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10 Most Challenging Ski Runs, According to the NY Daily News

ski diva

Administrator
Staff member
#1
In no particular order.....

#1, Crested Butte Mountain Resort’s “Rambo”
At 1,000 vertical feet and pitches of 55 degrees, you might want to crank your DIN settings before skiing Rambo.


#2, “The Streif” in Kitzbuehel, Austria
The Streif (Strip) is one of the most challenging downhill courses in the world. The Streif is almost 2 miles of turns, fog, and shade. Before you head here, start doing wall sits every day.


#3, “Great Scott” at Snowbird, UT
At over 1,000 vertical feet and 40 degrees, Great Scott can make even the most seasoned tourist ride the Tram back down. Great Scott and the surrounding cliffs contain some of Snowbird’s most challenging terrain with the ability to show the people on the Tram, just how much better you are than them.


#4, “Harikiri” in Mayrhofen, Austria
You know this slope is the real deal when it is named after the Japanese term for suicide. If this run was a street, it’s grade would be an unimaginable 78%.


#5, “Black Hole” at Smugglers’ Notch, Vermont
Do you think you’re cool since you can ski Double Black Diamonds? Next time you’re in Vermont, try the East Coasts only Triple Black Diamond and its 53 degree slope angle.


#6, “Paradise Run” Mad River Glen, Vermont.
ki it if you can, but Ski Magazine has rated Mad River Glen the most Challenging East Coast ski resort. Once you’re there, head over the 38 degree Paradise Run and see what you’re made of.


#7, “Corbet’s Couloir” Jackson Hole, Wyoming
With a drop in of 10-30 feet and a 50 degree landing, just how good are you? Corbet’s is ranked #4 on the top fifty things for skiers to ski before they die.


#8, “Delirium Dive” Sunshine Village, Banff, Canada
Before you can even begin the hike to the top of Delirium Dive, you must first check in with ski patrol and have your Beacon, Shovel, Probe, and partner. Once at the top you have 2 options, drop in off of a large cliff band near the top, or take a set of stairs down to the top of the cornice. From there negotiate your way down the 50 degree slopes without getting cliffed out.


#9, “Al’s Run” Taos Ski Valley, New Mexico
I sure hope you’ve been eating your Wheaties, or if you tele, your granola. Al’s Run in Taos is 1,800 vertical feet of leg torturing and knee destroying moguls, and you get to do the whole thing under the spectators on the chairlift.


#10, “La Chavanette” Avoriaz, France
The French just continue to be Bad-Ass. La Chavanette, also known as the Swiss wall, starts in France and ends in Switzerland. At 50 Degrees, windswept, and 1,000 vertical feet, La Chavanette is where the French raise their children to be great.


Does the New York Daily News know what they’re talking about? What would you add to the list?
 

mountainwest

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#2
Corbet’s definitely belongs on that list!
I would add White Wall at Beartooth Basin. It starts with a required leap off of a cornice, and then it’s about a 50 degree slope to the bottom. Haven’t skied it myself and probably never will, the closest I have gotten is Chute 2.
 
#3
Hmm. Have skied parts of #2 the Streif (Hahnenkamm) at Kitzbuhel (think most of it - had nice snow as I recall but skipped the icy VW sized moguls and did ski all of the Chavanette in Avoiaz (Portes du soleil). AKA the Swiss Wall. Took the easiest way I could find down. That was several years ago and not my finest moment!
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
#4
#9, “Al’s Run” Taos Ski Valley, New Mexico
I sure hope you’ve been eating your Wheaties, or if you tele, your granola. Al’s Run in Taos is 1,800 vertical feet of leg torturing and knee destroying moguls, and you get to do the whole thing under the spectators on the chairlift.
While Al's Run looks very intimidating from the lift when the bumps have grown large and is certainly quite long, it's only rated black among TSV trails.

There are quite a few marked double-black trails at TSV. Some are relatively short compared to Al's but there are also long double-black trails and plenty of very steep areas with tight trees. No spectators overhead though.

Must be more than one run in the Highlands Bowl at Aspen Highlands that deserves to be on such a list.
 
#5
It's fun to do the famous downhills .... Also did the famous Lauberhorn at Wengen , Switzerland.... Mind you, these runs are not as slick as they would be for World Cup races but very fun to have completed a few of them. They are mostly (but not always) groomed nicely. We were quite excited to ski the Hahnekamn in Kitzbuhel after watching world cup. Skipped the VW sized bumps I have to admit. Chavanette in Avoriaz (Swiss Wall) was full of bumps when I skied it in the early 2000's and took forever to get down. Also skied part of Torgon in Verbier - another famous bump run that was way too much work to get down. But another famous run. And once again, not my finest moment.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
#6
It's fun to do the famous downhills . . .
Agree that doing an iconic run is fun, if it's possible.

