When it comes to the steepest slopes in the Alps, what first comes to mind is perhaps the Harakiri in Mayrhofen, or the legendary Streif in Kitzbühel. But there are many other extremely demanding downhill runs that only very advanced winter sports enthusiasts or professional skiers can conquer. SnowTrex presents the steepest slopes in the Alps, sorted by the inclination of their steepest sections.
The steepest slopes at a glance
|Slope||Ski area||Country||Max. inclination|
|Lauberhorn||Grindelwald/First & Kleine Scheidegg/Männlichen||Switzerland||85 %|
|Lange Zug||Arlberg||Austria||80 %|
|Mont Fort||4 Vallées||Switzerland||77 %|
|Chavanette||Portes Du Soleil||France||76 %|
|Gamsleiten 2||Obertauern||Austria||70 %|
|Black Mamba||Zell am See-Kaprun||Austria||63 %|
|Pala di Santa||Val di Fiemme-Obereggen||Italy||58 %|
1. Kandahar in Garmisch-Partenkirchen
Germany is absolutely to be reckoned with when it comes to steep slopes! In the Garmisch Classic ski area, the famous Kandahar descent offers a real challenge for daring winter sports enthusiasts. The maximum inclination here is a whopping 92 %. A national record!
2. Streif in Kitzbühel
Every year, around 500 million spectators watch the famous Hahnenkamm race in the Kitzbühel ski area on their TV sets, and another 50,000 people celebrate their ski heroes along the slopes. The death-defying skiers need a lot of motivation when they throw themselves down the piste with an inclination of up to 85 %. In the fastest part of the slope, professionals reach a top speed of up to 150 km/h!
3. Lauberhorn in Wengen
Another extreme experience, with an inclination of up to 85 %, is the Lauberhorn descent in Wengen, Switzerland. In front of the panorama of the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau peaks, the slope offers a unique skiing experience down its 4.5 km. This makes it not only a challenging task for experienced skiers, but also the longest downhill in the Alpine Skiing World Cup.
4. Lange Zug in Lech-Zürs am Arlberg
A tricky start awaits skiers on the Lange Zug piste in Lech am Arlberg. The initial part at Rüfikopf is a no-go-zone for beginners, and it provides a challenge even for professional skiers with its steep 80 % inclination. The prepared ski route then turns slightly flatter, in total covering a distance of 4.7 km down to Lech in the valley.
5. Harakiri in Mayrhofen
The deep black Harakiri slope in the Mayrhofen-Hippach ski area is undoubtedly a real challenge for adventurous skiers. A sign saying “Hau di runter”, German for “Throw yourself down”, greets skiers at the starting point, and it’s a fitting motto. The slope has a 78 % inclination and leaves even experienced winter sports enthusiasts in a cold sweat. Anyone who dares to take on the challenge will not only be accepted into the “Harakiri community”, but, every Friday during the season, can also record their glory moment in a photo-shoot. The action-packed photos can then be downloaded comfortably from your home computer.
6. Mont Fort in 4 Vallées, Switzerland
Down this slope, a nerve-wrecking feeling of thrill is your constant co-pilot. The start of the approx. 6 km long descent takes place at an altitude of approx. 3,300 m on Mont Fort in the 4 Vallées ski region. From this point on, the slopes takes an almost vertical turn down toward the middle station, with an inclination of up to 80 %. The ride begins spectacularly and leads daring skiers over a passage with numerous humps. After having mastered the first part, the descent continues over further humps to finally end in the village of Tortin.
7. Chavanette in Portes du Soleil
The black Chavanette piste is located in the heart of the Portes du Soleil ski area, on the Chavanette mountain pass, between Champéry in Switzerland and Avoriaz in France. It is also known by its nickname “La Mur Suisse” (French for “The Swiss Wall”). The extreme descent measures 1 km down the east side of the pass in the Champéry ski area. The steep slope is not prepared, and is thus always full of challenging humps. It has an inclination of up to 76 % and its humps make it particularly technically demanding.
8. Gamsleiten 2 in Obertauern
The imposing Gamsleiten 2 in the Obertauern ski area in Salzburger Land is one of the steepest mogul slopes in Europe. It is at the fore-front of black-marked pistes and is extremely demanding with an inclination of up to 70 % and an often icy upper area.
9. Diabolo at Golm
The “Teufels-Piste” (German for “The Devil’s Slope”) in the Golm ski area in Montafon is another extreme, and offers an inclination of up to 70 % making it one of the steepest and heaviest in the Alps. It starts at the Golmerjoch mountain station, and undoubtedly lives up to its motto “All beginnings are hard”: its first 312 metres are extremely steep. After the rough start, the remainder of the slope offers comparatively pleasant terrain for nice carving turns.
10. Direttissima in Serfaus-Fiss-Ladis
The Direttissima in the Serfaus-Fiss-Ladis ski area is relatively short with a length of 1.5 km, and has a maximum inclination of 70 %. It leads from the Almbahn to the middle station of the Schönjochbahn at just under 2,600 metres.
11. Black Mamba at Kitzsteinhorn
The Black Mamba in the Kitzsteinhorn ski area in Zell am See-Kaprun is another great challenge for skiers. The black piste has an inclination of up to 63 % and an altitude difference of 290 metres along its length of 1 km. It starts at the valley station of the Kristallbahn and ends at Langwiedboden after some challengingly steep parts.
12. Pala di Santa in Val di Fiemme
The arguably biggest black challenge in the Val di Fiemme-Obereggen ski area can be found at Zanggen (it. Pala di Santa). The Pala di Santa slope is the steepest in “Ski Center Latemar” and offers an inclination of up to 58 %. The first part of the 2.3 km long descent is particularly treacherous due to its icy passages.
13. Planai in Schladming
The famous Planai World Cup run in the Schladming ski area has an extremely steep end. Here, an inclination of 52 % faces skiers before a sharp turn is needed in order to arrive safely at the finish line.
Extra: Felix Neureuther’s favourite piste
“Definitely the Kandahar in Garmisch-Partenkirchen. It is simply unbelievable: you stand at Kreuzjoch, with the Zugspitze peak in view and then head mercilessly down the 3.5 km long descent – an unbeatable experience.”
Remember to stay safe on the slopes. You’ll always get down somehow, try to make sure to do it in one piece. These slopes are not only skied, they are conquered!