What skiers and snowboarders strive for when they hit the mountains- pow. A challenging transition from on piste skiing, powder gives you the opportunity to glide through endless soft snow in secluded areas where the slopes are untouched.
So what are the best runs to hit some pow? We've compiled our top 5 powder runs to tackle, but we recommend having a guide with you to ensure you stay safe off piste!
Coulior de l’Ours, Le Grave
The short and untamed run
Accessible from Les Deux Alpes, Le Grave offers extreme off piste powder opportunities for those experienced skiers looking to get their adrenaline pumping. A guide is strongly recommended if you are looking to ski these runs as they have no formal avalanche control and you need to know where you are going with it easy to fall into dangerous paths. The Couloir de l’Ours run is ideal for making nice turns in soft, deep powder combined with steep terrain. The final straight or final turn at the end of the run leads into the start of the Vallons de la Meije for a long descent back into La Grave village.
The Gros Rognon, Chamonix
The Vallee Blanche variant
A world class resort for freeriding, Chamonix offers challenging routes with stunning scenery of the dominant Mont Blanc. The Gros Rognon is a variation on the famous Vallee Blanche route. You can test your powder technique as the powder here is deeper, and covers slightly steeper terrain over a wide slope. It also offers the freedom to ski back onto the Vallee Blanche route whenever you want. It is also less busy as it is less popular than the classic run which means the possibility of some fresh tracks!
Valluga West Face, St Anton
The run for 360- degree panoramic views
St Anton is seen as the gem of the Tirol when it comes to freeriding and many know the legendary Valluga North but the West Face often doesn’t carry the same title. This a bucket list powder run and the place to go for first tracks. This run is a half day trip and should be tackled with a guide taking you from St Anton to the Pazieltal Valley and the run itself is steep at first but gradually flattens out. It is accessed by the Valluga 2 gondola where from the top at 2,811m you can see the awe-inspiring views at the highest peak in the resort.
The limitless powder run
Miharashi is located in the Grand Hirafu village of Niseko which offers runs for all skiing abilities. Most of its groomed runs get an abundance of snow so even if you aren’t ready to tackle off piste just yet, you can still have a taster on its pisted slopes. The run itself however is for advanced skiers as it is left ungroomed and the powder here is deep. It’s heaven for keen off piste skiers, offering both open areas to ski and also picturesque tree lined sections.
The Blow Hole, Whistler
The natural half pipe
Whistler’s bowls are the reason why expert skiers come to visit but the The Blow Hole in particular is the one we recommend. For skiers from intermediate skill to advanced, it offers variable conditions so the skiing is different every time you tackle it. Its steep sides from the strong winds and tight gully means it is almost like a half pipe and at the end, you can enjoy the long ski back to the Excelerator Express chairlift.