbier. Source: Anders Ödman / Copyright: Verbier Promotion)

Dolomiti Superski – Dolomites, Italy

Still in the Alps, one of my favorite places is the Dolomites. It's full of huge gullies which is the terrain I like the most. And then in the Dolomites you can eat great pasta. It is important to me wherever I go to have good food!

- Xavier De Le Rue

Best ski resorts in the world (according to athletes) | Thule (11)

Why you should check it out:
The Dolomites are a magnificent part of the Italian Alps, that has been given UNESCO world heritage status with 18 peaks over 3,000 m / 9842 ft and unique terrain. If that’s not enough to convince you, the Dolomite Super Ski consists of 12 ski areas all reachable with one ski pass.


Great for: Families, friend groups and skiers of all levels.

(In this picture: Two people at an aprés-ski lunch at the Dolomiti Superski. ©Dolomiti Superski/Wisthaler)

Sibillini Mountains, Italy

These are our home mountains and have a special place in our hearts. Although we have skied in these mountains many times, it always feels special, the conditions are always different and our experience while ski touring here is always unique.

- Alice Linari and Lorenzo Alesi

Best ski resorts in the world (according to athletes) | Thule (12)

Why you should check it out:
The ski resorts here are located right in Monti Sibillini National Park. The Ussita ski resort offers 9 km / 5.5 mi of slopes and reaches altitudes of over 2,000 m / 6,560 ft. These resorts are great for all levels and are family friendly. The national park is also great for ski touring.


Great for: Families at the resorts, and intermediate or expert ski groups in the national park.


(Photo credit: Lorenzo Alesi.)

Nordkette – Innsbruck, Austria

One of the best resorts around Innsbruck is Nordkette...you get a view of the whole city. It's easy to get to, you can take a tram up there and arrive within 25 minutes, it's really incredible.

- Elias Elhardt

Best ski resorts in the world (according to athletes) | Thule (13)

Why you should check it out:
Something truly special thing about the Nordkette ski resort is the spectacular view of the snow-covered city below.

Also, the freeride skiing routes, including Hafelar run, are some of the steepest ski routes in Europe with gradients of 70%, reserved only for the best riders.


Great for: Freeriding fanatics but also skiers of different levels.


(In this picture: A couple skiing at the Nordkette ski resort. Photo credit: Mario Webhofer / Copyright: Nordkette.com)

Schlick 2000, Austria

There are so many resorts around Innsbruck, but I like Schlick and the playful terrain there, which is only a 20-minute drive for me.

- Elias Elhardt

Best ski resorts in the world (according to athletes) | Thule (14)

Why you should check it out:
If you have young kids, the Schlick 2000 ski resort is especially popular with families thanks to its compact size, beginner-friendly slopes and a cable car station with a children’s area where kids can play while their parents have a go at more difficult slopes. The resort also has family-friendly restaurants and kids’ activities to do après ski.

(Video) 7 Best SKI RESORTS in ARGENTINA (Possibly the BEST PLACE TO SKI in the SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE?)


Great for: Families.


(In this photo: The Stubai glacier, the area where the ski resort is located. Copyright: Tirol Werbung_Herbig Hans)

Saint Anton, Arlberg, Austria

I really love the Arlberg region which is between Germany, where I was born, and Innsbruck, where I live now. This region has so much to offer. Tons of resorts like Saint Anton and it just snows so much. I love this place and spend a lot of time there.

- Elias Elhardt

Best ski resorts in the world (according to athletes) | Thule (15)

Why you should check it out:
Not only is St. Anton a renowned alpine destination in the Alps, but it also offers a whole range of other fun winter activities. Ski mountaineering, tobogganing, ice-skating, curling, paragliding, snowshoe hiking and more!


Great for: Friend groups.


(Photo: A ski lift at Valluga St. Anton. © TVB St. Anton am Arlberg_Patrick Bätz)

Mayrhofen, Austria

Best ski resorts in the world (according to athletes) | Thule (16)

Recommended by Maria Kuzma

Why you should check it out:
Mayrhofen is a popular destination for expert skiers (but there are also lots of options for beginners and families). The infamous Harakiri piste has a gradient of 78%, making it one of the steepest runs in Austria.

Freeriders will also really appreciate Penken Park, a snowpark with a range of different levels that is one of the most popular things to do at Mayrhofen.


Great for: Freeriders and expert skiers.


(In this photo: The beautiful foggy mountains at Finkenberg, Mayrhofen. Copyright: Tirol Werbung_Schreyer David)

Norefjell, Norway

My favorite destination around home is Norefjell. There is epic sun the whole day, nice steep slopes and a good set-up for park skiing.

- Anders Backe

Best ski resorts in the world (according to athletes) | Thule (17)

Why you should check it out:
Norrefjell also has the highest vertical drop of all ski resorts in Northern Europe at 1010 m / 3313 ft , you can ski from 1188 m / 3897 ft all the way almost down to the frozen lake nearby. The long season is also a plus, with excellent snow conditions from November until April.


Great for: Friends, family and skiers of all levels.


