Virgin peaks, pristine views, and fluffy snow – the mountains are calling. Ski resorts are growing in popularity throughout the globe; so is the number of people interested in winter sports. Interestingly enough, France, Austria, Switzerland, and the US are some of the countries with the highest number of ski resorts.
Ski resorts have a lot to offer: spa and wellness services, memorable hikes, mulled wine, delicious food, winter activities, and even ice hotel accommodation. Skiing, in particular, is one of the most popular activities – a wonderful experience with numerous health and social benefits. Although winter sports can be expensive, there’s something magical about conquering crazy terrain at high speeds.
Magical but dangerous! From narrow runs and icy conditions to huge moguls and steep slopes, here are 20 dangerous ski resorts (no family should consider).
20 Streif-Wanderweg - Kitzbuhel, Austria: One Of The Hardest Downhill Runs In The World
Surrounded by majestic peaks and green pine trees, Kitzbuhel is one of the most charming Alpine towns in Austria. The town is also known for the famous Hahnenkamm downhill race. The Streif-Wanderweg course on the northeast face of Hahnenkamm, however, is considered one of the most dangerous downhill runs in the world – skiers have to overcome steep slopes and 260-foot jumps.
19 Skiing Down Great Scott - Snowbird, Utah Is For Hardcore Skiers
Although the Snowbird Ski and Summer resort in Utah is a wonderful skiing area, there’s a dangerous run there that’s only for hardcore skiers. Great Scott is one of the most thrilling rides across the globe; with numerous obstacles and rocks scattered throughout the run, Great Scott is not for the faint-hearted.
18 Olympiabakken - Kvitfjell, Norway Is Not Your Typical Family-Friendly Ski Resort
Great snow conditions, modern equipment, and serene views - Kvitfjell is simply one of the most beautiful resorts in Norway. Yet, Kvitfjell is not your typical holiday destination as the resort is home to the longest slope in Norway: Olympiabakken. This slope is over 2,600 feet in elevation and full with steep sections.
17 Harakiri - Mayrhofen, Austria (The Steepest Slope In The World) Is Not For Beginners
Even though Mayrhofen, Austria is one of the most popular resorts in Tyrol, there’s a place where families and beginners are not welcomed: Harakiri. In fact, Harakiri is the steepest run in the world, with a 78% gradient. Even the name of this slope is enough to make skiers think twice!
16 La Chavanette between France and Switzerland Is One Of The Most Dangerous Pistes In The World
La Chavanette, known as the Swiss Wall, offers impressive views. Yet, this slope located between Switzerland and France is one of the most dangerous runs in the world. According to Snow Brains, the gradient is so steep that the piste can’t be seen from the top. As a result, a big danger is other skiers tumbling into you.
15 Black Hole - Smugglers' Notch, Vermont: Experts Only
If you are looking for a relaxed holiday, mulled wine, and fluffy snow, then avoid Smuggler’s Notch, Vermont. If, however, you are looking for a thrilling glade skiing experience, then put Black Hole – Smuggler’s Notch on your list. The Black Hole pitch is a 54% run scattered with trees, rocks, and numerous obstacles suitable for experienced skiers only.
14 La Hoyita Ski Trail In Argentina Is Not Suitable For Kids
Overlooking tranquil lakes and glaciers and surrounded by the majestic Andes, Bariloche is one of the most beautiful ski resorts in Argentina. Yet, according to fodors.com, La Hoyita ski trail above Bariloche is one of the most dangerous places where skiers have to watch out for snowfall and avalanche warnings.
13 Don't Put Corbet's Couloir - Jackson Hole, Wyoming On Your List
There’s no doubt that Jackson Hole, Wyoming is a fairy-tale ski resort. Yet, the infamous Corbet’s Couloir there is among the most challenging ski runs across the globe. In fact, according to foxnews.com, the slope has been described as "America’s scariest ski slope." There are two starting spots and both require free-falling.
12 Avoid The Saslong - Val Gardena, Italy
The Dolomites Val Gardena ski area in Italy is mesmerizing. Nevertheless, families with children should avoid one particular piste there: the Saslong. According to theactivetimes.com, skiers have to make a lot of jumps, called the Camel bumps, for a distance of only 260 feet, which without fresh snow is quite challenging.
