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Ski resort vertical drop

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
I was wondering which resort has the greatest vertical drop in the world. Does anyone know? Is anyone aware of any resorts larger than revelstoke or whistler?
post #2 of 19
You're looking at the wrong continent. The vertical drops in the Alps dwarf anything in North America.
post #3 of 19

Are you looking for biggest vertical drop in ONE single descent?

post #4 of 19

I've always thought that Chamonix was the king of lift-serviced verticle at 9000 and change?

Maybe someplace else has more but I doubt it.

post #5 of 19

Sure, the highest lift goes to Aguile Midi at just over 3800 meters. The village of chamonix is at 1035 meters, but the ski rout through the Vallee Blanche only gets you down to 1700 meters or so. And unless you have extesive local knowledge, back country training and gear and know your way around glaciers, the Vallee Blanche is accessible without a guide. 

post #6 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheizz View Post
 

Sure, the highest lift goes to Aguile Midi at just over 3800 meters. The village of chamonix is at 1035 meters, but the ski rout through the Vallee Blanche only gets you down to 1700 meters or so. And unless you have extesive local knowledge, back country training and gear and know your way around glaciers, the Vallee Blanche is accessible without a guide. 

One of the routes we took involved a bit of an uphill hike and then we were able to ski right back to town.

post #7 of 19

A little hike or mini drag lift in between... that makes all the difference. Hence my earlier question...

post #8 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Treewell View Post
 

I've always thought that Chamonix was the king of lift-serviced verticle at 9000 and change?

Maybe someplace else has more but I doubt it.

Chamonix is a town not a ski area, the valley is home to 5 ski resorts.  The Valle Blanche off of the Aiguille du Midi (technically not a ski lift or ski area) is almost 9000' when you can ski to town, but the glacier has receded far enough that you generally have to take the Montenvers train down, which cuts out some vert. 

post #9 of 19

I don't know if it's the biggest in the world, but it looks like Zermatt has ~2280 m (~7480 ft) of vertical. That's resort skiing on controlled pistes. And as far as I can tell from looking at the trail map, it's continuous vertical. You'd have to switch trails several times, but it looks like you can ski from the highest point to the lowest in one go.

post #10 of 19
post #11 of 19

From the top lift in Zermatt (3885) back to Valtournenche (1540) is quite a lot of vertical. But it is not a continuous descent, there's a lift you have to take in about half way down.

post #12 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheizz View Post
 

From the top lift in Zermatt (3885) back to Valtournenche (1540) is quite a lot of vertical. But it is not a continuous descent, there's a lift you have to take in about half way down.

 

I was just going by the piste map, but it looks like you can go from the top of Gobba di Rollin (3899 m), follow the reds down to the skier's right to head back towards Zermatt, and eventually (after several more changes), end up at the base of the P1 lift in town (listed as 1620 m).

 

I've never skied there myself, so I don't know if the numbers are accurate or if you actually can ski the entire route without taking any lifts.

 

Edit: I just read that part of the glacier is only open in the summer, so maybe you can't ski the entire thing at any one time.

post #13 of 19

The Gobba di Rollin is only open in Summer, the lower parts only in winter.So the Swiss side is never really connected without taking a lift half way down. 

post #14 of 19

From the top of the Grands Montets you can ski a piste continuously from 10.800 feet to 4100 feet. No lifts, no hiking etc. You might have to skate across the Plan de Lognan if you don't keep your speed up (crowded).

The problem with huge vertical is that you're not likely to have good snow all the way down. As a practical matter most people skiing Grands Montets,  for example, will stay at or above Plan de Lognan (6600 ft), unless it's storming. The Vallee Blanche is not a run you do over and over--once or twice per trip will usually suffice. Of course if you're a true expert you might do a bunch of runs on the north side of the Aiguille du Midi, all the way down to Chamonix, but that's lift-served ski mountaineering, not resort skiing.

post #15 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldgoat View Post
 

The problem with huge vertical is that you're not likely to have good snow all the way down.

 

And even if the snow is good the entire way, you have to deal with quite large temperature differences. If it's nice at the bottom, then it's usually quite cold at the top. If you dress for the cold at the top, then you've got to have good vents to be able to ski comfortably at the bottom.


Edited by CerebralVortex - 7/21/16 at 1:21am
post #16 of 19
"La Bellunese" is not the bigges run, but one of the best with a continous drop of 5980 feet (1810 meters). Going from 3265 down to 1455 (10711 to 4757 feet). It is a regular run/piste that anyone can ski.
Edited by Karlsson - 7/21/16 at 10:11am
post #17 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheizz View Post
 

The Gobba di Rollin is only open in Summer, the lower parts only in winter.So the Swiss side is never really connected without taking a lift half way down. 


IIRC, from Kleine Matterhorn you can ski to Trockener Steg then to Furgg to Furi to Zermatt. Or Kleine Matterhorn to Schwarzsee to Furi to Zermatt. I haven't done the whole run continuously but have done each section separately. 

post #18 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by CerebralVortex View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldgoat View Post
 

The problem with huge vertical is that you're not likely to have good snow all the way down.

 

And even if the snow is good the entire way, you have to deal with quite large temperature differences. If it's nice at the bottom, then it's usually quite cold at the top. If you dress for the cold at the top, then you've got to have good vents to be able to ski comfortably at the bottom.

We skied the VB when it was 40 below wind chill on the top---a number of has had blistering and swelling on the windward sides of our faces, and hot and calm on the endless climb up the stairs to the Montenvers lift. The worst of both worlds. (Still a great day, despite having to literally drag the guy behind me down the arete, despite he and two others getting freaked on the traverse just before the Requin hut, not carrying enough speed to get over a slight rise and winding up having to herringbone up a narrow traverse track across a 40 deg very firm slope while the guide waited below the track to try and catch them if they fell, despite the same three getting lost on the Mer de Glace (hard to do) missing the steps and heading off down the glacier with the guide hot in pursuit.)

post #19 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldgoat View Post
 

We skied the VB when it was 40 below wind chill on the top---a number of has had blistering and swelling on the windward sides of our faces, and hot and calm on the endless climb up the stairs to the Montenvers lift. The worst of both worlds. (Still a great day, despite having to literally drag the guy behind me down the arete, despite he and two others getting freaked on the traverse just before the Requin hut, not carrying enough speed to get over a slight rise and winding up having to herringbone up a narrow traverse track across a 40 deg very firm slope while the guide waited below the track to try and catch them if they fell, despite the same three getting lost on the Mer de Glace (hard to do) missing the steps and heading off down the glacier with the guide hot in pursuit.)


Sounds like an adventure!

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