Vail, Colorado

You know that expert-only bowl at your go-to mountain? The one with steep, technical terrain and more boulder drops than skiers? Yeah, Vail has seven of those, all linked together by an 11,000-foot high ridgeline, but separated from each other by distinct, wooded ridges. The mountain’s signature Back Bowls are 2,800 acres, offering a lifetime of black diamond options and hidden powder stashes. Then there’s Blue Sky Basin, where the skiing is remote, adventurous and technical. No other mountain in the country has this sort of lift-accessed terrain. The Front Side ain’t bad either, especially if you like terrain parks. Vail wooed the Burton U.S. Open away from Vermont a few years back, after a 30-year residency on the East Coast – ample proof that snowboarding here is legit. Park rats take note: the competition is back again this season, and so is the superpipe.  

Photo courtesy of Jack Affleck/Vail Resorts