2012 Resort Pole: Top Ten Overall Resorts


To make it as one of the ten best, a resort has to rank high in both the park and pipe categories, as well as in other crucial areas such as nightlife, snowfall, vibe, lodging, food, et cetera-all the other stuff that matters when you’re getting after the best shred experience possible.

1. Aspen/ Snowmass, Colorado

Snowmass is all about options. And beautiful folliage. Just look at that. PHOTO: Nick Hamilton
Snowmass is all about options. And beautiful folliage. Just look at that. PHOTO: Nick Hamilton

Back in the number-one sport for the third year in a row, Snowmass kills it. Its got a badass mountain to go with an equally badass park, next to what everone from celebs to blue-collar shreds would agree is a badass party town. The resort puts a lot of resources into keeping everything top-notch- from new upgrades to the terrain-park snowmaking system, which gets the park open earlier, to replacing its 18-foot Zaugg machine with a 22-foot pipe cutter.

When it comes to freeriding, Snowmass has a ton of rad terrain throughout its 3,132 rideable acres- and it’s one of the least crowded of all Colorado’s mega resorts. When it dumps, hike Hanging Valley Head-wall (a.k.a “the Wall”), which spits you into some sublime tree glades below. When it doesn’t dump, ride groomers-Snowmass has nature’s own rhythm section and nice, soft Colorado corduroy.

As for the park, the Lowdown Park’s got beginner-level jumps and jibs, plus a 12-foot halfpipe. Makaha Park is the intermediate stage, and Snowmass Park is the main, expert-level park with a Superpipe right under the speedy Coney Glade lift.

In Snowmass Village, the high-end Viceroy Hotel is always running discounts. For eats, Zane’s is the local favorite, or hit up Bucci’s for sushi. A Free shuttle runs into the town of Aspen where you’ll find a grocery store and cheap grub at Johnny McGuire’s and Big Wrap—Jen Sherowski