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Go big. Go bold. Go on: Name your adventure.

What is your best skiing memory? My friend John used to ditch class in New Jersey and drive to Vermont. Another friend "borrowed" the family car for a stealth visit to Colorado; he had to come clean after his father found an empty Coors can under the seat -- that was when the Silver Bullet was only available out West. As for me, I moved to a resort town three years ago -- the ultimate ski trip -- and that antsy anticipation I used to feel each winter morning still hasn't gone away.

We've designed our annual travel guide to help you capture that sense of adventure. Descriptions of the top 10 destination resorts in North America -- chosen by our editors and contributors -- detail the best areas to ski, play, and stay.

Beyond the overall top 10, we've ranked resorts for specific adventures: steeps, off-piste runs, nightlife, and bumps. And if the confines of a ski area seem too limiting, ski into the wild with one of the backcountry treks outlined here.

In this guide, we've also highlighted spots where skiers and snowboarders can slide together in harmony. Our field trip story features smaller mountains that are worth a side excursion when you're staying at a larger resort nearby. Whatever your choice, you could be headed for your wildest memory yet.

So, without further ado, here are SKIING's top 10's (along with a few top 5's).

Top 10: Ski Areas
1. Whistler/Blackcomb, British Columbia
2. Aspen/Aspen Highlands/Snowmass, Colorado
3. Vail/Beaver Creek, Colorado
4. Alta and Snowbird, Utah
5. Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, Wyoming
6. Squaw Valley USA, California
7. Mammoth Mountain, California
8. Lake Louise, Alberta
9. Telluride, Colorado
10. Taos Ski Valley, New Mexico

Top 10: Steeps
1. Whistler/Blackcomb, British Columbia
2. Squaw Valley, California
3. Snowbird, Utah
4. Crested Butte, Colorado
5. Jackson Hole, Wyoming
6. Alta, Utah
7. Aspen Highlands, Colorado
8. Taos, New Mexico
9. Big Sky, Montana
10. Telluride, Colorado

Top 10: Off-Piste
1. Jackson Hole, Wyoming
2. Whistler/Blackcomb, British Columbia
3. Alta, Utah
4. Fernie, British Columbia
5. Aspen Highlands, Colorado
6. Arapahoe Basin, Colorado
7. Alpine Meadows, California
8. Sugar Bowl, California
9. Snowbird, Utah
10. Big Mountain, Montana

Top 10: Skiers and Boarders
Alyeska, Alaska
Big Sky, Montana
Brighton, Utah
Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Kirkwood, California
Mammoth Mountain, California
Mount Baker, Washington
Stratton, Vermont
Sunday River, Maine
Wolf Creek, Colorado

Top 5: Party Spots
1. Aspen, Colorado
2. Whistler/Blackcomb, British Columbia
3. Breckenridge, Colorado
4. Killington, Vermont
5. Park City, Utah

Top 5: Bumps
1. Winter Park, Colorado
2. Killington, Vermont
3. Telluride, Colorado
4. Aspen Mountain, Colorado
5. Squaw Valley, California

Top 5: For avoiding bumps
1. Deer Valley, Utah
2. Vail, Colorado
3. Snowbasin, Utah
4. Mt. Bachelor, Oregon
5. Stratton, Vermont

Top 10: Field Trips
Bridger Bowl, Montana
Bromley, Vermont
Grand Targhee, Wyoming
Loveland, Colorado
Monarch, Colorado
Mt. Rose, Nevada
Sierra-At-Tahoe, California
Snowbasin, Utah
Ski Santa Fe, New Mexico
Wildcat, New Hampshire

Top 10: Backcountry Adventures
Sorcerer Lake Lodge, Golden, British Columbia
Bull of the Woods Yurt, Taos, New Mexico
Chic Choc Mountains, Gaspé Peninsula, Quebec
Ostrander Hut, Yosemite, California
Torngat Mountains, Quebec
Silverton Mountain Ski Area, Silverton, Colorado
Garibaldi-Névée Traverse, Whistler, British Columbia
Irwin Lodge, Crested Butte, Colorado
Tushar Mountain Tours, Elk Meadows, Utah
Rendezvous Ski Tours, Alta, Wyoming

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