I know it’s only September and we are just starting to phase away from the warm weather, but I am very excited to hit the slopes already. There is just something different when you are on top of a mountain whether you ski or snowboard.
In this instance, I am a snowboarder and have been since middle school. Although I am not the one to head to the terrain park, I thoroughly enjoy carving down a mountain on a snowboard.
Growing up in New Jersey with resorts in New York and Pennsylvania, I grew up on snowboarding on ice a lot. It’s definitely not my favorite, but those the conditions we have to deal with over here.
Let’s talk about my top 3 favorite spots to snowboard. Keep in mind I have just started to branch outside of my area, so more to come in the future on this list.
1. Breckenridge Ski Resort
Of course, this will be my top ski resort as Breckenridge is the only resort I have been to outside of the east coast. Let me just tell you that my first experience snowboarding on real snow was AMAZING. Not one single ice patch was hit and I was one happy camper.
Breckinridge is a massive ski resort with a ton of open terrain. My friends and I spent the whole day there and didn’t get to hit all of the peaks that were available.
Breckenridge is an expensive ticket, but it is well worth it. If you head up to the top of one of the peaks, you’ll actually be on the highest chairlift in North America. This chairlift presents incredible views.
Lines moved surprisingly quick for a crowded day at the mountain which made me happy. In terms of snow, there was nothing like it as mentioned above. Smooth trails and a lot of open terrain.
As I continue to visit more ski resorts, I am confident Breckenridge will always be at the top of my list.
2. Whiteface Mountain, NY
Time to hit the east coast… If you notice a trend here, I am a junkie when it comes to high altitudes. Whiteface happens to be the highest skiable peak on the east coast.
Whiteface is a historic mountain as the 1982 Winter Olympics were held there. Beside the mountain is a beautiful lake in Lake Placid along with a nice Olympic town that resides next to it.
Terrain is pretty good depending on when you go. I’d suggest to stay away from this mountain in November/December and plan trips for early year months. If you want to head to the top, it seems like conditions are usually better when you go in January and February.
There is a common joke thrown out there about Whiteface as everyone calls it “Iceface”. Yes, you will experience a lot of icy trails. Whiteface usually gets really cold weather during the winter which contributes to this. I believe the last time I went, it was -15 with wind chill. Crazy, right?
There are a good mix of intermediate and expert trails on the mountain. Whiteface is also another mountain that gets very packed no matter when you go, so keep this in mind.
A major disadvantage is that they typically experience high winds which knocks out a lot of the major lifts. Last year, the winds were so bad that we had to refund our ticket because there was barely any terrain open.
Whiteface is still a great mountain to ski and is usually a yearly trip for me.
3. Belleayre Mountain, NY
Located in the Catskill Mountains is Belleayre Ski Resort. Belleayre is a real sleeper for me on the east coast. They are known for their long trails to span miles long which makes for a good ride. Along with that, conditions have been great when I head out to the mountain.
My absolute favorite thing about Belleayre is that the it almost seems empty when I visit. This may be due to another popular resort in Hunter Mountain (which I think is overrated) in the area.
For someone who hates waiting in lines, I will take an empty over busy mountain every single day. Just because the mountain is not as busy, the trails are also underrated. There is a lot to ride there and a lot of wiggle room on the trails which is always a plus.
Well, there you have it… those are my top 3 ski resorts that I have visited so far. With trips out to Utah and Wyoming in the future, I assume that list will change rather quickly.
I’d love to hear any suggestions on mountains in the US or even overseas! Let me know as winter sports is one of my favorite topics!