Imagine skiing down the mountain slopes for seemingly ever. All slopes come to an end but some end much sooner than others making one's trip feel much more like stop-start, stop-start. So what is the longest ski run in the world? That is generally thought of as Vallee Blanche in France and it is recommended to have a guide to ski it.
If skiing in the United States, one of the luxury ski resorts in Utah is the Deer Valley Resort - this upscale ski resort is one of the few that still prohibit snowboarding. While Colorado arguably has better ski slopes and certainly more impressive mountain ranges, if one is in New England, Vermont has plenty of stunning ski resorts as well.
Notes On The Longest Ski Runs
As with many things when trying to ascertain the biggest, oldest, or longest, it gets a little murky. One may assume that for the longest run, one can just ski all the way down in one go but that is typically not the case. With these long slopes, most require a hike to another spot or even a short lift ride back out to complete the full descent.
- Stops: The Longest Ski Slopes Often Require Periods Of Stopping And Walking
Another factor to consider is that with these longest of runs one is assuming that there is actually snow all the way at the bottom. It is often this long runs, one can't ski the full slope.
- Lack Of Snow: Often The Longest Runs Don't Have Snow Towards Sea Level
The Vallee Blanche And Its Location
So with those caveats said, the longest popularly agreed route is the Valle Blanche. Others will claim other runs, but Vallee Blanche is serviced by a ski lift while some of the others aren't. For simplicity, we will go with Vallee Blanche that leads down to Chamonix in France.
Chamonix is a small France Alpine resort town with around 8,500 people. It was the site of the first Winter Olympics back in 1924 and is situated north of Mont Blanc (the highest mountain in the Alps). Chamonix is one of the oldest ski resorts in France and is a very popular skiing destination.
- Winter Olympics: The First Winter Olympics Were Held At Chamonix
- Old: Chamonix Is One Of The Oldest Ski Resorts In France
The Vallee Blanche is accessed by a precipitous snowy ridge (or arette) from the Aiguille du Midi lift station. Vallee Blanche is an off-piste (or backcountry) ski route in Chamonix and provides a real sensation of wilderness.
- Full Length: Around 20 Kilometers or 13 Miles
- Descent: 2,700 Vertical Meters or 8,850 Feet
Skiing The Vallee Blanche
This run can be dangerous without a guide on the account of avalanches and crevasses as well as a high risk of serac falls. Intermediate skiers should only attempt it when the conditions are good and with a mountain guide.
- Crevasses: The Vallee Blanche Is Riddled with Crevasses
- Intermediate Skiers: Are Recommended to Have A Mountain Guide
The experience is well worth it and one is likely to cherish the memory. Skiiers can enjoy a fantastic and memorable journey into the Mont Blanc massif - the largest glaciated domain in the European Alps.
Like other long ski runs, one can't ski straight down in one go. towards the bottom one also needs to remove one's skis to cross the moraine as the base of the glacier.
There are a number of variants to the famous Vallee Blanche. These require more skill and some more specific knowledge about the area and involve steeper skiing over more difficult terrain. These routes are only recommended for advanced skiers with plenty of backcountry skiing experience or intermediates with a qualified high mountain guide.
- Variants: There Are A Number of Variants In The Routes But These Are More Difficult
- Requin Hut: A Mid-Way Stop With Food and Drinks
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This run is so long that about halfway down the Chamonix Vallee Blanche one can stop for a breather at the Requin Hut. Here one can put up one's skis and enjoy an excellent meal and drinks and a little R&R.
Requin Hut is at an altitude of 2,516 meters (8,250 Feet) and is reached from the Mer de Glace or the Vallee Blanche. It is a popular refuge with beds for 57 people and is open for lunch to anyone passing by.
At this point, if there isn't enough snow to make it all the way back to the alpine resort town of Chamonix then one can finish by train. One can stop at the Monenvers train stations and take that back down to Chamonix.