or Connect
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › General Skiing Discussion › Steepest Ski Resorts in the World
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

# Steepest Ski Resorts in the World - Page 6

Without getting into an argument of what's the steepest, which as Tony points out is pretty meaningless, I'm surprised no one has brought up Mt Rose, which has the Chutes, which are long, fairly steep lines comparable to Chute 75 at Squaw. Anyone visiting the Tahoe area and looking for steeps would do well to check that place out.

Not that I really want to do this but.... if we wanted to quantify steepest resort I think we would just look at the average slope of all "expert" marked terrain and as another criteria what % of the mountain makes up the expert terrain and then plug those two #s into a well thought out equation like the BCS :) and spit out a number and then rankem. ie. (ave slope of expert terrain in degrees x %mtn expert terrain)  =

BCS has a more complex equation

Quote:
Originally Posted by agreen

Not that I really want to do this but.... if we wanted to quantify steepest resort I think we would just look at the average slope of all "expert" marked terrain and as another criteria what % of the mountain makes up the expert terrain and then plug those two #s into a well thought out equation like the BCS :) and spit out a number and then rankem. ie. (ave slope of expert terrain in degrees x %mtn expert terrain)  =

BCS has a more complex equation

That's almost as bad as figuring out a golf handicap.

Quote:
Tony, how does the topography of the Alps and the Chugach match up in your estimation?  The snow will be a world apart but with the scale and steepness are they close?

There is a mathematical measure of this: http://www.peaklist.org/spire/rug/rugged-ranges.html

By mathematical measure the Alps are nearly twice as tall and cover a larger surface area.  So if you take the most rugged section of the Alps that cover the same surface area as the Chugach, you get a bigger number.

What distinguishes the Chugach is the snow.  It is very rare elsewhere for snow to stick to terrain that steep and long and be safely skiable.  Ski mountaineers in the Alps wait for years sometimes for the right day when an extreme line is skiable.

The above website (home page http://www.peaklist.org/spire/) is quite fascinating.  For those of you who have traveled to numerous mountain ranges of the world, you will find that Spire Measure corresponds quite closely to subjective visual impact and impressiveness.

My list of "impressive mountains" by Spire Measure:

Denali (1243) intermittently seen from a fair distance through clouds in Aug. 2001.

Fitzroy (1150) clear view from Laguna de Los Tres, Nov. 2011

Aconcagua (975) Sept. 2007 distant view but very clear weather as viewed from Arpa snowcat

Matterhorn (970) Feb. 2014 more than lives up to its billing on a clear ski day in Zermatt

Mont Blanc (905) Feb. 2004 closest view from Aiguille de Midi, best sense of scale from Brevant

Mt. Cook (860) Aug. 1982 from hotel at base and very close from skiplane

Mt. Rainier (827) Summer 1986 and skiing at Crystal Feb. 1993,  Apr. 2000 and July 2012

La Meije at La Grave (748) Mar. 2008

Fitzroy, the Matterhorn and Mt. Cook were most impressive as I saw them quite close up.

Highest climbed:

Mt. Fuji (730) July 2009 no view in the foul weather

Mt. Shasta (675) June 2011, 1000 ft short of summit, but did ski from there

Half Dome (580) Sept. 1981

Zugspitze (535) Aug. 1999 rode tram to top

San Jacinto (494) July 1998, carried skis but summited too late to use them

Edited by Tony Crocker - 4/22/15 at 5:59pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by mogulover

WTH is wrong with all you whiners and nitpickers out there?

The subject of the thread is everyone's personal view and creation of their OWN list of any number from 1-25 resorts qualifying as World's Top 25 Steepest Ski Resorts (the "DESIGNATION"), based on each resort's entire, overall, skiable, lift-served terrain.  Thus, the purpose of the thread focuses on substantive input from the readers - not critique of my opinion - as to THEIR opinion on resorts making the DESIGNATION.  Hence, the OP plainly asks: "What say you as to your opinion on the DESIGNATION?"  THAT IS THE TOPIC - NOT ALL THIS OTHER B.S.  So now let us review the question to which the readers respond per the OP:

What say you as to YOUR opinion on which resorts as YOU believe make-up or make it onto the Top 25 Steepest Ski Resorts in the World?

