Top 5 most difficult ski runs in the Alps
There are exceptional ski slopes, steep slopes that can only be handled with a certain degree of technical expertise, perfect physical condition, and, most importantly, unwavering resolve! Each courageous skier will select the task that corresponds to his level and ambitions: to reach the bottom on his own two legs or to hurtle down them in record speed. In all circumstances, you must adjust your skiing technique to the slope, overhang, and length. Here are the 5 most difficult ski runs in the Alps, the steepest ever! Five extraordinary tasks to attempt at least once in your skiing career…
Some prefer mythical tunes, while others prefer pure hell…
Steep slopes nearing 80 or even 90%, highly difficult slopes, occasionally ungroomed terrain, typically brief descents but oh so taxing on the muscles and joints… So many expectations, but at the end of the day, so much pride and delight for the skiers and snowboarders that brave the famed Alpine slopes. These famous slopes guarantee a one-of-a-kind experience that any experienced skier with a basic level of skill and in decent physical condition should, if not must, have at least once in their life!
To succeed in taming these high slopes, to have that sense of satisfaction when you arrive on your two legs at the foot of these outstanding slopes, each skier must prepare and be brave. But, be wary of the requirements imposed by their amazing technical data sheets: seek advice from local ski patrols, mountain specialists, and prepare well, then follow the other steep slopes of the ski resort and… go for it! Dream big, live up to your goals, and face the challenges!
Our 5 most difficult ski runs in the Alps
Novice skiers and snowplough aficionados, stop here, enjoy the scenery, but don’t try one of the five slopes listed below… These dark slopes, considered the steepest in the Alps, are a great challenge for anybody who attempts to consume them. Maximum gradient and feelings are ensured if you stick to your skis!
1. AVORIAZ – black run “Pas de Chavanette”
This steep route, more widely known as the “Swiss Wall,” is located in the center of the Portes du Soleil region, straddling the resorts of Avoriaz and Champéry-les-Crosets. Of course, prior to embarking on this thrilling run that is never manicured, you must have a solid technical basis. The stats surrounding it, like its commencement, are impressive: a start at 2150 m of height, a finish 400 m below, and portions that may surpass 50 degrees of inclination. On the other hand, it is just around one kilometer long. There is also the option of descending via chairlift to avoid accidents. Indeed, it’s stiff. Hazardous as well. The Pas de Chavanette trail is known as the “Wall” trail. It has a reputation that makes it a must-see destination. You must see it whether you eventually descend it or not.
2. COURCHEVEL – “Grand Couloir” black run
There aren’t going to be many people at the start of the race, which is at an elevation of 2700 meters. The latter is spectacular since you have to follow a ridge for approximately a hundred meters. Take a moment to observe the Croix des Verdons on the left before beginning this black path (the most challenging of the three Vallées). Be cautious about your pick, and especially your level, for once inside, the incredibly steep tunnels around you make escape difficult. Its length is 900 meters, the height difference is 350 meters, and the ultimate slope is 85%. It is accessible directly from the top of the Saulire cable car. The ungroomed but safe black run of the Grand Couloir is one of the most demanding routes in the 3 Vallées area…
3. ZERMATT/CERVINIA – “Nera Cervino” black run
This recent black run near Cervinia on the Italian side is outstanding! On the agenda: a 65% gradient at the highest spots, followed by a lengthy ski descent immediately below the Matterhorn. You must also be in decent physical shape before beginning off at a height of 2943 meters on the Matterhorn’s south face. There is a total elevation gain of 250 meters over 1.2 kilometers. Despite its steadfast commitment, it also allows you to develop in a one-of-a-kind atmosphere at the foot of fabled heights.
The 1.2-kilometer-long Nera Cervino route winds beneath the Matterhorn.
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4. VERBIER / NENDAZ – “Mont Fort” black run
The resort is a freeride haven for skiers and snowboarders from all over the world. The Mont-Fort top, at 3 330 m, is the highest point in the four valleys area, offering a panoramic perspective. It has a spectacular perspective of Mont Blanc, the Matterhorn, the Combins massif, and the entire Swiss Alps. The black piste Mont-Fort is accessible from here. It is a spectacular mogul field that permits extremely skilled skiers to reach the Col des Gentianes at an altitude of 2950 m despite the fact that it is not maintained. In all, the height difference is 350 meters over a length of 1750 meters.
Several visitors are so taken with this spectacular slope that they prefer to return by cable car!
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5. VAL D’ISERE – “La Face de Bellevarde” black run
Lastly, how can we conclude our list of the steepest ski routes in the Alps without including the legendary Face de Bellevarde in the Val d’Isère ski area? It was approved for downhill and Super G competitions, and it hosted the men’s Olympic downhill in 1992, as well as the Alpine World Ski Championships in February 2009. Its path will take you from the Olympic cable car’s peak (at 2827 meters) to the resort 1000 meters below. The steepness of the slope (up to 70%), the length of the run (just under 3 kilometers), and the technical nature of some of the passages, particularly the Ancolie, make the face intimidating (a gully between two blocks of rock). The Olympic cable car takes you to the “Face de Bellevarde.”
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How do you ski down a steep slope?
To ski down these steep slopes, you must be an accomplished skier. Novice skiers may be terrified at this point. How can you have greater faith in yourself to make it down the dreadful slope?
It must be skipped in order to make the best turn feasible on a steep hill. This allows you to turn as quickly and as briefly as possible, reducing your speed to a bare minimum. Only this form of maneuver allows you to turn in a tiny and extremely tight hallway.
As the track expands again, you may slightly round your turn and then accelerate like on a “regular” track with long bends and true curves.
If you are seeking for a challenge this season or next season and want to tackle any of the slopes listed above, we have a wide range of chalets for you to rest in after a long day marking them all off your list.
Don’t hesitate to contact us here or call us on +41 77 521 66 34.