Best Overall Resorts: 2008-09

Ranked by the readers of Skiing Magazine.
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Ranked by the readers of Skiing Magazine.
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Best Overall Resort

1. WHISTLER BLACKCOMB, BRITISH COLUMBIA (above)

The question was, “If money were no object, what North American ski resort would you like to visit this season?” The answer, overwhelmingly, was Whistler Blackcomb. Again. Probably because no other mountain combines a mile of vertical with 8,171 acres of inbounds skiing, then mates those with 33.5 feet of annual snowfall—which, divided by the number of days the resort is in operation, works out to 2.2 inches of snow

every single night

. Numbers aside, it’s Whistler’s dump-sun-dump cycle that gives skiers what psychologists call “the crazy eyes.” Trust us: Wait for Spanky’s to open after a storm. Come in hot on the traverse. Ride it out, kick off your skis, and stroll up the 20-foot boot-pack. While everyone panics and heads straight into Diamond Bowl, trend right for Sapphire Bowl. If it’s filled in enough, ollie the salt-and-pepper choke at the top. If it isn’t, billygoat it. Mob down the skier’s left side and hug the rock like a handrail until you get to a small cornice. Huck it. This line is called Zut Zut. You’ll want to zip up your vents and, very possibly, pee in your pants.

Three Things You Need to Know:

Go to the World Ski and Snowboard Festival April 17 to 26, 2009. Everything’s cheaper at that time of year, so drink and get your perv on.

Go to Dusty’s to eat ribs. Drink and get your perv on.

Check the Web for the resort’s well-placed webcams at several elevations and locations. Plan your day from here, then drink and get your perv on [whistlerblackcomb.com/weather/cams].

Best of the Rest
2. Jackson Hole, Wyoming
3. Vail, Colorado
4. Telluride, Colorado
5. Alta/Snowbird, Utah
6. Alyeska, Alaska
7. Aspen/Aspen Highlands, Colorado
8. Big Sky, Montana
9. Steamboat, Colorado
10. Breckenridge, Colorado