Outside Magazine has released its annual list of North America's 16 Best Ski Resorts with five Colorado resorts making the list.
Silverton placed at the top of the list at fourth; Breckenridge, fifth; Aspen/Snowmass, eighth; Crested Butte 12th; and Steamboat 14th.
Despite the strong Colorado representation, the title of "Best Ski Resort In North America" this year belongs again to Alta/Snowbird in Utah , because of its ideal powder with 500 inches of annual snowfall and its close proximity to Salt Lake City.
This southwest Colorado resort was called "ideal for powder" with an annual snowfall of 400 inches. Professional skier Chris Davenport who reviewed the ski area, praised it for its throwback feel "when ski areas just had the lift and a warming hut. No frills." and likened it to a heli-ski operation with a chairlift.
Both Breckenridge and Aspen/Snowmass were named "ideal for partying" (fitting considering the fact that Breckenridge voters just legalized marijuana possession for adults). The town also celebrates the Norse god of snow with Ullr Fest each January complete with parade, costumes and an "inordinate amount of alcohol."
Aspen's reputation for partying is synonymous with its reputation for celebrity getaways, but reviewer John Oates (of 80s duo Hall and Oates) emphasizes its art, culture and sophistication with its proximity to the back-country.
Crested Butte ranked for its "off-piste" offerings, meaning backcountry or untamed skiing. As the reviewer puts it:
Look, there's no better place to ski than Vail if you love groomed runs. But if you think grooming sucks and you're a fun-loving powder skier, Crested Butte is the place for you.
Steamboat was chosen as the "editor's choice for trees" and its uncrowded slopes.
"You can go two days after a storm and still ski uncut powder."