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Avant Ski's 15 Top Trails for the 2022-23 Season

Updated: Oct 5, 2023

This season has been one for the record books. Our contributors visited more than 70 resorts across the United States, Canada, Europe and Japan. We are excited to share our most memorable runs from the deepest season out West in more than four decades. Plus, highlights from our long-awaited international adventures.

Sometimes, it's all about the view. Founder, Alli Widman & friends at the top of Niseko.

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*Resort names in blue link to the related Avant Ski Resort Guide.

 

The Alps


1."Stratofana at Tofana Ski Area, Dolomiti Superski. Better known as the Olympia delle Tofane piste, I skied this iconic Olympic trail with a great group while admiring the views of Cortina d’Ampezzo below. The top was super steep and a bit intimidating, but we were there on a warm, March day and no matter how steep it was, my edges were holding nicely and I could admire the view while carving gorgeous turns." – Alli Widman


Cortina, in late March, as seen from the top of Olympic Downhill Run, Stratofana.




The American West


Fresh lines galore on Rock Garden at Palisades Tahoe.

2.Rock Garden at Palisades Tahoe. Rock Garden, off of KT-22 is a unique area with sneaky chutes, cliffs, and hidden lines if you’re willing to explore all the nooks and crannies. During a midweek storm day in January, this area was refilling faster than you could ski it and we spent the entire day exploring cool lines and features in near perfect conditions.” – Nick LeDuc


3. "Tycoon at Deer Valley is one of the most thrilling groomers around. I love Tycoon located on Bald Mountain. This steep groomer switches fall lines a handful of times and wraps around in a big right-hand direction. It's easy to pretend you're a World Cup racer while enjoying Deer Valley's perfectly groomed snow." – Lexi Dowdall


Cliffs abound at Brighton! This image was taken during a lower snow year, as the resort surpassed 900" this season.

4. "Lone Pine at Brighton really stood out this season. Less of a defined trail and more of a wide open playground accessed by the Milly Express chair, this entire run is filled top to bottom with steeps, cliffs, chutes, and other super fun features. Mix in 900+ inches of snow on the season and you're in for a wild ride!" – Sam Handy


5. “Beaver Dicks at Grand Targhee is long, wide open, cruiser with some of the best pitch at the Ghee. This run has it all. The top half rolls westward towards Teton Valley in classic Targhee fashion before the taking a turn south where it finishes with the steepest groomed turns on the hill. It’s just one of many great runs on Grand Targhee’s new Colter Lift. Plus it’s got a great name!" – Skyler Kauf


The Stone Chute Chutes at Beaver Creek.

6. "Stone Creek Chutes at Beaver Creek. I veered off into the newly opened Stone Creek Chutes to try something a little steeper. The zone starts with a narrow access trail with chute options on the skier's right that empty into a run-out to the Rose Bowl lift. This part of the resort looks nothing like the rest. My line started steep through trees, opening up to a face littered with drops and varied terrain. Quiet and remote, it was an enjoyable and challenging break. With a half dozen or so entry points, you could poke around Stone Creek Chutes all day. Beware, the signs warning of cliff drops and hidden terrain are no joke." – Jeff Zieba





7.Tower 16 at Palisades Tahoe. Known for being a sun-drenched mogul run in clear view of the lower mountain, Palisades Tahoe went out of its way to groom the open face on a few occasions this spring, creating an opportunity for some amazing open groomer turns. This run was already high on my list, but stepped up a notch or two this season!” – Mike Freice

8. “Dick's Ditch at Jackson Hole. It was hard to beat Jackson's half pipe on a warm March weekday. I met a couple on Thunder, and we ended up skiing together and Dick's was the last run we did together that day and even though I've forgotten their names, I won't forget them or that run." – Jack Benham


It's hard to beat the views the top of Bald Mountain. Courtesy of Deer Valley Resort.

9.Stein's Way at Deer Valley. You can't beat the views from the top of Bald Mountain. This gorgeous run is unrivaled on a bluebird day, with sweeping views of the surrounding mountains and the Jordanelle. Though rated Black, it's a manageable, groomed run for intermediate skiers, with only a couple steep pitches.” – Christine Wells


10."Upper Silver Fox at Snowbird. No lifts provide direct access to this beautiful, steep face. High and close to the ridge, it benefits from blowing snow deposits, which means it always has fantastic soft snow. Our local guide noted its in perfect position for leeward loading. And it's steep enough many will be scared away so you have the run to yourself!" – John Gelb





The Northeast


11. "Goat at Stowe is my go-to within the ropes for steep bumps and interesting fall lines. After plenty of late season snow and a few abnormally warm days this April, Goat offered some of the mountain's best terrain - soft snow, challenging obstacles and no one in sight. The best spring skiing we've had in years!" – Jeff Zieba


A look at Sugarloaf's famed Backside Snowfields. Courtesy of Sarah Sindo.

12. "The Backside Snowfields at Sugarloaf were in prime condition after a several year hiatus. This past March finally provided the boost needed to open up the backside, and the skiing delivered! My favorite run starts above the tree line at the peak, runs through the wide open Snowfields, and empties out into Brackett Basin for a long run through the trees. There are few runs like it on the East Coast!– Sam Handy

Canada


13. "Bubbly at Kicking Horse. So appropriately named, the surface of this long, steep and very deep after 20cm of snow the night before, trail appeared bubbly. Our local guide told us to try to hit the peaks of the vaguely shaped bumps. Best tip ever, these were some of the softest turns all season. Accessible by a 12-minute gondola ride, we froze going through the bowl to reach Bubble, but were feeling very warm and bubbly by the end.” – Alli Widman


Eric Lee O'Brien in search of a landing in Boomerang Bowl at Lake Louise. Courtesy of @skibigmike.

14. "Upper Boomerang at Lake Louise Ski Resort. The small hike to this top ridge of Boomerang Bowl is worth every untracked, deep powder turn you get before dropping into the main bowl. Rope drops happen around 10am and I managed to get two this season!! The top offers a great vantage point to take in views of all the back bowls, chutes and gullies. Stand at the top and and scope out your next lines for the day! Powder chasers – this is the run for you." – Avery Price


Japan


15. Snorkel to Super on the frontside of Hirafu at Niseko. Spring conditions were in full effect during our visit to Hokkaido the first week of March. Still in pursuit of the classic Japow experience, I most enjoyed a short hike up from the Hirafu Gondola, taking in breathtaking views of Mt. Yotei, then skiing down through some trees and to one of the tastiest ramen lunches I've had on a mountain, just below the Gondola at Bo-yo-so." – Alli Widman



 

Summary of our 15 Favorite Trails for the 2022-23 Season

  1. Stratofana, Tofana Ski Area

  2. Rock Garden, Palisades Tahoe

  3. Tycoon, Deer Valley

  4. Lone Pine, Brighton

  5. Beaver Dicks, Grand Targhee

  6. Stone Creek Chutes, Beaver Creek

  7. Tower 16, Palisades Tahoe

  8. Dick's Ditch, Jackson Hole

  9. Stein's Way, Deer Valley

  10. Upper Silver Fox, Snowbird

  11. Goat, Stowe

  12. Backside Snowfields, Sugarloaf

  13. Bubbly, Kicking Horse

  14. Upper Boomerang, Lake Louise

  15. Snorkel to Super, Hirafu at Niseko

 

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