Thank you!

Because it's the internet and opinions will be argued,,,,    :)       And Alta being on that list is a joke...  mammoth is steeper.  :P

Quote:
Originally Posted by LizzyVL

Sorry don’t know many US resorts only skied a few times over there. I am an Alpes man.  Started skiing there when I was four and have skied some 50 resorts there.  Verbier is nice.  I was a ski instructor there (many years ago) It has a nice run, the Tortin but overall it is not such a difficult resort.  Chamonix is nice but is mainly known since it is the resort for the rich and famous.

If you are going for pure skiing however you want to go to something like Alpe D’huez.  It has some of the steeper slopes in Europe. On a cold and icy day “Le tunnel” is for many people daunting and some will even turn back up the tunnel.  In the early days they didn’t have the fence and you could go straight when coming out of the tunnel.  After a fresh coat of snow you could jump and make a 30 foot drop before hitting the snow.  Pure bliss, closest thing to a heli-drop.  It also has the Sarenne, one of the longest black slopes we have in Europe (16Km, about 10 miles).  It is really nice. But also the other slopes have a nice standard.

Damn! Both on the YouTube video in your post (at about two to five minutes in the video - especially after exiting the impressive tunnel to arrive at the actual piste) and on the trail map, Le tunnel piste @ Alpe D'huez looks brutal and exhilarating at the same time!* What a shame they put up that wire fence just out of the access tube!  Would you say that - overall (all lift served pists included) - Alpe D'huez is the steepest resort in the Alps?

Edited by mogulover - 5/14/13 at 2:10pm

Due to the population / pop density of Europe and the love of skiing there are literally hundreds of ski resorts in the Alps.  Many very big.  I doubt there are many people who have truely even scraped the surface and generally many people tend to stick to a country or language region (for me I stick to French speaking France).  Due to the nature of the terrain, even many 'family resorts', not known for steep skiing will have at least some steep stuff, both on and offpiste.  To summarize then, I don't think you can categorize the Alps via rating of steepness / challenge.  In the same way you can't really compare snowfalls, especially to places like North America as mostly in the Alps the snowfalls are measured lower down mountain, no body knows the exact snowfalls up mountain (too exposed for weather stations), other than vaguely with the general rule that its usually a lot more and no doubt some of the resorts in the Alps have snowfalls in the same calibre as the very snowy ones in North America (however that cannot absolutely be validated with exact figures).

Other well known ski resorts with a reputation for extreme skiing;

Engelberg
Andermatt
St. Anton

These are German speaking resorts, I havn't checked them out yet, would quite like to one day however.  Caucasus look interesting too (Russia / Georgia), Elbrus looks narly and in summer you can ski right up to 4,600m so loads of summer vertical!

Typo; instead of French speaking France (duh!) French speaking Alps I meant to say.  lol

Gudauri Georgia looks like another good destination;

Regarding Caucasus; I have no idea about what is lift accessible but certainly the terrain is there, the resorts are really still early in their development.  Pegged as one of the new frontiers in skiing.  Something to look out for in the future I think (provided the region settles its tensions).

Quote:
Originally Posted by lex007

Krasnaya Polyana is on my wish list;

You might want to give it a couple of seasons before going. It should be pretty busy next winter because of the Olympics and perhaps the season after that from people whose curiosity was aroused by the Olympics. But I imagine it will be pretty empty in the 2015-16 season and onwards.

Yep, my sentiments exactly.  Plus I want to know more about the resort before I commit to a trip.  To do that I am going to observe the feedback over next couple seasons, regarding lift access etc.

Great potential for sure.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lex007

Yep, my sentiments exactly.  Plus I want to know more about the resort before I commit to a trip.  To do that I am going to observe the feedback over next couple seasons, regarding lift access etc.

Great potential for sure.

The more pressing concern should be the hassles involved with travelling to that part of the world. The current visa requirements and lack of direct flights to Sochi make it expensive and time consuming.

Also, getting around any part of Russia isn't that easy given the small number of English speakers and the lack of signage in Roman letters. Plus, the service industry in the country just isn't great. In general, they don't do themselves any favors when it comes to attracting tourists. Maybe the Olympics will change that, but I doubt it.

