It’s a truly gratifying feeling when you finish one of the world’s longest ski runs. Stretch your ski legs to the maximum and conquer one of the greatest pistes known to skiers and snowboarders. Everyone has different ideas about what makes a great ski run. You could prefer tree lines, steep drops, roller coaster terrain or just a long gentle slope. Rather than choosing the top 5 longest ski runs ever, we have selected a variety of favourites amongst the team which you can enjoy on this winter’s ski holiday. Get the most out of your ski holiday and gain those vertical ski miles with these best long ski runs.
Selected by Phil, Sales Team Leader Peak to Creek is an 11 km intermediate run with a variety of terrain and iconic views. You’ll experience a bit of everything on this ski run – from tree glades, to rollers, to steep sections and huge alpine bowls. From Whistler’s Peak Chair to the base by Creekside Gondola, you can rack up to 1544 vertical metres whilst riding this epic piste.
Find out more about skiing in Whistler
Phil on his descent down Peak to Creek in Whistler
Selected by Laura, Digital Marketing Manager One of my favourite aspects of the Saulire is the stunning mountain views at the peak (2700m). The Saulire/Creux range is a network of red and black runs between 2700-2000m, which then open up into blues as you ski down into the villages. Whilst skiing down Saulire you can view the famous Couloir formations, including Grand Couloir which you may like to tackle towards the end of your trip once your ski legs are fully warmed up! Even Great Britain’s number one ski cross athlete, Emily Sarsfield, calls this one of her favourite ski runs.
Find out more about skiing in Courchevel
Selected by AJ, Sales Director
If you are an expert skier or snowboarder and love a challenging piste, La Sache in Tignes down to Le Bréviere is brilliant and very long. La Sache is a long black run that gets steep and fast as long as it’s done before Lunch. After lunch it gets VW Beetle size moguls that really throw the intermediates who clutter up the steepest part of the Run. If conditions are good, you can discover great off-piste on the left hand side as well.
Find out more about skiing in Tignes
Selected by Krystelle, Ski Editor Alpe d’Huez is famous for its long ski runs, which is perfect if you love a holiday packed with plenty of skiing. Did you know that the Alpe d'Huez Grand Domaine de Ski offers 5 descents with a total vertical drop of 10,000m between them? My favourite line is the Pic Blanc (3330m) to L’Enversin d’Oz (1125m) – that’s over 2000m vertical meters! From the peak of Pic Blanc it is a black run down to 2700m, but after that it is a mix of red and blue pistes to the finish. The runs take you right across the ski resort over a mix of terrains. Alpe d’Huez is known for its great snow conditions, so even in late season you can still conquer this huge run all the way to the bottom. Or for the more adventurous, Alpe d’Huez is home to the longest black run in Europe, La Sarenne. The illustrious Sarenne is 16 km long and starts at the peak of Pic Blanc. The legend is quite deceptive, as the last half is a gentle slope along the river. Even though it’s not a particularly scary black run, your legs will be burning by the end (if not in the middle!) Read more about Alpe d’Huez in our recent blog 10 reasons Alpe d'Huez is a must-ski destination
Selected by Thomas, Senior Ski Sales Expert This run has it all, not least the heritage of one of the oldest World Cup Downhill courses but also its varied terrain. Named after local legends Oreiller and Killy, OK run means a thousand metres of vertical drop set in stunning surroundings. Access is by underground funicular, cable car or two stage chair lift. The OK confers plenty of bragging rights to ‘intermediates’ who compare times with Ski Sunday stars thanks to generous width enabling plenty of turns if necessary. Skiers marvel at the start of Mont Blanc views and soon find their pace along the well-groomed rollers gradually building up in steepness. Passing the Folie Douce is when one can stretch legs and let gravity tow you into speeds beyond comfort zone. The increasingly blur of surroundings becomes more acute as after the cable car the gradient becomes more of a wall than a slope. Manage this section in a schuss before the tree line will certainly turn heads, especially from those on the terrace of the rustic Le Triffolet restaurant or those on the chairlifts above. The relentless vertical drop within the tree line also starts to take its toll on the thighs, turning at will highly recommended as the piste narrows and crowds increase. The last section is a nice drop finishing in La Daille but not before plenty of bumps present themselves on the sides of the piste should you want to mix up your style. .
Find out more about skiing in Val d'Isere
Other long favourites that narrowly missed out in the top 5 are – Best for beginners - Cascades, Flaine: The longest blue run in Europe Best for off piste - La Vallée Blanche, Chamonix: A 22km glacier route starting from the Aiguille du Midi Best ski circuit- Sella Ronda, Dolomites: Ok it’s not just one run, but it’s very gratifying to complete. Best for rollers – Jerusalem, Meribel Best for destroying your legs – Olympic, Avoriaz
Ski-in ski-out chalets make a ski holiday a more enjoyable experience with peace of mind that you will be able to enjoy maximum time on the slopes during your stay. Many ski and snowboard enthusiasts favour a ski-in ski-out accommodation so they can hit the slopes straight away without wasting time getting a ski bus or walking with all your equipment to the nearest ski lift. These types of properties are one of our most popular booked ski holidays. Get your prime spot on the mountain with one of our favourite ski-in ski-out chalets for winter 2015/16.
