Ingrid Backstrom
Ingrid Backstrom (Adam Clark)

My Favorite 5: Ingrid Backstrom

Big-mountain skier Ingrid Backstrom picks her 5 favorite places to ski

Ingrid Backstrom

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As Told to Gordy Megroz
1. Squaw Valley USA, California
It gets big Sierra dumps, and the wet snow sticks really well to the steeps. It’s why I’ve lived there the past ten years, and it’s where I learned to be a freeskier. It’s particularly good for learning how to get air. You don’t have those melted-off, rocky takeoffs—they’re all really snowy and have good, steep landings.

2. Whistler Blackcomb, British columbia
It’s huge. They’re seriously big mountains. And from the Blackcomb side there’s a lot of really good lift-accessed sidecountry. So you can ski the resort all day, then, if conditions are safe, you can hike for an hour to the top of Blackcomb Peak and get a really sick run all the way back down.

3. Snowbird, Utah
You can get one of the biggest leg burns skiing trail maps at Snowbird. From the top of the Cirque, it’s steep, it’s wide-open, and, because it’s Utah, there’s almost always good snow. The Keyhole, which runs from Alta to Snowbird, is one of my favorite inbound runs. I’ve had powder up to my neck in there.

4. Silverton, Colorado
It’s the anti–ski resort. It’s not fancy; it’s just good skiing. One lift, then you’re hiking, the guides are showing you around, you go off the back side, and you end up taking a bus back to the front. And the heli-skiing is like something out of Alaska.

5. La Parva, Chile
You take this crazy road—41 switchbacks—to get up there, and then you have this amazing view that overlooks Santiago and the Andes. One night we had an asado—a traditional Chilean barbecue—and they were roasting lamb on the ski hill. It’s not just about the cool cultural ­experience, though. The groomed trails are great, and you can always get fresh snow off-piste.

From Outside Buyer’s Guide 2004
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Lead Photo: Adam Clark