In the cold season, as we have known at least since Wolfgang Ambros’ iconic song, there are few things more beautiful and exciting than strapping on your skis and speeding down the mountain. If the weather is also good, this route leads rapidly down the slope over snow-covered landscapes and through forests of the same kind. But since the individual demands on the descents can be quite different in nature, we have gone in search of the superlatives for you. And these are the most extraordinary ski slopes in the world:
First of all: There is no such thing as THE steepest slope. Since there is no official definition, and the course of the slope often changes from flatter to steeper and back again, even the attempt at a clear definition fails. Among the routes with the steepest gradient are:
- Corbets Couloir (Wyoming): At Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, the steepest average route in the world awaits you. But beware: Concentration and strength are required in the funnel between rock walls.
- Lange Zug (Lech am Arlberg, Austria): The steepest section, on the other hand, can be found in Vorarlberg with a gradient of 55 %. The 4.7-kilometer route demands everything even from experienced skiers.
- Harakiri (Mayerhofen im Zillertal, Austria): The almost 2 kilometer long downhill run with the sounding name requires some skill and ability – especially the 400 meter long steep slope, which has to be prepared by special equipment.
- Die Streif (Kitzbühel, Austria): Not only one of the steepest and most difficult, but probably also the most famous slope in the world. It is not for nothing that up to 500 million follow the spectacle of the Hahnenkamm races live on TV every year.
Dôme de la Lauze – Mont de Lans (France)
The downhill run in the French Ecrins massif measures a proud 17 kilometers. On these, the equally record-breaking altitude difference of 2288 meters is overcome. Since the steep slope can be skirted, the run is also suitable for somewhat less athletic skiers, who should nevertheless have a certain basic level of fitness. The longest ski run on unprepared terrain, on the other hand, can be found in North America and leads down Mount St. Elia. Starting from an altitude of 5489 meters in Alaska, the journey ends at the Canadian sea. However, this route should only be tackled by excellent skiers.
Jade Dragon Snow Mountain (China)
The highest ski area in the world is located in China at up to 4700 meters above sea level. However, one should not expect too much variety here, since only two short lifts open up the slope with a length of 1000 meters. On the other hand, the almost absolute certainty of snow between November and April is a plus.
St. Moritz (Switzerland)
St. Moritz in the Swiss canton of Graubünden is considered the birthplace of winter tourism in the Alps. For more than 150 years, the international jet set has traveled here to enjoy the breathtaking slopes and excellent hotels. Twice already the municipality was the venue of the Winter Olympics, namely in 1928 and 1948. Today, the ski resort Corviglia/St. Moritz awaits its guests with no less than 155 kilometers of slopes, who appreciate the snow reliability due to the altitude between 1800 and 3000 meters.
The longest red route in Europe
Matterhorn Ski Paradise (Switzerland)
The downhill run in the Zermatt-Matterhorn ski resort is probably also the most beautiful run in Europe. And what would be the most extraordinary ski slopes in the world without the freestyle of the most visually appealing? But since this evaluation is a subjective one, we’ll stick to length. And that is considerable, with 25 continuous kilometers. In Europe’s highest ski resort, the slope runs over 2300 meters in altitude along the impressive east face of the Matterhorn all the way down to Zermatt.
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