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The White Stuff: 10 First Tracks Skiing Experiences from Aspen to the Alps

Here’s how to hit the slopes before everybody else.

Skiing Photo: Courtesy Eric Seymour

Fresh snow is a skier’s holy grail—but it’s not always easy to find. For powder hounds in the know, early access to untrammeled terrain is the only way to hit the slopes. Get there before the crowds with these five first-tracks programs.


Grab the first tram to powder paradise with the Four Seasons Jackson Hole’s new Winter Bowls experience, which gives guests early access—and all-day line-skipping privileges—to the ski resort’s eight vaunted bowls with a local pro.

Skiing at Jackson Hole

Skiing at Jackson Hole  Photo: Courtesy Four Seasons Resort and Residences Jackson Hole


St. Moritz’s legendary Carlton Hotel has launched a new Outdoor Butler program, allowing early-bird skiers first access to some of the Upper Engadine’s finest off-the-beaten-piste runs, including the steepest start slope in Switzerland.

Carlton Hotel

Carlton Hotel has launched a new butler program  Photo: Courtesy St. Moritz


The only thing more impressive than the new Four Seasons Hotel Megève’s Pierre-Yves Rochon interiors is its helicopter ski safari, which lifts guests to the slopes of nearby peaks for unrivaled early-morning first tracks among the best of the French Alps.


Nothing compares to the first-tracks heli-skiing program at Eleven Experience’s Deplar Farm. The sheep farm turned chalet set on the isolated Troll Peninsula takes just four skiers per day on exclusive sea-to-summit runs among 1,500 square miles of primordial valleys and fjords.

Deplar Farm Iceland

Deplar Farm in Iceland  Photo: Courtesy Deplar Farm



The Dolomites’ Val Gardena is home to the recently expanded Alpenroyal, a 55-room resort with its own ski rental station and a First Tracks program suited for skiers of all levels, from nervous beginners to black-diamond thrill-seekers who want to make the most of Süd Tirol’s 125 miles of sun-kissed piste. For apres-ski relaxation, head to the hotel’s sprawling wellness area with an open-air thermal bath.


Tackle fresh powder as soft and fluffy as cotton on the pristine slopes of Japan’s Furano ski resort with Hoshino Resorts Tomamu’s first-tracks program, reserved for just six advanced skiers and snowboarders per day. Located just 90 minutes from Sapporo, the resort is home to 11 lifts and 15 miles of groomed piste, including some of the steepest terrain on Hokkaido.


Aspen icon the Little Nell gives guests the opportunity to hit Ajax Mountain first with its daily (and complimentary) first-tracks program in which kiers hit the Silver Queen Gondola 45 minutes before its opens to the public. Space is limited, so sign up early.

Beaver Creek’s impeccably groomed corduroy is even better when you ski it first. The resort’s new White Gloves First Tracks program—available through the Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch—gives VIPs an hour of pre-opening guided skiing, followed by breakfast at an exclusive mountaintop cabin.

Breckenridge’s One Ski Hill Place gives its guests coveted early access to the ski resort’s Mercury SuperChair ski lift, allowing skiers first dibs on more than two trails ranging from green to double-black in the pre-opening hours of every Friday morning.


Deer Valley’s legendary Stein Eriksen Lodge takes its white-glove service to the slopes with an exclusive first-tracks offering. The hour-long experience takes groups of up to 30 skiers to the sky-high Bald Peak for private runs, along with a ski patrol and personal mountain host.

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