What if you won the lottery? What if suddenly money was no object and all you had to think about was where you wanted to spend the next winter, where would you head?

And if your budget really was limitless, why tie yourself to one resort, or even one country for a whole season? 'Winter' as a concept is bigger than just one place, you could optimise you're shred time to get the most out of every month. Fantasy is a wonderful place isn't it?

Whilst we're dreaming, we came up with what could be the ultimate winter. We've taken into account conditions and crowds to optimise prime shredding with minimum hassle.

Sounds complicated? Not really, it's a great excuse to daydream and look at some rad shred pictures, not that we need much of one normally...

Hit the left and right arrows to scroll through.


Whilst most places are warming up for winter - the odd snowfall here and there - BC in Canada is already at prime time. Steep and deep pow with plently of greybird days spent shredding trees and pillow lines, you might even get a few days of sun to venture out into the backcountry and get some turns in on some legendary faces.

Whilst most would head straight to the mega resort of Whistler, around the end of the month is when the monster lift lines start forming. Way better instead to be at one of the many smaller operations further North and inland, away from what can at times be quite wet and heavy coastal snow.


Take for example Whitewater near Nelson, even in 'poor' snow years they regularly clock in over 12m of snow in a season, and with only three chairlifts it's small enough to keep the crowds at bay; more lines for the locals! Or Red Mountain, 'one of the funnest places to ride powder with your friends' according to WL associate editor Andrew Duthie. In December, BC is the place to be.


Now the spiritual home of powder snowboarding, at least according to all who've been lucky enough to go. Guaranteed freshies, no argument. Cold, dry Siberian winds hungry for moisture hit the Sea of Japan, sucking most of it up in the process before dumping all of it over the west coast, creating some of the best conditions imaginable.

Probably your best bet would be to head to Niseko on the north island, the mecca for all powder hounds, to try and get acclimatised in what can be a daunting and baffling country.


After you've had a bit of practice clearing your car every morning and digging yourself out of neck deep snow you should probably start exploring. Micro resorts like Moiwa are only short bus journeys away from Niseko but can hold unbelievable powder stashes, plus bigger areas like Rusutsu are also nearby.

However, if you're anywhere in Japan in January, you're already winning. It's still cold enough so that the coastal snow isn't sticky but even in the early season conditions will be snorkel deep.

The legendary Heikki Sorsa lofting one out in Mammoth. Photo: Andy Wright

California is one of the great snowboard destinations in the world, and as part of this world tour February is one of the better times to visit; there's a great chance of there being powder but if there isn't a whole host of some of the planet's greatest snowparks are at your disposal.

Mammoth, Bear, Northstar-at-Tahoe and Squaw Valley are all to hand, plus if all of that isn't enough for you then Timberline is just over the county line in Oregon. And Mt Baker, another powder destination worthy of any shredder's bucket list.


Plus Cali has that certain vibe to it, it's infectious to all who've been lucky enough to visit the place, returning with trendy tans and tales of surfing, shredding and skating all in the same day, you'd be mad not to at least try it.


France is fast growing a negative reputation amongst Brits these days, but it's probably in part due to being so close and familiar. In truth it holds some of the best mountains not just in the Alps, but in the world. And March is the perfect time to visit.

February in frog land is a nightmare, all of Europe's half terms seem to combine together to create hell week-after-hell week, but as soon as it's over the mountains are transformed back into serenity and bliss.

In good seasons and up high it's more than likely that you'll get to score some powder, even if it's accessed by splitboarding, and with over 200 resorts to choose from you'll there's always a few more lines to be had.


On the flip side, if there really is no pow, there will be slush, and France is the best place to charge round with a crew get wild in the wet stuff. A 'relaxed' attitude to on piste safety means you can get away with pretty much anything, and the renowned 'danger parks' are now to soft to do any real damage; if you go in with the right mindset France can be heaven.

DT_Fredrik Evensen and Elias Elhardt in Haines,Alaska_PH Daniel Tengs_MG_0247_620

After a month cruising and relaxing in France, what better way is there to step it up again than by visiting the land of gnarl - Alaska.

Whilst you'd think that most powder riding would be done in the depths of winter, for the early season most days are dark and stormy, but during March/April this starts to clear up and reveal the bounty those fortunate enough to make the trip can claim.


No one needs to be told why Alaska is so awesome, just look at any major snowboard video from the last twenty years to see the deepest and steepest big mountain riding imaginable. After being plundered for so long skiers and snowboarders have barely scratched the face of it, so here's where that lottery budget will come in handy; invest in helis.


The new home of British snowboarding of late, due to the high standard of snow parks seen around huge ski areas Austria is becoming to go to shred destination. Whilst it's great all winter, late spring is when it really comes into it's best.

High grooming standards - on piste, not fashionably as a trip to the local Oompah band record store will show - and quality park shaping mean that resorts worth the visit can stay open later each year, in fact WL are heading off for our annual Spring Break in Kaunertal in the first week of May this year!

Almost guaranteed sun makes up for the super slushy parks, unless like us you love slush, in which case it's a winner all round! As well as Kaunertal; Sölden and Stubai both host amazing spring parks, a no brainer if ever there was one. And the good news is that you don't have to be a millionaire to experience it!


As with everything in snowboarding, winter is cyclical, so it's never to early to start planning the next winter. But why not get stuck in straight away? In good seasons South Island resorts are already opening near the end of June, so go get 'em!