Until snow falls in Orange County, hitting the slopes elsewhere will always be a thrill. And yet, the same questions haunt the planning of every trip: Colorado or Utah? Ski, or should we finally learn to snowboard? Why must we spend so much time crammed in shuttles and lifts with strangers? That sort of thing. If you are beginning to feel taxed by this tedium, then read on. Our recommendations will make skiing magical again.
There’s skiing beyond the American West, beyond Canada, beyond Europe. There is Japan, where Siberian winds skimming across the sea gift the island of Hokkaido with 600 inches of dry powder every year. No blaring rock music, short runs, or Disneyland-length lines: Mount Niseko Annupuri has sweeping, groomed slopes edged with stands of silver birch, backcountry bowls of unmarked powder, and volcanic crater skiing. Then recuperate, with the assistance of locally produced sake, in your serene Kasara Townhouse, two stories of shibumi-style simplicity and luxury. It can be difficult to move after a full day on the slopes, but the Green Leaf Onsen beckons: a soak in a traditional rock pool that’s fed by a hot spring and sheltered by evergreens. Book by Nov. 30 for a special rate of $850 per night (three-night minimum, local taxes not included). More info: kasara.com/nisekovillage