I personally wouldn't mind going since I used to live in Russia, so I can speak and read the language and I have a good idea of what to expect in terms of (lack of) service and other issues. But at the moment, I wouldn't recommend it for a lot of people.

Depends on the ambitions of the resorts.

From the investment presentations I have seen delivered by those representing Russian Caucasus resorts, the ambition (at least what they were marketing) was for international clients a long with national (the norm for most world class resorts).  So with that naturally the English language would be somewhat of a necessity (at least to a so so working level).

I suspect, in time, provided Sochi is a success after Olympics, London, Amsterdam and Frankfurt will likely run direct flights.

I heard about customer service, but with that much invested, there will be a need for a solid return, you will not achieve that through poor customer service, therefore, by default, good management would have to make that a focus.

Needless to say however, if the skiing is good, no matter the customer service, devoted skiers will come, even if its just for a 'one-off' 'sampling' trip.

Anyway, this is a post regarding steep skiing, no doubt the potential of the Caucasus (a long with a lot of ranges around the world) is very good.  Will be interesting to see how it materializes.  Certainly the ambition for world class resorts is far beyond anywhere else further East in Asia (excluding Japan) at present which is why many see it as a potential new frontier.

La Grave should be I all technical skiers hit list. Stay at the Skier's Lodge = fantastic experience.

I'm sorry but none of those come close to the steepness of Alyeska, Alaska. Except for Corbets which is a 25 to 30 foot drop and then it's easy skiing.I just wanted I point that out I know u can't put all the steep ski resorts in the world on there.
Quote:
Originally Posted by AKripper32

I'm sorry but none of those come close to the steepness of Alyeska, Alaska. Except for Corbets which is a 25 to 30 foot drop and then it's easy skiing.I just wanted I point that out I know u can't put all the steep ski resorts in the world on there.

I'm pretty sure if you just looked ONE post above yours you'd see that your comment isn't true. Le Grave holds some of the toughest and best off piste skiing in the world.

OP should go check the steepest ski data he cites - the High Rustler entry has been 'fixed', it's 36 degrees on average with a steepest section of 38 degrees. Interesting that folks here using basic trigonometry and google earth figured out the incline back-of-the-envelope, now that impressed me totally! They hit both the 36 deg and the 38 deg calc dead on the money. Nothing like doing your own work, OP should recall Gipper's adage "Trust but verify" (no comment on Gipper himself, character or brains so please am ducking that).

La Grave is steep, but I would suggest that most European resorts have couloirs and cliffs with incredible entries and so on which are all 50degrees or so..like this video - look at it, it's Val D'Isere, P4 couloir, it's off-piste but in-bounds, and frankly i have no idea where the heck this one is... ! If you get my drift...the steepness and just incredibly dangerous access.

Note this person would like to avoid such terrain at all costs but have not always been successful but still alive and breathing at last check..

And having skied Highland Bowl in 2014 with Mr. Barnes - a lot of the 'runs' or 'aspects' there are a healthy 38 deg plus, 40 deg plus and some hit 45 degrees: From their calculations which are absolutely credible as half of Epic Ski founders ski there and will attest to it in court..I am sure: here is the data for Highland Bowl from the Aspen crew always available, the average pitch for the 1000 plus feet is severe and will match anything Alta or Snowbird can throw at a skier :

Then there is something from personal experience, steepest thing I can recall being on but until then scariest but have now been scared slightly more at Val D'Isere - the Sapphire Chutes, and a authority who did the calculations posted the inclines - and by the way, they are STRAIGHT down, no slope incline reduction all the bloody way down at all..check these calculations by accurate amateur geographers/topographers:

Sapphire Chutes in Blackcomb Glacier : sustained for a ways about 46.5, and 44.25 and 42 degrees - source link below:

http://www.epicski.com/t/127713/extreme-chutes-50-degree-couloirs-and-straightlines/210#post_1732537

Then there is this in Whistler-Blackcomb too: Quote: I believe that False Face is about 44-49 degrees, I think Excitation might be 45-51, and Exhilaration is 46-55 (I know that for a fact) Source link: http://www.epicski.com/t/127713/extreme-chutes-50-degree-couloirs-and-straightlines/210#post_1732377

Heavenly's 11 couloir : Quote:

