Flying Kilometre, Les Arcs
Not one for the faint-hearted, the Flying Kilometre sends you cannonballing down a 76% gradient on the Aiguille Rouge, a descent that can easily see you reaching speeds of up to 40mph, and often more. Helmets are mandatory - in fact all-body armour is probably recommended on this prestigious speed skiing world championship course. Advanced
Dave Murray Downhill, Whistler
Named for the fearless Canadian Alpine racer, the Dave Murray Downhill is of course found in Whistler where Murray founded his well-known ski school. Best tackled right after it’s been groomed, this championship course zips along through gorgeous tree-lined scenery for two miles, into Whistler Canyon. Murray died tragically young, but left a great legacy, and this thriller is a big part of it. Intermediate
Runs that demand skill and nerve, and leave you feeling totally exhilarated on completion...
Sarenne, Alpe d’Huez
Reckoned by some to be the longest black run in the French Alps, although it’s true that at times the gradient feels more like a red or even blue, the Sarenne starts at a height of 3330m atop the Pic Blanc cable car. From here it’s a steep and nervy descent through a mogul field that many skiers choose to skip, before coming off the glacier and into the flatter Gorges de Sarenne. You’ll find yourself relaxing about an hour in, but in truth this run is all about the launch. Intermediate
We've got 5 chalets to choose from in Alpe d'Huez - experience the Sarenne for yourself.
Bellecôte, La Plagne
Along with the neighbouring Rochu which also starts on the glacier, the Bellecôte is considered one of the most challenging blacks in the Alps. Skiable in most snow conditions, it is mind-bogglingly steep and you’ll struggle to appreciate the fantastic views because of the need to concentrate. Advanced
Think you can take on the Bellecote? Take your pick of one of five La Plagne chalets and give it a go.
Corbet’s Couloir, Jackson Hole
It’s been called the scariest ski slope in America, and certainly this is a rite of passage only to be tackled by the expert or the foolhardy. The three-metre freefall at the start, requiring an immediate hard right after you land on a 50% gradient, is enough to shred your nerve, but you’ll need your wits about you to stay on your feet and complete the short run out of the funnel. Those who make it out on two skis are few, and fewer still are those who care to attempt it again! Expert
The name couldn’t be more appropriate - the Harakiri is Austria’s steepest slope, and while fairly short it’s got more than a few tricks up its sleeve that can prove humbling to even the best skiers. Those who know it suggest sticking to the outer edges where you’ll usually find the most snow, and then just hang in there until it evens out. Advanced
Few things compare to the joy of skiing through a fresh field of powder, and these runs assure that unmistakeable floating sensation...
Valluga, St Anton
If you want to set off from the mountain peak you’ll need to be accompanied by a professional guide, so steep and tricky is the initial descent. But once you’re past the cliff-edge, or if you’ve wisely decided to skip it entirely, vast fields of untouched powder await. Intermediate / Advanced
Choose from two chalets and a hotel in St Anton to relax and unwind after taking on the Valluga.
Vallée Blanche, Chamonix
This is one of the most famous off-piste runs in Chamonix, but get to the top of the Aiguille du Midi early in the morning, and you can have it all to yourself. Miles of fluffy powder cover a mostly gentle descent with just a few steep patches to worry about. Plucky intermediates may well have a go, but a guide is recommended for first-timers as there are a few gnarly crevasses to avoid as well as the threat of avalanche. Intermediate / Advanced
Vallon d’Arby, Verbier
An absolute feast of scenery and powder, with a number of bowls that can be tackled with or without a guide depending on how confident you feel. There are several ‘secret’ routes you can take through steep tree-lined couloirs that are not massively intimidating yet ensure you leave fresh tracks no matter how busy the main area gets. Intermediate / Advanced
Allow plenty of time for these runs, because you’ll want to stop and enjoy the view...
Sella Ronda, Dolomites
The Sella Ronda loop is perhaps the most attractive run in the Dolomites, all pink-hued limestone cliffs, expansive panoramas over the Italian countryside and charming traditional mountain huts. You can cover the entire route easily in a day, either clockwise or anticlockwise, thanks to an excellent lift network, but there are plenty of detours available for those with more time on their hands. Intermediate
South Face, Lake Louise
Its inclusion on this list shouldn’t come as any surprise - Lake Louise is situated within the magnificent Banff National Park and the views from most runs are sublime. The South, or Front face, doesn’t see a great deal of snow, but it’s undeniably scenic and has a variety of good intermediate and black-diamond trails to follow, many of them passing through the trees that let you choose your own route. Intermediate
Take on one of the challenges
We know there's a lot to choose from, that's why we offer ski holidays in ten resorts across France & Austria. Our dedicated sales team are waiting to take your call so get in touch on 0208 875 1957 or email firstname.lastname@example.org