In contrast to the phenomenal snowfalls that smothered Europe last winter, many of North America’s ski resorts had to wait until late in the season to receive a similar deluge. Hopefully things will be different this year, but whatever the weather there are plenty of new openings to look forward to in Canada and the United States. Here is what’s new for the 2018/19 season.
Red Mountain in British Columbia’s Kootenay Rockies region welcomes Canada’s first boutique hotel in more than 10 years when the Josie opens in November. Based at the foot of the slopes, the hotel also has a spa and a smart, laid-back restaurant. Frontier Ski has a seven-night stay at the Josie from £1,524pp, including flights, transfers, a six-day lift pass and one night at the Pacific Gateway at Vancouver airport.
At the new Limelight Hotel in Aspen Snowmass, you’ll be right beside the Elk Camp gondola for full ski-in/ski-out convenience. When you’re not in the spa or enjoying views of the Rocky Mountains from the huge rooftop terrace, you can have a go at the five-storey climbing wall, which is open to the public. Ski Safari has a 10-night stay at the Limelight from £1,525pp, including flights, breakfast and transfers or car hire.
Test your head for heights by taking a heart-in-mouth walk along the Cloudraker Skybridge, the new peak suspension bridge in Whistler Blackcomb. It runs from the top of Whistler Mountain along a 130m bridge from Whistler Peak to the West Ridge, taking in extraordinary views of the Whistler Bowl. There’s even a cantilevered walkway sticking out 12.5m from West Ridge. Crystal Ski Holidays has a week’s B&B at the Blackcomb Springs Suites from £1,293pp, including flights and transfers.
This winter you can trek to parts of Lake Louise rarely seen by two-legged creatures. Guided snowshoe tours already lead you to some of the most breathtaking parts of the Rockies, but now you can explore new territory well beyond the resort’s boundaries on treks lasting three to four hours. Flexiski has a seven-night holiday at the Banff Caribou Lodge & Spa from £963pp room only, including flights and transfers.
In Colorado, a few resorts have expanded their après-ski activities. Echo Mountain Resort has a new tubing hill with its own covered magic carpet lift to save little legs from getting knackered. Monarch Mountain will also open a new tubing park this winter, and Kendall Mountain is introducing natural ice-skating on a pond with wonderful views of the San Juan Mountains. There will be night skating too, with DJs, hot chocolate and bonfires.
Over in Steamboat they’ve devised a hugely entertaining way of feeding people on the slopes. The Taco Beast is a SnowCat that roams the mountains serving tacos, which makes a welcome change from queuing for burgers.
Bristol Mountain in the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York has created its new High Point Terrain Park for freestylers who want a bit of a challenge.
Silverton Mountain in Colorado will give heli-skiing fans a thrilling experience in its new Zone 8, with varied terrain that’s a good early-season option.
In Alberta’s Jasper National Park, the Tres Hombres area of Marmot Basin will be fully open this winter. Within 45 acres of advanced off-piste skiing is the resort’s longest uninterrupted fall line – a vertical drop of 367m.
Colorado’s Arapahoe Basin Ski Area completes its expansion this winter into the Beaver and the Steep Gullies with an extra 97 acres of tree skiing and new lifts and picnic areas. While intermediates can enjoy new scenic runs, experts can have a go on the extreme couloir skiing in the Gullies.
Deer Valley Resort in Utah has been busy with improvements, notably a new high-speed quad chairlift that cuts riding time in half. It joins the newly expanded Stein Eriksen Lodge, which has a new pool and outdoor deck.
Alta in Salt Lake City is also on the move, with a new quad chairlift connecting the ski area to the refurbished Snowpine Lodge.
Winter Park Resort in Colorado will cut waiting times by 15 minutes with its new 10-person gondola. It will also serve a new daily après session at the Lodge at Sunspot, with live music on Fridays and Saturdays. Foot passengers can use the gondola for free in the afternoons. And the Winter Park Express train from Denver expands its schedule this winter, with an extra Friday service.
Colorado’s Copper Mountain will make getting out of the main village easier and swifter with its new high-speed six-person bubble chairlift, the American Flyer. Its equally new counterpart, the American Eagle, alternates a six-seater chairlift with an eight-person gondola, cutting waiting times drastically. While you’re at the base village, check out the new restaurant, Downhill Duke’s, and its south-facing patio.