Looking for your next ski adventure? Check out Singular magazine’s tips on the best ski resorts to visit when you’re a savvy single traveler.
Jan Novak / 123RF Photo
There’s something about the crisp, clean air and joie de vivre of a ski destination that has a special appeal. Maybe it’s the chilly weather that encourages cozy companionship, the exhilaration of virgin powder exploding as you carve fresh tracks or just the en masse predisposition to be sociable that makes skiing such a great activity, especially when you’re single.
We asked our Singular magazine readers and members of our SingularCity social network to tell us about their favorite winter playground. Check out where they like to go and afterward add your own ski-destination pick in the comments section. Then head on out and enjoy the best places to ski when you’re living single and ready to mingle – in the snow.
SingularCity member Dr. Judi Bloom, a licensed psychotherapist who practices in Los Angeles and is producing a TV documentary series, says there’s no question that Aspen tops the list when it comes to being her favorite ski destination. “There’s so much to do there besides ski,” she says, “It’s a great place to meet people and mingle. There are parties every night, great clubs and restaurants — and lots of successful, attractive single people.
Judi describes herself as an “advanced beginner” on the slopes and says there are all kinds of winter activities in Aspen, including riding in horse-drawn sleighs — but the social scene in town is the best part of all.
She likes to spend at least five days there and suggests planning early and staying longer to get the best deals. Her average daily budget runs around $500-$600 a day. “It’s a bit pricey,” Judi says, “but all the good ski resorts are.” She likes to fly to Aspen directly from Los Angeles and says it’s much easier than doing the five-hour drive to Mammoth, a favorite ski destination for Angelenos.
Judi notes that Aspen proper draws more of the single crowd, while other resorts, like nearby Snowmass, captures the families with kids. Her favorite places in Aspen include the bar in the Little Nel Hotel, which she describes as “hopping.” Restaurants Mezzaluna and Campo De Fiori also get high marks for being great places to meet other singles — and to find out where the parties are that night. Other favorite hangouts include the Cache Cache Bistro and Pinon’s. For dancing, check out Jimmy’s. “There’s a private club on the top of Ajax,” Judi says, “so look for someone to meet who can invite you there.”
Judi’s insider tip: “People dress well in Aspen; it’s the place for your good ski clothes. A great way to get some nice things is at Aspen’s resale stores, especially at the end of the season. You can buy some gently used clothing at great prices.”
Aspen Mountain Stats
Aspen’s elevation is 7,945 feet at the base.
Aspen to downtown Denver is 198 miles, 3.5 hours driving time.
The town of Aspen has capacity for 17,886 overnight visitors, 100 restaurants, cafés, lounges and bars, and over 100 retail shops.
Other activities besides skiing include cross-country skiing, snowboarding, dogsled rides, ice skating, snowshoeing, festivals, dining and superb après ski fun.
Winter temperatures range from an average 10 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
Lifts and trails: There are 8 lifts and 76 trails (on Aspen Mountain alone).
Terrain: On Aspen Mountain, there are no beginner runs, 48 percent are intermediate runs, 26 percent are advanced runs and 26 percent are extremely difficult runs.
Singular California native Rachel Will names Mammoth as her favorite ski destination. Rachel says it’s a fun place for groups, with abundant runs and activities on the mountain.
Even though she’s a triathlete, Rachel says she spends the first day of the season with her bum in the snow, remembering how to ski; she eventually gets the hang of it—but not without providing comic relief for her skiing companions.
She says she appreciates the prices at Mammoth, with a one-day lift ticket running in the range of $90. She usually stays at a friend’s cabin in Mammoth Lakes to keep the lodging cost down. All together, with transportation, food and “post-run libations,” Rachel estimates she spends about $130 a day at Mammoth.
For après ski activities, Rachel recommends the Hyde Lounge with its guest DJs and club atmosphere. She also likes Whiskey Creek, describing it as a typical mountain bar with a raucous happy hour and a nice mix of locals and visitors. She says Base Camp serves a hearty breakfast to fortify skiers for a day on the slopes and says they will even make you sandwiches to carry along in your backpack. Another favorite eatery Rachel recommends is Schat’s bakery, which makes fresh-baked goods on site.
Rachel’s insider tip: “Since it’s so close to L.A. it’s a popular weekend getaway and can get crowded, Traffic conditions can be bad, especially if the roads are icy. Go on weekdays if you can and avoid holiday weekends.”
