These Are the World's Best Private Ski Experiences
Some 6,000 years ago, humans strapped wood to their feet to glide across the icy tundra in the very first act of skiing.
Those early shredders likely weren't concerned with their carving technique and didn't think twice about pizza versus french fries. Instead, it was all about survival. These primitive planks allowed them to travel long distances safely in winter and track their prey as it migrated during the season. Humans would continue to take to the snow this way for thousands of years, until skiing was no longer a necessary task. But, by that point, the sport had been hardwired into our brains as necessary for something else: fun.
There are now thousands of ski resorts dotting the globe, all promising to deliver the thrill that humans have enjoyed for millennia. However, there are far fewer promising an unparalleled luxury experience as well. So this winter, rather than hunting down your dinner, why not head out on a quest to find both excitement and the best in luxury? Here are a few luxury ski experiences that would make our prehistoric, powder-loving ancestors proud.
Noted skier Kim Reichhelm is offering up her time and services for those who want to hit the hills. Skiers can now book a private guided trip with Reichhelm for a truly unforgettable experience. Though Reichhlem hosts adventures all over the globe, her expertise is at her home mountains in Aspen. Book a trip with her there and she'll happily show off all her favorite hidden powder spots.
The four-bed, four-bath hideaway known as Trapper's Cabin sleeps up to 10 guests in total style. The mountainside ski chalet features mountain chic furnishings, a large fireplace, a Jacuzzi tub, and a personal cabin keeper to attend to all guest needs. Requests like a private chef and ski instruction are also available on-demand.
This four-bedroom, five-bath chalet is ski-in, ski-out at its finest. It too sleeps up to 10 guests and boasts a private outdoor hot tub nestled at 10,500 feet above Vail Village. Not thrilling enough? Access is only available via private snowcat, making it an exciting place to stay from the start.
Bluebird Backcountry opened for its first season in 2020. Guests planning to visit better be willing to work for their turns as there isn't a single chairlift in this ski area. Instead, it's entirely human-powered, designed for both learning and adventure. Bluebird is also offering new trails and terrain this season to help adventurous skiers make the most of the snow.
Ski enthusiasts from across the globe go to Steamboat Springs to experience its world-famous "Champagne powder"; its snow is made up of just 6 percent water content rather than the average 15 percent, which makes it ultra fluffy. While in town, book a stay at the 1,200-acre luxury Alpine Mountain Ranch community, which offers ski-in, ski-out access and access to the private Alpine Mountain Summit Club. There, members enjoy underground valet parking, private ski lockers, a daily breakfast, a spa, a fitness center, and more. It even comes with a members-only social calendar featuring winemaker dinners, culinary classes, guided family-friendly activities, adventure tours, and more.
Scarp Ridge Lodge is a European-style chalet that comes with authentic Rocky Mountain experiences. Those staying in the home located in Crested Butte also gain access to private cat skiing at the nearby town of Irwin, Colorado, which averages nearly 450 inches of snow per season. During cat skiing, guests can make up to 10 runs through more than 1,000 acres of exclusive terrain.
This season, The Lodge at Blue Sky, Auberge Resorts Collection has partnered with Inspired Summit Adventures to bring everyone the chance to book a bespoke backcountry ski experience. The menu includes snowmobile-access skiing with a certified backcountry guide who will lead guests into the Uinta Mountains on snowmobiles. Then, the guide will help guests transition to backcountry skis or splitboards, so they can ride down the mountain in total privacy.
Montage Deer Valley has teamed up with Adventure IO to offer exclusive adventures alongside professional athletes and local experts. Guests looking to experience the best of the best can choose from an array of activities like electric hydrofoil flights, skimboarding, heli-skiing, off-roading, and much more.
Powder Mountain is one of the few mountains on Earth that promises to never get too overcrowded. The mountain caps lift tickets at 1,500 per day, giving this private mountain a genuinely exclusive atmosphere. Every skier and snowboarder has, on average, five acres to themselves, and lift lines are so short you may need to come up with an excuse to take a break.
This year, guests who can score a coveted ski-season stay at Amangani have the opportunity to experience the nearby Jackson Hole ski resort at its very best. That's because Amangani has placed its exclusive ski lounge in the heart of Teton Village, just steps from the Bridger Gondola and Aerial Tram. The lodge provides ski-in, ski-out access, along with an expert ski concierge service and refreshments. Those looking for a bit more fun can book heli-skiing, snowcat powder skiing, or guided cross-country skiing through the resort. Looking to fly private to the mountain? Up-and-coming aviation company Aero, which offers semi-private flights on the West Coast, is offering seasonal service to Jackson Hole this season.
