The Sounds of the Slopes, from Big Sky to Chamonix

Whether you’re skiing the black diamond bowls of Boulder, Colorado, or snowboarding red circle routes in the Swiss Alps, you know that each mountain has a vibe all its own. Turns out, the same holds true for the music streaming slope-side too.

On Spotify, the top songs on tens of thousands of fan-made skiing and snowboarding playlists include hits with heavy synth beats. Think upbeat and energetic: “Midnight City” by M83, “Young Blood” by The Naked And Famous, and “Sail” from AWOLNATION. These can stick in your head for miles of steep downhill routes.

When you break down our streaming data by destination, however, it’s clear that genres speak to each specific ski town’s rhythm during the heart of the season. Take a tour of the sounds streaming off some of the world’s great slopes.

Big Sky (Montana), Boulder (Colorado), Killington (Vermont) – These American skiing staples love their psychedelic rock, jam bands, and folk music, including the likes of Phish and Grateful Dead. Pick a song, any song, and it might just get you all the way down the mountain.

Chamonix (France) – Swedish hip-hop, rock, and pop act as the electro-pumping bass of this mountain.

Grandvalira (Andorra) – Much of the music heard in the small country of Andorra is Spanish (not surprising due to its location). Up-tempo, jam-heavy Argentine rock and ska are particularly popular as well.

Hakuba (Japan), Whistler (Canada) – Although December through March marks summer for Australians, we wouldn’t be surprised if they’re escaping the summer heat by visiting Japan’s Hakuba Olympic ski town and Whistler on Canada’s west coast—as evidenced by the frequency of Australian garage punk and indie fusion played there.

Mont Tremblant (Canada) – This quaint Quebec locale loves its French and Québécois-language pop, rock, and indie tracks.

Cap off a day on the slopes—or replicate the feeling of fresh powder—with our After-Ski Classics playlist.