Good for … intrepid explorers
On the slopes: If you’re an experienced skier with a sense of adventure, then Nepal is for you. Although there are no actual ski resorts in the remote Himalayan nation, Heliski Nepal has been ’coptering the bravest onto the “Roof of the World” for over 15 years. Whether you fancy being dropped off in the Humla, Dhaulagiri, Annapurna or the Everest regions of Nepal, the pristine off-piste powder and stunning views are unparalleled.
Off the slopes: The Annapurna package comes highly recommended, as guests get to sample the five-star hotels of Pokhara, a picturesque Nepalese town that sits alongside Phewa Lake. If you need to thaw out for a few days, then jungle safaris as well as historic temples and palaces await at lower climes. heliskinepal.com
Good for … nature lovers
On the slopes: It’s not every day that you get the chance to ski in giant panda country. But on Xiling Snow Mountain, just outside the city of Chengdu, you can do just that. The mountaintop is covered in snow all year round, but the best skiing conditions can be enjoyed from mid-December to March. Take your pick from seven trails of varying difficulties, which add up to a whopping 10 kilometres of runs in total.
Off the slopes: In the warmer summer months, the lush lower slopes are perfect for hiking, grass skiing (a training method for alpine skiing) and quad biking. You can also spot China’s national animal roaming wild in Panda Woods, while Five-Colour Lake of Jiuzhaigou Nature Reserve is another must-see natural attraction.
Good for … families
On the slopes: Ideal for all ages and abilities, the Geihoku Kokusai Ski Resort in Hiroshima is one of the largest skiing destinations in western Japan. There are three distinct skiing and snowboarding areas at this resort: the Kokusai Center with its slow, lazy decline; the Ohira Center with its hair-raising long runs; and the Kakezu area with its demanding but exhilarating forest trails.
Off the slopes: The resort also offers a host of other activities, including kimono painting, snow shoe excursions and the chance to see the Ice Monsters. The latter are arresting forms and figures resulting from conifer trees being coated in ice – something that you can only see in this region of Japan.
This article was originally published in the January 2018 issue of Silkwinds magazine.