The new Montage Big Sky is here to elevate the mountain experience via its Compass Sports programming. Each morning, guests are greeted by pre-warmed ski boots, freshly tuned skis, and ski valets to handle equipment and help them to the mountain. Guests will also have the opportunity to take private lessons with Compass Sports professionals. The resort's recent partnership with SnoGo ski bikes also gives visitors a fun, alternative way to experience all Big Sky has to offer. To take your experience to new heights (pun intended), guests can fly private to the resort with Jet Edge, thanks to the private aviation company's partnership with Montage Hotels & Resorts.
The Ranch at Rock Creek now offers all-inclusive ski packages that allow guests to experience the nearby Discovery ski area — one of the nation's best mountains that somehow has remained off the radar. "Disco," as the locals call it, is an uncrowded, family-owned, off-the-beaten-path resort that feels comfortably stuck in a bygone era. If the old-school feel and world-class terrain aren't enough, the ranch's five-star staff will bring the luxury straight to the guests with a private parking lot apres ski, complete with chef, pop-up grill, servers, and all the delicious delicacies you can eat and drink.
Tordrillo Mountain Lodge is Alaska's longest-operating heli-ski lodge. Starting at $15,000 per guest, the resort's heli-ski adventure packages are extreme, making it ideal for experienced, off-piste skiers. Don't miss the "Kings and Corn" event (King Salmon fishing and Corn skiing) every June and July, when Alaska gets up to 22-hours of daylight.
Whistler Blackcomb, British Columbia
This season, Whistler Blackcomb's "Ski with an Olympian" program is one of the most coveted lessons on the market. Guests of the resort can ride with its resident Olympians (including Ashleigh Mcivor, Anna Segal, and Julia Murray, among others), hear their untold stories from the games, and learn a few techniques from the best of the best.
Lake Louise, Alberta
For those ambitious enough to leave electricity, running water, and Wi-Fi behind, Skoki Lodge is here to deliver. To begin, guests first must tackle a "modest" seven-mile ski tour (with your clothes for the next few days in your backpack) to make it to this off-the-grid oasis. There, guests will find a roaring fireplace, gourmet meals, and an immersive outdoor experience.
Golden, British Columbia
This winter, CMH Heli-Skiing is offering a massive addition to its legendary portfolio of world-class remote heli-lodges. Thanks to the acquisition of Purcell Heli-Skiing (now CMH Purcell), intrepid skiers have access to nearly 500,000 acres of additional backcountry terrain to add to CMH's already staggering 3 million acres. Located less than two hours from Banff National Park, this property specializes in small-group trips, with one helicopter per six guests (in addition to two guides), ensuring private runs for all.
The Hotel Aurelio, located in the ski region Lech Zürs, offers alpaca meet-and-greets, heli-skiing, bespoke sommelier experiences, Bentley shuttles, an immersive 10,000-square-foot spa, a Gault Millau gourmet restaurant, and more. If the property's meticulously appointed 18 rooms and suites feel too public, the private club and chalet might be more up to snuff.
Why settle for just one resort and hotel on a ski holiday? The five-day "Ski Safari" from the eponymous local tour operator Dolomite Mountains is one of the most exclusive ski experiences of 2022. Guests ski from town to town across the UNESCO natural wonder that is the Dolomites. Each night, guests stay at a new five-star hotel like the Rosa Alpina in San Cassiano or La Perla in Corvara.
The Eleven Experience team is at it again, this time at Chalet Pelerin. In the tiny hamlet of Le Miroir, just between Chamonix and Courchevel, lies the ultimate French alpine adventure. There, guests with Eleven Experience head out on a heli-skiing trip where they can "expect long, untracked runs and a variety of terrain from steep, narrow couloirs to wide alpine bowls," according to the team. At the end of the day, guests ski directly to their chalet to enjoy a chef-prepared meal and French wine pairing while enjoying the view of the Tarentaise Valley.
St. Moritz is home to Switzerland's longest floodlit slope, making it the premier European night skiing destination. Guests can rent the run for an exclusive "VIP Snow Night" experience. Available Saturday–Thursday nights, guests can make their turns down the 4.2-kilometer long run and lap the aerial cableway in complete solitude before indulging in hors d'oeuvres and Champagne. The experience starts at $5,400.
Pelorus, an outdoor adventure company specializing in bespoke experiences, has developed a heli-ski trip via a private yacht in Antarctica for the ultimate awe-inspiring vacation. The journey begins in Ushuaia, the southernmost tip of Argentina, where guests spend time on the glaciers with their guides and expedition leaders to practice their glacier skills before boarding a private charter flight to the yacht that will take them to Antarctica. There, guests can explore the varied terrain from easy slopes to steep descents across Livingston Island and the Antarctic Peninsula. Along the way, guests will also visit scientific research stations, penguin rookeries, and sea lion colonies to ensure a well-rounded experience.