Skiing in the Northern Hemisphere

Skiing in the Northern Hemisphere

Now that our snow season is over, it’s time to look to the north if you want a snow fix…

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Now that our snow season is over, it’s time to look to the north if you want a snow fix…



  • Because it’s snowing there, and some have more than 16m of snow!
  • The resorts are larger, and apart from the cost to actually get there, are generally less expensive.
  • Much of the ski gear for hire in the bigger resorts gets completely replaced at the beginning of each snow season – bonus!
  • They’ve also got state of the art facilities – some chair lifts are heated, and can take as many as 2400 passengers/hour.

And naturally they offer fantastic nightlife, shopping and entertainment to comfort you when you’re not on the slopes.

 So if you’re not keen on facing the heat of our Australian summer, go up. December and January will have lots of snow and less people, while February and March have longer sunnier days, lots more snow but of course, more people.

Here’s our guide to where to go when you head up north.

1. USA

Not surprisingly, the ski resorts in the USA are big, bold and brash… but they’re also some of the ones with the most up to date facilities and activities.

The popular places to ski are:

  • Utah: The ski resorts are located near Salt Lake City - The Canyons, Park City and Snow Bird Ski resort
  • Colorado: Ski the Rocky Mountains - Breckenridge, Vail and Keystone. If you want to hob nob with the rich and famous and empty your wallet, there’s always skiing in world famous Aspen.
  • You can also ski in Idaho, Wyoming, Washington and Montana
Keystone Colarado 


2. Canada

Canada’s ski facilities are just as impressive as the USA, just more laid back, and you can even go dogsledding here.

Popular places to ski are:

  • Alberta: The town of Banff has Sunshine Village and Lake Louise
  • Quebec and Ontario: These are slightly smaller, but may be the thing if you’re not into crowds.


PS Not surprisingly, Canada has many, many places to ski, so apart from the very popular Whistler Blackcomb resort, the others aren’t crowded. However, if you’re afraid of getting homesick, head there because it’s staffed by so many Aussies, you’d think you were back at home!

3. Europe

Much of the ski action is in the Alps, spanning the Mediterranean coast of France, through to Switzerland, Northern Italy, Austria and Slovenia. 

However, the snow slopes for the Europeans is more of a romantic notion, so off slope activities takes precedence over skiing. 


Think horse drawn sleigh rides, rich comfort food, stunning scenery from the cable cars of snow-capped mountains, church spires, chalets and ancient cobblestone streets.The popular places to ski are:

  • France: Chamomix Mont Blanc (which hosted the first Winter Olympics in 1924), and Val d’Isere
  • Switzerland: Zermatt, St Moritz and Verbier
  • Italy: Sestriere and Dolomites
  • Austria: the home of alpine skiing boasts St Anton, Lech, Zers and Innsbruck ski resorts

4. Japan

Japan has 500 ski resorts - just as many ski resorts as the USA! However, Japan’s ski resorts are for pretty much reserved for skiing…oh, and for eating – so don’t expect too many off slope ski activities.

The bonus with skiing in Japan is that the ski resorts are located in the rural areas, so you won’t be paying Japanese city prices.

And you can also indulge those tired limbs in an onsen (hot thermal springs) where you can relax…with every other skier there…

 The popular places to ski are:

  • Haikkaido: Niseko, Furano
  • Nagano: Happo One, Hakuba resorts
  • Tohuko: Appi Kogen and Zao Onsen

PS If you’re also going for a cultural immersion, avoid Niseko, as a lot of Australians like to go there - English is spoken widely and even the signs are translated for you!

5. Korea

If you want to maximise your snow time, Korea is the nearest to Australia and is on a similar time zone to us.

What’s more, their biggest and most popular resort Yongpang opens at 8:30am and closes at midnight!

The county of Pyeongchang will be hosting the 2018 Winter Olympics, so you can try out the facilities before the professionals come and do their thing.

 The popular places to ski are:

  • Pyeongchang: Yongpang, Phoenix Park
  • Jeongsan: High 1
  • Gucheon-dong: Deogyusan

6. Turkey

Want to take the slope less taken? Then head to Turkey…yes, they actually have a few ski areas, and it’s cheap, yet modern, and look - no crowds!

However, don’t expect world class ski facilities, or an impressive apres ski life. Although the one guaranteed is that you’ll certainly get to experience the rich Turkish culture.

The popular places to ski are:

  • Bursa: Ulugag (where the wealthy Turkish go)
  • Bolu: Kartalkaya
  • Erzurum: Palandoken


So why not seize the day (and season) and make your snow plans for this December up North!

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