7 of the Scariest Runs in North America:

Robin Azer |
Corbet's Couloir - Jackson Hole Credit: Eric Seymour/JHMR photo
Corbet’s Couloir – Jackson Hole. Credit: Eric Seymour/JHMR photo

By definition, ‘scary’ is all in the eye of the beholder. Out on the ski slopes, steepness and scary are often partners in crime. How steep is steep? Generally speaking, beginner runs have a steepness of about 10 degrees, intermediates about 20 degrees, experts 30-45 degrees, and anything higher is insanity.

Things like rock outcroppings, narrow chutes, and other natural obstacles are other key ingredients to a crazy-hard run. Below are some of the scariest runs in North America – in no particular order.

‘Cause sometimes, to live your dream, you have to face your fears.

Delirium Dive – Sunshine Village, Banff, Canada

Sunshine Village, Banff Credit: MetroNews
Sunshine Village, Banff. Credit: MetroNews

Delirium Dive conditions change constantly and there is avalanche danger that may require closure on short notice.

The area must be open. To check the status, call 1-403-762-6511
You must carry and know how to use an avalanche transceiver
You must carry a shovel
You must carry collapsible avalanche probes
You must have at least one other person with you

Ski Banff

Corbet’s Couloir – Jackson Hole, Wyoming

When Corbet’s is open, people line up in droves at the entrance to peek in. But none of the hype means any skier should take the run lightly: it’s a seriously consequential, high-speed drop onto a 45-degree slope that requires good conditions and multiple powerful, technical moves on skis or a snowboard to successfully execute.

Teton Gravity Research

Kill the Banker – Revelstoke, Canada

Kill the Banker, Revelstoke. 2012. photo: Brian Schott
Kill the Banker, Revelstoke. 2012. photo: Brian Schott

“Kill the Banker at Revelstoke Mountain Resort has to be one of the most fun runs in the world. [Some of the]  “steepest cliffs known to man while technically being out of bounds, but it’s located directly beneath the gondola, so you’re never too far from hearing the cheers from your peers.”

Sean Cochrane, Pro Skier

Tuckerman Ravine – White Mountains, New Hampshire


“A line with no fall zones (read: don’t fall or you’ll sustain injury or death), frozen water running in long sheets over the ski line, cliffs lining the route, and rock bands perforating the interior. Add that to terrain which, in areas, chokes down to merely double the width of your skis and has a 50+ degree pitch sustained nearly the entire length of its 1,200’ fall line.”

Gina Begin, Ski Blogger

Goat – Stowe Mountain Lodge, VT

Stowe Mountain Lodge, VT
Stowe Mountain Lodge, VT

Goat/Upper Goat/Lower Goat – As far as challenges go, Goat and Upper Goat take the award for crazy Stowe things to do. They are arguably the most difficult trails on the mountain. Upper Goat starts you off with 1,000 feet of trail with an intense fall line to the left, while Goat itself is 1,241 feet of ledges, boulders, streams and a few moguls just to keep things interesting. Lower finishes you off with 100 windy feet of rocks and ledges.


Rambo – Crested Butte Mountain Resort, Colorado

Credit: Crested Butte, Facebook page
Credit: Crested Butte, Facebook page

Bragging Rights » At 55 degrees, Rambo is one of the steepest cut trails in the States. Huge bumps. Straight fall line. Full throttle.


Pipeline Couloir- Snowbird, Utah

Pipeline Couloir - Snowbird Credit: Snowbird
Pipeline Couloir – Snowbird. Credit: Snowbird

Its 11,000-foot summit is gnarly to access by hike — most seasons you have to rappel from a rope down to the entrance while wearing ski boots and carrying skis. Plus, you’re required to sign a waiver before entry.
The pass is narrow, about 15 to 20 feet wide, and the ride is pockmarked by loose rocks at the top. It’s a straight line until the apron opens up.

Business Insider

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27 thoughts on “7 of the Scariest Runs in North America:

  1. Palisades looks pretty daunting. I was tempted once when the snow was really fantastic but there was a huge crowd…a little fishbowly…did the reverse traverse to Northbowl on Head Wall. After breaking my back in 2020, I’ve finally gotten back on my skis, but taking it very easy.

  2. Rock Garden on KT kicks my butt (ditto for the Attic on Granite Chief, as well as the farthest left mogul line you pass on the way to the top of Granite Chief). Women’s Downhill on KT is super fun. Keyhole (I think that’s the name) would cause me to lose my lunch!

  3. I agree; Hunter Mtn has some steep runs on par with some of these, the difference being the runs are shorter, and they have bailout opportunities.

  4. So is the Aguille. If you want to limit the discussion to the tallest buildings in Kansas, be my guest. And you mean suit, not suite. 🙂

  5. Thx these articles are always fun. I’ll say that KT-22 is missing here, and parts of Hunter are like smaller scale parts of KT but… with snow so friggin’ hard that this Squaw Valley veteran had a to learn a whole new game. Soft snow skiers beware, LOL!

  6. Pretty much everything behind rope lines at Baker schools this entire list except Banff. Goat? Smfh.

    1. Last time I checked, La Grave was in Europe….but then again geography may not be your strong suite.

    1. If Revelstoke is nothing to Dave, then it must be special and hes trying to keep people away. The mobs at Killington on a holiday ,make the Green slopes a danger zone. If Tahoe sucks,its probably great, People have died on Tuckermans, I dont remember K27 and skied Hunter, NY a few times, so I cant comment, but will look at my ski map. Looking down Goat is hairy enough for me.

      1. K27 is best if you you tuck from the top bang a slight left and then hit it straight on at full speed!!!!! Very short run but so much fun!!!!!!

  7. goat is scary as shit but not even close to any blu run at killington on a holliday weekend

  8. If a line has to have horrible conditions to be scary, then it’s not a very scary line. thus exit Tuckerman’s (not a ski area anyway) and Goat. What, are you striving for some east west equal representation? that’s not really the point is it?

    1. yeah,,, rt now real skiers don’t live near tahoe, lol
      author didnt mention eagles nest, aka mckonkeys off KT, or how bout any of the lines in the chimney area of palisades? not very long, but def takes balls and has big ol pucker factor, hmmmm must hv only mentioned lines she skied, corbett’s not that rowdy, seriously there are some burly a$$ lines in east side sierra, or we just talking lift access?….wth
      go give N Couloir of Dade a look n see, did 1st known descent back in Apr ’95, no go pros then sooo,,,,guess really cant claim it then….haha

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