Heavenly's 11 Couloir has an average pitch of 52.4 degrees, for the top eight turns are from 58-68*. 50+ degree couloirs have an average pitch of 50 degrees. Source link: http://www.epicski.com/t/127713/extreme-chutes-50-degree-couloirs-and-straightlines/60#post_1730362

Then there is Bob Peters - the JH resident scientist topographer : Quote: Other than a few spots inbounds that are 50 degrees (that I've measured, actually) for maybe three turns or so, there's just nothing inbounds that's even 45 degrees.  Sorry I couldn't add to the OP's list.  I feel badly about that. But he mentions something called "Zero G" which is backcountry but clearly north of 50 degrees if it holds ant snow at all. source link:  http://www.epicski.com/t/127713/extreme-chutes-50-degree-couloirs-and-straightlines/120#post_1731213

And then there are these casual guys entering Vallon de la Sache - off the tough entry, hike up from Aiguille Percee in Tignes and hook right..some skiing and these are two local recreational skiers for all I can tell..our entry where you hook left at the top of the 5-8 minute hike was roughly 40 degrees for a good 50 meters, but this is a lot steeper...

Just stumbled on this thread today and was grinning, Alta-Bird is a great legendary place, global icons, and v tough to ski too but ....

Edited by dustyfog - 4/22/15 at 5:15pm
Quote:

Alta

Snowbird (West Baldy Chutes falling down into Snowbird's Peruvian Basin)

Snowbird

The first pic is the Fingers at Squaw.  (Surprised all you Squaw regulars let him get away with that mistake.)

The second pic isn't Snowbird, it's shot 22 off of Fantasy Ridge at Solitude.  (Which was panned for no steep terrain in this thread, heh.)

The only name that is correct in the third pic is Great Scott.

(I know the thread is a couple years old, but I couldn't let the errors go, lol.)

^^ It's because literally almost every picture in that post you're quoting is incorrect (there's a bunch more obviously).  It was so incredibly wrong that it didn't even require correction.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dustyfog

OP should go check the steepest ski data he cites - the High Rustler entry has been 'fixed', it's 36 degrees on average with a steepest section of 38 degrees. Interesting that folks here using basic trigonometry and google earth figured out the incline...

There was so much crap thrown about by mathless types that much correction was needed.

...look at it, it's Val D'Isere, P4 couloir, it's off-piste but in-bounds...

Sure, but to be fair there are no "bounds" in European skiing.  There are marked runs which are inspected and tested for avalanche danger, then there is all the rest.

...here is the data for Highland Bowl from the Aspen crew always available, the average pitch for the 1000 plus feet is severe and will match anything Alta or Snowbird can throw at a skier...

True.  Snowbird's many runs off the west side of the central ridge and several at the west end of the area have similar drops, some close to 1000' vert.  Big Sky/Moonlight has a bunch of badass runs off the north and west of Lone Peak.  Crystal Mountain has the Bear Pits...there might be some others in the ballpark.

Heavenly's 11 Couloir

You meant Heaven's Eleven.  FIFY

That is not inbounds or sidecountry and and it's a helluva long way from California!

Then there is Bob Peters...  ...he mentions something called "Zero G" which is backcountry but clearly north of 50 degrees...

It's one of a great number of JH sidecountry runs.  Jackson's sidecountry is typically more challenging than its inbounds terrain, yet has better back-to-lift access than  most.  It's a big reason why Jackson receives so many best-of votes for terrain.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BobMc

The first pic is the Fingers at Squaw...

...The second pic isn't Snowbird, it's shot 22 off of Fantasy Ridge at Solitude... ...The only name that is correct in the third pic is Great Scott.

Thanks for corrections; yes the Fingers are hard to mistake for anything else.  Fantasy Ridge is very impressive.  The cirque at Snowbird is really fun but so short.  I've seen some video of the boney shot on skier's right of Great Scott, dunno if it has a name.  Anyhow I can't ski any of this stuff now except maybe open sections of the cirque.

Quote:
Originally Posted by whippersnapper

Heavenly's 11 Couloir

You meant Heaven's Eleven.  FIFY

That is not inbounds or sidecountry and and it's a helluva long way from California!

