There’s nothing worse than you skiing all the resort runs in just a couple of days. As an expert skier, we know that the mileage, plenty of challenging steep runs and off piste terrain are vital for a ski holiday, so if you fancy trying a new resort or want some inspiration, have a read through our top resorts to keep you happy and your legs burning on the mountain.
If you would like the look of any of these ski resorts take a look at our advanced ski holidays selection.
Jackson Hole, USA
Only for expert skiers and attracting the best of the best, Jackson Hole is USA’s mecca for extreme skiing. Its terrain is dominated by steep un-groomed pistes, around half of resort’s trails are black or double black and have epic chutes, moguls, cliffs and steeps.
On a powder day, drop into the Hobacks which never gets tracked out or hire a guide and head to the Cody bowl. If you are really looking for a challenge, then head left off the Tram and head for the infamous Corbett’s Coulior, a 20+ foot drop into a chute! Many have looked over the edge and walked away, think you can take it on?
Where to stay
Val d'Isere, France
Part of the Espace Killy ski area, Val d’Isere is known for its tough runs, the first you may think of being the iconic La Face de Bellevarde, the 1992 Olympic men’s downhill. Although Val d’Isere doesn’t have heaps of advanced runs, it’s about the quality with many of them long ones. A number of them are also classed as Naturides or dotted black runs which are marked and patrolled but not groomed.
La Face becomes more of a challenge during the afternoon when fresh snow has been scraped off leaving ice patches and mogul build ups. Over in the Rocher De Bellevarde area, the Epaule du Charvet is a sharp and steep black run often with knee high moguls and feeds into the Santons red run which takes you into the resort centre.
For off-piste terrain, it is best to take a guide not only for safety but they’ll know the area well. The most famous is the Les Grands Vallons from the top of the Signal drag lift, or the Banane in the Bellevarde sector which is a 3,000 foot vertical and reached from the Piste de la Face.
Where to stay
The Club Med Val d'Isere provides great access to the slopes as well as the perfect hub to unwind. The Chalet Madeleine is also a perfect place to relax after a day on the slopes with its own private jacuzzi.
Club Med Val d'Isere
There are more ski guides in Chamonix than anywhere else in the world and this is the resort that really requires them. Avalanches, cliffs and crevasses claim more lives in Chamonix, each year than most other countries. There are spectacular trails on the glaciers on Les Grand-Montets and on Mont Blanc but safety is so important as they are deadly, regardless of your ability.
The advanced skiing is across the Grands Montets ski area and the Aiguille du Midi area, offering glacier skiing and off-piste terrain. The Vallée Blanche tour is very popular and the main route down the Italian side of the glacier is quite easy and gets tracked out early. But there are also some incredibly steep routes on this 12 mile long run. The initial climb down the spine from the ice cave at the top is good fun and your guide will attach himself to you in case you fall over the edge.
For ski thrills get a guide to take you down the French side of the glacier. This will involve jumping some decent sized crevasses which takes some bottle. There is a lunch stop half way down for a break and at the bottom; there are some ice caves for the last part of the trip.
Where to stay
The Chalet Hotel Sapiniere is our most popular property in Chamonix - catered and arguably the best located hotel in resort with just 300 metres from the nearest lift.
Whistler is a dream for the extreme skier as there is so much challenging terrain available straight off the lift system, so you won’t be hiking to ski the best bits. As Whistler Blackcomb rises about 1,800 metres above sea level and located in a coastal climate, the resort has a unique environment of high altitude above treeline, couloir and chute skiing, bowls, cliffs, glacier skiing to knee deep powder for expert skiers to take advantage of.
We do recommend having a guide to show you all the hidden entrances to the couloirs and bowls and if you wish to do some backcountry skiing. Our favourite is the West bowl on Whistler peak, but if that gets tracked then head to Blackcomb for the Garnet, Diamond and Sapphire Bowls, accessed by climbing the Spanky’s Ladder from the Glacier chair. Take the Showcase T-Bar to access the Blackcomb Glacier or if you’re a keen park rat, the triple black diamond terrain park is so serious it requires a photo license that is bought at the bottom!
Where to stay
For ultimate ski in ski out convenience, the Fairmont Chateau Whistler Hotel located at the foot of Blackcomb Mountain is the best choice. For a cheaper alternative, the Crystal Lodge & Suites is situated right in the heart of Whistler village and just 50 minutes away from the nearest lifts.
Fairmont Chateau Whistler Hotel
If you’re looking for your next big ski adventure, then Verbier is the resort to go to! Situated in the 4 Vallees ski area, Verbier offers high altitude skiing, amazing off-piste opportunities and 64% of its pistes classified as advanced and expert, it’s the dream resort for expert skiers!
The top runs to ski are the 900 metres vertical run from Col des Gentianes to Tortin and the top of Mont Fort, the highest point at 3,330m, for ultimate leg burning glory skiing down the black mogul field and adrenaline fuelling off-piste runs. Skiing possibilities are endless off Mont Gelé, but the notable runs are down to La Chaux and the back route to Tortin. The back route leads into the final part of the ‘Stairway to Heaven’ off-piste run.
Where to stay
Ensuring high standard of service and accommodation, the Hotel Montpelier is known as the most luxurious 3 star hotel in Verbier and has a great location. Also in a prime location, is the Hotel Vanessa, just a 4 minute walk to the Medran lifts and with free use of the indoor jacuzzi and sauna to ease those aching muscles.
St Anton, Austria
St Anton in the Arlberg ski area is the perfect concoction of crazy Austrian après ski action, a picturesque traditional town, friendly locals, and a vast ski area famed for its challenging terrain and consistent snowfall. If you’re looking to go backcountry skiing, then an early rise is 100% recommended to beat the hundreds of ski beardies who compete to get the first tracks.
For any expert skier, the absolute must is the Valluga ‘over the back’ tour. The Valluga Bridge Coulior is the most fun descent option and you aren’t allowed to ski down it without a guide. If you don’t want to hire a guide, the best run on a powder day is off the back of Rendl on the opposite side of the valley. There are also some tricky chutes off the triple chair, one of them as you turn left from the chair is not only fenced off but is accessible by stairs so that skiers can’t accidently ski down it and lose their way.
Where to stay
In a fantastic location in St Anton, directly opposite the Nassereinbahn lift, Chalet Eisfall provides easy skiing access as well as comfortable rooms and chalet catering to fuel you for your epic day of skiing. For a more traditional stay, the Hotel Post is one of the resort's best known hotels and is situated right in the heart of St Anton on the high street, an ideal choice for those wanting head out to the slopes early for fresh tracks.