(Photo credit and copyright: Foap / VisitNorway.com)

Hemsedal, Norway

I've been skiing here for 10, 15 years at least and you are able to combine high mountains with good a park for the whole package.

- Anders Backe

Best ski resorts in the world (according to athletes) | Thule (18)

Why you should check it out:
Hemsedal is one of the largest and most popular ski resorts in Norway, and it’s easy to see why. With perfectly groomed slopes, cross country trails, and bare mountains there truly is something here for everyone. The mountain ranges from 620 to 1,450 meters above sea level also guarantees some beautiful views.

Lovingly dubbed the “Scandinavian Alps” this is the destination for Alp-like alpine skiing, beautiful views and sporty slope.


Great for: Families and friend groups.

(Photo credit: hemsedal.com/ Kalle Hägglund)

Riksgränsen, Sweden

It's a small resort with three or four ski lifts but the terrain is special, and playful with a lot of rollovers. They get a ton of snow there and it stays open until midsummer. That's where I go spring skiing every year.

- Kristofer Turdell

Best ski resorts in the world (according to athletes) | Thule (19)

Why you should check it out:
It is one of Sweden’s largest ski areas with 29 slopes and a large area for off-piste skiers, 200 km /124 mi north of the polar circle.

The snow conditions here are perfect, and the season continues all the way until midsummer (yes, in June). Lapland is also a tourist destination, with spectacular views of the northern lights and home to the Ice Hotel.


Great for: Friend groups, families but also off-piste enthusiasts.


(Photo Credit: Swedish Lapland Visitors Board / Fredrik Broman)

(Video) Top 5 Best Ski Resorts In The World

Åre, Sweden

Åre is a big resort and is easily accessible with a lot of different riding, steep runs and long runs. It also has some of the best restaurants in Sweden and is a perfect place if you want a nice weekend away.

- Kristofer Turdell

Best ski resorts in the world (according to athletes) | Thule (20)

Why you should check it out:
Åre really does have everything. And we know we’ve said that about most of these resorts, but with 42 ski lifts, 89 slopes and 890 m / 2919 ft vertical drop, you’re bound to find something here that will fill your days and keep you challenged.

Since things get dark early in the winter months, around 25 kilometers of groomed cross-country tracks are also lit every day of the week from 7am to 10pm.


Great for: Families.


(Photo credit: SkiStar / Ola Matsson)

Lofoten, Norway

We love ski touring and exploring remote places with only the strength of our own body, skinning up and skiing down to the sea is an incredible feeling. The light in Lofoten is magical and we love to ski in these beautiful islands every year between March and April.

- Alice Linari and Lorenzo Alesi

Best ski resorts in the world (according to athletes) | Thule (21)

Why you should check it out:
Located north of the Arctic Circle, these scattered islands have snowy peaks that shoot right out of the ocean.

At Lofoten it’s ski touring that draws the most visitors. The ski resorts provide tailor-made expeditions and ski guides who accommodate according to your ski level. There are also ski touring courses to help teach you the basics. Also, if you travel in the early winter season you might even catch a glimpse of the Northern lights!


Great for: Friend groups, ski-touring enthusiasts.


(Photo credit: Lorenzo Alesi)

Thule ambassadors in this article:

Best ski resorts in the world (according to athletes) | Thule (22)

Matthias Giraud is a professional big mountain skier and BASE jumper who has completed several ski BASE jumps across the globe. Check him out on Instagram!

Best ski resorts in the world (according to athletes) | Thule (23)

Xavier De Le Rue is a French big mountain snowboarder with 4 World Boardercross Champion and 3 Freeride World Tour Champion titles to his name. Check out his website or Instagram.

Best ski resorts in the world (according to athletes) | Thule (24)

Martin ‘McFly’ Winkler is an Austrian former pro Freeskier, film producer and mountain guide. You can see his work at the Zero Division production company or head over to his Instagram.

Best ski resorts in the world (according to athletes) | Thule (25)

Maria Kuzma is a snowboard freeriding architect. One of her passion projects is Recycle+Build, which builds sustainable, low-incoming housing in Brazil. Find out more about her on Instagram.

Best ski resorts in the world (according to athletes) | Thule (26)

Elias Elhardt is a German big mountain snowboarder and filmmaker. You can check what he’s up to on Instagram.

Best ski resorts in the world (according to athletes) | Thule (27)

Anders Backe is a Norwegian freeskier who starred in the ski documentary films Supervention I and Supervention II. Find out more on his Instagram page.

Best ski resorts in the world (according to athletes) | Thule (28)

Kristofer Turdell is a Swedish freeride skier who has won several freeride world tour titles, including champion in 2018 and 2021. See what he’s up to on his website or Instagram page.

Best ski resorts in the world (according to athletes) | Thule (29)

Alice Linari is an Italian skier, explorer and adventurer whose mission is to explore nature in a sustainable way and inspire others to do the same. Find out more about Alice on her Instagram.

Best ski resorts in the world (according to athletes) | Thule (30)

Lorenzo Alesi is an athlete, professional skier, and photographer whose objective is to explore remote places, capture them in extraordinary photographs and inspire people to preserve nature. Find out more about Lorenzo on his website or his Instagram.

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