As we watch the likes of Bode Miller and Julia Mancuso hurl down hard-packed slopes and Shaun White and Jamie Anderson land huge tricks, we are witnessing many of the most skilled in the skiing and snowboarding world. For some, such performances are great to marvel at from the couch while, for others, they are motivation to take on a challenge and step outside the comfort zone. If you fall into the latter camp, this list is for you.
Read on for our picks of extreme ski spots – ones that offer more than just your average day on the mountain.
Mount Baker, Washington, United States
If you believe more snow equals more fun (and what skier doesn’t?), then Mount Baker should be on your to-do list. Reports of annual snowfall of more than 640 inches and a record-setting 1,140-inch winter back in 1998-1999 make this resort at the northern end of the Cascades a bit of a legend. While there are trails for all skill levels, Mount Baker attracts pretty aggressive skiers and boarders with lots of back country skiing, cliffs and natural halfpipes, all made better by consistent snow pack and reasonable prices. Just be warned that the snow fall levels bring avalanche risks, so gear up and/or get a guide if you want to get adventurous.