Discover Epic New Ski Runs in National Geographic’s ‘100 Slopes of a Lifetime’ [REVIEW]

Person skiing down the slopes
Strap on your skis and prepare for adventure with National Geographic’s 100 Slopes of a Lifetime. (Photo courtesy Canva)

If you’ve ever been skiing, whether you were learning on the bunny slopes or flying down a black diamond run, you simply have to close your eyes to be transported back to that one unforgettable day on the mountain. If you’re like me, I bet you can still smell the crisp, clean, pine-scented air. Or maybe you even find yourself involuntarily squinting as you recall how the blinding sun reflects off the snow like a million glittering diamonds. Most of all, I’m sure you will never forget the exhilaration you felt as you soared over the powder, the wind rushing up to meet you until you feel like you will simply take flight at any moment. Whether you ski or snowboard, you know that there is nothing quite so magical as being on the side of a mountain, soaking up nature, having fun with your friends. Now, National Geographic wants to ensure you experience plenty more snow days like that one, and with their new book they’re going to show you 100 Slopes of a Lifetime that will leave your mouth gaping open in awe.

National Geographic's 100 SLOPES OF A LIFETIME
National Geographic

Reading this book is akin to hanging out at the ski lodge after a long day on the slopes, sharing a drink with a seasoned skier you just happened to meet sitting by the fireplace. In this case, the guy we’re hanging with is journalist Gordy Megroz, who has spent his life on the slopes, whether it was going down the familiar ones in his own backyard in Vermont where he grew up, or tackling those in Jackson, Wyoming, where he lived until recently before moving to Basalt, Colorado. Throughout this volume, we can almost picture Gordy taking a drink of hot cocoa, then saying, “Let me tell you about the time….” He writes with a very conversational quality that is super engaging, totally authentic, and always infused with excitement for his next great adventure.

While Gordy is the first to admit that he hasn’t skied on all 100 slopes listed in the book, he did do his homework and talked to those that have. So again, we can almost hear him say, “And then one of my buddies skied this one trail that you just have to add to your bucket list. It’s totally wicked!” One of these is in Alaska’s Tordrillow Mountains, about 60 miles northwest of Anchorage. To get there, you have to fly in on a single engine plane, land on a lake, and get settled at the Tordrillow Mountain Lodge, which offers one of the industry’s more opulent options complete with luxury cabins, hot tubs, a bar with top shelf liquor, five-course dinners and plenty of spa services to ease your aching bones. Then, if you can tear yourself away from all the pampering, you load onto an A-Star helicopter, take a short flight to a 60-mile-long volcanic range where you’ll find the run called 6500, because it starts 6,500 feet up Mount Spurr. Most skiers can log an impressive 30,000 vertical feet of decent in a single day. Of course, at the very least, you should be an intermediate skier to tackle this particular adventure.

Glaciers and Crevasses. The Vallée Blanche is the most famous off piste ski run in Europe.
Crevasses on Vallée Blanche ski run in Chamonix. (Photo courtesy Canva)

If you find your way back to Europe, and France in particular, book a stay at Hotel Le Morgane in the mountain village of Chamonix. It’s the best place to stay in the area if you actually want to get some sleep, plus it’s close enough to town that you can walk there. More importantly, it’s close to the Aiguille du Midi cable car that will take you to the trail called Vallée Blanche (White Valley). It descends nearly 10 miles down the mountain and begins 9,200 feet above the valley floor. Locals call it “Disneyland for adults” but admit that safety is not guaranteed. In fact, you have to take two cable cars to a cave, then strap your skis on your back and walk 300 feet down a narrow, icy ridge. But it is totally worth it to take in the stunning glaciers, the town of Chamonix, and to get a close-up view of Mont Blanc, the highest mountain in the Alps at 15,774 feet. After that, strap your skis on and enjoy the trail down with relative ease.

Of course, these are only two of the 100 epic trails Gordy describes in this beautiful volume. He offers ample insights on each one, including tips for lodging, travel, and the skills you’ll need to have prior to booking your trip if you would like to live to tell the tale. The book is divided into four sections so, whether you’re looking for trails for intermediate, advanced, or expert level skiers, or even for those who like cross-country skiing, you’re destined to find several sites that will tickle your fancy. And, in typical National Geographic tradition, this book is chock full of stunning photography that will impress even the most jaded skier.

If you are looking for a new book to adorn your coffee table, searching for a gift for the winter sports enthusiast in your life, or are planning your own next big adventure, 100 Slopes of a Lifetime is a must-have volume that will deliver countless hours of enthralling entertainment and learning. And with Gordy as your trusty guide, you simply can’t go wrong. Who knows, next time you’re on the slopes, you may look over and see him on the trail beside you!

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Gordy Megroz
(Photo by Lindsay Linton/Linton Productions)

Gordy Megroz is a correspondent for and former editor of Outside magazine. He is also a regular contributor to Men’s Journal, Bloomsbury Businessweek, Mountain magazine, and SKI.

Megroz was born and raised in Vermont and now lives in Basalt, Colorado. When he’s not at his desk, you can find him skiing or mountain biking.

For more information, visit GordyMegroz.com, or follow him on Twitter, Instagram, or LinkedIn.

National Geographic Logo

One of the world’s leading nonfiction publishers, National Geographic has published more than 1,700 titles, featuring such categories as history, travel, nature, photography, space, science, health, biography, and memoir.

A portion of its proceeds is used to fund exploration, conservation, and education through ongoing contributions to the work of the National Geographic Society.

To find out more about Nat Geo, visit NationalGeographic.com, like them on Facebook, or follow them on TwitterInstagram, and Snapchat.

100 SLOPES OF A LIFETIME: THE WORLD’S ULTIMATE SKI AND SNOWBOARD DESTINATIONS
By Gordy Megroz
400 pp. National Geographic. $35.

Purchase 100 Slopes of a Lifetime direct from Jathan & Heather Books or from one of these other fine online retailers: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Half Price Books, IndieBound, Powell’s, Target, or Walmart.

100 Slopes of a Lifetime is brought to you in association with TLC Book Tours.

About Jathan Fink
Jathan is a journalist, philanthropist, and entrepreneur. He is also a travel junkie, foodie and jazz aficionado. A California native, he resides in Texas.

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