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23 experiences for your ski holiday bucket list

A snowy holiday is a banquet of beauty, activities and gastronomy. Here are some of our favourite things to do in winter, both on and off the slopes.

Take lessons with an Olympian at Whistler Blackcomb

Fancy yourself as a good skier, or plan on becoming one? Ski or ride privately with an Olympic athlete at Whistler Blackcomb. Start your day cruising down some of their favourite runs and ask them to show you their mountain sweet spots. Don’t ski? Olympic snowboarders are also available to pass on their skills.

Whistler Blackcomb’s two mountains – Whistler and Blackcomb – dishing up some of the world’s best skiing and snowboarding. Even the gondola linking the two mountains – the Peak 2 Peak – is an attraction, forming a ‘Gondola Gallery’ with its cabins featuring paintings by brilliant local artists. Whistler has some top-notch foodie experiences as well. The Four Seasons Resort Whistler boasts excellent tours, including morning or afternoon tea on a mountaintop with helicopter transfers. Ride a snowmobile at dusk to a rustic mountain cabin for an intimate, three-course steak dinner cooked on an old-fashioned wood stove, or choose the early morning option riding the snowmobile to the cabin for a full Canadian breakfast in the Callaghan Valley. Book your trip with Mogul Ski World to have everything looked after for you.

1. The Peak 2 Peak Gondola © Levi Nelson. 2. Ride a snowmobile to dinner.

Stay at the Best Boutique Ski Hotel in Australia

Being named ‘Best Boutique Ski Hotel Australia’ at the World Ski Awards is an honour. But to win it for eight consecutive years is exceptional. Astra Falls Creek has done just that, which speaks volumes for the quality of a stay within its beautifully constructed, architecturally designed rooms and elegant interiors. Located in the winter playground of Falls Creek, guests of Astra are immersed in alpine luxury. When not skiing or snowboarding, return home to your mountain haven to enjoy the magnesium pool with hydro jets, heat up in the steam room or dry sauna, relax in the library, or perhaps ease those tired muscles by booking in for a massage at the Astra Day Spa. Finish the day with après and then enjoy dinner and drinks in Astra Bar & Restaurant, where international guest chefs often make an appearance.

Ski British Columbia

The snowy slopes of British Columbia create endless possibilities for skiers and snowboarders. You will find a number of Canada’s best ski resorts that cater to all levels, have excellent accommodation, and a range of activities to enjoy once the lifts have stopped turning. From Whistler to Sun Peaks, SilverStar to Kicking Horse and Revelstoke to Red, each of these mountains is different, but all of them are achingly beautiful. Runs vary from idyllic groomers to gnarly chutes, steeps and blissful bowls. For those who want to take flight for skiing and snowboarding in untouched snow, BC is the birthplace of heli-skiing with award-winning companies like Northern Escape Heli-skiing. Wherever you ski, end your snow day with fabulous food and bonhomie in warm, cosy restaurants and pubs, then sleep and repeat. Book your trip with Mogul Ski World to have everything looked after for you.

Michelin-star dining in Courchevel

Courchevel is a high-end French resort that delivers luxury accommodation and fine dining. The array of five-star properties is dazzling, attracting a long list of VIPs and celebrities who come for the skiing, and to be seen. Just as impressive is the list of Michelin-star restaurants, including Le 1947 à Cheval Blanc, which is the only one in Courchevel to be awarded three Michelin stars. Le Chabichou boasts two stars, as do Le Kintessence, Le Sarkara and Le Montgomerie. For an elevated experience, book a helicopter flight to lunch at La Bouitte, René et Maxime Meilleur’s two-star Michelin restaurant in the charming village of Saint-Martin-de-Belleville. This father and son duo create unforgettable Savoie dishes, with each divine plate paying tribute to their mountain roots.

Read: An expert’s guide to skiing the French Alps

First tracks at Aspen, Colorado

‘First Tracks’ at Aspen Mountain takes place from the Silver Queen Gondola at 8am. The experience is available to those in private lessons and guests staying in Aspen Skiing Company lodging properties. Speak to your guide or lodging property to make a reservation up to 24 hours in advance. Your guide can help you find some of Aspen’s secret shrines hidden in the trees. The shrines pay homage to the likes of Aspen’s canines, John Denver and Major League Baseball teams. Snowmass also offers complimentary First Tracks from the Elk Camp Gondola at 8am. Spaces can reserved up to one week in advance

Aspen’s four resorts – Snowmass, Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands and Buttermilk – offer 5,303 total acres of skiable terrain, eight terrain parks and 336 trails served by 46 lifts. Book your trip with Mogul Ski World to have everything looked after for you.

Aspen Mountain
Aspen Mountain

Ice bathing in St Moritz

Ice bathing is gaining in popularity, and guests of the Carlton Hotel St. Moritz can book in for an ice bathing experience in beautiful Lake St Moritz. Part of the Moving Mountains holistic program, the experience will be under supervision and guests are accompanied by trained staff. You will be in good hands, with the director of the Carlton an ice bathing believer.

