They tempt you with their length, difficulty and beautiful views. It is for them that many of us drive hundreds of kilometers through winter Europe. We present a subjective guide to the most famous ski slopes in Europe.
The extremely popular Austrian town of Sölden boasts a beautiful, 15-kilometer blue and red route. It's not too difficult. It starts at the upper station of the Gletscherexpress gondola, under the 3,250-meter Schwarze Schneid peak.
It will lead us through the gentle slope of the Rettenbach glacier and then along a several-kilometer straight section along the valley of the same name. We will cover the lowest part, surrounded by forest, along the winding and narrow red route 7a, turning into 9, which leads to the three-thousander Gaislachkogel .
The difference in altitude between the start at the Schwarze Schneid peak and the finish in the valley is 1,900 meters.
Where to stay? We recommend Camping Sölden right next to the mountain railway! The Gaislachkogelbahn cable car is only a 2-minute walk from the campsite.
Harakiri, Mayerhoffen, Austria
This is a true legend. The word harakiri means suicide in Japanese. The route is steeper than the inrun of the ski jump and is approximately 400 meters long. With an average slope of 78 percent, it's not the easiest (to put it mildly), even for the most experienced skiers.
If you make it through, be sure to immortalize the moment of triumph with the special photo service that the Mayrhofen Cable Car offers free of charge every Friday from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. It is also worth buying the "I Survived Harakiri" T-shirt - respect guaranteed.
It's best to go on the route in the morning. Haharakiri is very well prepared, there are no moguls there, but you have to be careful with frozen snow. You can get there from the center of Mayrhofen via the Penkenbahn gondola and then take the chairlift to the Penken Summit. The red route leads to Harakiri.
Remember that you cannot go back to an easier section. Harakiri is marked in black, although it should be absolute black in the physical sense ;) . Sharpen the edges of your skis or snowboard well, take a deep breath, concentrate and go down. "Horror, emotions, adrenaline" - these words are mainly heard downstairs, from people who managed to get there.
Picturesque Zermatt is located at the foot of the Matterhorn. The town is located at an altitude of 1,610 m above sea level and can only be reached by vehicles powered by an electric motor.
All fans of high altitudes will find their place there. Just below the highest point in Europe accessible by cable car (3,885 m), the route from the Little Matterhorn to Zermatt begins and is approximately 20 kilometers long.
The height difference is 2,300 m. This is a route for the hardy. The highest part leads between ice faults on the Plateau. It is flatter on the Theodul glacier. Things get more difficult on the narrow and steep sections of the Furggrat. The route almost touches the foot of the (very impressive) eastern face of the Matterhorn.
Punta Indren, Aosta Valley, Italy
For many, the most beautiful descent in Italy - the route from Punta Indren to Alagna has an elevation gain of 2,064 m. We enter Punta Indren by gondola from Passo Salati, and there is no groomed route leading down the mountain.
The easiest descent (although not very easy) - Canale del Aguilla - is marked with stakes. Naturally, it is also the most popular. The pleasure begins at an altitude of 3,260 m in the very center of the Monte-Rosa Massif.
At the beginning it is quite narrow, but after about two thirds of the entire section the route becomes wider. Below the Bocchetta intermediate station, the slope becomes so easy that even technically weaker skiers can easily reach the valley itself.
Sarenne route, Alpe d'Huez, France
It leads from the peak of Pic Blanc (3,330 m) to Alpe d'Huez (1,860 m). It is as much as 16 km long. It consists of two parts of a slightly different nature: on the first section there are many steep places with moguls, then a long flat section leads along the valley.
This is another black route for very advanced skiers and snowboarders. If we don't feel up to it, we can skip the steepest part by starting from the upper station of the Marmottes 3 gondola.
If you have not achieved ski championship yet, pay attention to two routes: Couloir - Chamois of medium difficulty level, marked with blue and red colors, and the much more difficult, red Les Rousses.
More difficult ski trails are located at an altitude of 2,700 m above sea level. They can only be accessed by the DMC ski lift. Experienced skiers should also try the Tunnel route. We have already written about the beautiful Alpe d'Huez region on Camprest.
Le Brévent, Chamonix, France
Is there a more famous ski resort in Europe than Chamonix in France? You can find several hundred kilometers of slopes there, including many black ones.
Seasoned skiers probably know the black route leading from the peak of Le Brévent (2,525 m above sea level). To get to the top, it is best to take the gondola to Planpranz , and then take another gondola directly to the top of Le Brévent.
For consolation: the black route intertwines with the blue one. It is steep, physically and technically demanding, you can't go back anywhere, and the snow is often frozen. However, experts say that it provides an unforgettable experience.
Trails in Val Cenis, Vanoise, France
At the foot of the mountain des Col du Mont Cenis, measuring 2,083 m above sea level, in the heart of the "La Vanoise" National Park, lies the Val Cenis ski resort, repeatedly recognized as one of the best resorts in France.
The biggest attraction are the slopes from the Signal du Grand Mont Cenis ridge, from which we go down the valley non-stop for over 14 kilometers. The most difficult route available there is "Michèle Jacot de la Met", filled with various terrain forms intended for advanced skiers and snowboarders. It is not groomed.
For less experienced winter sports enthusiasts, there is the "Escargot" route, i.e. "Snail". Its length is 9.5 kilometers, and most sections lead through forest areas among larches and spruces. Despite its undeniable aesthetic values, it does not require great skills and is regularly groomed.
If you are considering a campsite with good infrastructure for skiers and snowboarders in Austria, France and Italy, read the article Where to go skiing in a camper? Austria, France, Italy and the articleWhere to go skiing with a camper? Vol. II, Italy you will find some interesting propositions.