11 What About Skiing In The Himalayas?
Although in 2019 Andrzej Bargiel conquered K2 on skis, skiing in the Himalayas – the world’s highest mountain system – is not recommended. And it’s not only avalanche warnings and steep peaks skiers should be aware of; according to urban legends, the mysterious ape-like creature Yeti hides in the Himalayan mountains.
10 The Lauberhorn Ski Race In Switzerland Is More Than Challenging
The Lauberhorn ski races in Switzerland that include downhill, slalom, and combined disciplines are famous worldwide. Interestingly, the events have been running since 1930, uninterrupted even by the horror of World War II. Yet, this run is suitable only for professional skiers as the downhill course is the longest in the world... and speeds can reach 100 mph.
9 Christmas Chute, Alaska: A Ski Run That Gives You The Chills
Christmas Chute is located in Alyeska Resort, the biggest ski resort in Alaska. This run - one of the most dangerous slopes in the world - is suitable only for seasoned skiers. According to the activetimes.com., the run is narrow, icy, and with a 50% gradient. Just look at the picture above!
8 Paradise - Mad River Glen, Vermont: A Journey To Hell
Located in the beautiful Mad River Glen ski area, Paradise is a dangerous off-piste run that can take you on a journey to hell. The trail is filled with huge rocks, narrow areas, and frozen waterfalls. With numerous obstacles, this infamous run is not suitable for families with children.
7 Reconsider Visiting Delirium Dive - Sunshine Village, Banff, Canada
If you are planning a relaxed family holiday, reconsider visiting Banff Sunshine Village in western Canada. Although Sunshine Village Resort is a wonderful ski area, we should note that one of the most dangerous slopes in the world is found there: Delirium Drive. Delirium Drive is full of rocks and inclines, so skiers are required to bring a shovel and a ski buddy.
6 Al's Run - Taos Ski Valley, New Mexico: Don't Panic
Taos Ski Valley is a wonderful destination for both seasoned skiers and beginners. That being said, there’s one place that families with children should avoid: the infamous Al’s Run. With its enormous moguls and impressive length, Al’s Run is known as one of the scariest ski slopes around the globe.
5 The Tortin Glacier In Switzerland Is Not For Families With Kids
The Tortin Glacier is a beautiful place. In winter, many people can ski down a slope that leads over the glacier. Even though the slope is rated as an intermediate run, experts claim that inexperienced skiers and children should not ski down the Tortin as the piste is way too bumpy.
4 Silver King Runs, Washington: Killer Runs No Family Should Consider
The infamous Silver King Runs in Crystal Mountain, Washington, are killer runs no family should consider. According to activetimes.com, three of the runs are extremely dangerous; Brain Damage, Pin Ball, and Lobotomy are way too narrow and steep, so you’ll be lucky to finish the day with no injuries.
3 Skiing The Grand Couloir In France Is For Experts Only
The Grand Couloir in France is one of the most dangerous black-diamond runs in the whole world. Steep, narrow, and icy, this scary chute is not for families with children. We should note there are many drops that lead to other dangerous couloirs, which can challenge even the most experienced skier in the world.
2 Hakuba 47, Japan: One Of The Most Dangerous Ski Resorts In The World
With a variety of thrilling runs, beautiful views, and volcanic peaks, Hakuba 47 is one of the most famous ski resorts in Japan. In fact, experienced skiers can choose from different double-diamond runs and hidden slopes. Nevertheless, due to abundant snowfall and avalanches, Hakuba 47 is considered a dangerous ski resort.
1 Abandoned Lifts In The Balkans
From secluded winter destinations to luxurious ski resorts, Eastern Europe has lots to offer; Bansko in Bulgaria, Bukobel in Ukraine, Gudauri in Georgia, Kranjska Gora in Slovenia, and so on and on. Yet, in some parts of the Balkans, such as Brezovica Ski Resort in Kosovo, skiers can see abandoned lifts and lodges. Just like a horror movie!