NEW YORK -- This is the happiest time of year for skiing addicts -- the start of at least three months of their favorite sport. But the December-January issue of National Geographic Adventure points out that you can ski year-round if you're willing to travel.
The magazine's picks for best places to ski around the globe for the next few months include Sestriere, Italy, where some of the 2006 Olympic events will be held; the backcountry terrain at Silverton Mountain Ski Area, in Colorado; Wyoming's Jackson Hole, where the famed tram that has transported skiers up 4,000 feet for 40 years is scheduled to close forever at the end of the season; and Jay Peak Resort, Vermont, which gets 355 inches of snow a year just 3 1/2 hours north of Boston.
As the calendar pages fall away, from March to May, the magazine recommends Heavenly Mountain Ski Resort in California and Alyeska Resort in Alaska. And from June to September, when snow in most of North America is just a memory, you can still ski on Whistler Blackcomb's Horstman Glacier in British Columbia, Canada, or fly to Portillo, Chile, where big snowstorms are common in August and September.
Next year, as autumn progresses, look for early season snow in Colorado's Wolf Ski Area or Mammoth Mountain in California.