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Northern Hemisphere Winter Escapes
12/12/2017 10:00am

It's no secret that we love New Zealand, we see our backyard as the holy grail, the original home of adrenaline and adventure. Nowhere else can compare in our opinion in terms of un-tracked beauty and tranquillity. Be it winter or summer, New Zealand is an outdoor lover's heaven, however we know you can only go without the white stuff for so long....

Whilst New Zealand bathes in summer sunshine, locals dust off their mountain bikes and hiking shoes and start exploring their backyard even further. However, across the rest of the world, Northern Hemisphere resorts begin preparing themselves for powder.

So, we thought it would be a good idea to compile a list of our favourite Northern Hemisphere destinations to help you get your fix until we welcome the snow back to our alps once more.

From Japan to Scandinavia, Europe to Canada, we have got you covered!

 

Japan

myoko ski resort 4

Photo credit: Myoko Kogen

Japan has seen a huge increase in ski and snowboard tourism over the past decade and with 10-18 meters of pow across hundreds of resorts it's easy to see why. At around an 11 hour flight, Japan is the closest kiwis can get if they need a powder fix so it has become a mecca for those who simply can't spend a whole six months in New Zealand summer.

With incredible powder skiing, unique culture, fantastic cuisine and many added extras Japan really has a lot to offer. There are many resorts to choose from but the most popular are Hokkaido, Hakuba and Niseko, each offering something different. A personal favourite has to be Myoko Kogen, "the heart of Japan". Myoko (pictured above) is just a short distance from Tokyo and is a powder lovers dream without the hustle and bustle of some of the busier ski areas. It has a fantastic atmosphere and will appeal to all ages and abilities.

 

Europe

50 ans de ski

Photo credit: Portes Du Soleil

When we say "Europe" its hard to narrow one destination down. Europe as a whole is a different ball game when it comes to epic snow and holidays. You can find unbelievable terrain and picture perfect resorts across France, Spain, Italy, Austria and Switzerland. Stunning mountains and lakes with more lifts than you would ever think possible.

Europe has a strong background of skiing, dating back to the 1890's it is a sport that is lived and breathed by many. Attracting skiiers from across the world, resorts such as Val D'isere, Chamonix and Zermatt are the playground of many wealthy families. However, dig a little deeper and you will find hundreds of incredible, less expensive resorts.

A favourite has to be the seemingly endless Portes Du Soleil, pictured above, which translates to "Gateway to the Sun". With over 600km of groomed trails and 200 lifts, you will be amazed at where a day will take you. The region is the largest linked area in the world and covers 14 separate villages and reaches an altitude of 2,450m, but the best part of all - you only need one single lift pass. Across the region there is a wide variety of terrain, accommodation, nightlife and culture. It really is hard not to love the Portes Du Soleil. 

 

Scandinavia

extreme skiing landscape hemsedal 1400 Photo credit: Visit Norway


Skiing was born in Scandinavia, however back then it was more of a way to easily travel across deep snow rather than the powder hounds of today getting some freshies. But the history, culture and beauty of the far North are incomparable to its European neighbours.

There is something very raw about the Scandinavian resorts, far less frills than France or Austria. The people are incredibly welcoming, the snow is sensational, the slopes are empty (we are talking zero lift lines) and the scenery will blow your mind. If you are lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights or the "aurora borealis" then you are in for a real treat.

Among epic ski resorts across Finland, Sweden and Norway you can also experience whale watching and cross country skiing so its a great all round experience for those looking for something a little different. Check out Are, Hemsedal and Salla for some Nordic inspiration.

 

Canada

revelstoke

Photo credit: On The Snow

Known for huge mountains, vast wilderness, incredible powder days and unforgettable apres ski, Canada is often at the top of many powder hounds lists during Northern winters.

With terrain to cater to any level skiier or snowboarder Canada really does have it all. Many resorts often boast lengthy runs that you would struggle to explore in just a weeks holiday.

Our personal pick would be Revelstoke (Mt Mackenzie), reaching 5,620 ft you will be skiing steep and deep powder all day long! Originally a heli and cat skiing resort solely, investment into high quality lifts and facilities has quickly turned this into one of the most expansive and popular resorts in North America.

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So that's it - our top picks for Northern Hemisphere resorts - what's your plans... are you determined to follow the snow or head off to the sunshine?!

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