This is the perfect choice if you prefer a smaller, more traditional style resort compared to the popular ski capitals. Champoluc is a beautiful ski destination filled with stunning scenery and delicious Italian cuisine. The ski area is particularly suited for intermediate to advanced skiers and snowboarders, and there are endless opportunities with the epic off piste. The Chalet Hotel De Champoluc is located at the foot of the home-run slope back to resort, which is next to the main Crest gondola and ski hire shop, making it the perfect spot for a ski holiday in this Italian gem.
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Chalet Hotel De Champoluc
Val d’Isere, France
Chalet Maison Rose is one the best located ski chalets in Val d’Isere. Based by the Solaise nursery slopes and lifts you can easily be the first to the top of the mountain every morning. The charming traditional style building is just 5 minutes from the town allowing you to easily explore the glamorous town and night spots of this fantastic ski village. If you are thinking about visiting Val d’Isere this season, read about what’s new for winter 2015/16.
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Skiing back to Val d'Isere
Obergurgl, Austria The British love skiing in Austria, we love the beautiful villages, the tree lined pistes, the cheaper prices compared to France and the quicker transfer times. Unfortunately there are a lack of chalets in many resorts and it is often un heard of for a ski chalet to ski-in ski-out… this is what why Chalet Christophorus is one of our most popular Austria chalets. This adult only chalet is surrounded by ski slopes allowing you to ski straight down to the Festkogl gondola each day. Obergurgl has an excellent snow record with a longer than most ski season, making it an excellent choice for a ski holiday in Austria.
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Obergurgl ski area
Avoriaz, France Avoriaz is another super high ski village that offers properties with fantastic close proximity to the slopes. Chalet Violetta is situated right by the piste giving skiers and snowboarders the best opportunity for a full day on the slopes and enjoying your ski holiday to the max. No walking, no bus rides, just pop on your skies and off you go.
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Chalet Violetta in Avoriaz
Val Thorens, France You can’t get more ski-in ski-out than this; you can physically ski to and from the doorstep from this popular chalet. Val Thorens is well-known for its easy access to the mountain as the resort is purpose as Europe’s highest ski village so it could benefit from the finest snow conditions and guests can rejoice in the easy slope access.
View more about Chalet Catherine
Val Thorens ski village and slopes
Take a look at more ski-in ski-out properties here
There’s a lot we could have explored in this blog, there’s been many innovations in the snowsports world over the past few years, making a ski adventure easier, cheaper and more enjoyable than ever. Ski and snowboard technology is advancing every season, ski resorts all over the world are constantly upgrading to give visitors a superior ski experience and at the same time gadgets are becoming much more attainable and cheaper so we can use the same ski gear as ski professionals. We’ve picked out our recent favourites that make our ski holidays better than ever.
One of the best features of skiing in Kitzbuhel has got to be its large amount of chairlifts with luxurious heated seats. Kitzbuhel has been named one of the top ski areas in the world because of its ultra-advanced lift system, high levels of comfort and excellent snow making facilities.
There are 9 chairlifts and gondolas in Kitzbuhel which have heated seats, these are spread over the whole ski area and are labelled on the piste map.
Drones have revolutionised the way we document our skiing and snowboarding adventures. In a small space of time we have evolved from wobbly iPhone videos to GoPros on selfie sticks to high quality aerial footage. The Lily Drone allows users to simply throw it in the air and follows them around. There is no controller needed, Lily flies itself and uses GPS and computer vision to follow you around top produce high quality, cinematic style footage.
A new Wi-Fi enabled gondola is coming to one of our best loved ski resorts, the new TC10 Solaise Gondola in Val d’Isere will take you to the top of Solaise in 7 minutes. This gives you enough time to post a photo of your ski holiday straight to Facebook from the slopes.
In winter 2014/15 I was surprised how easy it was to find wifi on the slopes in Mayrhofen. Most of the large ski lifts had hotspots including at the top of Penkenbahn and Horbergbahn. Bergbahnen Solden also have 8 free Wi-Fi access points across the ski area.
Many more ski areas are starting to include Wi-Fi on the slopes to help you keep in touch with your ski group in resort, plus friends back home whilst on the mountain.
Nike and Transitions Optical have joined up to create snow goggles with transitions adaptive technology. When the light changes, the lens adapt automatically by darkening or lighting its level of tint, improving your visual performance on the slopes. No need to carry around extra lenses anymore!
