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Alps and Adrenaline: 10 legendary ski runs

Alps and Adrenaline: 10 legendary ski runs
March 20, 2019 - SHARE:
Steep, fast and sensational…take on the ski runs in the Alps.

Myskirent presents 10 legendary runs, tamed by only the best skiers in the world. Even though they’re reserved for the experts, you can still access most via chairlift or cable car to enjoy the exceptional panoramic views.

Harakiri in Mayrhofen
Le Mont-Fort in Verbier
The Streif in Kitzbühel
  1. The Streif in Kitzbühel – Austria

Winding down the Hahnenkamm mountain, the spectacular Streif ski run has earned a more solid reputation than the great champions who have hurtled down it slopes. The dizzying variation in altitude and variety of terrain makes it a legendary ski run in the Alpine Ski World Cup. The starting point of this run that stretches over 3 km is on an 85% incline. The changing terrain makes it possible for the athletes to produce impressive feats as well as stunning falls. It is made up of very steep sections, bends, flat out gliding sections and even jumps over 70 metres long. The Streif speed record is held by Michael Wachlhofer at 153 km/h.

Open all winter, you can appreciate the bird’s eye view over the Tyrolean plains from the summit of the Hahnenkamm gondola before setting off down the slope.

 

  1. Harakiri in Mayrhofen – Austria

Located in the “Ski Zillertal 3000” ski area in Mayrhofen, Harakiri is one of the most challenging black runs in the Alps. Reserved for advanced skiers only, its name and difficulty level make it the steepest groomed run in Austria.

Those who choose to venture down it do so at their own peril. The term ‘harakiri’ refers to the ritual suicide performed by Japanese samurai to repent from their sins – a word to the wise. Harakiri is 1.5 km long on a slope with a 78% gradient and has become an attraction in its own right – it even has its own paraphernalia!

 

  1. The Lauberhorn in Wengen – Switzerland

The Lauberhorn is a downhill run in Wengen and is one of the longest in the world at 4,455 metres. It is the main attraction forthe Lauberhornrennen(Lauberhorn races) held every year,with a magnificent view of the Eiger as a backdrop, a peak in the Swiss Alps that stands 3,967 metres tall. Started by Ernst Gertsch in 1930, this race is the oldest in the world. Today it is divided into three competitions: downhill, slalom and combined. Only the most seasoned skiers know how to avoid the traps – they must slide between two cliffs to pass the “dog’s head”, jump some 70 metres after the Hundschopf and pass the Wasserstation tunnel underneath the viaduct of the local train.

Myskirent note: This famous ski run is featured in the film “Downhill Racer” starring Robert Redford.

 

  1. Le Mont-Fort in Verbier Switzerland

Le Mont-Fort is the highest point of the 4 Valleys ski area. The descent that links it to the Col des Gentianes is one of the steepest slopes in the Alps – only advanced skiers will succeed in navigating the vast field of often icy moguls. The starting point at the summit is well worth a visit, offering a breathtaking view that stretches from Mont Blanc to the Matterhorn. The less daring can still enjoy the view of the Alps and take the cable car to get back down.

 

  1. Chuenisbärgli in Adelboden – Switzerland

Each year, giant slalom and slalom experts eagerly await the Adelboden races in January which attract crowds of over 30,000. Outside of competitions, the slopes are open all season to the most daring non-professionals.Built for giants, the mythical Chuenisbärgli combines bends, speed and sheer gradient. This sensational run spans over 1.29 kilometres with 420 metres of altitude variation. The starting point is at 1,730 metres altitude and finishes in Boden at 1,310 metres altitude.

La Verte des Houches in Chamonix - Copyright : E. Moy
La Sarenne in Alpe-d’Huez
  1. The Nera Cervino in Cervinia – Italy

The Breuil Cervinia Valtournenche Zermatt ski area is one of the largest in the Alps. It extends across three valleys between Italy and Switzerland, from Little Matterhorn at 3,883 metres to Valtournenche at 1,524 metres. There only one rule before starting off down the Nera Cervino black run – don’t get cold feet.  This legendary run starts at 2,943 metres altitude! It has a total altitude variation of 250 metres with the finish line 1.2 kilometres down the mountain.

 

  1. The pista Stelvio in Bormio – Italy

The pista Stelvio is one of the most spectacular, technical, challenging and tiring runs in the world. It has hosted two editions of the Alpine World Ski Championships in 1985 and 20 years later in 2005. It was also the theatre of two World Cup finals in 1995 and 2008 and has been the home of the Men’s Downhill stage in the World Cup since 1993. The run starts at 2,225 metres altitude just below the summit of Mount Cimino and finishes 3,186 metres down the mountain. Winning the Men’s Downhill on the Stelvio means etching your name alongside world champions in the history of alpine skiing.

 

  1. La Verte des Houches in Chamonix France

The famous Verte des Houches is located in the Houchesresort ski area, at the entrance to the Chamonix valley.Don’t be deceived by its name! It is in fact a black run that hosts regularly the Kandahar, a stage in the Downhill Ski World Cup. As an anecdote, it was created in 1946 at a time when the ski run classification system was somewhat different. The colour green used to mark a difficult run! It was renamed “Kandahar” to avoid confusion. At the starting point of the Verte des Houches, skiers have a direct view of the majestic Mont Blanc before plunging into the forest. The Verte is a highly technical run, made up of a series of curves and bottlenecks – it’s very physically demanding.

 

  1. Le Pas de Chavanette in Avoriaz – France

This slope in the heart of the Portes du Soleil ski area, commonly known as the “Swiss Wall”, won’t leave you cold. To reach the finish line, you’ll have to pull your best techniques out of the bag. The Pas de Chavanette can have a merciless nature – it’s practically never groomed. The one kilometre run kicks off at 2,150 metres altitude with sections at 50° incline. If at the starting blocks you’re chilled by the prospect, you can always take chairlift to get down.

 

  1. La Sarenne in Alpe-dHuez France

Alpe-d’Huez is home to the longest marked ski run in the world. The non-stop 16 kilometres of skiing makes it a legendary run. The starting point is at the summit of the Pic Blanc at 3,330 metres altitude, the highest point of the ski area, and can be reached via a cable car bearing the same name. It is surrounded by a multitude of ski runs and off-piste zones to explore, including a glacier that could be skied on in the past. The start of the run requires the most care – the rest is much easier with a 12.5% gradient, the equivalent of a blue run.

Myskirent tip: La Sarenne is very popular because of its reputation – it’s best to go early in the morning or during lunchtime.

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