With many stunning mountains and rugged peaks, North America offers some fantastic skiing opportunities for all ages and abilities. When it comes to skiing we expect to experience some cold weather while out having fun on the snowy slopes, but you might be surprised to find just how cold some places can get. In fact, with the coldest dropping to a bone chilling forty below, you really do need to bundle up well. So, which are the coldest ski resorts in North America? Let’s find out!
1. Whiteface Mountain Ski Resort
|Whiteface Mountain, Adirondacks, New York||156 inches||-40.2F|
Located on Whiteface mountain, the fifth highest mountain in New York, the Whiteface Mountain Ski Resort is undoubtedly one of the coldest ski resorts you’ll ever encounter while skiing. On February 4 this year a chilling -40.2F was recorded at the summit with a wind chill of -91F. This surpassed the previous wind chill record of -83F which was set in 2016.
However, if you are up for the challenge then Whiteface Mountain resort is set in 299 skiable acres and boasts 94 runs and several terrain parks. There is a huge vertical drop of 3,430 feet and the longest run is 2.1 miles. Although there’s trails to suit beginners through to expert, there’s also a unique area known as “The Slides.” The Slides are 35 acres of off-piste terrain that are only suitable for expert skiers and are not to undertaken lightly. Whiteface Mountain also offers private and group lessons, as well as children’s lessons and an adaptive programme for people with disabilities.
Whiteface Mountain receives an average snowfall of 156 inches which peaks during January and February. Although there’s no accommodation on site there are plenty of places to stay in nearby Wilmington and Lake Placid. However, there’s several restaurants on site, as well as retails shops, ski rental, and a repair centre.
2. Sunshine Village Ski Resort
|Banff National Park, western Canada||241 inches||-32F|
Although significantly warmer than Whiteface Mountain, Sunshine Village Ski Resort is still a teeth chattering -32F at the summit. So, it is definitely one of the coldest ski resorts in North America. Located in the picturesque Banff National Park in Cananda, Sunshine Village has 120 runs set in a massive 3,358 acres of skiable terrain. There’s a vertical drop of 3,510 feet and the longest run is five miles long.
Sunshine Village offers something for the whole family. There’s easy trails to suit beginners as well as double black diamond runs for expert skiers. There’s also four terrain parks with various features, plus a kids terrain park with beginner boxes and jumps. Also on offer are ski and snowboarding lessons for all ages as well as adaptive lessons to help people with disabilities get out on the mountain and having fun.
There’s an average snowfall of 241 inches per year at Sunshine Village and the best time to visit is between February and March, based on the amount and quality of the snow. However, even though the cold is certainly bracing you can warm up in Canada’s only heated ski lift which has heated seats to keep you toasty as well as an orange protective cover to shield you from the biting wind. Sunshine Village also has slopeside accommodation and numerous restaurants and shops to explore.
3. Jay Peak Resort
|Green Mountains, Vermont||296 inches||-23F|
As the ski resort with the largest snowfall in eastern United States, it’s not surprising that Jay Peak Resort, Vermont, has a some bone-chilling temperatures. With a temperature of -23F at the summit, skiing at Jay Peak isn’t for the faint-hearted, and it definitly qualifies as one of the coldest ski resorts in North America. However, there is plenty to do for everyone who visits. Set in 385 skiable acres with a vertical drop of 2,153 feet, there are 81 runs with the longest being three miles. There’s also three terrain parks to suit all ability levels, allowing skiers the opportunity to experience terrain features at a beginner level and work their way up to more challenging obstacles. Plus, there’s 12 miles of trails for Nordic skiing.
Jay Peak also has a dedicated ski and snowsports school which offers a variety of lessons and programmes. These include an adaptive programme, an eight week children’s programme, a girls camp, sno-go bike lessons, and a competitive race team programme.
With an average snowfall of 296 inches you are guaranteed both good quality and quantity snow. The peak snowfall comes in February with 73 inches and an average base depth of 28 inches. There’s a variety of lodges and suites on site as well as restaurants, bars, and shops to make your stay enjoyable. However, Jay Peak is a four-season resort and has a waterpark as well as various summer camps and activities available in the summer months too.
4. Lake Louise Ski Resort
|Lake Louise, Alberta||208 inches||Regular operation at -20F and warmer|
As the Canada’s highest ski area, Lake Louise Ski Resort is no stranger to cold temperatures. In fact, the slopes and the ski lifts are open as normal so long as the temperature is at -20F and warmer at both the top and mountain. However, delays can be expected if the temperature is below -20F.
Spread across 4,200 skiable acres with an impressive 3,251 foot vertical drop, Lake Louise resort has a vast 164 runs which cater for beginners right through to experts. There’s also four terrain parks with 50 features between them — including a variety of jumps, boxes, and rails. Plus, there’s a snowtubing park which provides fun for the whole family.
Lake Louise also has a snowsports school on site which regularly provides private and group ski and snowboard lessons. There’s also various programmes available which include an introduction to skiing in the terrain parks and a freeride programme which involves learning to ski across more hazardous open terrain, such as through trees and across larger bumps.
Lake Louise is one of Canada’s leading ski resorts as well as one of the coldest ski resorts in North America and receives an average of 208 inches of snow. Snowfall peaks in December which is also the coldest month in the region. However, if you don’t fancy braving the coldest weather then February is a good time to visit, with an average snowfall of 36 inches and an average base depth of 47 inches.
5. Mont Tremblant
|Laurentian Mountains, Quebec||175 inches||-20F|
Finally, we come to Mont Tremblant Ski Resort which is located in the Laurentian Mountains and is the largest resort in Quebec. Mont Tremblant is also the highest mountain in Quebec which means it regularly experiences some of the coldest weather in the region — especially at the peak. The coldest temperature on Mont Tremblant is recorded as being -20F with a wind chill of -43F.
Mont Tremblant resort consists of 754 skiable acres with a vertical drop of 2,116 feet. There are 102 runs which are suitable for all levels from beginners right up to expert. There’s also three terrain parks at different locations on the mountain which host a wide variety of terrain features from rails to jumps for skiers to test their skills on.
At the resort is the Tremblant Snow School which offers ski and snowboard lessons in small groups for a fun and friendly experience. As well as lessons for adults and children there are seasonal and freestyle programmes available. However, one of the most unique experiences on offer at Tremblant is the Instructors in Training programme. This is open to youths aged 14 and over who wish to gain their Level 1 Ski Instructors Certification.
Mont Tremblant has an average snowfall of 175 inches with the peak coming in January. There’s slopeside accommodation available as well as a pedestrian village with numerous shops and restaurants, making it the ultimate holiday experience.
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