Las

Las Lenas (FLICKR/unofficialsquaw.com)

Argentina

***Bariloche boasts huge quantities of lush snow, first-class facilities and a warm, welcome resort that has a truly European flavor.  With 75 miles (120km) of groomed runs and 38 ski lifts, there is plenty of terrain to play on here at one of the Southern Hemisphere's largest resorts.  Though Bariloche is a Patagonian city, the vibe is much closer to that of Buenos Aires with bars open late and clubs bumping all night long.

Boasts: terrain park, Nordic ski piste, sledge track, snow tubing, 39 lifts with a capacity of 35000 skiers per hour...

2011 Ski Season:  June 18th - October 10th

Rates and Additional Information: http://www.welcomeargentina.com/catedral/tarifas_i.html

Trail Maphttp://www.catedralaltapatagonia.com/invierno/mapa_pistas.php

Getting There:  The mountain is 1007 miles (1621 km) from Buenos Aires, making air travel preferable.  Bariloche's airport (BRC) is a two hour flight from the Argentina's capital and there are daily flights from many of South America's largest cities.

***Las Lenas is set on the slopes of the Andes in the province of Mendoza.  While Bariloche would like to think it has the most important skiing in Argentina, that honor may belong to Las Lenas. No other resort in South America has such an extraordinary choice of chutes, gulleys and other off-piste delights. With 21 miles of slopes, there is a good mix of terrain for all abilities including steep runs for experts. 

Boasts: WIFI access across the mountain, electronic passes, night ski, snow park, 17500 hectares of skiable surface...

2011 Ski Season:  June 18th - Weather Depending

Rates and Additional Information: http://www.laslenas.com/eng/

Trail Maphttp://www.laslenas.com/eng/mountain/trail_map.php

Getting There:  The mountain is 745 miles (1,200 km) from Buenos Aires, making it an eleven hour journey overland.  By air, follow this link for the specifics on weekly and daily transfer options.

Portillo

Portillo (FLICKR/#freelance)

Chile

***Portillo is one of the oldest and best-known resorts in South America and a popular choice for dedicated skiers. It's about two hours from the capital, Santiago, and is perched 10,000 feet up in the Andes.  The management purposefully limits the number of skiers allowed on the slopes in any one day, so it's never crowded.  Also, take time off on Friday nights to check out the beautiful torch-lit parade performed weekly by the students of the ski school.

Boasts: 80% sunny days, 2,500 feet vertical drop, 1.5 mile runs, close to the capital...

2011 Ski Season:  June 25th - October 1st

Rates and Additional Information: http://www.skiportillo.com/ingles/

Trail Maphttp://www.skiportillo.com/assets/files/trailmap.pdf

Getting There:  It's a painless two hour drive from Santiago, Chile.

Coronet

Coronet Peak (markonthemap.wordpress.com)

New Zealand

***Coronet Peak & the Remarkables are in New Zealand's most popular tourist destination, Queenstown.  The lakeside city in the heart of the Southern Alps boasts several nearby ski resorts, but Coronet Peak and the Remarkables are owned and operated under one company and offer combined packages for additional terrain.  With one of the world's most sophisticated ticketing system, skiers and riders can track their vertical meters and share their stats online.  While Remarkables is a more boarder-friendly resort with a large terrain park, Coronet Peak is the premier mountain for skiers and families.

Boasts: night skiing, tubing, terrain park, sweeping views, lively ski town, advanced electronic lift ticket...

2011 Ski Season:  June 10th (Coronet Peak) June 18th (Remarkables) - October (Weather Depending)

Rates and Additional Informationhttp://nzski.com/products/2011/liftPasses.jsp

Trail MapsCoronet Peak and Remarkables

Getting There: There are several daily, direct flights from Auckland, Sydney or Melbourne into Queenstown's small airport.  The ski fields are within an hour's drive (or bus ride) from the town.

***Mt Ruapehu, New Zealand's largest skiing area, is located on the side of one of the world's most active volcanoes in the center of the country's North Island.  Comprised of two ski fields, Whakapapa and Turoa, the slopes are in view of Ruapehu's two companion volcanoes. Sir Edmund Hillary, of Everest fame, opened New Zealand's first chairlift here in 1954, the year after his epic climb and the ski resort has grown dramatically ever since.

Boasts: Stunning location, huge snow filled basins, steep chutes, natural halfpipes, drop-offs and secret powder stashes...

2011 Ski Season:  June 25th (Turoa) July 2nd (Whakapapa) - October 24

Rates and Additional Informationhttp://www.mtruapehu.com/winter/lift-passes/

Trail Maphttp://www.mtruapehu.com/winter/interactive-map/

Getting There: Mt Ruapehu is located roughly halfway between Auckland and Wellington and is a 4 to 5 hour drive from each city.  For even more convenience, you can also catch a connecting flight to Taupo, approximately 1 hour away.

 

Falls

Falls Creek (FLICKR/jorke)

Australia

***Falls Creek, in the mountains above the town of Mount Beauty, Victoria, has been a magnet for skiers since the turn of the 20th century.  However, the first lifts were not built until the 1960's.  Today, it is the biggest resort in Victoria with almost 100 trails and around 50 miles of piste.  Also, with four terrain parks, Falls Creek stakes its claim as Australia's freeride and freestyle capital.  Unlike most other resorts in Australia, Falls Creek is a 'ski-in ski-out' resort where you can ski/board from the door of all lodging.  With lift passes that can be used at neighboring Mount Hotham, skiers and riders can enjoy an even greater variety of terrain.

Boasts: Both cross country and alpine trails, 4 terrain parks, tubing, night skiing, 92+ runs, 14 lifts...

2011 Ski Season:  June 10th - October 2nd

Rates and Additional Informationhttp://www.fallscreek.com.au/PassesPrices

Trail MapsAlpine Trails and Cross Country Trails

Getting There: Falls Creek is the closest alpine resort to Brisbane, an easy day's drive from Sydney and a four and a half hours drive from Melbourne.  In more of a hurry?  Catch a connecting flight from Sydney or Melbourne to the nearest airport in Albury.

 

AFRiSKi

AFRiSKi (FLICKR/photog346)

Lesotho

***AFRiSKi is one of the only ski resorts in Africa after Tiffindell Resort's recent closure.  Located in the small southern African nation of Lesotho, this ski center was the first to open in the 2011 Southern Hemisphere season.  AFRiSKi receives snowfall about 3 to 4 times each winter, but the snowmaking system guarantees skiing for the months of June, July and August. The slopes are serviced by a 1km long T-bar lift as well as 2 beginner lifts and a travelator for small kids and complete beginners.

Boasts: ski and snowboard park, kids snowpark, race camps, ski school, an exotic location...

2011 Ski Season:  June 9th - September 4th

Rates and Additional Information: http://www.afriski.net/#/snow-pass

Trail Maphttp://www.afriski.net/docs/resort-map.pdf

Getting There:  Click here for directions from several major cities in South Africa.