While snow coverage remains spotty out West, Europe is experiencing its deepest winter in decades thanks to a battery of early season storms. From Austrian mega resorts to under-the-radar Swiss gems (plus a few of our favorite spots in North America), here’s where we’re planning to ski this winter.
The Arlberg, Austria
It’s easy to get obsessed with the Arlberg’s metrics: seven unique villages, 88 lifts, 210 miles of trails, up to 400 inches of annual snowfall, and a seemingly endless array of skiable backcountry acres. But to get hung up on numbers would be to miss what Austria’s biggest ski resort is all about. Here, in the birthplace of the sport (local boy Hannes Schneider opened the world’s first ski school out of the Hotel Post in the 1920s), the international crowd comes for the vibe. Pillowy powder runs deposit you into centuries old farming villages, mountain huts turned atmospheric restaurants fleck the hillsides, and everywhere there’s a party, from the Jägermeister-fueled bacchanals at St. Anton’s thumping après-ski bars to the Aperol Spritz scene at chic hotel terraces lining the main drag of Lech. With its onion-domed church, five-star hotels and luxury shopping (head to Stroltz for fur-trimmed jackets and custom ski boots), Lech is a more understated version of Gstaad and St. Moritz. Book a room at the secluded yet luxe Hotel Kristiania, whose genial owner and host Getrud offsets the half-timbered chalet’s traditional feel with her vibrantly contemporary art collection. Though if your idea of a ski vacation is one that involves as much table dancing as it does steep and deep turns, then base yourself in bustling St. Anton. Schneider’s two New Hampshire-born grandsons each own properties in town — the affordable and charming Fahrner-Hof(apartments come replete with kitchens and private balconies) and the five-suite Schneiderhof, a beautiful boutique hotel offering American-style breakfast within walking distance of the lifts.