The 9 Ultimate Snowboard Adventures

The best snowboard holidays imaginable

Photo: Jussi Grznar

What if money was no object? What if there was no limit to the amount of time you could take off, no constraints on where you could go to get your annual shred fix. What would you do?

We’ve compiled a list of some of the ultimate snowboarding adventures we could think of. Some we’ve been lucky enough to do ourselves over the years, others have been undertaken by our jammy contributors, and a few are still on our bucket lists.

But we’d also like to know the best trips you’ve ever been on, and what’s still on your list of dreams – once you’ve had a look through our ramblings feel free to leave a comment below.

1) Van-Living in Japan

Photo: Matt Georges

Of course, when you’re talking about dream trips, Japan has to come in on top. Russian tundra-dried and chilled winds hit the Sea of Japan, sucking up moisture then puking more powder snow than almost anywhere else on the first bit of land they meet, for the fresh tracks in the deep stuff there’s no better place on earth.

However, rather than joining the well-trodden (and Aussie riddled) path to Niseko, why not do what our editor and chief photog pulled of a few years ago: find a well-insulated camper and seek out all the pockets of goodness you can spot alongside the roads. You can read all about our adventures with the Car Danchi crew here.

2) Heliboarding in Kamchatka

Photo: Daniel Tengs

Talk to any rider worth their salt and their dream trip will most likely involve a chopper at some point – it’s almost like heli fuel courses through our veins. By far the raddest rotor-accessed fun we’ve come across is in Neil McNab and Daniel Tengs’ Ode To Kamchatka – a key strategic zone in the board game Risk, but more importantly for us, a freerider’s paradise.

Using ex-military helicopters that will pick you up from your hotel you can access vertical descents of over 2000, everything from mellow rides down volcanoes to the steepest of spines. Plus, even with Russian billionaire oligarchs wandering around town, it’s still cheaper than Alasaka.

3) Summer on Mt Hood

Photo: Ed Blomfield

As any true park rat knows, Mt Hood is the place to be in the summer. The now twinned camps of HCSC and Windells – as well as the Timberline public park – play host not only to the upper-middle class kids that can afford it, but also some of snowboarding’s elite, and by that we mean those with the hook ups for some of the rarest park passes on earth. Think unobtanium levels of exclusivity.

We found this out the hard way on our summer trip last year, but once safely past the door staff the place truly is park paradise, and it only gets better once you get down of the hill in the afternoon: Oregon is a beautiful wilderness scattered with some of the world’s finest skateparks, and with a choice of either roughing it round Govy Camp or renting a camper, all you need is a good crew of friends to make this one of the most memorable trips ever.

4) Every Action Sport Ever in New Zealand

For those who prefer to escape the heat altogether, a trip down under would be in order over a summer glacier spot, and as the only place seasoned in by all the WL staff, New Zealand would have to be our pick of the bunch.

Not only is the riding on offer amazing – everything from full on, face splitting powder day scrambles at Treble Cone to deserted, nutcracker-served club fields – the Kiwis also know how to pack in as many different activities into their mountains as possible. Just check out the video above, though you’ll have to excuse his hard boots…

5) Canada By Cat

Photo: Dan Medhurst

With an abundance of greybird days, British Columbia certainly has the snow, but not always the weather for the luxury of heliboarding. Luckily, it’s also the land of the snow cat, perfect for more vertical meters, whatever the weather, and for a fraction of the cost. And we all know that riding trees is way better than a bluebird day anyway, right?

Once again our editor, the jammy bastard, was able to blag his way onto a Canadian mission with the old Westbeach crew, as well as Sugar Ape’s head photographer Dan Medhurst, to experience what Revelstoke has to offer in the way of cliffs, pillows and seemingly bottomless powder. Dream trip? Absolutely.

6) Chamonix Refuges


Not only does Chamonix have some of the gnarliest terrain going in Europe – nay, the world – there is so much ground to cover that it’s almost literally impossible to cover a whole ascent/descent in just one day. Hence, there’s a plethora of refuges, aka backcountry huts, scattered around the hills, opening up options to tackle many more lines and even tour over borders!

Whilst this isn’t the most expensive trip on the list, in terms of preparation, planning and luck (not to mention skill) this would be one of the hardest to pull off, though definitely one of the most rewarding. Check out more about the Argentiere refuge (pictured) plus some more of the best spots to lay your head from our backcountry expert here.

7) All Out Pimpin’ in Courchevel

Whilst this doesn’t exactly appeal to us, there will be those amongst our readers that more than just equate shred holidays with partying and luxury – they actively pine for it. What better place to set your sights on then than the oligarch’s winter playground: Courchevel.

Multi-million dollar chalets, Crystal on tap, slope-side bodyguards, high class prostitutes, fine dining, ridiculous clubs, diamond-encrusted ski wear … For the right price you can get pretty much anything you might find in the pages of Hello etc. Though again, for us it seems a bit… skier.

8) Camping Under The Northern Lights

No, not the Blackpool Illuminations, we’re talking about one of nature’s finest spectacles. For us, the key to the best trips is to combine great riding with something else: a  different way of travelling or an amazing new place to stay. For us, camping out under the Northern lights in Scandinavia after a full day’s shred is still well and truly on our list.

Done it already? We’d love to hear about it below.

9) Alaska – Anyway, Anyhow

Photo: Tero Repo

Alaska. Let’s face it, it is the ultimate destination. Whether you’re journeying in a Winnebago, About Schmidt style, hanging underneath a paramotor or simply making the pilgrimage to snowboarding’s Mecca, there’s few riders who’d honestly say ‘no thanks’ to the offer of a once-in-a-lifetime to the last frontier.

By heli, sled or split, Alaska was near the top of all of our shred-bucket lists – where does it lie on yours?


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