Best resorts for freeriding

1.  Verbier , Switzerland

Snowboard Guide rating 10 out of 10 “ Freeriders who know just what snowboarding is all about will be very impressed with Verbier. The ONeil Xtreme competition is held here on the North face of the Bec des Rosses which should give you an idea of what awesome terrain is on offer. The Mont Gele cable car serves no piste, just a ...”

Freeriding

100%

Freeride paradise

Freestyle

60%

A solid terrain park

Pistes

90%

Pistes in all shapes and sizes

Beginners

50%

Some testing lifts but English tuition

2.  St Anton , Austria

Snowboard Guide rating 10 out of 10 “ Freeriders are best suited to St Anton as it's the perfect playground, with a little of everything: steeps, powder, trees and big drop offs. Riders who know what they're doing should worm their way up to Kapall where they'll find loads of great freeriding terrain, with good natural hits. ...”

Freeriding

95%

Awesome off-piste but don't hang around

Freestyle

60%

Small park but plenty of natural hits

Pistes

85%

Wide, long and some very testing slopes

3.  Chamonix , France

Snowboard Guide rating 10 out of 10 “ Freeriders Chamonix can be heaven and hell. With good snow its the big one when it come to hardcore riding. Youve got it all - steep faces, glacial runs, trees and couloirs. With little snow you may find yourself spending more time on the lifts and in the pub than on the slopes. With a 6-day ...”

Freeriding

95%

Tree runs & amazing off-piste

Freestyle

70%

Half-pipe but great natural

Pistes

60%

Spread out & ungroomed slopes

Beginners

50%

Too rough round the edges

4.  Crested Butte , USA

Snowboard Guide rating 8 out of 10 “ Freeriders are in command here, with much of the terrain best suited to riders who know how to handle a board and prefer off-piste. Extreme Limits is a gnarly, un-pisted heaven for extreme lovers wanting big hits and steeps. Check out Headwall and North Face for some serious double black diamond ...”

Freeriding

95%

Some of the best extremes in the USA

Freestyle

60%

New park & superpipe for 2010

Pistes

75%

Boasts 'Colorado's Best Corduroy'

5.  Whistler/Blackcomb , Canada

Snowboard Guide rating 10 out of 10 “ The resort is sheer powder heaven when it dumps, which is often with its Pacific Northwest climate. Natural hits spring up all over both mountains which both have amazing tree runs, marked and unmarked. On Whistler, try Peak to Creek via the Peak Chair and Bagel or West Bowl. Even better, ...”

Freeriding

90%

Trees and amazing off-piste

Freestyle

95%

World leader in parks & pipes

Pistes

90%

Huge array of good runs

6.  Nendaz , Switzerland

Snowboard Guide rating 8 out of 10 “ Freeriders have the lot here, the 4 Vallees is massive and known throughout the world as one of the best freeride areas on the planet. The problem is it's no secret and crowds on a good day are a given. But don't be put off as fresh tracks can still be had with a little imagination and some ...”

Freeriding

90%

Big off piste

Freestyle

60%

Natural rules

Pistes

80%

Have it fast

Beginners

60%

Spralling area

7.  Kicking Horse , Canada

Snowboard Guide rating 8 out of 10 “ Freeriders will love Kicking Horse; it's one of a few BC resorts with wide-open Alpine powder faces. You can drop into Bowl Over and Crystal Bowl directly from the top of the Gondola and Stairway chair but on powder days these faces get schralped in seconds so ride down the ridge tops to find a ...”

Freeriding

90%

Gnarly chutes, huge off-piste and trees.

Freestyle

40%

A small park but lots of natural hits

Pistes

65%

Limited options for newbs

8.  Mt Baker , USA

Snowboard Guide rating 10 out of 10 “ It doesn’t seem to matter if it’s the weekend when it’s busy, or during the week when things are quiet, you need to be on that first lift if you want freshies. The standard of freeriding is high, and by lunchtime everything inbound and much of what is out of bounds will be riddled. The resort ...”

Freeriding

90%

some tree runs & epic off-piste

Freestyle

50%

a small park, but its all about nature

Pistes

60%

Not really what its about

Beginners

60%

No bars on the lifts!

9.  Grand Targhee , USA

Snowboard Guide rating 8 out of 10 “ Freeriders will soon work out that this is a resort for them. The terrain on both mountains lends itself perfectly for both piste and backcountry riding. You'll find a number of steep black trails on Fred's Mountain, but most of them are quite short. You'll find plenty of open steep pitches where ...”

Freeriding

90%

A good pitch with challenging terrain

Freestyle

60%

2 small parks & decent natural features

Pistes

60%

Some good groomers too

10.  Davos , Switzerland

Snowboard Guide rating 10 out of 10 “ Freeriders will wet themselves when they see the off-piste opportunities, which are mega and best checked out with the services of a guide. It is possible to find fresh tracks a week or two after snowfall.The 2 freeride routes down to Teufi and Mülli from Jakobshorn are pretty cool, but you will ...”