Mammoth’s elevation at summit is 11,053 feet.
Mammoth to downtown Los Angeles is 300 + miles, 5 hours driving time.
Mammoth has capacity for 40,000+ overnight visitors, 75 restaurants, cafés, lounges and bars, 100 retail shops.
Other activities besides skiing include snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, dogsled rides, ice skating, tubing.
Winter temperatures range from an average low of 10 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
Lifts and trails: There are 28 lifts and 150 trails.
Terrain: The trails are ranked 30 percent beginner runs, 40 percent intermediate runs, 30 percent advanced runs and no rankings for extremely difficult runs.
Singular travel writer Barbara Bloom names Mont Tremblant, a Canadian resort in the province of Quebec, just 90 minutes north of Montreal, as her all-time favorite ski destination. Barbara grew up in Montreal. Her father was a ski instructor and Barbara was on skis by the age of five, as were her three brothers and three sisters. Besides skiing, she likes to snowblade and occasionally snowboard.
She says Mont Tremblant is good for singles because the people who go there are “out-and-about,” upbeat and energetic. “Tremblant has a great social atmosphere and nightlife. The restaurants and bars are always packed. Patrons come from all over the world but what you get mostly are French Canadians — bon vivants who enjoy great food, hearty laughter and good company.
“Many Americans think the French are stuck-up or that they will not be able to communicate with them,” Barbara says. “The truth is that most people there are bilingual and the French Canadians are among the friendliest people I know.”
She says her average budget for a stay at Mont Tremblant is around $250 per day. Since she has family members who own cabins in the area, she has the advantage of being able to stay with them rather than paying for a hotel. For visitors without family she recommends the hotels and condos at the base of the mountain.
Barbara’s insider tip: “It’s like going to Europe without crossing the pond. Take a day trip to Montreal for more culture and excitement.”
Mont Tremblant Stats
Mont Tremblant’s elevation is 2,871 feet.
Mont Tremblant to downtown Montreal is 80 miles, 1.5 hours driving time.
Mont Tremblant has capacity for 25,000 overnight visitors, 40 restaurants, cafés, lounges and bars, 37 retail shops
A passport is required to enter Canada and return to the U.S.
Other activities besides skiing include cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, dogsledding, ice climbing, ice skating, tube gliding, snowmobiling, sleigh rides, helicopter tours, a zip-line course, paintball, spas, movie theater and casino.
Winter temperatures range from an average low of -13 to 41 degrees Fahrenheit.
Lifts and trails: There are 14 lifts and 95 trails.
Terrain: The trails are ranked 20 percent beginner runs, 35 percent intermediate runs, 35 percent advanced runs and 10 percent extremely difficult runs.
Snowbasin, just 40 miles outside of Salt Lake City, is the favorite winter fun destination for singular entrepreneurial film director/producer Roger Tonry. He says Snowbasin was relatively unknown until the 2002 Winter Olympics, which led to the resort’s renovation and the building of what he says is the “best mid-mountain chalet I’ve ever seen.”
He likes the fact that it’s somewhat away from Park City and offers a good way to avoid crowds during the Sundance Film Festival. “They have great snow and miles of runs, including Strawberry, which is over three miles.”
His favorite way to traverse the slopes is on a snowboard, something he’s been doing for the past 15 years. “I love spending those low visibility days in the trees (skiing off the groomed runs) with my tracks filling with snow between runs.”
He says lift tickets are just over $70 and that for under $100, you can ski, have a great lunch and an après ski cocktail. He avoids lodging costs by always staying with friends, but says since Snowbasin is so close to Park City and Salt Lake City, it is reasonable to pay the cheaper hotel prices in town and commute to the slopes.
Roger concedes that Snowbasin is a little out of the way, but this is also something he likes since he’s not into the ski-resort social scene. Its remoteness also means Snowbasin has shorter lift lines, while still offering spectacular facilities. “It’s good for people who prefer to be away from the crowds, yet still be in a large ski area with wonderful terrain and conditions,” he says. “It would be a good place to meet someone like-minded in that respect.”
Roger’s insider tip: “It is Utah, so they’re skimpy with the metered drinks. Either order beer, or order a ‘sidecar’ so your drink doesn’t look like a glass of ice that’s starting to melt.”
Snowbasin’s elevation at summit is 9366 feet.
Snowbasin to downtown Salt Lake City is 40 miles, 40 minutes driving time.