As snowsports enthusiasts are becoming more daring off piste, the correct safety equipment needs to be more readily available. ABS airbag avalanche safety packs have revolutionised off piste safety by using top technology to make mountain exploration safe. Airbags are used to protect you from being buried in the event of an avalanche.
Transceivers, shovels and probes are also important for rescue teams to find you and you to help anyone in need. For more information take a read of this Guide to Avalanche Airbags and the best models available.
A paper piste map is a thing of the past. FATMAP is the future. This revolutionary 3D skiing app is so much more than just a route finder. Discover new adventures and recommended pistes all from the palm of your hand. The ultra-high resolution 3D mapping technology will change the way you navigate around the mountain by being able to explore every angle on and off piste before even stepping out on to snow. Enjoy your ski holiday to the max by assuring the best time on the slopes.Extra features on the app also include, interactive resort information, pinpointing your location and other friends with the app, freeride mapping and much more. Read more about FATMAP.
FATMAP app piste map and features
The Oakley Airwave goggles have a built in mobile dashboard. The Airwave’s heads-up display uses innovative prism technology to provide the display graphics that look like they are projected 5 feet away. You can track and automatically see your speed, jump airtime, your vertical feet, your location on a piste map, music and much more. Ski goggles fit for James Bond!
Every year more and more resorts are becoming interconnected allowing skiers and snowboarders to explore more pistes than ever before. The newly announced ‘Tirol s’ link will connect Fieberbrunn to the Skicircus Saalbach Hinterglemm Leogang area creating one of the largest ski circuits in the world with a total of 240 km of piste and 68 lifts.
The New Tirol S gondola will span 2890m over the valley from Hinterglemm to Fieberbrunn
SkiWelt is to construct fastest chairlift in the world for winter 2015/16. The chairlift in Brixten im Thale will operate at a speed of 6 metres per second. Read more about the new chairlift in our ski news section.
Just when you thought they couldn’t get any smaller, GoPro have released the new HERO4 Session which is their smallest, lightest and most convenient camera yet. The waterproof design and small size is perfect for snow sports.
The HERO4 Session is 50% small and 40% lighter than any other HERO4 camera
What do is you favourite ski tech? Let us know by commenting below
One of the most frequently asked questions we get is where is good for après. The quality of the après scene could make or break a ski holiday for some. After a long day on the mountain, many of us love to unwind and celebrate with a cold beer, great music and dancing. Austria has the best après bars in the world. If you crave a lively ski resort full of lots of entertainment after a day of skiing or snowboarding then look no further than the picturesque villages and beautiful mountains of Austria. Get your après boots at the ready and take a look at our contenders for the best après in Austria:
This party town is popular with younger crowds with its large club like venues such as Whisky Mule and Salven Stadl which are open to the early hours. If you prefer a quieter après venue there are plenty of more sophisticated bars in Soll such as Bella Vita and Rossini café. With around 30 restaurants and bars in resort there are plenty of options to suit everyone’s tastes.
This skiing gem has some of the best après ski in the Alps. Between Saalbach and Hinterglemm there are over 40 après venues! You are truly spoilt for choice in this beautiful part of Austria. One of the most rememberable venues is the ‘goat themed’ Goasstall in Hinterglemm. If you are with to dance in your ski boots until dinner time, look no further than Hinterhag Alm next to the Kohlmais piste.
I was fantastically surprised by the après in Mayrhofen, not only was it spectacular fun, it was great value too (especially compared to the large French resorts). Mayrhofen is a huge party town with a wide variety of pubs, bars and clubs making it a perfect choice for large groups. On piste I loved the White Lounge Igloo bar at the Ahorn and the uber cool Grillhof Alm by the Van park on the Penken side. Once back in the village head to the Ice Bar or Bruck ‘n’Stadl for the liveliest après, then if you are still wanting to carry on the party after dinner, Mo’s, Scotland Yard, Funky’s and Harakiri are open till late.
Bruck n Stadl
There was a divide in the Iglu Ski offices over the top spot on this list. We have a handful of ski experts that believe Ischgl deserves the golden crown. With incredible party venues like Trofana Alm, Schatzi Bar and the Kuhstall you are guaranteed a vibrant week of amazing après.
It’s no surprise that St Anton is the undefeated heavyweight champion with its world renowned legendary après bars. With an abundance of piste-side bars, you can’t avoid stopping off for a post-ski beverage on your last run home. The Krazy Kangaruh and Mooserwirt are 2 of the most famed après bars in resort, that are packed to the brim with skiers and snowboarders daily and the best spots to get your dose of dancing on tables in your ski boots!
Are you thinking about skiing in St Anton this winter? Read our experts guide to St Anton
View our top ski deals in Austria By Krystelle
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