Top Off-Piste Skiing Destinations for the Ultimate Thrill
One sport that takes the concept of “adrenaline rush” to a whole new level is skiing. Not only is it addictive (to say the least), it’s also one of the ultimate tests of skills and mental acumen. That said, most skiers prefer to dabble in the safety of groomed ski runs, because well, skiing is not for the faint-hearted. The ultimate thrill of thrill, however, is experienced by those who set out to conquer the steepest and most challenging backcountry terrains. Here are five of the best off-piste skiing destinations for those who want to conquer the terrain off the groomed trails. Take a look.
Atop Mont Blanc, the highest mountain peak in Europe lies the ski destination of Chamonix. To the uninitiated, well, Chamonix is also known as the “death sports capital of the world”. Why do you ask? Well, on any given day, there is a large number of para-gliders, ice-climbers, and extreme skiers riding up the steep slopes of Mont Blanc, and then plummet down the rugged snow turf. Given the fact that Chamonix is one of the highest resorts in Europe, the snow cover is more consistent here. In addition, there’s over 170 km of ski runs, which help skiers gain confidence before tackling the infamous backcountry terrain.
For avid ski enthusiasts, Verbier is the home of extreme skiing in the Swiss Alps. The entire ski resort features an extremely difficult backcountry terrain and some of the most infamous off-piste skis runs in Europe. Once you muster up enough courage and skills to tackle this treacherous slope, remember to look around while you’re at it. You will never see more stunning views of the two biggest alpine draw-cards in Europe - Matterhorn and Mont Blanc. In case, you don’t feel motivated enough, you can always improve your skills with some help from ski experts at the resort. Verbier also attracts thousands of non-skiing vacationers who come to cheer the best skiers and snowboarders in the world, as they compete at some of the biggest Big Mountain extreme skiing championships.
Revelstoke in Canada is often touted as the world’s epicenter of backcountry skiing. While heli-skiing was pioneered here during the ‘60s, now this small town in British Columbia hosts more than ninety-five percent of the world’s heli-skiing activities. Here, you can have access to several hectares of skiable off-piste terrain spread across three different mountain ranges. That said, the Revelstoke Mountain Resort features one of the greatest vertical descents down snow-riddled slopes in North America.
Kicking Horse, Canada
This Powder Highway in Canada is one of the most underrated ski destinations in the world. To the uninitiated, the area comprises nine of the most extreme ski resorts in the entire continent. Likewise, the Kicking Horse Mountain Resort features so many extreme ski bowls and bowls that more than sixty percent of the resort is marked only for the expert skiers. Therefore, it is no surprise that since its opening, the resort has won every accolade for hard-core skiing awarded in North America.
(All photographs are courtesy of the original owners unless otherwise indicated)