There is something extra special about ski resorts located in the highest regions of the world. It’s not just that they usually offer longer and more challenging ski runs. They also tend to have the most spectacular views. With adequate ski travel insurance, at least some of these lofty resorts are now accessible to anyone.
This little-known resort in the Andes is the highest of all, at no less than 5,422 metres. That’s an impressive statistic, but this resort is not for the faint-hearted. The air is very thin because Chacaltaya is at an even higher level than the base camp on Mount Everest! It is closed most of the time, because the location is so difficult: weather conditions rarely provide sufficient snow. It can’t really be recommended as a holiday destination, but it deserves its place at the top of the list of the highest ski resorts in the world.
The Aspen-Snowmass resort in the Rocky Mountains of the USA, at 3,813 metres, is not quite as high as the Bolivian record-holder, but it makes up for this in the volume of snow available and the length of its spectacular slopes. This resort is huge, and it includes two towns and four mountains, with plenty of amenities for skiing and other winter sports. Transport to and from the resort is excellent, and there are dozens of attractive restaurants and shops for its many visitors.
The glory of the Alps accounts for Zermatt’s legendary status with European skiers through the ages. This picturesque Swiss town nestles among impressive, snowy peaks and boasts the longest ski lift in Europe. At almost 4,000 metres, it qualifies as one of the world’s highest resorts. It has cable cars, chairlifts, and 137 kilometres of slopes with very reliable snow. Most people remember the excellent hospitality, including delicious mulled wine and the local speciality: cheese and meat fondue.
Another European resort with a fantastic reputation is Chamonix (3842 metres), in France. It’s not far from Geneva, with its convenient rail, road and airport connections, and it has stunning views of the Alps. The highest Alpine peak, Mont Blanc, is a notable feature of the view. The resort has a cable car running from the centre of town, right up into the mountains. As you might expect, the restaurants are excellent, offering the best in French cuisine and wonderful wines.
Finally, an up-and-coming resort that is gaining in popularity is India’s Gulmarg at 3,980 metres. There is plentiful snow cover in the Himalayas and the resort is well organised, with graded slopes and several ski lifts. It may not yet be the most cosmopolitan ski resort, but it has amazing, unspoilt vistas and excellent tuition for beginners and experts alike. Skiers who are looking for something different are sure to appreciate this unique resort. Its Kashmiri food and fascinating culture make for a memorable experience.
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