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Hardest Ski resort in the world

post #1 of 66
Thread Starter 

What is everyone's opinion of the ski resort in the world that has the most challenging runs?

 

What are the links and what runs were the most challenging and why? as well supply pics

post #2 of 66

whats a resort?

 

whats a ski area?

 

where do you draw the line?

post #3 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by world-traveller123 View Post

What is everyone's opinion of the ski resort in the world that has the most challenging runs?

 

What are the links and what runs were the most challenging and why? as well supply pics


Question 1:  Chamonix

 

Question 2: Search function on Epic and/or Google

post #4 of 66

Way to broad of a Question

 

Challenging - to whom ?    Chamonix to really good skiers -  Donner Ski Ranch to beginners and every other resort worldwide to all of us in between people.

post #5 of 66

 Chamonix is the hardest by a longshot. Nothing comes close, not St Anton or Verbier or Jackson Hole or Snowbird. Why? Tons and tons of steep chutes and  couloirs and deadly fatal runs with lots of glaciers.

 

I also believe that the hardest European resorts are harder than the hardest North American resorts. There's usually more steeps (because of lots more terrain), more vertical (steeps are usually longer), and less snow (tougher conditions). That's just my overview from skiing Squaw Valley, Jackson Hole, and Heavenly in NA and Val D'Isere, Kitzbuhel, and Verbier in Europe.

post #6 of 66

Might want to take this one to google. Asking people to not only answer your question but post pics and specific runs is a little presumptuous. Just do a search for "World's Toughest ski Resorts/runs" and you'll come up with something--a lot of something more than likely.

 

Not from experience so much as reading, I'd say Chamonix and Verbier would be up there. In North America, you'd be looking at Whistler, Jackson Hole, Squaw, Snowbird, Silverton....You can Google trail maps and pics on your own.

post #7 of 66

Challenging - to whom ?    Chamonix to really good skiers -  Donner Ski Ranch to beginners and every other resort worldwide to all of us in between people.

 

Oh come on now--his question was broad, but not for that reason. A a resort with the "world's most challenging runs" is a resort that would challenge any and all skiers. Donner Ski Ranch may be challenging for beginners, but no skier with a tenth of a clue would ever include it on a list of challenging resorts. 

post #8 of 66

I always heard it was Chamonix.  Wanna die inbounds, go there.

post #9 of 66

 

Quote:
I always heard it was Chamonix.  Wanna die inbounds, go there.

 

There is no "inbounds" or "out of bounds" in Europe. It's either your between some colored poles 50 feet apart that's usually groomed or you're on your own. The marked pistes at Chamonix are pretty limited to my knowledge (never been, but from various readings and people).

post #10 of 66

Mad River Glen - Ski it if you can!

 

You can have the steep rocky chutes - I don't feel like dying just yet.  The classic New England tight double fall line tree runs are a challenge to ski well.  [Not that the trees can't kill me of course].

 

Just got back from Jay Peak in northern VT.  There is some extremely challenging terrain there - Face Chutes, Tuckerman's Chute off the Tram are the toughest.  Everglade and Staircase seem like the toughest glade runs - one narrow lane and they go on for ever. Tons of other great glades that we spent 2 days enjoying very much like Bonnaventure, Andre's Paradise, Timbuktu, and Canyonland.  Ouch says my body.  Boo-yah says the rest of me.

 

Jay is a big tough mountain.  Been there a half dozen times but hadn't really a got a sense of the scale of the place because its always so cloudy you can't see anything (and usually frigid and windy).  Well, there were some sun breaks amid heavy snow showers for 2 days, with some ridiculously amazing views from up top.  Moderate temps (about 15 F), light and variable winds (about 30 mph up top - brrr) - which easily beats the -30 F it was the weekend prior.         

post #11 of 66


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lkazzi View Post

Mad River Glen - Ski it if you can!

 

You can have the steep rocky chutes - I don't feel like dying just yet.  The classic New England tight double fall line tree runs are a challenge to ski well.  [Not that the trees can't kill me of course].

 

Just got back from Jay Peak in northern VT.  There is some extremely challenging terrain there - Face Chutes, Tuckerman's Chute off the Tram are the toughest.  Everglade and Staircase seem like the toughest glade runs - one narrow lane and they go on for ever. Tons of other great glades that we spent 2 days enjoying very much like Bonnaventure, Andre's Paradise, Timbuktu, and Canyonland.  Ouch says my body.  Boo-yah says the rest of me.

