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These Ski Resorts Are North America's Best-Kept Secrets

01/26/2017 07:44 EST | Updated 01/26/2017 07:44 EST
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Skier on the slope ski resort Zell am See, Austrian

While crowds of skiers and snowboarders are flocking to Whistler Blackcomb, Aspen Snowmass and other world-famous resorts, you could shredding (and saving) big at Shames, SilverStar or Whitewater.

Haven't heard of them? That's what makes them so special.

As the 2016-2017 ski season reaches its peak, the travel experts at FlightNetwork.com have released their list of the top 35 best-kept secret ski resorts on the continent. Although some of the resorts, like Vermont's Jay Peak and Washington's Crystal Mountain, reside south of the border, a majority of the ski and snowboard areas on the list are from right here in the Great White North. These five are a handful of the more than a dozen Canadian resorts that made the list for offering more untouched snow, shorter lift lines, and competitive pricing.

SilverStar Mountain Resort -- SilverStar Mountain, British Columbia

British Columbia is known for its world-class ski resorts, and many of the best are overshadowed by those with bigger names and more publicity. SilverStar is one of those often overlooked ski areas, and that means more champagne powder for those who visit. Mild daytime temperatures, hovering around -3 degrees Celsius, means you probably won't have to worry about icy snow or packing 20 layers of clothing for your visit. Even better, SilverStar takes on more than 700 centimeters of snow each year and offers more than 3,282 acres of terrain, so you can find untouched snow any time of day and any day of the week.

Whitewater Ski Resort -- Nelson, British Columbia

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Photo credit: Paul Morgan

Whitewater Ski Resort is legendary amongst those who are in the know, but there's a reason why they're not telling their friends about this gem. Whitewater is known for seeing more than 12 meters of fresh powder each season as well as drastically smaller crowds than most other British Columbia resorts. Known among B.C. locals for its chutes, bowls, and glades, Whitewater is a place where adrenaline junkies can enjoy steep and deep terrain along the Powder Highway without having to make room for too many tourists.

Mont-Sainte-Anne -- Beaupré, Quebec

You don't have to spend a fortune or fight the crowds to enjoy an unforgettable family ski holiday. Quebec's Mont-Sainte-Anne receives roughly 480 centimeters of fresh snowfall each season, which means you enjoy the Powder Highway atmosphere in a more relaxed, family-friendly atmosphere overlooking the St-Lawrence River. In addition to tearing through everything from fresh powder to rolling groomers, visitors can enjoy off-mountain activities, like ice skating, dog sledding, cross-country skiing, fat biking, paragliding, and so much more.

Blue Mountain Resort -- Blue Mountains, Ontario

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Photo credit: Drewthevander

Many skiers and snowboarders don't even consider Ontario when planning a winter ski getaway, and they're missing out. Located on the pristine shores of the Georgian Bay, Blue Mountain resort is more than just a beautiful place to take some turns. The resort offers a complete mountain village with nearly 400 acres of terrain for all levels of skiers and snowboarders. With 46-percent of the resort falling into the advanced-terrain category, you'll enjoy the big "Out West" resort atmosphere with shorter lift lines and more affordable ticket prices.

Shames Mountain -- Terrace, British Columbia

Serious powder hounds will find that Terrace's Shames Mountain is one of the most unique resorts in the world. As Canada's first cooperatively owned and operated, non-profit ski area, Shames has a distinctly small-town feel. However, the tiny lodge and double chair can be deceiving. Shames is home to some of the world's best slack country access and receives around 12 metres of fresh snow every season. Shames is a place where powder-day memories are made, and crowds are practically nonexistent.

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