Freeriding

90%

Trees and excellent off-piste

Freestyle

80%

Good pipes and parks

Pistes

85%

Huge and varied run selection

11.  Flims , Switzerland

Snowboard Guide rating 9 out of 10 “ FREERIDERS, have for a number of years been aware of what is on offer here, whether up on Flims or over on the Laax slopes. For a nice long freeride trail that’s not over testing, try out the Segnes trail which is a red run that shoots down from the Cassons and arrives to connect up with the ...”

Freeriding

85%

Trees & some good off-piste

Freestyle

80%

2 terrain parks & 2 halfpipes

Pistes

80%

Great condition & variety

12.  Crans Montana , Switzerland

Snowboard Guide rating 7 out of 10 “ Freeriders in search of off-piste and fresh powder, need to hook up with a guide and set off to areas around the Plaine Morte Glacier, where you can make your way to nearby Anzere. The route goes through some tunnels, which makes it well worth the effort. The area known as the Faverges is cool and ...”

Freeriding

85%

So much terrain to choose from

Freestyle

60%

Park could be better

Pistes

60%

Good pistes

13.  Kamchatka , Russia

Snowboard Guide rating 7 out of 10 “ The best riding for advanced freeriders - tons and meters of deep snow and no sights of civilization around. It's always better to hire a guide, because if you ride down some Russian volcano 12000 km away from home towards a helicopter that's going to meet you at 10:30 and not a minute later, you ...”

Freeriding

85%

Amazing experience

Freestyle

40%

Just natural

Pistes

10%

none

14.  Leysin , Switzerland

Snowboard Guide rating 8 out of 10 “ Freeriders have plenty of great terrain to explore, with tree runs down to the village, or extreme terrain with bowls and cliffs which you can reach by dropping in to your right on the Berneuse. You should also check out the official off-piste runs that give you the feeling of backcountry riding, ...”

Freeriding

85%

Trees, Bowls, Cliffs the lot

Freestyle

76%

Parks & Halfpipe

Pistes

74%

Very quiet slopes

15.  Zermatt , Switzerland

Snowboard Guide rating 8 out of 10 “ There are 38km of official freeride routes, and off-piste is where Zermatt really excels as a destination. The Stockhorn or over at the Schwarzsee areas are good. There’s lots of bowls, couloirs and steep off-piste and if you’ve got any cash left then heli-boarding is an option. There are heli ...”

Freeriding

85%

Some trees and good off-piste

Freestyle

65%

All year terrain parks and good natural

Pistes

60%

Lots of cat tracks

16.  St Moritz , Switzerland

Snowboard Guide rating 9 out of 10 “ Freeriders have a huge amount of great backcountry terrain, with lots of steeps, gullies, cliffs and virgin powder to seek out. The closest area to St Moritz Dorf is Corviglia, which hosted the Olympic Run (Black 12) in 1928 and 1948 and leads back to the Chantarella Funicular which unfortunately ...”

Freeriding

85%

Some incredible backcountry

Freestyle

60%

Basic park & no pipe but decent natural

Pistes

80%

Great pistes everywhere

17.  Niseko United , Japan

Snowboard Guide rating 9 out of 10 “ Freeriders should head straight to the peak. After a 20min hike from the top chair you reach the peak of Mt Annupuri. From here your options are close to 360 degrees with views from volcano to sea. The terrain is endless with open powder bowls, trees and gullies. The length of your ride is ...”

Freeriding

85%

Good backcountry and lots of pow

Freestyle

80%

Selection of terrain parks

Pistes

75%

Lots of options

18.  Happo One , Japan

Snowboard Guide rating 8 out of 10 “ Happo-One is a powder junkie’s dream. With a ridiculous volume of snow falling each year and a rolling topography of tree lined gullies – powder key feature of the resort. Dramatic early season dumps have resulted in people literally drowning – so be warned, bring your transceivers, snorkels and ...”

Freeriding

80%

Pillows and Pow!

Freestyle

40%

Just natural baby

Pistes

75%

Good but confusing layout

19.  Mt.Tomamu , Japan

Snowboard Guide rating 8 out of 10 “ Freeriders who like to ride the trees need to head straight up the gondola and explore the options found in the Bowl Area. To ride in the trees here though you need to register with Ski Patrol in the main Resort Centre first (at the gondola base); they will then ask you to wear a bib and a helmet ...”

Freeriding

80%

Many options including Cat and Heli

Freestyle

70%

A well-maintained park and pipe

Pistes

60%

Some nice cruisers

20.  Sainte-Foy , France

Snowboard Guide rating 8 out of 10 “ Sainte-Foy is what snowboards were invented for. There is basically three slow lifts, running one after the other to take you from 1550m to the Col de LAiguille at 2612m. From here, you have a myriad of choices but be careful as each brow you come over leads to another untouched field and the ...”

Freeriding

80%

A few tree runs & excellent off-piste

Freestyle

40%

no park but good natural

Pistes

35%

Forget it

Beginners

30%

Limited slopes