Thrill-seeking skiers looking for an adrenaline rush don’t have to travel very far for some of the world’s more adventurous slopes. Europe offers a selection of the most famous runs so that adrenaline-pumping ski action can even be enjoyed on a weekend break not too far from home.
The Highest Runs The Vallée Blanche is Europe’s highest ski route, located in Chamonix and possessing a ski lift at a heady 3,842m. It takes skiers up Mont Blanc, the highest peak in Western Europe, with the route back down the glaciers into Chamonix being all off-piste. The run is famous for being one of the most scenic in the Alps as well as for its obvious danger element, being completely unmarked and unmaintained. It starts with an exposed ridge walk down from the lift and should be completed with a guide, as it involves skiing through narrow areas between crevasses. The run also takes the title of longest route in the World meaning that it is great for a ski weekend with more uninterrupted ski time and less time on the lifts.
(The amazing Vallée Blanche) The Espace Killy Ski area shared by Tignes and Val d’Isere comes in just shy of Chamonix’s record, with the highest lift being at a height of 3,456m. Here, there are also 27 black runs for the more experienced skiers who are after the bigger thrills.
(The Espace Killy) The Fastest Run ‘The Flying Kilometre’ is found in the Paradiski area and hosts the Speed Ski World Cup with a course record of 156mph. Speed skiing is the second fastest non-motorised sport in the world and when not hosting the professionals, the run can be tried out by those looking to embrace the fear factor on the slopes. It all begins with a near free-fall and concludes with a survival medal awarded when completed. Less accomplished skiers can even give it a go, as all it requires is being able to hold a racing stance whilst reaching speeds faster than the motorway speed limit!
(‘The Flying Kilometre’ in Les Arcs) The Steepest Run The Pas de Chavanette in the Portes du Soleil Ski area, also known as ‘La Mur Suisse’ (The Swiss Wall), is definitely one for the braver skiers with a starting gradient of about 50 degrees that leaves nothing to the imagination. After a snowfall, the skier traffic on the run creates moguls that can reach the size of cars, making the route even more difficult to navigate; whilst its exposed position means that snow can turn into ice quickly for a more treacherous descent. This one is ‘for experts only’ as the sign dictates at the top.
(The Pas de Chavanette) This link is packed with great ideas and offers for your Ski Weekend: http://www.igoski.co.uk
[caption id="attachment_2642" align="aligncenter" width="650" caption="Chamonix: Perfect for Ski Weekends"][/caption] Naturally we keep a very close eye on what the airlines are charging for their flights, particularly those into Geneva; our Gateway to the Ski Weekend Alps. As is the way of travel, prices always seem to rise the nearer we get to the departure date: trains, busses and planes all seem to be the same! So, it comes as no surprise to us that the early season flights are beginning to creep up in price. We have already had a lot of earlybookers who have not only got their Ski Weekends at Earlybird prices but have done so in time to beat the airline's price rises. For the best Short Break ski holiday make sure that you pick a resort close to the main airports. After all, you don't want to suffer hours bouncing across Europe reaching your resort in no fit state but to to go to bed! With our flights from London to Geneva you're in resort barely three and a half hours after leaving London: The best ski itinerary in the business!