4. Buttermilk, Colorado
Sour cream? Half and half? Naw, Buttermilk-it’s the home of the X Games and the place to head to for the best buttery-smooth pipe in the country. U-tube jumpa Antti Autti attests to this by pouring out a delicious spin down the walls. PHOTO: Chris Wellhausen
There’s a reason Buttermilk is hosting the Winter X Games through 2010. The standard-setting competition halfpipe and pro-level Snow Park Technologies terrain park are among the world’s best. Factor in the nightlife and amenities of the Aspen locale and it’s easy to see why people just love to ride this little nugget of a resort.
5. Bear Mountain, California
Maybe like Gabi Viteri here, your idea of an awesome overall resort is on that’s stacked with park features, sunny, and filled with all your friends. If so, Bear Mountain is the right call. PHOTO: Christy Chaloux/ See What I See
Where else can you step out of your flip-flops and into your snowboard boots in the parking lot in January? Nowhere. But there’s more to Bear than consistent sun and soft, slushy landings. Fact is, the entire mountain is a terrain park. With upgraded snowmaking, constant park maintenance, and continual enhancement of rails and features, Bear is forever fresh.
6. Snowmass, Colorado
As the largest of the four mountains that comprise the Aspen resort complex, Snowmass has the most to offer the hyperactive shred set. The upper mountain offers endless options, while world-class shred-specific terrain is spread all over the lower mountain. The addition of the new Sheer Bliss lift opens up 700 more acres of pure fun in this legendary destination.
7. Breckenridge, Colorado
Breckenridge is home to some badass snow sculpting-the smooth trannies of its legendary Superpipe loft you up there where you need a nice lien method to pull you back down to earth. Our boy Keir Dillon shows you how it’s done. PHOTO: Frode SandbechYou’ve gotta go to Breck; the historic town captures the Old West and the mellow Rocky Mountain ski-town vibe pervades the whole area. Up on the hill, 30 lifts deliver you to dry, high-elevation snow on nearly 2,500 acres of wide-open bowls, well-kept parks, and a whopping 155 trails.
8. Park City, Utah
This pic is proof that there’s nothing shitty about Park City, or Peetu Piiroinen for that matter. Their crispy U-jump has what it takes to host Olympic-quality events and holds up nice with that bubbly Utah fluff. Photo: Justin L’Heureux
Close proximity to Salt Lake City (32 miles) makes Park City one of the most easily accessible big-mountain resorts in the nation. The East Side zone offers aggro Wasatch vertical while total terrain variability from peak to parking lot makes for dynamic days on the hill. Five terrain parks, a Superpipe, and the convenience of every imaginable amenity at the base just adds to the goodness.
9. Keystone, Colorado
You need at least a couple days to cover all the terrain at Keystone. Three broad peaks, vast bowls, and the Area 51 park zone offer an overdose of rippable terrain. Add in some night riding and a few après sodas at The Goat and the action is pretty much nonstop at this Summit County hot spot.
10. Vail, Colorado
A Western classic, Vail is a perennial feature on every “top ten best” list. When the Colorado storm cycles start to roll through, Vail gets hammered with the light and fluffy. Topping out at a peak elevation of over eleven-thousand feet, those back bowls fill in for some of the best inbounds pow roosting in the Lower 48.