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Log your Lodge: 5 of The Best Small Ski Resorts

Escaping to the mountains to slide your board through miles of fresh powder is the perfect cure for the long hangover months that are January and February.

Cold mornings just aren’t the same when you’ve got a long adrenaline filled day on the mountain ahead of you. When the night draws in early, you’re so knackered that you’ve barely got the energy to down a Jager Bomb and consume an entire fondue au fromage.

We asked Forbes & Lewis crew to recommend some of their favourite small ski resorts for 2018 and this is what we came up with….

 

Courmayeur - Italy

Situated at the foot of Mont Blanc, this is one of those typically Italian ski resort towns with a rich history and plenty of great restaurants and bars for when your not on the slopes.

 

This is a great option for the intermediate skier (although there is some pretty good off-piste or pretty thrilling heliskiing opportunities if you’re more advanced).

 

Engelberg - Switzerland

 

Situated around 1h20m from Zurich airport, it’s a beautiful town typical of the Switzerland alps. As this is one of the first Alpine resorts to get new snow from the north or north-west, this makes conditions reliable. Visit here for world-class off-piste descents, 82km of pistes and 25 lifts.

 

There’s a 12th century monastery, the Titlis Cliff Walk suspension bridge (for those who love heights) and a glacial park to explore off the slopes. There are also plenty of shops and restaurants as well as a good choice of accommodation.

 

Passa Tonale - France

Great for beginners, this quiet resort in Passa Tonale is built along a road over a high pass linking it with Ponte di Legno and has a range of uncrowded, easy runs and good snow. For the budget and what it offers, in 2017 the Telegraph declared it “hard to beat”.

 

St Johann, Tyrol - Austria

 

For anyone wanting to avoid the busier, more famous (and more expensive), Kitzbühel, this Tyrolean town has all of the great stuff like a medieval centre, frescoed buildings and old coaching inns, 43km of pistes and 17 lifts, without its neighbor’s prices.

 

With nursery slopes on “gentle meadows” behind the station, it’s a recommended resort for beginners and intermediates. There are also several ski schools to choose from.

 

Geilo - Norway

 

Norway’s oldest ski resort, you can get to Gelio by train or shuttle bus from Bergen and Oslo airports. The award winning ski school and quiet, gentle slopes make this a great place for beginners. There’s also off-slope activities for kids including horse-sleigh rides, ice fishing and tree-top walks for when their little legs get tired of skiing.

 

Solitude - Utah (US)

I know we said “small” ski resorts but this is in the US, where small takes on a slightly new meaning when it comes to acreage. Despite its name, this ski resort isn’t in the middle of nowhere. It’s only 30 minutes out of Salt Lake City, however, even during the busiest weeks the lifts and slopes are never crowded.

 

There are 1,200 acres of slopes and vast backcountry to explore. For the experts there’s Honeycomb Ridge - where you’ll find hanging snowfields and gradients of 50 degrees plus. If you want to explore the rest of Utah’s ski resorts, this is a great base to do that from.

 

Sierra Nevada - Spain

 

If you want to get in the sea and ski on the same day - this resort is perfect for you since the beach and mountains are only 2 hours apart. During the week it’s pretty relaxed and laid back, but it gets livelier at weekends when locals head up from the beach.

 

As well as a nice 95 km of pistes and 32 lifts there’s also pretty good nightlife and a good choice of restaurants.


@forbesandlewis