Thanks for the refinements, and yeah, most, correction all of these are not for me, I just forgot "Follow me Dad" is a threat and landed up above the Sapphire Chutes, and similarly in Highland Bowl, Bob made the hike sound like a walk amongst wildflowers...and 11 year old said, "let's do it"...

Where is Heaven's 11 by the way?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dustyfog

Where is Heaven's 11 by the way?

Backcountry near Telluride.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JayT

^^ It's because literally almost every picture in that post you're quoting is incorrect (there's a bunch more obviously).  It was so incredibly wrong that it didn't even require correction.

Yeah, there was so much fail in that post, it almost came around to a win, but it failed at that too.

As far as steep terrain, I got into Stauffenberg at Taos in March. Took quite a while up top to nerve up and get in there. Lots and lots of fun when the butterflies died down.  There is always something steeper, but that is the steepest sustained thing I got to ski last year.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JayT

^^ It's because literally almost every picture in that post you're quoting is incorrect (there's a bunch more obviously).  It was so incredibly wrong that it didn't even require correction.

Hmm, actually most of the rest of them look pretty correct to me. I even recognize Tyrone Shoelaces in one of the Kirkwood pics. I could be wrong on a couple others, I've never left the states to ski so I'm not sure on the European ones.

Which ones do you think are wrong?

PS it's pretty obvious the op was a kook of sorts.
Quote:
Originally Posted by dustyfog

Thanks for the refinements, and yeah, most, correction all of these are not for me, I just forgot "Follow me Dad" is a threat and landed up above the Sapphire Chutes, and similarly in Highland Bowl, Bob made the hike sound like a walk amongst wildflowers...and 11 year old said, "let's do it"...

Where is Heaven's 11 by the way?

Hey dustyfog.  Oh, that's so funny:

Nice!

JayT answered you on Heaven's Eleven.  That is the scariest-looking line I've ever seen.  Kim Havell made the first female descent described in a TGR thread below, but the pics and video are gone, I can't find a good video...Kim's POV was scary as shit.  The whole route is a crux, her ski tips and tails were catching, releasing...just inches of traverse at best. (Damn TGR's elimination of their best photography!):

Cheers

One thing is clear--you will never be able to tell what is the steepest from a Go Pro video.

Years ago there was an outfit --maybe it was called ski the other side?--that would guide people around the off piste at Alta--show people places like High Greeley, Eagle's Nest, etc, that the average tourist wouldn't find on his own. It was run by a couple. The poster advertising the service showed the woman skiing the main Baldy Chute, taken from above. The picture made the chute look so benign that Alta made them take the posters down, because people were thinking it was benign and getting themselves in trouble. Not a GoPro shot but same idea.

Quote:
Originally Posted by whippersnapper

Hey dustyfog.  Oh, that's so funny:

Nice!

JayT answered you on Heaven's Eleven.  That is the scariest-looking line I've ever seen.  Kim Havell made the first female descent described in a TGR thread below, but the pics and video are gone, I can't find a good video...Kim's POV was scary as shit.  The whole route is a crux, her ski tips and tails were catching, releasing...just inches of traverse at best. (Damn TGR's elimination of their best photography!):

Cheers

Found this on YouTube: This is up there with anything anywhere in the world, had no idea Telluride backcountry had this in store for the intrepid, and here there are 4 of them...

Glad to watch from the comfort of a MacBook screen! Our most recent trip to L'Espace Killy hit my Outer Limits without question, and this is Outer Space  from this person's perspective-matches anything anywhere, Alps, US, Canada...talk about narrow, steep, and just pure adrenaline. Definitely very high consequence couloir...

This was another couloir in the same general area I presume, some of you may have skied these two for all I know..put your hands up, guilty parties, salud!

Trying to find a decent pic of Heaven's Eleven.  It's so narrow, typically 5-6 feet wide, it looks like a razor cut in the face, hardly any snow is visible.  It's the last photo in this group.  Don't forget to turn left before the cliff.

http://unofficialnetworks.com/2011/10/tellurides-chair-14-gold-hill-express

Little Wasatch Face's Heaven's Eleven Couloir - Photo: Chason Russell

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
Return Home
Back to Forum: General Skiing Discussion
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › General Skiing Discussion › Steepest Ski Resorts in the World