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USA

When it comes to snowsports, the Americans don't joke around: big mountains covered by big snow falls deserve only the most efficient lift systems and the most beautifully run ski resorts possible. And what that means for us is big fun.

Some say that everything we can do the US can do bigger. In this case, it's hard to disagree. The sheer expanse of skiing and boarding available, the excellent snow record, the supreme American hospitality... for many - once they've skied in the US, elsewhere is not an option.

The rich variety of resorts on offer means that whatever it is you're looking for, you can find it here. From star-studded Aspen to the cowboy town of Jackson Hole, the roulette wheels of Heavenly to the luxury of Beaver Creek; the diversity of the US is a treat, with the joy of knowing that wherever you choose, the one thing every resort has in common is the probablity of great snow. We feature the top resorts in the USA, and offer a great selection of hotels, from simple lodges to five star luxury.

The US receives most of its weather from the west, and the great storms that roll in from the Pacific. The Sierra Nevada in California is the first high grounds these storms hit, often dumping metres of snow in one night across Heavenly, Squaw Valley and Mammoth. As the weather systems move east, they lose their moisture over the high deserts of Nevada and Arizona, just in time to throw a blanket of gorgeous light, fluffy powder over the Rockies of Utah, Wyoming, Montana and Colorado - filling the forests of Steamboat with heaps of Champagne Powder for amazing tree skiing and riding. Powder top-ups throughout the season are regular, and yet the sun still shines most of the time. Even when the storms come in, most trails are below the 3000m treeline, so you're protected from the elements whether the skies are blue or white.

The magnitude of skiing available means quiet pistes, even at peak times of the season, and fewer queues for the lifts which are run with impressive efficiency. Grooming is immaculate on the trails but, contrary to popular belief, you can still ski monster moguls on designated runs, and ferocious ungroomed powder away from the trails but still 'in bounds'. Staying within the designated boundary means you can experience all the thrills of skiing off piste whilst feeling safe in the knowledge that the area is still patrolled.

And after a spectacular day playing on the mountain, weary skiers and boarders will love returning to classically superior accommodation, a delicious choice of restaurants and wonderful service - all very much the norm in the US. Enough to make you want to stay for good.