The Most Difficult Ski Run in the World: An Unforgettable Challenge on the Slopes

Choose the Slope you think is the most difficult!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Jun 16, 2023 10:18 (Updated on Dec 3, 2023 06:36)
Calling all adrenaline junkies and ski enthusiasts! We've put together a heart-pumping, nerve-wracking ranking of the most difficult ski runs in the world, and now it's your turn to vote for the ultimate thrill-seeker's paradise. From the jaw-dropping steeps of La Chavanette to the notorious Corbet's Couloir, we've captured the essence of what makes these formidable slopes the ultimate challenge for any skier. So, if you think you've conquered the most daring descents or simply want to marvel at the sheer audacity of these icy behemoths, cast your vote now and help us crown the king of extreme ski runs. Don't see your spine-chilling favorite on the list? Fear not! You can also suggest a missing option to ensure no slope is left behind in the quest for the most exhilarating, white-knuckle ride on the planet. Strap on your skis, take a deep breath, and let the games begin!

What Is the Most Difficult Ski Run in the World?

  1. 1
    The entire area is unmarked, ungroomed, and has no ski patrol. It is considered the ultimate challenge for expert skiers.
    La Grave, France is known as one of the most difficult ski resorts in the world. Located in the French Alps, it offers a unique and challenging experience for advanced skiers and snowboarders. The resort is characterized by its rugged terrain, steep slopes, and off-piste opportunities. La Grave is renowned for its lack of groomed runs, marked trails, and ski patrol. It attracts thrill-seekers and experts who are looking for an adrenaline rush in a raw and uncontrolled mountain environment.
    • Location: French Alps, France
    • Terrain: Rugged and steep
    • Groomed Runs: None
    • Marked Trails: None
    • Ski Patrol: Limited
    La Grave, France in other rankings
  2. 2
    Corbet's Couloir, Jackson Hole, Wyoming
    Enricokamasa · Public domain
    This narrow, steep chute requires a mandatory cliff drop at the entrance and is known for its unforgiving terrain.
    Corbet's Couloir is a legendary and notoriously challenging ski run located in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. It is considered one of the most difficult ski resort experiences in America, attracting advanced and expert skiers seeking an adrenaline-pumping adventure. The couloir was named after local mountaineer and ski patroller, Barry Corbet, who first identified and skied the run in the early 1960s.
    • Difficulty: Extremely challenging
    • Steepness: Slope angle exceeding 50 degrees
    • Terrain type: Narrow and rocky chute
    • Drop-in: Requires a mandatory cliff drop at the entry
    • Snow conditions: Variable, often featuring deep powder or moguls
    Corbet's Couloir, Jackson Hole, Wyoming in other rankings
  3. 3
    The Streif, Kitzbühel, Austria
    Michael Fleischhacker · CC BY-SA 3.0

    The Streif, Kitzbühel, Austria

    Austrian Ski Federation
    This downhill race course has a maximum gradient of 85 degrees and includes several jumps and technical turns.
    The Streif is a legendary ski slope located in Kitzbühel, Austria. It is renowned as one of the most difficult and challenging ski runs in the world, attracting top skiers and adrenaline junkies alike. The slope is part of the annual Hahnenkamm downhill race, a prestigious event on the FIS World Cup circuit.
    • Location: Kitzbühel, Austria
    • Slope Length: 3.3 kilometers
    • Maximum Gradient: 85%
    • Average Gradient: 27%
    • Vertical Drop: 860 meters
    The Streif, Kitzbühel, Austria in other rankings
  4. 4
    The steepest groomed slope in the world, with a gradient of 78%, and is only for the most experienced skiers.
    The Harakiri is known as one of the most challenging ski runs in the world. Located in Mayrhofen, Austria, it offers a thrilling and demanding experience for advanced skiers and adrenaline seekers. The slope's name, Harakiri, is derived from the Japanese word for ritual suicide by samurai. This name perfectly captures the extreme nature of the run.
    • Location: Mayrhofen, Austria
    • Difficulty: Expert
    • Slope Length: 1,500 meters
    • Vertical Drop: 375 meters
    • Maximum Gradient: 78 degrees
  5. 5
    Mount Yotei, Hokkaido, Japan
    Oga from ja, the copyright holder of this work, hereby publishes it under the following license: · CC BY-SA 3.0
    This backcountry run is known for its deep powder and steep chutes, making it a challenge for even the most experienced skiers.
    Mount Yotei is a challenging ski run located in Hokkaido, Japan. It is considered one of the most difficult ski runs in the world and attracts expert skiers and snowboarders seeking an adrenaline-filled experience. The terrain on Mount Yotei is steep and varied, with deep powder, narrow chutes, moguls, and obstacles that require technical skills to navigate.
    • Location: Hokkaido, Japan
    • Difficulty Level: Expert
    • Terrain: Steep, deep powder, narrow chutes, moguls
    • Length: Varies
    • Vertical Drop: Varies
  6. 6