Ice bathing in St Moritz
Ice bathing © The Tschuggen Collection

A Queenstown three-night heli-ski extravaganza

Queenstown is a snow lover’s dream, with four ski resorts to play on within 90 minutes’ drive. The place to stay is The Rees Hotel Queenstown on Lake Wakatipu, with a ski concierge to book lift tickets and rental gear for you, and stunning accommodation in apartments or in the lavish residences. The ideal package at The Rees for more advanced skiers and riders is the three-night heli-ski extravaganza. Designed for four people, the package includes a day heli-skiing with four runs in untouched terrain, with a guide, safety equipment and gourmet lunch included. The package also includes three nights in a three-bedroom lakeview apartment, breakfast, and transfers.

Meet wolves at Yellowstone National Park

Jackson Hole Mountain Resort has something many other resorts don’t: incredible wildlife tours into Yellowstone National Park, Grand Teton National Park and the National Elk Refuge.

Encountering elusive gray wolves in the wild is a rare but intoxicating experience, made possible with the help of a Four Seasons naturalist. A winter escape to Yellowstone National Park begins with a private flight on board a seven-passenger aircraft. Land at Yellowstone’s northernmost edge, where you can search for the wolves and learn about their history, movement and behaviour patterns. There’s also a chance to see moose, elk, bison and bears. Available between October and May, the exclusive experience costs $16,000 and is restricted to eight guests.

For luxury accommodation, The Four Seasons Resort and Residences Jackson Hole‘s rooms have rustic furnishings and open fireplaces. The spa and heated outdoor pool are the best spots for easing sore muscles after a day on the slopes.

Heli-skiing and snowboarding

Alaska

Heli-ski in Alaska from Tordrillo Mountain Lodge for an unforgettable ski holiday. You can access some of Alaska’s deepest runs and best powder with this winter activity. Alaska has North America’s longest-running winter season and an annual snowfall of 15 metres per season. When you’re not on the slopes, plunge into frozen lakes, go fat-biking, or try snow-shoeing.

Antarctica

Heli-ski in one of the most inaccessible places on the planet. In Antarctica, you can have a ski holiday where colonies of emperor penguins roam and fur seals laze. When you’re done skiing – and observing the local wildlife – trek peaks, abseil into a giant crevasse, and kayak through the icy waters alongside colossal icebergs.

New Zealand

You know you’re remote when the only way in is by helicopter. Tucked away in a picturesque glacial valley on a working high-country farm in Otago, is the family-run Minaret Station – one of the most secluded luxury lodges in the world. From here, Southern Lakes Heliski (Minaret’s heli-ski division) can take you to one of 17 mountain ranges with more than 800 diverse runs. After a morning of skiing, have a gourmet picnic lunch at the top of the mountain. Do ski days get any better?

Go snow driving in a Porsche in Finland

Porsche’s five-day ‘Ice Experience’ in Finland includes zipping around extreme landscapes in the brand’s latest sportscars. Instructors teach the basics of ice driving followed by an intensive driving experience on snow and sheer ice. You’ll stay in luxe accommodation, eat well and get your heart racing. The vechles on offer include Porsche 911 Carrera GTS, Porsche 911 Carrera 4 GTS, Porsche 911 Turbo S and Porsche Taycan Turbo S on up to 1.5 mm spiked tyres.

Porsche Ice Expereience in FInland
Soak up the majestic landscapes as you zip around in a Porsche on the snow and ice in Finland

Drink in the Ice Palace Jungfrau

Remarkably, there are multiple destinations in Switzerland where you can not only wander on a glacier, but also walk inside it. Jungfrau – aka the ‘Top of Europe’ – in the Bernese Alps is one such place.

Jungfrau’s Ice Palace has carvings of bears, eagles and penguins on display. If you are VIP you can visit the achingly-cool Ice Bar. Bubbles below zero, anyone?

Drink at the Ice Palace Jungfrau, Switzerland
VIPs can enjoy this very unique way to enjoy a drink in Switzerland

Access private ski runs by snowcat in Colorado

Don’t be fooled by the miner’s saloon exterior at Scarp Ridge Lodge at Crested Butte, Colorado. It might still have its Wild West looks, but it’s all meticulous style on the inside. Transformed with reclaimed iron from the old mills in town, there are just six rooms. Wake to a custom-designed snowcat waiting at the front door to whisk you to the 400-plus hectares of exclusive ski terrain in nearby Irwin. Back at the lodge, a steamy rooftop hot tub is the perfect setting to relive the day’s highlights.

Soak surrounded by snow in the Swiss Alps

A trip to Iglu-Dorf Zermatt is a pinch-me moment. Sit in a hot tub in the snow while looking up at the majestic Matterhorn and the mountain ranges fringing Zermatt in the Swiss Alps. The property has igloos at 2,727 metres, along with a restaurant and bar, pools and hot tubs, both indoor and out. Enjoy fondue in the afternoon on the sun terrace, admire the incredible ice art, enjoy your icy abode and be mesmerised by the eye-popping views.

