Aspen – the smalltown skiing mecca with a dose of celebrity flair.
A pleasant easy roller, set up for beginners and those wanting to ease the legs in via soft blue runs, but it’s Highlands and Snowmass that forever hold GQ’S heart. Bigger than the other three areas combined, this is a playground for boarders and those who are eager to progress along a series of linked, sweeping black and blue runs and various terrain parks. It provides more fun in a few hours than a three-day stint in the so-called Australian Alps. While here, grab lunch at the slope-side Lynn Britt Cabin (think elk stroganoff or duck risotto, washed down by a superb wine list). Tighter than Snowmass, it can be heavy, especially in the notorious bowl and heart-pounding, double-black descents that involve numerous craggy rocks and drop offs. Elsewhere, there’s much fun to be had, but being of an intermediate or advanced level means fully embracing what’s on offer. And grab an afternoon champers at Cloud Nine, a wooden hut that, from about 2pm each day, turns into a (arguably gauche) display of excess as bottles of Veuve are sprayed across table-dancing revellers – many topless – while bar bills quickly mount to five figures. Worth witnessing, if only once. Perfect for when you can’t be bothered travelling out of town. Just know the 60-yearold, bib-and-brace NYC set own the steep slopes. Blue runs are easily as difficult as local blacks. Book in for first tracks at least once – especially on a blue bird day.