    Aiguille Rouge, Les Arcs, France

    Les Arcs ski resort
    With a vertical drop of 7,000 feet, this run is one of the longest in the world and includes steep pitches and moguls.
    The Aiguille Rouge is considered one of the most difficult ski runs in the world. It is located in Les Arcs, France, providing an exhilarating challenge for expert skiers.
    • Mountain Range: French Alps
    • Elevation: 3,226 meters (10,584 ft)
    • Slope Length: 7 kilometers (4.3 miles)
    • Difficulty: Expert
    • Terrain: Narrow and steep
  7. 7
    This narrow chute requires a 50-foot cliff drop to enter and has a maximum gradient of 85 degrees.
    The Grand Couloir in Courchevel, France, is widely regarded as one of the most difficult ski runs in the world. It is a challenging and thrilling descent that should only be attempted by expert skiers and snowboarders.
    • Location: Courchevel, France
    • Difficulty Level: Expert
    • Run Type: Couloir
    • Terrain: Steep and Narrow
    • Vertical Drop: Approximately 670 meters (2,200 feet)
  8. 8
    This backcountry area includes steep chutes, cliffs, and tight trees, making it a challenge for even the most experienced skiers.
    Delirium Dive is known as one of the most challenging ski runs in the world. Located in Banff, Canada, it offers an extreme skiing experience for advanced and expert skiers. The steep and unforgiving terrain, coupled with unpredictable weather conditions, make it a thrilling but demanding adventure.
    • Location: Banff, Alberta, Canada
    • Elevation: 2,730 meters (8,957 feet)
    • Vertical drop: 390 meters (1,280 feet)
    • Difficulty: Extremely difficult (double black diamond)
    • Terrain: Steep and challenging with rock bands, cliffs, and narrow chutes
  9. 9
    This steep, technical run includes several narrow chutes and requires expert skiing ability.
    The Fingers in Squaw Valley, California is widely regarded as one of the most difficult ski runs in the world. It is a legendary double-black diamond run that pushes even the most seasoned skiers to their limits. The run gets its name from the steep and narrow chutes that resemble fingers. It offers an exhilarating and challenging skiing experience for those brave enough to attempt it.
    • Location: Squaw Valley, California
    • Difficulty level: Double-black diamond
    • Terrain: Steep and narrow chutes
    • Length: Varies depending on route
    • Vertical drop: Approximately 2,000 feet (610 meters)
  10. 10
    This steep, mogul-covered run has a maximum gradient of 37 degrees and is known for its challenging terrain.
    The Wall is widely considered one of the most difficult ski runs in the world. Located in Kirkwood, California, it offers an extreme and challenging experience for expert skiers. The run starts from the summit of Kirkwood Mountain at an elevation of 9,800 feet, and descends over 2,000 vertical feet in just one mile. The steepness of the slope coupled with its narrow width makes it a thrilling and adrenaline-pumping ride. The Wall is known for its variable and unpredictable conditions, often featuring deep powder, moguls, icy patches, and tight chutes. It requires exceptional control, agility, and technique to navigate successfully.
    • Location: Kirkwood, California
    • Elevation at Start: 9,800 feet
    • Vertical Descent: 2,000 feet
    • Distance: 1 mile
    • Steepness: Extremely steep

Missing your favorite Slope?


Ranking factors for difficult ski run

  1. Terrain
    The type of terrain also plays a crucial role in determining the difficulty of a ski run. This includes the presence of moguls, cliffs, narrow chutes, ice, rocks, and other obstacles that skiers need to navigate.
  2. Snow conditions
    Good snow conditions can make a challenging ski run more manageable, while icy or slushy snow can increase the difficulty level. Powder snow, crusty snow, and hard-packed snow all pose different challenges.
  3. Altitude
    High-altitude ski runs may pose added challenges due to thinner air and decreased oxygen levels, which can affect skiers' physical performance and mental alertness.
  4. Length
    Longer ski runs require greater physical endurance and can be more challenging, especially if they also feature steep or difficult terrain.
  5. Exposure
    Ski runs with considerable exposure to falls or avalanches pose greater risks and are generally more challenging.
  6. Technical requirements
    Some ski runs may require specific skiing techniques or specialized equipment to navigate successfully, increasing the challenge for the skier.
  7. Accessibility
    The difficulty of reaching the ski run, such as requiring a hike or off-piste skiing to access, can add to the overall challenge.
  8. Weather
    Stormy or high-wind weather conditions can make a ski run more difficult by affecting visibility, snow conditions, and overall safety.
  9. Popularity
    Busy or crowded ski runs can make skiing more challenging due to increased potential for collisions and difficulty in maintaining a controlled skiing speed.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most difficult ski run in the world. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or Slope is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 240 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each Slope once every 24 hours. The rank of each Slope is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

More information on most difficult ski run in the world

Skiing is an exhilarating sport that attracts millions of enthusiasts worldwide. From the Alps to the Rockies, skiers seek out the world's most challenging slopes to test their skills and push their limits. And when it comes to challenging ski runs, few compare to the world's most difficult ski runs. These ski runs are not for the faint of heart, as they require expert skiing skills, nerves of steel, and a healthy dose of courage. From steep inclines to narrow paths, these ski runs are designed to push skiers to their limits and provide an unforgettable skiing experience. In this article, we'll take a look at some of the most challenging ski runs in the world and explore what makes them so difficult. So buckle up and get ready for an adrenaline-fueled ride through the world's most challenging ski runs.

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