Not all resorts are created equal.
It's a sad fact, but one that you'll find to be true over your years on snow. Some are regularly packed with families, some cost the earth, and some are host to such amazing runs that they leave an imprint in your conscious that carries you through the trials and tribulations of everyday life.
And that is what we've aimed to capture here.
Of course - as with all our recommendations of 'the best' - what we're really talking about here are the highly subjective selections of our team and friends over here at Whitelines. Nevertheless, we've totted up our pick of the runs that seem to (and actually do) go on forever - alongside some that are renowned for their hits and jibs - and a few that are just plain spectacular.
A shortlist, if you will, of pistes and lines to visit - and as always, drop your own suggestions in the comments below.
Hit the left and right arrows to browse
Avoriaz - The Stash
1.3km of open runs incorporating imported Californian natural wooden obstacles - Burton's global Stash project started it's European branch in Avoriaz. It's concept was initially as a middle-ground sustainable spot to ride when there's a bit of a fresh layer, but not enough to venture off piste.
Now with a sister park in Flachauwinkle - the Avoriaz site is getting a further investment this year with 4 new additions to its 80+ strong set up of jibs, as well as a renewed commitment to the forest conservation initiative that sparked the initial ideas for the project.
Get a deeper run down of the park by checking out the Burton Stash Gathering from earlier in 2014.
Laax - Jib Lines
If you ever ask anyone for recommendations on the best freestyle snowboard spots in Europe - no doubt Laax is right up their at the top - and unsurprisingly, it would be one of our recommendations too.
But the big factor we're looking at today isn't necessarily Laax's abundance of big kickers and the world class 200m long halfpipe they're building this year. It's runs like the 2km long piste/fun-park P60 which spans forever with jibs scattered all the way down.
Tignes - Palafour
Palafour or P4 is one of Tignes' most loved runs - with local shops selling t-shirts and stickers that display its name - and for snowboarders it is frequently hailed as the resort's best for jibbing around.
Side hits 'a plenty without an overwhelming gradient, coupled with endless variety to find for yourself is the winning formula here. Truly a run that you can lap for hours without getting bored.
Cardrona - Highway 89
The Captain's Express chair takes you to the top of the locals' favourite: Highway '89. This mega fun run has pretty much all any snowboarder worth his or her salt would want from a trail: super fast steep sections, windlips to the side to pop off or slash and plently of cheeky off piste hits you can access by nipping off the run then back on.
Plus it accesses some of the best rock garden terrain to play around on that side of the equator, and on a good day you can even ride off the back of Cardrona down towards Queenstown. If your legs will still hold you up that is.
Deux Alpes - Glacier
Deux Alpes boast an epic 2.3km downhill from the top of the Glacier, right down into the valley.
From 3600m to 1300m - there is the added convenience of the central cafe at Toura (2600m) should you get separated or need a break halfway down - which is likely unless you've really been pushing it on the endurance conditioning.
With a whole load of routes to choose from rather than just one specific 'run' - we'd recommend taking a detour through the banked turns of the 'Slide' zones under the Glacier and Jandri Express II lifts - before following the Jandri runs and Demoiselles back into town for a deservedly mellow end.
Whistler - Peak to Creek
Peak to Creek does exactly what it says on the tin - taking you from the top of Whistler's Peak Chair at 2182m right down to the base of the mountain and the Creekside Gondola.
Along the way you'll get to take in the best of Whistler Blackcomb with tree-runs either side of the speedy groomers and plenty of side hits to play with too.
Jackson Hole - Dick's Ditch
Home of the legendary Dick's Ditch banked slalom - this is Jackson Hole's very own natural-halfpipe style run.
With plenty of opportunities for a lot of airtime - it'll take a bit of mastering to get the most out of this one, but the tradition of man-made additions and possibilities in the existing terrain, combine to make a run that is definitely worth the visit.
Solden - BIG3 to Gaislachkogl
Offering some of the longest runs in the region - Solden's oversized ski offers an absolute beast if you can handle the whole trail from the Big 3 viewing platform at Schwarze Schneide down to Gaislachkogl base terminal.
With around 2000m descent and a whopping 15km of piste between the points - it's a hard ask for anyone, but if you're not a fan of regular lift stops, this definitely ticks the right boxes; and as you can see above, the views from the top on a clear day are stunning.
CairgnGorm - White Lady
A great day out on the White Lady is made all the more special because of its rarity. But when the snow IS good, it's the widest and straighest run on the mountain (with the possible exception of Ptarmigan, but that one's usually swarming with beginners...).
Nevertheless it's the perfect gradient as it's steep enough to get serious speed, but not so much so that you'll be afraid to point it; and it's ideal for eurocarves too.
If you're inclined to let loose your competitive nature - there is of course the added incentive that you can race the train down! But don't forget to apply the brakes with plenty of time so you don't miss the turn off for the lift back up...
Mayrhofen - Red 7
Mayrhofen's Red 7 is a local's favourite that runs down off the top of the Hornberg coming off the
Tipped by those in the know for being long and varied - it's a great chance to point it if you're looking to test the limits of your latest whip. Wide and smooth - it's frequently hailed as one of the best red runs in the region.