 

Jay is a big tough mountain.  Been there a half dozen times but hadn't really a got a sense of the scale of the place because its always so cloudy you can't see anything (and usually frigid and windy).  Well, there were some sun breaks amid heavy snow showers for 2 days, with some ridiculously amazing views from up top.  Moderate temps (about 15 F), light and variable winds (about 30 mph up top - brrr) - which easily beats the -30 F it was the weekend prior.         


 

your funny although a day at MRG skiing the hardest stuff is one of the hardest days in skiing, there is no real fall consequence at MRG.

 

post #12 of 66

This is a weird thread. But anyway, the standard line these days is that La Grave is more challenging than Chamonix. And probably Alagna would be considered tougher than Chamonix too by people who weigh in on these kinds of things. But this is a weird thread.

IMV, the hardest is probably some gaper-filled ice sheet of manmade snow at an overcrowded hill on the east coast. Hardest to love, anyway.

post #13 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by prickly View Post

This is a weird thread. But anyway, the standard line these days is that La Grave is more challenging than Chamonix. And probably Alagna would be considered tougher than Chamonix too by people who weigh in on these kinds of things. But this is a weird thread.

IMV, the hardest is probably some gaper-filled ice sheet of manmade snow at an overcrowded hill on the east coast. Hardest to love, anyway.



         funny looking babies deserve love too!

post #14 of 66

I think that is a good point; at what point do you cross from "skiing" to "borderline controlled free fall on skis". I don't consider hucking a cliff skiing I consider it cliff jumping; the skiing is getting to and hopefully away from the cliff. I enjoy challenging myself skiing but when the whole point of skiing a run, like the extreme chutes at Chamonix, is to see if you can do something without dieing then I don't consider it skiing anymore when it gets to that point, I just call it gambling.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lkazzi View Post

Mad River Glen - Ski it if you can!

 

You can have the steep rocky chutes - I don't feel like dying just yet.  The classic New England tight double fall line tree runs are a challenge to ski well.  [Not that the trees can't kill me of course].

 

post #15 of 66
Didn't Cake have an album called Prolonging the Agony?

Anyway, at the risk of doing just that, let me say this: every mountain -- and I do mean mountain, not ridge or hump or hillock -- has its no-fall zones. Whether these are often skiable or accessible by those of us who aren't mountain goats or equipped with a helicopter is another matter.

But Chamonix, Alagna, St Anton all have these, as do Jackson Hole and Snowbird and a host of other places, even my home hill. So unless your home mtn is Campgaw, there might well be something dangerously unskiable awaiting you. To quote that great ski authority, Francois Mitterand, "et alors?"

I will say this. The one place I saw tracks that blew me away, that seemed to be in a spot only a chamois could have reached? Verbier. But whatevah.
post #16 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by prickly View Post

I will say this. The one place I saw tracks that blew me away, that seemed to be in a spot only a chamois could have reached? Verbier. But whatevah.


I can second this. I arrived there after a week without snow. There were tracks in every nook and crannie, at the bottom of massive cliffs, moguls starting to develop in 10 footwide 45 degree couloirs, straightlines through half a ski length wide chutes ending in cliffs, etc. Some damn good skiers there, and it's known to have the biggest powder hounds in the Alps, with all the main off piste being skied out by noon.

post #17 of 66

PHHHFWWW....easy peasy.....Vailrolleyes.gif

post #18 of 66

The other interesting thing about Verbier: you never seem to see any of those great skiers, you just see the tracks. It's like they're made by ghosts.

post #19 of 66

A guy at work about a dozen years ago was over in Italy on a job and when his work was completed he went to Chamonix for  a few days. My co worker was a damn good skier, very athletic, former instructor etc. Anyway, he met some locals and they showed him all the "god stuff". He was skiing some chutes that he remarked that you just couldn't fall. He apparently did and came back with a an arm that was all cut up and scraped. He rented some skis (Tua) and took them back fearing that he would get hurt they were so awful.

 

So when he got back I asked how Chamonix was and he told me that if a family (the Griswalds for example) went over there and rode the tram and had no idea where to ski , you could easily die if you picked the wrong decent down. I remember he brought back a real neat jean collared shirt that had a large Chamonix logo on the back.

 

He was completely blown away by the mountain and the skiing.

post #20 of 66

There are some very steep chutes at Chamonix. But there are steep chutes throughout the Alps. I was on one yesterday, it doesn't even have a name. Falling would not have been a good idea. Edges would have been, but that's another matter.

post #21 of 66

Wisp, MD  biggrin.gif

post #22 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by prickly View Post

There are some very steep chutes at Chamonix. But there are steep chutes throughout the Alps. I was on one yesterday, it doesn't even have a name. Falling would not have been a good idea. Edges would have been, but that's another matter.



