What are the best ski runs in Europe?

 

You can’t deny that Europe is one of the most beautiful continents in the world — with a range of mountainous views to experience during a trip. This makes up one reason why millions of skiers make it the number one place on their list.

No matter your experience as a skier, Europe has a range of dramatic inclines, high speed descents and more — making it a memorable experience for everyone involved.

 

Skiing at Mont Fort, Switzerland

The 3,329m Mont Fort is one of the worlds most renowned slopes and requires great fitness levels and quick thinking to tackle. Found in Verbier — arguably the continent’s most luxurious and party-centric resort — Mont Fort provides a 1,300m run from top to bottom and is generally considered the most challenging of Verbier’s pistes.

You’ll need to board four cable cars to reach the starting point — but it’s completely worth it for those mountainous views alone. Although, if you really want to take advantage of this breathtaking landscape, try skiing at dawn to enjoy the spectacular sunrise over the mountaintops.

 

Skiing at Ventina, Italy

Regardless of whether you’re a beginner or a pro, the Ventina run is a great place to start. What you get with the Ventina piste is a long descent and shallow gradient that allows you to truly take in the incredible mountainscape around you. Although, your legs might feel like spaghetti after tackling the 11km run.

With a drop of 1,430, the gentle descent and compelling route is a great place for families and groups wanting to bring out their competitive sides.

 

Skiing at The Streif, Austria

This one is not for beginners. One of the most feared runs in the world, the Streif is found on the Hahenkamm mountain and hosts one of the most hazardous races in the World Cup.

There’s a 3.3km descent from the starting gate too. But you’ll have to compose yourself quickly, as you’ll be forced to navigate maximum 85% gradients at a speed of around 84mph. In fact, the run is so iconic that a documentary film was made about it — Streif: One Hell of a Ride — in 2015.

 

Skiing at Harakiri, Austria

Harakiri is 1,500m in length and has extremely easy-to-grip snow. Found in the resort of Mayrhofen, the Harakiri piste is named after the samurai ritual of committing suicide, which may be a reference to the fact that it’s the steepest groomed slope in the world with an average gradient of 78%.

As you come down Harakiri, it’s important to put your weight fully on the outer ski to slow down. Also, don’t be surprised to see skiers tumble down the entire run. In other words, make sure you have plenty of skiing lessons before you attempt the Harakiri.  

 

Skiing at Aiguille Rouge, France

This is the tallest peak for skiers looking for a trip in the Les Arcs resort. With a length of 8km and vertical descent of over 2,000m, this run is classified as black at the top and red once you reach around third of the way down. With a descent that start from 3,226m, one of the greatest draws of the Aiguille Rouge is the panoramic view of the Italian Alps, Pierra Menta, Mont Pourri, and extraordinary Mont Blanc.

 

Skiing at Grand Couloir, France

Believe it or not, the Grand Couloir in France is the only one of the three Courchevel couloirs classed as a run. 900m in length with a maximum slope gradient of 85%, the first challenge to overcome if you ski this run is navigating the steep path leading from the cable car station in La Saulire — especially perilous if the conditions are icy. Once you arrive, you have potentially huge moguls to contend with, which can make the beginning of your descent the riskiest part of your experience. Once you’ve tackled these tricky snow bumps, the slope will open up and the remainder of your descent should be a smooth delight.   

 

Skiing at Pas de Chavanette, France

Referred to as the Swiss Wall, this ski run is 200m and overlooks the Swiss-French border. One of the most exciting runs in the world, Pas de Chavanette features rapid drops, with some angles being so steep that you might struggle to see what’s hurtling towards you as you descend.

Your level of expertise in skiing will depend on the time of year you travel. Try it on a decent layer of snow and you can weave and glide effortlessly. But beware when the run is icier and bumpier — expert skills and emergency stops will be required.

 

Skiing at Hidden Valley, Italy

Although the skiing aspect of your trip is crucial, the views here are incredible. Skiing here will make you feel completely isolated from the world as the Dolomite peaks tower over you.

Starting at the peak of Lagazuoi, which is 2,750m, expect to see frozen waterfalls and riverbeds! An excellent run for novices and one of nature’s best stress-busters.

 

Skiing at Piste 4, Sweden

If you want to take a trip to Piste 4, you must go at the right time of year. Based in the Swedish Arctic Circle, the lack of sun means you can only ski here between mid-February and mid-summer. However, if skiing under a midnight sun sounds like your thing, Piste 4 is where you need to head. Freeskiers love launching off the natural bumps of the Riksgränsen slopes, and if you give Piste 4 a go, you’ll actually glide into Noray before looping back around during your descent.

 

Skiing at Lauberhorn, Switzerland

If you like a challenge, the Lauberhorn run in Switzerland is ideal — and will bring out the competitiveness in you.Supposedly the fastest run in the World Cup, you start from the 2,500m summit and travel 4.5km in just two and a half minutes. On your descent, there’s a 130-foot jump that catapults you into the air to contend with, and you’ll reach speeds of around 99mph — enough for g-forces to come into play.

Where will you be heading on your next ski trip?

 

 

Sources:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/snowandski/4444186/The-worlds-scariest-ski-runs-terror-at-the-top.html

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https://www.myswitzerland.com/en-gb/mont-fort-part-of-the-high-route.html  

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