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Tuesday February 13, 2018 - Email this article to a friend

February is our time to head to North America. All of us in the full-time staff are heading out & we'll be visiting around 20 different resorts. UPDATED

It may seem odd to head over to the USA and Canada when Europe is having its best winter in decades with seemingly endless snow.  

The general perception is that North America is having a poor season this winter. 

It is in some places but we're steering clear of those areas (hopefully).  

James and Kisia Cove have just arrived in Banff in Alberta, Canada.  

See here for their first report on the twon itself.
They headed first to the local ski hill of Sunshine Village.

The road to sunshine?The road to sunshine?

There wasn't much sunshine in evidence.

Sunshine Village, Alberta, CanadaSunshine Village, Alberta, Canada

But there was, as usual, plenty of snow.

Piled highPiled high

But it was, er,  a bit breezy Wink

They'll be reporting further from the slopes of Sunshine Village, Lake Louise and Mt Norquay later this week as James takes a look at the resorts and hwo the seaosn has been so far. 

What makes Banff one of PlanetSKI's favourite ski towns of anywhere in the world?

Do check back for that.

Banff, Alberta, CanadaBanff, Alberta, Canada

As James said in his video report he headed straight off to Delirium Dive in Sunshine Village as he arrived.

But it wasn't to be.

It's been a while since he skied the off piste area, but this season it is full of snow and has been open much of the time.

Delirium DiveDelirium Dive

He'll be trying it again later in the week with his 23-year old son Alex who is a ski instructor in the resort and in his third season.

Alex in actionAlex in action

In the last few days the resort of Sunshine Village was cut off as the access road was engulfed by a controlled avalanche.  

Avalanche across the access roadAvalanche across the access road

James departs from Banff at the weekend and Kisia stays in town - she may well visit some of the other ski areas in Alberta and maybe neighbouring British Columbia.  

James is heading off to Idaho in the USA to ski a few resorts he's never even heard of: Bogus Basin, Tamarack, Brundage Mountain, McCall and Schweitzer Mountain Resort.  

He is doing it in the company of fellow ski-writer and his long-time ski buddy (plus sworn enemy Wink) Alf Alderson.  

Last year the pair did a road trip in Utah.
 And the year before that it was a trip round British Columbia in an RV.
So, what are conditions like in Idaho?  

That's an easy one to answer as our senior news reporter, Katie Bamber, is already there. 

In Sun Valley Idaho.

"I got into town a few days ago and yes it needs more snow, but I still managed some fun turns on the groomers," said Katie.

We'll be hearing more from Katie shortly.

Meanwhile what about our chief reporter, Jane Peel?

She is masterminding our Pyeongchang Winter Olympic coverage from the office at the moment.

But once The Games are over she's also heading across the Pond.  

To Colorado where she is hitting the slopes of Aspen/Snowmass and Copper. 

The snow has not been so good in Colorado so far this winter but we're delighted to say that is changing. 

The resorts have finally got some decent snow.  

"Snow conditions in Colorado and Utah are much improved, even if base depths remain below par," said Fraser Wilkin from
Which is as well for James and Kisia as they too are heading to Colorado as well towards the end of the month and into March.

"We'll be in Steamboat and Winter Park which are two resorts I haven't visited so I'm really looking forward to those," said James.

"I love the skiing in Colorado and visited the state twice last year on one of my US road trips."  

James is often asked what the skiing is like in Canada and the USA compared to Europe.

"Anyone that considers themselves a reasonably accomplished skier or snowboarder should visit a few times and try different resorts. The variety of terrain, the completely different experience, the range of resorts and the quality of the slopes/accommodation make it a unique experience." 

"In my opinion it's a bit of a myth to say the snow is better than in Europe, after all just look at this winter, where overall the Alps has trounced the Rockies.  However I've had some of the best snow conditions of my life in the resorts in North America." 

"Overall I probably prefer the Alps but the Rockies should not be overlooked and that is why I spend several weeks each winter in the USA and Canada."  

The flight over from Europe to North America is long, 9 hours from London to Calgary, but some of the views  are spectacular.

Greenland: looking goodGreenland: looking good

Approaching CalgaryApproaching Calgary

Approaching CalgaryApproaching Calgary

Our four staff reporters visiting around 20 different resorts in North America in the next few weeks, from the world famous ones to the local hills with just a handful of lifts.  

So if you want to learn more about skiing in North America then do check back in the coming weeks to see what all the fuss is about.  

Canada and the USA you have been warned - PlanetSKI is in town!   

See here for the main PlanetSKI news page with all the latest stories from the mountains.

For the Spirit of the Mountains - PlanetSKI: No1 for ski news

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