The 9 Most Dangerous Ski Slopes in the World

Taliana Potts |
Corbet’s Couloir – Jackson Hole. Credit: Eric Seymour/JHMR photo

There is a whole lot about skiing that causes it to be considered a dangerous sport. People ski on crazy terrain, in less than ideal conditions, and most tend to be doing this at high speeds. Although many people think skiing and riding is a little too extreme, most of us who do it know it is worth all the risk.

Below are some of the most dangerous ski slopes in the world. This list factors in steeps, bumps, obstacles, narrow chutes and everything else that makes a ski run dangerous or a little bit scary.

The Streif – Kitzbuhel, Austria

Austria Kitzbuhel, the Streif, dangerous

Considered one of the most dangerous downhill courses in the world, The Streif has claimed several ski race wipeouts. This course is on Mount Hahnenkamm in the Kitzbuhel Alps of Austria. It’s a place where racers ski multiple steep gradients at 90 miles per hour and hit 260-foot jumps.

Great Scott – Snowbird, Utah

Utah, Great Scott, Snowbird

Great Scott may not be the longest or steepest run on this list, but it sure is a thrill ride. The challenging part of this slope comes from the large rocks scattered all over the run. A lot of these obstacles are covered in that fluffy Utah snow, so they may pop up unexpectedly. The consistent pitch and rocky knuckles of Great Scott make for an exhilarating run.

 Harakiri – Mayrhofen, Austria

steepest groomed run, Austria

The 78 percent gradient of Harakiri makes it the steepest groomed run in the world. One slip on this icy groomer would most likely send a skier tumbling down the length of the run. Harakiri, the Japanese term for ritual suicide, is a fitting name for the Austrian slope.

Black Hole – Smugglers’ Notch, Vermont

smugglers' notch, black hole, entrance

The Black Hole offers some of the Eastern United States’ most intense glade skiing. Its 53-degree pitch is scattered with bumps, trees, and rocky outcroppings. Skiing down this run may give you a similar feeling of being sucked into a Black Hole.

Corbet’s Couloir – Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Corbet's

Jackson Hole’s legendary couloir has been listed in almost every challenging ski slope ranking out there. Corbet’s is known for its mandatory cornice drop ranging from 10 to 20 feet. After the freefall from the cornice, skiers plunge into a tight chute with large rock walls on either side.

Paradise – Mad River Glen, Vermont

paradise, Vermont, tree skiing

Paradise, one of Mad River Glen’s infamous ski runs, is an off-piste trail full of natural obstacles. It is filled with cliff bands, rock outcroppings, tight trees, and a frozen waterfall. The multiple line choices within Paradise allow for a new and exciting experience every time it is skied.

Delirium Dive – Sunshine Village, Banff, Canada

banff, sunshine village, delirium dive

Sunshine Village Resort requires everyone who skis Delirium Dive to bring a beacon, shovel, probe, and ski buddy. The resort also offers a ski clinic devoted to the hazardous conditions of this area. The slope is full of tight chutes, rugged rocks, and inclines up to 60 degrees.

Al’s Run – Taos Ski Valley, New Mexico

new mexico, Al's Run, taos,moguls

Al’s Run has gained a reputation because of its giant moguls and its length of 1,800 vertical feet. This “famously difficult run” is located directly under Lift 1. It is part of Ski Magazine’s Top 10: Bumps and Travel + Leisure’s World’s Scariest Ski Slopes.

La Chavanette – Avoriaz, France

la chavanette, france, switzerland

La Chavanette, also known as the Swiss Wall, is located on the border of Switzerland and France, in the Portes du Soleil ski area. The incline from the top is so steep that the rest of the run cannot be seen. This difficult piste is often heavily moguled and contains icy conditions.

