Ask the experts: Where the pros ski

We ask the biggest names in winter sports where they'll be going this winter for the most pristine powder and the ultimate hidden slopes

By National Geographic Traveller (UK)
photographs by Getty Images
Published 17 Nov 2018, 15:00 GMT, Updated 15 Jul 2021, 14:47 BST
Photograph by Getty Images

Ester Ledecká, 2018 Winter Olympics gold snowboarder/alpine skier

I follow the international race calendar, which takes me all over the world, but I got a jump start on the season by training in La Parva, Chile. Springtime in South America offers great conditions for speed disciplines. We rent a small piste-side house and take a chef, so we're pretty much in paradise. In October I was snowboarding on my beloved Swiss glacier in Saas-Fee, and I'm also set to go to the Stelvio Pass and Cervinia in Italy and Austria's Kaunertal. I'll end my snowboard season in Colorado.

Chris Gill, Editor, Where To Ski & Snowboard

This winter my travels are geared to research for my upcoming Where to Ski guides to Italy and Switzerland. I'll include my two favourite Italian areas — Alta Badia, part of the limitless Sella Ronda piste network in the Dolomites, and Monte Rosa, a rather neglected area at the opposite (western) end of the Alps with fabulous off-piste terrain. In Switzerland, I'll be off to visit big name destinations Zermatt and Verbier, and the small but expanding Andermatt.

Jenny Jones, First British athlete to win an Olympic medal on snow in 90 years

In January I'm running a snowboard backcountry workshop in Niseko Resort in Japan: one of my favourite places to go snowboarding. The powder is incredible and there's so much terrain to ride, plus you get to experience the amazing culture. In March, I'll be in the beautiful resort of Sainte-Foy-Tarentaise in the French Alps. I'll be hosting a snowboard and mindset workshop focusing on the psychology behind a successful performance and the importance of looking after your body.

Chemmy Alcott, British former World Cup alpine ski racer

This winter is all about Italy for me. I love skiing in Italy — the passion they have for life, from the ski-in espresso stops to the long five-course dinners. I mostly stay in the Dolomites, finding hidden slopes that you can only get to on foot. But I'm probably most excited about my impending trip to Åre in Sweden for a big chunk of February to help with presenting the Alpine World Ski Championships. Åre has always been special but the creation of the Åre Sessions music events has really put it on the map.

Jan Farrell, British team speed skier and current world number five

The quality of skiing and the reliability of snow in Austria is fantastic so I'll be based there again this winter. I'll be spending time in a few places in the same general area — Kaunertal, Sölden, Altenmarkt and Fageralm — testing ski equipment for Atomic and training for the forthcoming World Cup ski events. I always fly into Munich, then drive across the border into Austria where there are loads of great resorts to choose from. It's my favourite place to go right now.

Ethan Davis, British team freeskier and Junior World Freeride Tour competitor

This summer I was training on a glacier with the Warren Smith Ski Academy in Cervinia. Conditions were amazing because of all the snow the area had last season. This winter, I'll be based in Verbier in Switzerland where the first Freeride World Tour event of the year takes place in January. I've just passed my Freeski Level 2 Coach qualification for the Irish Association of Snowsport Instructors and I'll be heading to Pila in Italy to take part in the SIGB Ski Test with Snow Magazine too.

Published in the Winter Sports guide, distributed with the November 2018 issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK)


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