Question: We’ve skied as a family in Europe for years. With our twin boys about to turn 15 and unlikely to be joining us for too many more winters, we wanted to venture to North America for the Easter holidays (their school breaks up on 31 March).
We can fly from any of the London airports. Where is the best place to go, and would you say the extra cost is worthwhile?
Answer: A few years ago, when I asked Pete Tyler, managing director of Neilson Active Holidays, for his all-time favourite ski resort anywhere in the world, he didn’t hesitate: “Whistler”. The Canadian resort has plenty going for it, both for its spectacular terrain and innovations such as the Peak 2 Peak gondola, which features glass-bottom cabins.
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And with the pound plummeting against the US dollar last week, it’s wise to stay north of the border; Canada’s dollar is slightly more sterling-friendly. You fly in and out of Vancouver (from Heathrow or Gatwick), and could combine a trip with a few days’ stay in one of the loveliest big cities in the world. If your boys are expert skiers or boarders, though, they are likely to find the US Rockies more challenging.
A new year-round link on Delta from Heathrow to Salt Lake City opens up the resorts of Utah, and Alta and Snowbird are both high, exhilarating and snow-sure through to May. (Be aware, though, than some US resorts are very snowboard-unfriendly.)
East coast resorts in the US and Canada aren’t ideal, and so you’re looking at a seven- or eight-hour time difference — which for a week’s stay is difficult to deal with.
Give us a 90-minute flight to Geneva, Turin or Toulouse, and we’re ready to go. With family ski trips all about quality time, I prefer to minimise the length of the journey and maximise the skiing.