The Differences between Skiing in Europe and America

Contrary to what you might think, different continents provide a variable experience when it comes to skiing. This difference is especially noticeable on the ski slopes of America and central Europe, where even the more experienced of skiers will notice that these venues have little in common other than sloping hills and an abundance in snow. Which stage is best for your circumstances depends on may things, ranging from your experience and skill set to your level of disposable income, and each has their own benefits and potential pitfalls to the discerning skier.

A Matter of Cost: How Continental Skiers can Save Money

The world is tetering on the brink of recession, so the cost of an activity and the value for money it provides are huge considerations for you as a consumer. When it comes to enjoyable but non essential activities like skiing, it is even more important that you secure the best possible deal and save as much of your hard earned money as you can. With this in mind, it is the ski resorts in central Europe that provide the most cost effective option, as well being the most likely to offer significant discounts to both experienced and inexperienced skiers alike.

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Take Switzerlands legendary Zermatt resort, where lift tickets can be sourced at $55 for single day excursions. This drops to $47 per day over extended stays, and this trend is prominent across many other central European resorts. The attitude of venues in the U.S. on the other hand seems to be focused on maximizing the revenue of lift tickets, A s an example, the coveted Vail resort charges a peak price of $82 per lift ticket for a single day, whereas those available at Aspen start out at $78 per day and only drop to $75 when you commit an extended 5 day trip.

Experienced Pro or Beginner? Which Venue is Best for You?

Money aside, it is important that you test your skills at a course and resort that is suitable. Although every resort boasts it's own intricate differences, it is fair to say that the mountains of Europe provide a far more rugged and challenging landscape to skiers than those of the U.S. Not only are they bigger, but they also offer a greater variation in terms of their aesthetic appeal, slopes and overall experience. Aside from resorts such as Mammoth Mountain and Taos in central America, the vast majority provide a less challenging course across reduced descents and far more level terrain.

The measurement of vertical drops is a revealing indicator of the challenge that a resort offers, and on this basis it is central Europe that appeals to a more experienced skier. While it is widely accepted that the average descent at a U.S. resorts stands at approximately 2,000 feet, many prominent courses in central Europe boast drops which more than treble this distance. Les Arcs in France has drops of more than 6,500 feet, while the renowned Davos resort in Switzerland has a vertical drop of 6,600 feet. Even the less daunting drops in central Europe could be considered as vast when compared to more basic U.S. resorts.

The Bottom Line

So while central Europe not only produces a greater financial savings to it skiers, it would appear that is also caters to the demands of more skilled and experienced practitioners. This may have something to do with the landscape of central Europe and the enduring popularity of skiing as a past time for many of it's inhabitants, while in the U.S. it remains something of a niche and fringe activity which is less a part of the nations cultural history. Either way, while U.S. resorts may provide a good quality grounding for beginners, it is in central Europe where the more experienced skiers can enjoy a truly unique sensation.

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Posted in Outdoor Activities Post Date 01/12/2016


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