Here's to long pistes with fantastic views
It's a big competition trying to work out which of the so-called “longest pistes in the Alps” are actually the longest. But why settle on just one? These beautiful snowy slopes offer the chance to ski until you feel the burn in your thighs, and they massively reduce the time you spend queueing for lifts. We can’t get enough of them! Well, the good news is, from Austria to Switzerland to Italy, you’ll find plenty of ski resorts which harbour a plethora of long pistes, just waiting to be tackled. Beginner and expert skiers alike can take advantage of this great way to explore the mountains. Which piste is your favourite?
Saalbach’s unofficial motto is “long pistes, short nights” and the Skicircus Saalbach Hinterglemm Leogang Fieberbrunn has about twenty valley runs, when you add up all the different combinations. One of the longest is the 7km Jausernabfahrt that leads from Schattberg to Vorderglemm.
Skiing at Saalbach
The Zillertal Arena is known for its varied and demanding terrain, largely due to the fact that the ski area boasts the biggest vertical in all of Austria. Here you can ski the 10km valley run from the Übergangsjoch (2500m) down to the Zell/Rohrberg valley (580m), featuring an elevation loss of 1930m. The piste has a 2.2km long black section with a gradient of up to 50%. It’s also worth checking out the slopes below the Karspitz, which provide ample space for wide carving.
Sunny ski day at Zillertal Arena
Zermatt is home to arguably the longest valley run in the world, with some people claiming it measures as much as 25km in length (although we would put the number closer to 17km). The ski area is also home to many other long slopes – in fact, the Matterhorn ski safari gold route takes you over a 12,500m change in elevation in one day.
Nestled amongst some of the most beautiful Swiss landscapes in the eastern canton of Graubünden, the ski area of Davos-Klosters is made up of six separate ski resorts. The Parsenn is considered a classic and is home to the Parsenn derby, oldest ski race in Switzerland. It’s also home to the Parsenn descent, a 12km piste that runs from Weissfluhgipfel down to Küblis, a 2000m loss in elevation.
Beautiful landscapes at Davos-Klosters
The SkiWelt Wilder Kaiser - Brixental invites skiers and snowboarders to explore 9 villages connected by crisscrossing ski pistes at the foot of the Wilder Kaiser massif. Among the 21 valley runs you’ll find some truly lengthy ones, such as the descent from the Hohe Salve to the Hopfgarten, a 1200m loss in elevation.
Valley run at SkiWelt Wilder Kaiser - Brixental
The village at Saas-Fee sits at a cool 1800m and is known for its snow reliability – you can even go glacier skiing on 20km of pistes in the summer! Surrounded by 13 mountain peaks over 4000m, Saas-Fee certainly has an impressive backdrop to live up to. At the Mittelallalin you’ll find the highest revolving restaurant in the world, situated at an altitude of 3500m. After eating, burn off the calories with a 14km-long piste or tackle the demanding Kanonenrohr.
Neverending ski slopes at Saas-Fee
The Kronplatzberg is surrounded by five mountain villages, almost all accessible from the summit. The plateau in the Kronplatz ski area is characterised by its wide slopes and the descent from Kronplatz to Percha takes you down 1300m in elevation on blue and red pistes. Experts can get their money’s worth by turning left at the summit and taking the black piste that leads to the Reischach.
On top of the world at Kronplatz
That feeling when you conquer a difficult piste is hard to beat, and long pistes are no exception. Skiers and snowboarders alike, once you've finished any one of these slopes, you've definitely earned yourself a drink!
Born and raised in the ski paradise of Vancouver, Canada, I learned to ski before I can remember, balancing precariously on my parents’ skis as they sailed down the hill. I started snowboarding in my teens and am now delighted to be exploring everything Europe’s ski scene has to offer!
|10 Feb||French skier Candide Thovex reaches new heights in Audi advert|
|9 Feb||PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics kick off with Opening Ceremony|
|9 Feb||The 8 top mountain restaurants at Saalbach|