Toughest Ski Runs In Europe

Ventina, Cervinia, Italy

The Ventina ski run is an 8km long red run from Plateau Rosà starting at Plateau Rosa at 3,480m on the border with Zermatt in Switzerland and finishing at the bottom station of the Cervinia gondola at 2,100m. This is marked as a red run and because it’s in the beautiful Dolomite mountains the scenery is absolutely breathtaking all the way down.

Champagne Run, Vaujany, France

This is not for the faint-hearted and is best suited to experienced skiers. You cover a distance of at least 12km and drop 2,230 vertical metres. A cable-car takes you up to just below the 3,330m summit of Pic Blanc above Alpe d’Huez and you’ll finish up in the small hamlet of L’Enversin d’Oz, below the attractive resort of Vaujany.

Grande Motte, Tignes, France

Take the underground funicular up from Val Claret or, if the weather is fine, ride the alternative two chair lifts. You then take a cable car to the top of the glacier at 3,456m. This run covers a vertical drop of 1,400m and you will finish up at the train station at Val Claret. Strong skiers take the main downhill run from the top. The Glacier run is less demanding and both meet up lower down. Exhaustion here is exacerbated by high altitude so remember to breathe.

Le Tunnel, Alpe d’Huez, France

Alpe d’Huez is home to the 16km Sarenne, the longest black run in Europe. However, Le Tunnel is much more daunting. From the top, you either descend a black mogul field on the back face or skirt the far edge of it until you reach a path. Both routes take you to the tunnel itself, a 60m horizontal passage through the rock with enough snow underfoot to let you slide. The full horror is revealed when you emerge into the sun light on the far side. The slope falls away to your left at a wicked angle. Sometimes the pisteurs cut a serpentine path across the face – allowing you to traverse away from the steepest pitch. If not, there’s no way out.

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