Related Articles

34 thoughts on “The 9 Most Dangerous Ski Slopes in the World

  1. Stop mentionning stupid stuff like “inclines up to 60 degrees”. The toughest off-slope lines taken by steepness pros don’t exceed 55 degrees in their steepest parts and slopes or common offslopes never ever exceed 45 degrees in toughest parts. 60 degrees is the “vertical” dropdown at corbet’s entrance (ie the wall itself, which is not vertical at all but is still not really skiable, hence called a dropdown, but it’s 2-3 meter long to it’s not a steepness you take into account when measuring a section’s steepness which is measures on at least 20 meters of height). You probably meant 60% (which is 30 degrees, since it looks difficult only because bumpy and narrow with pylones)…

  2. This might be the dumbest list I have ever scene. Corbet’s even close to the most “dangerous” run even at jackson hole. The Streif is a race course. Al’s Run is a single black mogul run. I do not think you found any of the most dangerous runs anywhere. It is like you just made a list of things you remember hearing about.

  3. I can think of 10 in Chamonix area alone that are far more dangerous than any on this ridiculous list yet even those cannot compare to the risk of skiing down Belt Parkway at Hunter Mountain on a Saturday afternoon around 3:30pm.

  4. what about fingers @ tigne or asian pussy @ whistler blackcomb or backside of Mt Olympus NZ or some Motatapu Chutes @ Treblecone or Little Colouir @ Big Sky and most of all La Grave

  5. The Colouir, Whistler? rambo, crested butte? Chainsaw ridge, blackcomb? Kiwi Flat, Mammoth? The Goat, Stowe?

  6. Yeahhh I wouldnt agree with this list that much. I ski at WhistlerBlackcomb and some of the runs there have around 50 degree steep slopes. I would replace Great Scott in Snowbird with Exhilaration in Whistler (its not on the map)

  7. Every Snowbrains (and Unofficial) list is like 5 things from staff writers home mountain and then the rest is from some USA Today travel section.

      1. It’s pretty much the same website as Snowbrains except it’s not 70% “sponsored” articles.

  8. Mammoth mountain chair 23 , wind blown ice sheet after getting off the chair , if it’s a big snow day mandatory cornice drop and super steep .

      1. Kiwi’s, Phillipes, JR’s, Searby’s, Huevos, even Hangman’s at Mammoth; what about Palisades Lines or the Fingers at Squaw? It’s a good list but they should have made it top 20 and thrown a few more bones out to other resorts. And anything in the Alps just wins all the time haa! Good post have a good spring y’all!

  9. Most of those runs are like skiing on Mt Ruapehu, New Zealand. narrow, rocky, icy, steep, drop offs. Try the Traverse of death, but make sure its not icy……..

  10. A bunny hill is risky to a beginner as an extreme is to an expert. It’s about skiing terrain at your ability.
    ..Thanks for the shout out to Taos ! I do however need to point out that Taos has may awesome extreme runs. As fun as Al’s can be, it is a single black. Nothing like Stouffenberg , Pipeline or werners chute. To name just a few of the so many extreme runs Taos has to offer.

    1. Hell yeah. Ran my worst wreck on a green circle–spiral, twisting femur fracture. Had to straighten and pull traction on that sucker amidst blood-curdling screams, then ski her down about a mile. That was my first year patrolling in Northern NM, at Angle Fire on the other side of the range from Taos. I know every run you name above–never did like the bumps on Al’s, however–If god had wanted Texans to ski, he’d of made B-S white!

  11. Skiing is about enjoying life not risking life. Extreme sports anything just means you will just end your life a lot sooner than the rest of us. No thanks. Now if you’ll excuse me I have great grand children to attend to.

      1. Hey Anonymous, I remember you from another thread similar to this one. ?Rock and Roll, que no?

    1. I wouldn’t call them “dangerous”, I’d call them challenging. I’ve skied much more dangerous couloirs than Corbett’s, but not since I got married. Dodge’s Drop in Tuckerman Ravine is steeper, narrower, and is diagonal to the fall line. I skied Paradise at Mad River Glen a few weeks ago. Definitely more challenging than The Fan on Chair 2 at Alpental, but fun and I’m 61!

Got an opinion? Let us know...