Lighthearted blue slopes not your thing?
Well, let's ramp it up a notch; vertical drops, sharp banking turns, speeds of up to 80mph, does that sound more like it?
(In the interests of safety, we would like to note that these runs are for hardcore skiers only, and many pros take years of their lives preparing, and you should always seek the help of an experienced guide when thinking about tackling these runs for the first time).
Corbet's Couloir, Jackson Hole
Situated in Wyoming, USA, this slope is known as America's scariest ski run. The allure lies unmistakably in the slope's opening drop; a thirty foot free-fall to the banks below. Once skiers have overcome this beast, and landed on the soft snow, they forget their worries, and can enjoy one of the best runs of their life. The resort itself is beautifully decorated with log cabins, lodges, and ranches.
The Swiss Wall, Avoriaz
Located at the Portes Du Soleil ski resort, this slope may seem scary at first, but with the right amount of snow cover, this is actually a run which many can take part in. Again, it is the initial drop that spooks even the sturdiest skier, and is difficult to pilot in the wrong conditions, but once bested, the slope evens out and is great for a skier testing out their own ability for more challenging slopes.
Le Tunnel, Alpe d'Huez
Found high up in the French Alps, this black run is located in the same resort as the longest ski slope in Europe, yet is considered significantly more daunting. After skirting along the initial drop, you are led to 'the tunnel', a small hollowed out section in the rock, which leads to a rather horrifying sight as the slope drops rapidly to your left once you've exited the tunnel. Again, it's dependent on the weather conditions, but is certainly one of the more unique runs in Europe.
This one is truly terrifying; full concentration is vital if you are to steer your way down this slope safely. Like many of these runs, the hardest part is perhaps having the nerve to stand on the brink, and push yourself off, especially as the early view can be quite intimidating -- it starts off in similar vein to a rollercoaster, and you will traverse sharply in each direction, and across steep sloping bumps, but as you get on, it eases off, becoming considerably smoother, and surprisingly, the resort is considered ideal for beginner/intermediate skiers.
La Grave, France
Ominously named, and for good reason, this French Alps-based ski slope is unpisted, and skiers are strongly recommended to take an experienced guide. There are two main descent routes for skiers, on the left and the right of the gondola station, both which run through rocky terrain, and based on the weather, can sometimes lead to small icefalls on the run or even grass meadows.
Not for the faint hearted, these slopes are designed to test and challenge; do you have what it takes?
The author is a keen skier and blogger who has stayed in many European resorts including chalets in Val d'Isere, Alpe d'Huez and Verbier.