Sk’riding (a.k.a. skiing and/or snowboarding) can be a pricey pursuit, but when one dreams of shred-ready slopes, there is no substitute. The key is to plan an experience so awesome, you’ll have no regrets about the expense. So make it memorable with these far-flung, fantastic options…

monarch-cat-skiing-powderFirst Tracks, Colorado: The 21 Colorado Ski Country resorts have been opening up their terrain through a variety of changes. Copper Mountain has installed a new Storm King lift, doubling its capacity to deliver high alpine action. Monarch Cat Skiing, one of nine snowcat operations, provides BCA Float Packs and beacons to keep you safe on 1,000-plus acres of champagne pow. And Silverton Mountain now offers overnight heli-touring trips, accessing 22,000 acres of unforgettable gnar.

big-sky-lone-peakBig Sky, Montana: The “big” in the name isn’t kidding. When it acquired Moonlight Basin a couple months ago, Big Sky officially became America’s largest ski resort, offering 5,750 acres covering all ability levels. We can tell you from experience that you will never wait in a lift line, and with so much ground to cover, there actually are friends on a powder day (almost). Nine terrain parks for the jib junkies, too! And we highly recommend the Montana Dinner Yurt. How many restaurants have you been to that can only reached via snowcat?

Lake Tahoe, California/Nevada
: Got Olympic fever? Hail the USA’s conquering heroes at the U.S. Alpine Championships (March 20th to 24th, Squaw Valley) and the U.S. Freestyle Championships (March 28th to 30th, Heavenly). Or just tear up the slopes yourself. Along with clubs and casinos, the area is home to several world-class resorts. Pro tip: For fluffy stuff a bit off the beaten path, check out Alpine Meadows or hike to Sierra-at-Tahoe’s Huckleberry Canyon.

sun-valley-grumpysSun Valley, Idaho: Traditionally a ski-centric spot, SV will be welcoming all comers into one of the USA’s handful of 22-foot Superpipes this winter. Designed and built by Snow Park Technologies (of X Games fame), the pipe adds a new wrinkle to the slope, just in case 3,400 feet of sustained vertical somehow doesn’t do it for ya. Either way, end your day with burgers and beer at kitschy local favorite Grumpy’s and you’ll be anything but.

ski-utah-interconnect6 Resorts in One Day, Utah: This season marks the 30th Anniversary of Ski Utah’s Interconnect Tour, a one-of-a-kind adventure that promises fresh tracks at up to six of the Wasatch Range’s best resorts via lifts and hikes. Guides consider it an excellent intro to the backcountry for intermediate to advanced skiers who aren’t afraid to earn their turns. Snowboarders aren’t eligible, but they can shred at Brighton for a ridiculous 12 straight hours thanks to 22 lighted trails.

bullwheel-bar-jay-peakJay Peak, Vermont: East coast sk’riding can be dicey sometimes. So why not go somewhere that has everything but Mother Nature covered, such as Jay Peak’s new Stateside Hotel and Baselodge? We’re talking 85 comfy rooms offering ski-in/ski-out access, the burly Bullwheel Bar and, of course, ample French-Canadian bombshells. After all, Jay is just four miles south of the border!