Be happy, ski more
find your holiday
30 Aug, 2023

Top 10 Black Ski Runs In Europe

Europe is a skiing paradise, offering a diverse range of slopes that cater to all skill levels. For those who crave an adrenaline rush and possess the skills to match, black runs are where the true challenge lies. These runs are steep, often ungroomed, and demand expert-level skiing or snowboarding techniques. In this article, we'll explore Europe's top 10 black ski runs, each offering a unique and exhilarating experience for thrill-seekers.

Although most of the runs here are to be found across Europe's vast alpine resorts, we've included a special mention for a run located in North America. Renowned for its impossible drop in, it even has its own yearly event where the best skiers in the world come to show exactly what they've got.

Top 10 black ski runs

1. La Face, Verbier:

Location: La Face is situated in the world-renowned ski resort of Verbier in Switzerland.

Description: This black run is an iconic Swiss descent, dropping a staggering 1,000 meters in elevation. It's famous for its relentless steepness, challenging moguls, and varied snow conditions. Expert skiers revel in the opportunity to tackle its demanding terrain and sweeping vistas.

2. Harakiri, Mayrhofen:

Location: Harakiri can be found in Mayrhofen, Austria, within the Zillertal Valley.

Description: With gradients that reach up to a jaw-dropping 78%, Harakiri is aptly named. It's Austria's steepest groomed piste and a formidable challenge for advanced skiers and snowboarders. This run demands precise control and fearlessness.

3. The Swiss Wall (La Chavanette), Avoriaz:

Location: The Swiss Wall is situated in the Portes du Soleil ski area, accessible from Avoriaz, France.

Description: Known for its moguls, steep drops, and challenging terrain, The Swiss Wall is a favorite among expert skiers. Its formidable reputation is well-deserved, making it a thrilling test for those seeking an adrenaline rush.

4. The Grand Couloir, Courchevel:

Location: You'll find The Grand Couloir in the Courchevel ski resort, part of the French Alps.

Description: This classic black run is known for its steep entry point, narrow passages, and ever-changing conditions. The Grand Couloir offers a relentless challenge that keeps expert skiers on their toes.

5. The Hidden Valley, Cortina d'Ampezzo:

Location: Cortina d'Ampezzo, located in the Italian Dolomites, is home to The Hidden Valley.

Description: This off-piste black run offers a wild adventure through breathtaking landscapes. Skiers are rewarded with stunning views, but it's essential to have advanced backcountry skills and equipment for this unforgettable experience.

6. La Sarenne, Alpe d'Huez:

Location: La Sarenne is situated in the Alpe d'Huez ski resort, offering stunning views of the French Alps.

Description: This black run is not only challenging but also one of the world's longest, spanning an impressive 16 kilometers. Skiers can expect varied terrain and magnificent vistas along this epic descent.

7. L'Aiguille Rouge, Les Arcs, France:

Location: L'Aiguille Rouge is found in the Les Arcs ski resort, offering breathtaking views of Mont Blanc and the surrounding Alps.

Description: L'Aiguille Rouge presents a formidable challenge with its steep slopes and mogul fields. The stunning alpine scenery enhances the thrill of conquering this black run.

8. Piz Nair, St. Moritz:

Location: Piz Nair is located in the luxurious ski resort of St. Moritz in Switzerland.

Description: Piz Nair offers steep, ungroomed terrain and spectacular vistas. Expert skiers relish the chance to conquer this challenging run in the heart of the Engadin Valley.

9. The Olympic Downhill, Kitzbühel, Austria:

Location: The Olympic Downhill, often referred to as the Streif, is in the famous ski resort of Kitzbühel, Austria.

Description: The Streif is the most famous downhill racecourse globally, and it lives up to its reputation. Its icy slopes, jumps, and tight turns challenge skiers to the extreme. It's a must-visit for those who crave the ultimate thrill on the slopes.

10. Corbet's Couloir, Jackson Hole, Wyoming:

Location: While not in Europe, Corbet's Couloir is located in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, USA.

Description: Corbet's Couloir is a legendary black ski run that has earned its place on this list. Known for its steep entry and narrow chute, Corbet's Couloir is often referred to as one of the most challenging inbounds ski runs globally. Dropping into the couloir requires a daring leap from a cornice, making it an exhilarating experience that attracts expert skiers and snowboarders from around the world. 

Top 10 black ski runs

Europe's (and North America's) black ski runs offer some of the most exhilarating and challenging experiences for expert skiers and snowboarders. From the iconic Swiss Wall in Les Portes du Soleil to the legendary Streif in Kitzbühel, these runs test both skill and courage. If you're an advanced winter sports enthusiast seeking the ultimate thrill on the slopes, these top 10 black runs should absolutely be on your bucket list. How many have you managed to tick off so far?