Until the bitter end: The longest valley descents

03/28/2017 - Selina Sauerland

It’s the highlight of a day’s skiing: the last downhill run that reaches into the valley. Preferably all the way to the next sun deck, where you can bring the day to a close with a refreshing drink. We have put together a few locations, where you can enjoy pleasurable skiing on some of the longest (more or less classic) downhill valley descents:

Mount St. Elias (Alaska)

This must be a record: in 2007, two of Austria’s extreme skiers Axel Naglich and Peter Ressmann, dashed down the 5,489 m long stretch from the peak of  Mount St. Elias (5,489 m) all the way to the gulf of Alaska. That’s 35 km. One would probably be best advised, to not imitate that kind of a manoeuvre.


Although it’s not considered a classic downhill valley run, the Vallée Blanche route should find some mention here. Not least because the 20 km long descent of Aiguille du Midi down to Chamonix, is one of the most popular deep-snow descents in the world – as well as to one of the longest in the Alps. However, it is not a prepared/groomed piste.

La Grave

This one also isn’t primed – and yet leads into the valley. From the Dôme de la Lauze (3,550 m) en route to the small village of La Grave, you’ll get to enjoy roughly 19 km of finest deep powder snow descent. The Meije mountain (3,983 m) is an internationally renowned freeride area and the annual venue of the freeride racing event “Derby de la Meije”.


The longest piste of the entire ski area runs from the BIG 3 platform “Schwarze Schneid” down into the valley and measures a whopping 15 km. Winter sports enthusiasts will overcome an altitude of 1,900 m.


A ski-classic: The Parsenn descent from the Weissfluh peak (2,844 m) all the way down into Küblis, is one of the longest downhill runs of the region, at 12 km. The Parsenn is a legend within the various regions of the Alps. It was discovered by four British tourists in 1895, as they went astray all the way to its peak and after a long descent, later found themselves in Küblis.


At 12 km, the Hochjoch-Totale, situated at the Grasjoch, is the longest downhill valley run in Vorarlberg. It leads from the highest point of the Silvretta Montafon, known as the Alpinagrat, all the way down to Schruns. The tourist service also organises sunrise excursions from the Hochjoch-Totale; starting at at 07:20, in the morning the tourists hit the fresh pistes.

Reit im Winkl

It’s 12 km from the Steinplatte, down to the Seegatterl.


Over the renowned “Nationale”, down to Barzettes-Violettes, runs the downhill slope in the ski area of Crans-Montana. With 12 km it belongs to the longest in the region.


According to the local lift operators, this is the Zillertal’s longest artificially snow-covered slope. From the Öfelerjoch, also known as the “noble crystal hut”, this slope within the ski area Hochfügen-Hochzillertal, leads down to Aschau. The last bit of the stretch is marked as a ski-route.


The longest downhill descent of East Tyrol leads down to Matrei. It is 11.3 km long and is also the longest of the three downhill valley descents in the largest ski area of East Tyrol, the Grossglockner Resort.


It is known to be a true challenge: the Vermalen slope from the Glattingrat down to the valley station is 11 km long. Situated in the ski area Sonnenkopf, it belongs to the “Ski Arlberg” network.


“Eleven“ – the name says it all. Especially in Ischgl. The well signposted route measures 11 km, from the ski area’s highest peak, the Greitspitz, all the way down to the town centre. Here, the red and blue pistes interconnect to one of the longest slopes in Austria.


The 10 km long valley descent at the Stubai Glacier, runs from the upper chairlift terminal called “Wildspitz” down to the Mutterberg valley station. The slope partly passes over a prepared piste. The lower part of the skiing route however, is called the “Wilde Grub’n”.


The downhill valley run to Bramberg measures 9.7 km. The stretch, fully coverable by artificially snow lies in the ski area Wildkogel-Arena and leads all the way down to the lower terminus of the Smaragd lift.


© Plose Ski AG

Brixen Plose

Not only is the Trametsch at the Plose the longest downhill valley run, but with 9 km it’s also the longest slope in all of South Tyrol. The start of the Trametsch lies at the Schutzhaus Plose (mountain shelter) at 2,466 m altitude. However, it’s not only the piste’s length that’s appealing, but also the view from the top part of the mountain. Before the slope passes through a forest area, winter sport enthusiasts get to catch a glance of one of the most beautiful Dolomite groups, the Geisler peaks.

Spittal an der Drau

This one’s quite an affair: the 8.5 km long valley descent at the Goldeck, is known to be the longest, black downhill run in the Alps. The piste at the “Sportberg“ measures 8.5 km and an altitude of 1.600 m.


© “Das Höchste” Petra Schuhmacher


According to lift operators, the highest situated skiing region of the Allgäu, is home to the longest snow-covered downhill valley descents of Germany. From the Nebelhorn, one breezes down a 7.5 km long descent, covered completely in snow. The Höfatsblick marks the beginning, at an altitude of 1,932 m.

  • Tuesday, 28. March 2017
  • author: Selina Sauerland
  • category: Ski Areas
Print Friendly and PDF
Ski Juwel Alpbachtal Wildschönau Ski Area

The Ski Juwel Alpbachtal Wildschönau ski area is one of the ten largest ski areas in ...

Zell am Ziller – Zillertal Arena Ski Area

Four ski areas with a total of 143 km of pistes and the highest fun factor for young ...