For Alta, although there are more difficult runs the classic is Alf's High Rustler. Another trail where there are plenty of people not skiing who can see skiers as they make their way down. Only the very top section is uber-steep and requires deep snow cover to be fun skiing by most advanced-but-not-expert skiers. Bill started skiing it several years ago. My daughter has skied it once from the top. I've skied the bottom 2/3 or so but haven't been in the right situation to go with Bill yet. Not interested in just getting down, I want to enjoy the run so have put it off.

@Skisailor has done the iconic steep run off the tram at Big Sky. Get a good view of it when riding in the tram. One of those runs that requires avy gear and checking in with ski patrol.
 

RachelV

Administrator
Staff member
#8
It's fun to do the famous downhills .... Also did the famous Lauberhorn at Wengen , Switzerland.... Mind you, these runs are not as slick as they would be for World Cup races but very fun to have completed a few of them. ...
I once accidentally skied the DH run at Beaver Creek shortly after there had been a race on it. I was in my mid-20s, thought I was a way better skier than I actually was, and had terribly tuned skis (I still don't tune my skis, really, but otherwise have improved a lot as a human).

In my defense, the warning sign at the top just said something like, "Danger: Icy", which, to an east coast skier, is not particularly intimidating. It should have said something like "This trail has recently been water-injected and is more like a skating rink than a ski run".

So I come into this run pretty hot, take one big turn at the top, and my skis are out from under me in about 2 seconds. It probably looked like Charlie Brown kicking the football to anyone who might have been watching. I slid down most of the first pitch on my back, which was pretty scary. It was a scary fall overall... I feel pretty lucky I didn't slide into a tree or something and really hurt myself.
 
#9
It seems like another one of those online articles that just sources material from other online articles, with no pretense of an author that has actually skied those runs. Just something to garner online views so they can get ad content, without having to pay a reporter.
Some listed are famous downhills, others listed are in a different category altogether!
 
#10
It seems like another one of those online articles that just sources material from other online articles, with no pretense of an author that has actually skied those runs. Just something to garner online views so they can get ad content, without having to pay a reporter.
Agree!

Found a set of 19 pictures in the NY Daily with the title "Coolest ski resorts in America." Along with destination resorts like W-B, Aspen/Snowmass, and Killington, there were three that are pretty unusual. Jiminy Peak in western MA makes some sense since it's close to NYC and is a pretty nice little resort with good ski in/out lodging. Mountain Creek in NJ is a stretch as a ski resort. The one that makes no sense as a "ski resort" is Gannet Peak in WY. Gannet is the highest peak in the region and very remote. Backcountry skiing isn't even mentioned in an article about outdoor adventures there (Hiking, Mountaineering, Sport Climbing, Scrambling). :rolleyes:
 

mountainwest

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#11
The one that makes no sense as a "ski resort" is Gannet Peak in WY. Gannet is the highest peak in the region and very remote. Backcountry skiing isn't even mentioned in an article about outdoor adventures there (Hiking, Mountaineering, Sport Climbing, Scrambling). :rolleyes:
Haha! I had to look that article up because I backpack the Wind River Range, which Gannet Peak is a part of, every summer. It’s a wilderness area that is very far off the beaten path with long, washboardy/pot holed dirt access roads that are mostly only accessible in summer. Definitely not a ski resort.
 
#14
Jenny you always crack me up!! :smile:

Some of those runs sound pretty scary! Although the 1000 vertical bump run just sounds like fun! My only input would be that I’ve skied The Big Couloir at Big Sky and High Rustler at Alta and they are in different universes. The Big was a much greater challenge. Colleagues of mine who have skied Corbett’s say the entire challenge is the big drop in but after that it’s only about 38 degrees and short and no big deal. Lol - I sure ain’t doing that drop-in though!

The Big is about 1400 vertical at about 45 degrees with one short section at 50 - at the narrowest spot. I think it generally deserves a mention on these kinds of lists.

I also totally agree with Christy about this article. But these kinds of comparisons are always fun.
 
#15
I can guarantee that both the runs I've skied #2 and #10 are NOT in the same league as the chutes mentioned (Corbett's or Big Couloir). They're famous downhills, but not necessarily technical. More like a free for all as everyone wants to ski a famous downhill. Probably should not even be on the list of Most Challenging Runs. More like Most Famous Downhills.
 
#20
Note to you @Skisailor We don’t need to worry about this run when we ski together again next season. You can take it off our list. Just sayin.
Lol! Well maybe not THIS season. But we can start working our way in that direction - maybe a Liberty Bowl run off the peak ?

Truly though - I used to say that about the Big too. When I first saw it, I thought I’d never ever ski it or have any interest in skiing it.
 

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