Snowbasin has no facilities for overnight visitors, 6 restaurants, cafés, lounges and bars, and no retail shops.
Other activities besides skiing include snowboarding, telemark skiing, tubing and cross-country skiing. There are special events as well, such as the Youth/Masters USSA downhill races and fine dining events for big holidays.
Winter temperatures range from an average of 16 to 30 degrees Fahrenheit.
Lifts and trails: There are 11 lifts and 104 trails.
Terrain: The trails are ranked 20 percent beginner runs, 50 percent intermediate runs, 30 percent advanced runs.
Singular racing-pilot champion Matthias Dolderer has only been to Vail once in his life but says it remains his single best ski-vacation experience. “The snow is superb, the people are great — it’s a huge area with fantastic ski slopes — it’s like a winter wonderland.”
Coming from Germany, a country that can hold its own when it comes to offering winter wonderlands, his A-plus rating for Colorado’s Vail is well worth noting. Matthias started skiing at age three and says that, for a time, he was “almost pro” level. Today he considers himself advanced.
Matthias says he would like to go to Vail more often, but since he lives in Europe it’s a bit far for regular skiing adventures. When he was there, he says, his daily budget was $300 per day. He traveled to the resort with a group of friends who rented a condo for their stay.
Besides calling Vail “the place to be for great skiing,” Matthias gives high marks to Vail’s nightlife, describing it as all being “cool.”
Matthias’s insider tip: “Do it! Enjoy! Don’t think, just go and have fun.”
Vail’s elevation is 11,570 feet.
Vail to downtown Denver is 110 miles, 2 hours driving time.
Vail has capacity for 18,445 overnight visitors, 104 restaurants, cafés, lounges and bars, 193 retail shops.
Other activities besides skiing include tubing, ski-biking, kids snowmobiling and bungee trampolines; cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, telemark skiing and ice skating.
Winter temperatures range from 20 to 30 degrees Fahrenheit.
Lifts and trails: There are 31 lifts and 193 trails.
Terrain: The trails are ranked 18 percent beginner; 29 percent intermediate; 53 percent expert/advanced.
Singular skier Art Newman, an ex-Olympic sailor, active cyclist and recreational pilot, says he’s navigated almost all kinds of slope and conditions over his 50 years of skiing. It was hard for Art to pick a favorite place, but when pressed he chose Whistler in British Columbia as his favorite all-around ski experience.
“Whistler is a compact village that has everything within walking distance,” he says. “The restaurants and clubs are great and affordable.” As for the actual skiing, Art explains that the ski action takes place on two mountains, Whistler and Blackcomb, and they are very different from each other. Whistler offers more novice runs while Blackcomb offers more trails for advanced skiers.
“My only mission is to ski,” he says. “No snowboarding or any other kind of play. “Both areas are super right after a snowfall.”
He likes to stay at the Pan Pacific Mountainside, which is slope side. As far as bars and restaurants, he says they’re all good. “It’s hard to go wrong. You’ll find that Whistler is especially good for singles,” he says. “But families ski there a lot on weekends.”
His budget at Whistler runs about $400 a day, a price he says is in line with most top ski resorts in North America.
Art’s insider tip: Be careful about when you go. “I usually go there for a week every year,” Art says, “and not later than March because spring snow is typically hard in the morning and turns to soft slush in the afternoon.”
Whistler Village’s elevation is 2,214 feet.
Whistler to downtown Vancouver: 79 miles, 2 hours driving time.
Whistler to Seattle: 218 miles, 5 hours driving time.
A passport is required to enter Canada and return to the U.S.
Whistler has capacity for about 30,000 overnight visitors, 90+ restaurants, cafés, lounges and bars, 200+ retail shops.
Activities offered include skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, zip lining, cross-country skiing, horse-drawn sleigh rides, heli-ski and heli-boarding, ice skating, bobsleigh and skeleton sliding.
Winter temperatures range from an average low of 18 degrees to 37 degrees Fahrenheit.
Lifts and trails: There are 37 lifts, the world record-holding “peak-to-peak” gondola and more than 200 trails.
Terrain: On Whistler Mountain, the trails are ranked 20 percent beginner, 55 percent intermediate and 25 percent expert. On Blackcomb Mountain, the trails are ranked 15 percent beginner, 55 percent intermediate and 30 percent expert.
Copyright © Kim Calvert/2015 Singular Communications, LLC.