Go big or go home.
Ever wonder what it’s like staring death in the face? Stand on the summit of one these scary ski runs and look down. You’ll get the idea pretty quickly. Killer views, deadly inclines, rock cliffs, and avalanche zones are just a few of the dangers that you’ll encounter while shredding down these do-or-die trails. Take a trip around the world and see if you’ve got what it takes to conquer the deadliest, steepest, and fastest ski runs on the planet. Experts only, please.
Top Picks for You
WHERE: Crested Butte, Colorado
Dubbed “The Steepest Ski Run in America”, Body Bag’s 275-foot drop is enough to jolt the life out of anyone. Set on the snowcapped peaks of Crested Butte, Bod Bag lures extreme skiers from all over the world come to experience the famed drop and 45-degree pitched slopes. Those brave enough to ski down this death-defying trail are met with 700 feet of pure adrenaline and fluffy Colorado powder.
INSIDER TIPBody Bag is so extreme you won’t find it listed the official trail map. Download the CB Extreme App to find the hidden trail.
WHERE: Mad River Glen, Vermont
Tucked away in the Green Mountains of Vermont sits Paradise—one of Mad River Glen’s most infamous ski runs. This un-groomed trail is loaded with gnarly twists, tightly packed trees, a frozen waterfall, and even the occasional exhausted skier. Mad River Glen’s “Ski It If You Can” motto will have you pining for Paradise’s heart-pumping thrills the moment snow season arrives.
WHERE: La Grave, France
Known as “Death Mountain”, La Grave’s off-piste adventure begins with a 30-minute cable car ride up a steep 10,500-foot summit. At the top, it’s just you, glaciers, crevasses, and no-fall zones. There are no signs or patrols, only 1000 foot drops down the face of an avalanche zone. Skiers who make it down the mountain alive consider themselves lucky. La Grave has claimed several lives, making it one of the deadliest ski runs on the planet.
INSIDER TIPDon’t try this alone. Always bring a guide to steer you through unmarked ski zones.
WHERE: Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Think you can conquer “America’s Scariest Ski Run”? Try your luck at Jackson Hole’s Corbet’s Couloir—a legendary chute that strikes fear into the hearts of everyone. Free-fall is the name of the game on this double-diamond run. Skiers plunge into a tight 10-foot wide chute before sinking into an abyss of snow-covered overhangs. Rugged rock walls abound, adding an extra level of danger to this heart-stopping ride.
WHERE: Hakuba 47, Japan
Nestled in the Japanese Alps, Hakuba 47 is known for its abundant snowfall and volcanic peaks. Trail guides show a number of wide runs, but to go extreme, skiers need to get off the map. Backcountry trails offer up steep double-diamond trails with lots of trees to whip around. Toss in an active volcano nearby, and skiers are guaranteed the ride of a lifetime.
INSIDER TIPSkiers can only access backcountry trails by becoming a member of Hakuba 47’s Double Black Diamond Club.
WHERE: Mayrhofen Bergbahnen, Austria
This suicidal run is the steepest slope in Austria. Set at a sharp 78-degree angle, Harakiri is one dicey trail. A severe vertical incline and icy conditions turn skis into blades, forcing skiers to really carve their way down the mountain. A slice in the wrong direction and you’ll be eating snow for the length of the run as you desperately try to regain your balance.
WHERE: Cerro Catedral, Argentina
Pack your beacon, shovel, and avalanche gear before shredding down this rugged Patagonian slope. La Hoyita ski trail sits high above Argentina’s Bariloche region, overlooking majestic lakes and ancient glacier cradles. Take a cable car to the top and watch out for La Hoyita’s serious snowfall and avalanche warnings. Skiers willing to risk death are rewarded with million dollar views and jaw-dropping thrills as they glide across the fragile mountainside.
WHERE: Kvitfjell, Norway
You don’t have to be an Olympic contender to ski like one—Kvitfjell’s Olympiabakken course is built for speed and competition. Stretching two miles long, this run is known for its steep inclines and bumpy ice patches. Originally used in Norway’s 1994 Winter Games, Olympiabakken still remains a favorite among pro skiers participating in Kvitfjell’s annual World Cup Ski Competition.
WHERE: Wegen, Switzerland
At 8,110 feet above sea level, Lauberhorn is the longest downhill ski run in the world. This 2.7-mile course shoots skiers down the mountain at break-neck speeds unheard of anywhere else. It’s not unusual to regularly hit an electrifying 100 mph. With speeds that high, it’s no surprise pro-skiers call Lauberhorn the fastest downhill course on the World Cup circuit.
WHERE: Sunshine Village, Canada
Delirium Dive is so extreme that Sunshine Village Resort offers a full-day ski clinic devoted to the dangers of this hazardous slope. Skiers are given a transmitter, a ski buddy, an avalanche beacon, and a shovel before heading up the summit. Pass through the snowy gate and Delirium Dive’s reputation delivers. Body-hugging chutes, 60-degree inclines, rugged rocks, a fierce 2,500-foot vertical drop, and mounds of thick white powder make this one wicked ski trail.
WHERE: Alyeska Resort, Alaska
Located inside Alaska’s biggest ski resort, Christmas Chute is a nail-biting run stuffed with steep slides and deep cut chutes. Hop on Chair 6 and follow expert skiers to the edge of this double diamond trail. Whether you survive or take a dive depends on how well you navigate through Christmas Chute’s terrifying conditions. Howling winds and incredibly steep drops make this one of the most challenging ski runs of North America.
WHERE: Big Sky, Montana
Beneath a vertigo-inducing tram lays the most epic ski run at Big Sky Resort. Sign in at the patrol shack and get your avalanche gear checked. Only then may you leap off Big Couloir’s frightening 50-degree cliff. Glide down the sustained 1,000-foot vertical drop and feel every bone in your body shake. But views of neighboring Yellowstone National Park are enough to transform this spine-rattling trail into a breathtaking ski run you’ll never forget.