Five of the Longest Ski Runs in Europe

Five of the Longest Ski Runs in Europe
Vallée Blanche, odpočinek při sjezdu v horní čísti údolí.
Autor snímku Hana Suchá
SDÍLEJ:

There’s always debate about which, exactly, are the longest ski runs in the world. We’re not going to try and resolve it - instead, here’s our list of five very long ski runs!

Vallee Blanche - Chamonix

Every skier or snowboarder should try this at least once in your life. Make sure you hire a guide as all of the different routes down involve crossing snow-bridges over crevasses. And if that sentence hasn’t put you off, then read on!

The Aiguille du Midi cable car is Europe’s highest (going to 3812m) from the town centre fo Chamonix at 1000m. Access to the glacier is through a tunnel and then down a narrow arête, where you can see the town 2700m below on your left. Typically you will be roped together for this section, so expect your heartbeat to rise!

Vallée Blanche, séracs du Géant.

There are a few options for your route down which you can decide on in consultation with your guide. They vary in difficulty, but all are around 22km long along the unmarked, unmaintained and unpatrolled Mer de Glace.

The views are stunning, with spectacular Alpine scenery of the Mont Blanc all around you. Depending on the time of year and snowpack, you can ski all the way back down into Chamonix, or you may decide to take the Montenvers railway back into town. Snowboarders beware – the last section is very flat. 

The Sarenne - Alpe d’Huez

Recognised as the longest run in Europe, the Sarenne run in Alpe d’Huez takes skiers and snowboarders from the Pic Blanc at 3300m down 16km of piste.

Alpe d´Huez a Vaujany.

This is a black run that requires not just ability, but also some decent ski fitness as it can take an hour to 90 minutes to complete the 16km.

There are wonderful views from the Pic Blanc, with famous peaks such as Mont Blanc, the Matterhorn and the Meije above La Grave all visible.

Klein Matterhorn - Cervinia

The ski resort of Cervinia sits on the Italian side of the infamous Matterhorn. The resort links up with its Swiss counterpart, Zermatt, enabling glacier skiing all year round.

It’s from this glacier at 3883m, that you can turn around and ski all the way back down to Cervinia. This 20km run takes you down easy, wide red runs to the village of Valtournenche at 1524m – a total vertical drop of almost 2400m. 

Giulia Monego (lyže) a Xavier de Le Rue (snowboard) pod Matterhornem.

Klein Matterhorn - Zermatt

Sking back down from Klein Matterhorn to Zermatt itself on the Swiss side is another long run that you can tick off the list – but it’s only a mere 13km!

The run down to this car-free resort extends over a distance of 21 km and a 2200m vertical drop from the Klein Matterhorn cable car at 3883m to the village of Zermatt at 1620m.

Giulia Monego sjíždí ledovec pod Matterhornem.

Les Arcs - Villaroger

Take the cable car to the Aiguille Rouge (which literally translates as the ‘Red Needle’) – the highest point in Les Arcs – and enjoy the wonderful views. At 3226m this is the highest point in the Paradiski ski area.

The 8km run down is a combination of black (at the top) and demanding red pistes, which take you on a vertical descent over 2000m to the small hamlet of Villaroger at 1200m.

A great tip if you’re thinking about this run is to start promptly and get to the Aiguille Rouge cable car early in the day. Queues can form later on and the runs down can fill up as well.

Les Arcs, hodně sjezdovek vede v pásmu lesa.

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