Some say size does not matter… But when it comes to ski areas, size can matter, but identifying the largest ski resort is not as as easy as you might think. Most resorts in Europe and around the world render size in terms of the length of their runs rather than actual area as it is the case in the United States, Canada and few other places. Then, length of runs are measured in many different ways which makes comparisons between resorts very difficult or impossible.
Although some resorts tend to use tricks to end up with a more impressive figure, BornSkier is working on a single and more realistic way to reach the most objective figure unique to all resorts worldwide. This will allow for direct and true comparisons between resorts based on the same data.
Until now, measuring technics differed greatly: direct line down the middle of the trail, skier or snowboarder’s track length doing wide, extra wide or short turns (…), or even counting trails or sections several times if crossing or over a certain width.
In any case, it takes a lot more than accurate data to evaluate and compare ski areas. However, just by comparing the number of slopes and ski lifts as well as the total kilometer of slopes, here are some of the world’s biggest ski resorts:
1) Les Trois Vallées, France: is simply the biggest resort in the world formed by an amazing network of lifts and runs including the resorts of Courchevel, Méribel, Les Menuires and Val Thorens (Europe’s highest resort).
2) Padadiski, France: is a very large and popular area formed by the resorts of La Plagne and Les Arcs.
3) Portes du Soleil, France & Switzerland: Morzine, Avoriaz, Châtel, Les Gets on the French side and Champéry, Morgins, Les Crosets and Champoussin on the Swiss side.
4) Les Quatres Vallées, Switzerland: Formed by the resorts of Verbier, Nendaz, Veysonnaz, Thyon et La Tzoumaz, Les Quatres Vallées offer great skiing and beautiful scenery on the Alp’s highest mountains.
5) Milky Way, Italy & France: also known as “Via Lattea” or “Voie Lactée”, its is formed by the resorts of Sauze d’Oulx, Sestriere, Sansicario, Claviere and Montgenèvre.
6) L’Espace Killy, France: Named after the local hero Jean-Claude Killy, it is the combination of Val d’Isère and Tignes, sharing one of the best areas in the world for adventurous intermediates and experts skiers.
7) SkiWelt, Austria: is Austria’s biggest linked area including Söll, Ellmau, Brixen and Westendorf.
8) Sella Ronda, Italy: Located in the heart Dolomites, the Sella Ronda links the resorts of Selva-Val Gardena, Corvara, Arabba and Canazei.
9) Zermatt-Cervinia, Switzerland & Italy: This linked area is made of Cervinia on the Italian side and Zermatt on the Swiss side. The area is also known for off-piste and heli-skiing.
10) Whistler, Canada: Whistler and Blackcomb mountains form by far the biggest linked area in North America and have the biggest vertical.
11) Vail, USA: Vail is the biggest single ski area in the US. It is also among the top 15 largest ski resorts in the world competing with cluster resorts.