Sit in a hot tub at Iglu-Dorf in Zermatt
Sit in a hot tub at Iglu-Dorf in Zermatt

Visit Antarctica by private yacht

Visiting Antarctica is a life-changing experience. Imagine exploring this icy continent on a private yacht and by helicopter. That’s what Pelorus promises on its expeditions around the world’s most southern continent. Embark on whale-watching cruises, then drop in on glaciated mountains above fjords and icebergs, your skis and poles in hand, and your imagination piqued. So this is what it means to be alive.

Exclusive ski holidays in Deer Valley

Utah’s Deer Valley winter resort has always been exclusive. But above and beyond strapping on your skis or snowboard, there are diversions aplenty to have you playing in this powdery paradise. Check in to the Montage resort and sign up for a roll call of adventure activities, from hydrofoil flights and skimboarding to heli-skiing and off-roading. Hold on to your ski hat.

The spectacular view from Montage Deer Valley
The spectacular view from Montage Deer Valley

Catch a helicopter to New Zealand’s highest peak

The concierge team at A Touch of Spice deliver the kind of winter experiences you can only dream about. Like catching a helicopter to New Zealand’s highest peak, Aoraki Mt. Cook, landing among the crevasses of the Tasman Glacier and wandering through seracs, icefalls and caves of ancient blue ice.

Ski Switzerland’s longest night pists

Ski down sparkling slopes under floodlight in the longest night piste in Switzerland. Every Friday night during winter is VIP Snow Night. Two flaming torches light up the entrance of the Corvatsch aerial cableway in the Upper Engadin. Start with hors d’oeuvres and a glass of champagne, then make your way down the freshly groomed, white velvet carpet stretching out before you.

VIP Snow Night in the Upper Engadin
VIP Snow Night in the Upper Engadin

Fly by private charter around the world

Pack your stamina alongside your ski boots – Scott Dunn’s ‘Epic Round the World Ski Trip’ is not for the faint of heart. The 33-day snow-chasing sojourn sees you enjoy blue-sky days at Zermatt in Switzerland, tackle Aspen Snowmass in the US, and climb to lofty heights at Whistler in Canada – among other destinations. And in true Scott Dunn style, you fly private charter and stay in glitzy mountain resorts.

Discovery Tours at Thredbo

While Thredbo’s runs are worth waiting in line for, nothing’s better than lift-queue priority – and you get it with the mountain’s new daily ‘Discovery Tours‘. The three-hour tour caters to intermediate and advanced skiers and riders, with a guide showing you the best-kept secrets on the mountain.

The Kareela Supper Club presented by G.H.Mumm is also new this winter, with guests transferred by gondola and snowcat up to the legendary Kareela Hutte for bubbles and fireworks. Thredbo’s Sunrise Sessions see snow lovers up before dawn to ride the snowcat to Australia’s highest lifted point to watch the sun rise.

Helicopter over NZ’s South Island

Soar over the glacier-carved Lake Wakatipu, lush farmland and tumbling waterfalls in the landscape known as Middle-earth. The Otago region in the South Island has most notably featured in The Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Hobbit – and once you’re up here, it’s not hard to see why. Your helicopter will weave over the picture-perfect film locations and land near the crystal-clear waters of Lake Wakatipu, where you can have a picnic and sip on a glass of silky-smooth Otago pinot noir.

Looking for a little more adrenaline? Helicopter over the Remarkables, Hector and Garvie Mountains into the Nevis River Valley where you can partake in the only wilderness snowmobiling experience in Aotearoa. Ride with your guide along the most inland mountain range in New Zealand – a pristine, untouched and otherworldly landscape. Winter experiences don’t get much better.

Ride the Tyrolienne zipline at Val Thorens

Ride the Tyrolienne zipline at Val Thorens while soaring at up to 105 kilometres per hour over the France’s picturesque Three Valleys. Stretching 1,300 metres from the top of the Bouchet chairlift to the Val Thorens crest, the zipline boasts a 230m height difference from top to bottom. The ride lasts one minute 45 seconds.

Zip line at Val Thorens
Zip line at Val Thorens

Stay in a luxury ski chalet in Japan

One Happo is the kind of ski chalet you could imagine squirreling yourself away in for years. Perhaps with a martini in hand. This luxe home in Japan’s Happo One ski region (you’re 100 metres from the gondola) comes with every trimming imaginable, from a fully-stocked wine cellar to a glass-topped pool table, onsen and sauna. What better way to revive after a day playing in powder?

Bungee jump in Whistler

Few activities can match the adrenaline rush of jumping off a 50-metre platform above a glacial river. The bungee jump in Whistler is a local favourite that’s sure to raise heartbeats, thanks to both the epic jump and the beauty of the surrounding basalt columns and snow-sprinkled conifers.

Bungee jump in Whistler
Bungee jump in Whistler
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