Corbet’s Couloir, Jackson Hole
Corbett’s Couloir is one of the steepest runs for the bravest skiers to tackle; with a 40-degree gradient, the slope is challenging enough, but by far the toughest part is the drop onto the snow. It’s a 4 or 6-metre vertical leap of faith (depending on the route you choose) before you touch onto the snow. The run has helped secure Jackson Hole a reputation as one of the USA’s most extreme resorts.
The Back Bowls, Niseko Japan
The resort of Niseko in Japan is low altitude but accumulates an average of six inches of dry powder per day during January. This makes for some amazing powder fields and the Back Bowls are the perfect terrain to lure the first of the season’s skiers to lay fresh tracks.
Vallée Blanche, Chamonix
This must-do run is the longest in the world as well as the most scenic; with breathtaking views of the Mont Blanc scenery as you descend into Chamonix. When skiing the route from the very top, there are no marked pistes and it requires an exposed ridge walk from the highest lift in Europe to the start of the run. Both the climbing and off-piste skiing are best attempted with a professional guide, but the uninterrupted descent and amazing scenery make it a must-ski run for all diehard skiers.
The Flying Kilometre
A completely different experience to the normal graded slopes in resort, the Flying Kilometre in Les Arcs, France, provides an opportunity to descend at speeds that amateur skiers won’t achieve anywhere else. It is the slope that hosts the grand final of the speed skiing season and carries a course record of 156mph. Amateurs can start from halfway down the same slope used by the professionals and can clock speeds faster than our motorway limit. Those taking part receive a survival medal as a memento of this unique skiing experience.
The Swiss Wall
The Swiss Wall is also known as the ‘Pas de Chavanette’ and is located in the Morzine-Avoriaz region of the huge Portes du Soleil ski area. The slope has a 50 degree gradient at the start and the run is so steep that when standing at the top riders are not able to see what is ahead. The run even comes with a warning ‘for experts only’ before you reach the start. As well as the gradient, there is an extra challenge in the huge moguls that can reach the size of small cars after a heavy snowfall. Ski Holidays to Morzine allows thrill seekers to tick this tough route off their bucket list whilst experiencing the rest of the skiing on offer throughout the Portes du Soleil.