Very true, but I believe Chamonix has the most of these extreme, fatal chutes and it's where ski mountaineering started which gives the place its legend.

post #23 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by prickly View Post

This is a weird thread. But anyway, the standard line these days is that La Grave is more challenging than Chamonix. And probably Alagna would be considered tougher than Chamonix too by people who weigh in on these kinds of things. But this is a weird thread.

IMV, the hardest is probably some gaper-filled ice sheet of manmade snow at an overcrowded hill on the east coast. Hardest to love, anyway.

 

I was going to say that too. Here "resort" would mean ability to go from sipping a Latte to no fall zone with one lift. It's not Chamonix in the resort context.

 

Hunter Mt. is the answer to your second query.

Btw, what type of skis are they using in those no fall areas?

post #24 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tog View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by prickly View Post

This is a weird thread. But anyway, the standard line these days is that La Grave is more challenging than Chamonix. And probably Alagna would be considered tougher than Chamonix too by people who weigh in on these kinds of things. But this is a weird thread.

IMV, the hardest is probably some gaper-filled ice sheet of manmade snow at an overcrowded hill on the east coast. Hardest to love, anyway.

 

I was going to say that too. Here "resort" would mean ability to go from sipping a Latte to no fall zone with one lift. It's not Chamonix in the resort context.

 

Hunter Mt. is the answer to your second query.

Btw, what type of skis are they using in those no fall areas?


 

Nah, Hunter isn't too icy in my opinion. I imagine from what I've heard that Blue Mountain and Camelback are really bad on that icy scale.

post #25 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by skiking4 View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by Tog View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by prickly View Post

This is a weird thread. But anyway, the standard line these days is that La Grave is more challenging than Chamonix. And probably Alagna would be considered tougher than Chamonix too by people who weigh in on these kinds of things. But this is a weird thread.

IMV, the hardest is probably some gaper-filled ice sheet of manmade snow at an overcrowded hill on the east coast. Hardest to love, anyway.

 

I was going to say that too. Here "resort" would mean ability to go from sipping a Latte to no fall zone with one lift. It's not Chamonix in the resort context.

 

Hunter Mt. is the answer to your second query.

Btw, what type of skis are they using in those no fall areas?


 

Nah, Hunter isn't too icy in my opinion. I imagine from what I've heard that Blue Mountain and Camelback are really bad on that icy scale.

 

If you want ice go to Whiteface, not only is it big and windy, the swings in temps there make it rain then flash freeze to give you a 4876' ice mogul of defeat.  Hunter is cake..,,Annapurna can be pretty nasty, but it isnt boilerplate huge "Iceface" peak.
 

post #26 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by lkazzi View Post

Mad River Glen - Ski it if you can!

 

You can have the steep rocky chutes - I don't feel like dying just yet.  The classic New England tight double fall line tree runs are a challenge to ski well.  [Not that the trees can't kill me of course].

 

Just got back from Jay Peak in northern VT.  There is some extremely challenging terrain there - Face Chutes, Tuckerman's Chute off the Tram are the toughest.  Everglade and Staircase seem like the toughest glade runs - one narrow lane and they go on for ever. Tons of other great glades that we spent 2 days enjoying very much like Bonnaventure, Andre's Paradise, Timbuktu, and Canyonland.  Ouch says my body.  Boo-yah says the rest of me.

 

Jay is a big tough mountain.  Been there a half dozen times but hadn't really a got a sense of the scale of the place because its always so cloudy you can't see anything (and usually frigid and windy).  Well, there were some sun breaks amid heavy snow showers for 2 days, with some ridiculously amazing views from up top.  Moderate temps (about 15 F), light and variable winds (about 30 mph up top - brrr) - which easily beats the -30 F it was the weekend prior.         

How many Jay Peaks are there in Northern Vermont? 

The one I was at didn't have what I would call extremely challenging terrain.th_dunno-1[1].gif.

 


 

post #27 of 66


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by lkazzi View Post

Mad River Glen - Ski it if you can!

 

You can have the steep rocky chutes - I don't feel like dying just yet.  The classic New England tight double fall line tree runs are a challenge to ski well.  [Not that the trees can't kill me of course].

