ADVANCED / EXPERTHAKUBA CORTINA
Cortina's advanced and "ultimate" on-piste offerings feature several excitingly steep and speedy slopes such as "Hiedayama", which averages a thrilling 36-degree pitch along its length. Beyond the small handful of in-bounds bombers, Cortina's self-responsibility zones are the star that shines the brightest here. Nearly all of the treed areas within the Cortina bowl are fair game, and on par with the precipitous levels of pitch found on the on-piste expert runs. It is quite simply fantastic freeriding terrain. Dropping into superb snow while sending spray meters above you as you carve out large feel-good turns between well-spaced mature trees on satisfyingly steep gradients is what has earned Cortina it's reputation as the best resort for powder skiing hands down. But it doesn't stop there. In almost unfair fashion, Cortina is blessed with sidecountry and backcountry terrain deserving of an equal number of superlatives, easily reached through its three "Backcountry Access Gates", but always carry an avalanche kit and exercise caution when venturing into unfamiliar areas that may be beyond your ability level.