With game day approaching, there is a lot of chatter about bowls. Football is great and all, but we’re more interested in our kind of bowls: the ones you can ski!
A few resorts are heavily applauded for their shredtastic bowl skiing—Vail and Whistler immediately come to mind, and for good reason. But what about others resorts? Read on for four ski hills with beast-mode bowls that maybe—just maybe!—you’ll have all to yourself.
4. Big Sky Resort, Montana
Located 50 miles south of Bozeman, Big Sky is a big mountain with over 5,800 acres of skiable terrain. Most notable in the bowl category is Liberty Bowl, accessible from the Lone Peak Tram.
Not only does this bowl give you insane views of three states and two national parks, but it is great for advanced-intermediate skiers too. The six mile-long run begins in a wide open black diamond bowl before dumping skiers in the Bavarian Forest gladed area. Skiers can hit some intermediate groomers before funneling back to the base.
3. Copper Mountain, Colorado
Copper’s bowls fly under the radar but the mountain’s 2,600 feet of vertical should clue you in: the bowls are spicy!
Spaulding Bowl is part of Copper’s high alpine project called The 12’s, a series of runs that begin above 12k feet in altitude. On a powder day, do not pass go and do not collect $200. Instead, immediately hop on the Storm King t-bar and beeline left when you reach the top: Spaulding Bowl awaits with all of its snow-filled, cliff-dropping glory. Bonus: it empties into Spaulding Glades, some of the most amazing tree skiing at Copper.
2. Alta Ski Resort, Utah
With over 500 inches of snow annually, Alta has to be one of the snowiest mountains in the contiguous USA. Sorry snowboarders—it’s all for skiers. Alta does not allow snowboarders. But if you are a two-planker, catch Alta on a snow day and head for the Sugarloaf lift. Once you hit the top, prepare to do a bit of traversing towards looker’s left to hit up the Devil’s Castle bowl (assuming it’s not closed for avalanche control). The traverse is a bit of work, but trust us: it’s worth it as the bowl seems to catch every single snowflake of powder.
1. Arapahoe Basin, Colorado
A-Basin is easily overlooked as it hides in the shadows of its larger neighbors, Breckenridge and Keystone Resorts. But anyone who misses out on this local gem should be sorely disappointed: A-Basin is one of the best in North America for bowl skiing.
Opened for the 2007-08 ski season, the Montezuma Bowl is fit for intermediate and advanced skiers alike. The middle of the bowl typically has groomed terrain that is great for intermediate skiers looking to branch out. The Zuma Cornice is for experts only, and tends to open later in the day so ski patrol can check on the avalanche danger. At its prime, the Zuma Cornice can be anywhere from 5-20 feet tall; how’s that for dropping in?