 

Just got back from Jay Peak in northern VT.  There is some extremely challenging terrain there - Face Chutes, Tuckerman's Chute off the Tram are the toughest.  Everglade and Staircase seem like the toughest glade runs - one narrow lane and they go on for ever. Tons of other great glades that we spent 2 days enjoying very much like Bonnaventure, Andre's Paradise, Timbuktu, and Canyonland.  Ouch says my body.  Boo-yah says the rest of me.

 

Jay is a big tough mountain.  Been there a half dozen times but hadn't really a got a sense of the scale of the place because its always so cloudy you can't see anything (and usually frigid and windy).  Well, there were some sun breaks amid heavy snow showers for 2 days, with some ridiculously amazing views from up top.  Moderate temps (about 15 F), light and variable winds (about 30 mph up top - brrr) - which easily beats the -30 F it was the weekend prior.         

How many Jay Peaks are there in Northern Vermont? 

The one I was at didn't have what I would call extremely challenging terrain.th_dunno-1[1].gif.

 


 


 

there is challenging stuff their. I for one would love to see video of you skiing glades with out a pole touch. That challenging and youd have to be pretty good to accomplish it.

 

 

post #28 of 66


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tylrwnzl View Post

I think that is a good point; at what point do you cross from "skiing" to "borderline controlled free fall on skis". I don't consider hucking a cliff skiing I consider it cliff jumping; the skiing is getting to and hopefully away from the cliff. I enjoy challenging myself skiing but when the whole point of skiing a run, like the extreme chutes at Chamonix, is to see if you can do something without dieing then I don't consider it skiing anymore when it gets to that point, I just call it gambling.


 



I think anyone who cant take small amount of air isnt a complete skier. Small cliffs and mandatory airs are quite often the gate ways to some REALLY good snow because tons of people draws that line and put a limit on themselves that isnt their true limit.

post #29 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA View Post


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tylrwnzl View Post

I think that is a good point; at what point do you cross from "skiing" to "borderline controlled free fall on skis". I don't consider hucking a cliff skiing I consider it cliff jumping; the skiing is getting to and hopefully away from the cliff. I enjoy challenging myself skiing but when the whole point of skiing a run, like the extreme chutes at Chamonix, is to see if you can do something without dieing then I don't consider it skiing anymore when it gets to that point, I just call it gambling.


 



I think anyone who cant take small amount of air isnt a complete skier. Small cliffs and mandatory airs are quite often the gate ways to some REALLY good snow because tons of people draws that line and put a limit on themselves that isnt their true limit.

There is a huge difference between a small amount of air (<20' cliff drop) and cliff hucking or skiing very steep and perilous chutes where a slight miscalculation means certain injury and or death. 
 

post #30 of 66


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA View Post


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by lkazzi View Post

Mad River Glen - Ski it if you can!

 

You can have the steep rocky chutes - I don't feel like dying just yet.  The classic New England tight double fall line tree runs are a challenge to ski well.  [Not that the trees can't kill me of course].

 

Just got back from Jay Peak in northern VT.  There is some extremely challenging terrain there - Face Chutes, Tuckerman's Chute off the Tram are the toughest.  Everglade and Staircase seem like the toughest glade runs - one narrow lane and they go on for ever. Tons of other great glades that we spent 2 days enjoying very much like Bonnaventure, Andre's Paradise, Timbuktu, and Canyonland.  Ouch says my body.  Boo-yah says the rest of me.

 

Jay is a big tough mountain.  Been there a half dozen times but hadn't really a got a sense of the scale of the place because its always so cloudy you can't see anything (and usually frigid and windy).  Well, there were some sun breaks amid heavy snow showers for 2 days, with some ridiculously amazing views from up top.  Moderate temps (about 15 F), light and variable winds (about 30 mph up top - brrr) - which easily beats the -30 F it was the weekend prior.         

How many Jay Peaks are there in Northern Vermont? 

The one I was at didn't have what I would call extremely challenging terrain.th_dunno-1[1].gif.

 


 


 

there is challenging stuff their. I for one would love to see video of you skiing glades with out a pole touch. That challenging and youd have to be pretty good to accomplish it.

 

 

Oh, I agree there is lots of challenging stuff there.  You can challenge yourself in a lot of places by seeing how fast you can make it down, but you can also take it easy in those same places.  It's the word "extremely" that implies more dangerous terrain to me, more like what you would label as "cliff area" if you were to put it on a map.  Skiing glades can be challenging, but it's not the same as skiing steeps with no-fall zones.
 

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