Six off-piste gems in the Alps
1. ChamonixNo list of ski resorts that covers off-piste skiing would be complete without mentioning the French resort of Chamonix. Here you will find off-piste skiing that is virtually unbeatable. Chamonix is also a real favourite among many of the world’s top off-piste skiers. Several of the off-piste slopes in Chamonix are quite extreme. Some consist of close to vertical glacier walls and mountain sides. These challenges are something for professionals. Luckily though, there are slopes for the rest of us as well.
2. MontanfonMontanfon, located in the Austrian region of Vorarlberg, is a real classical destination among off-piste skiers. The area is usually covered in powder snow and you can easily reach many recommended off-piste slopes via the efficient and modern ski lift system. In case the snow cover is poor, you can easily reach other ski resorts nearby via the regional bus transport system. If your knowledge of German stretches to understand the local weather report you can easily take advantage of visiting ski slopes a few miles away. This is convenient for those who wish to be the first to hit the fresh snow, but can’t afford to rent a helicopter.
3. DavosDavos, which has become famous for political meetings, is the perfect ski resort for off-piste skiers who don’t want to compromise on anything. The ski experience is fantastic. The slopes of Davos are definitely enough even for professionals who ski in the world cup, who frequently arrive in Davos. Those who avoid ski pistes will also be satisfied in Davos. The off pist area is so large it hardly fits on the map. You really won’t be able to check out all the off pist slopes, no matter how hard you try, unless you are on a very very long holiday.
4. S:t AntonA place famous for upper end partying with a large portion of foreign visitors, S:t Anton offers a lot of everything. The location in the beautiful valley of Arlberg offers grand off pist skiing. Basically all off pist skiing should start and end in S:t Anton. The prerequisites are surely in place. The Austrians are by tradition ski pist skiers, but you will find a lot of great off pist possibilities beyond the regular slopes.
5. Lech/ZursMost of what can be said about S:t Anton is also applicable for Lech-Zurs, just on the other side of the Arlberg valley. The town names of Lech and Zurs, actually two adjacent towns, are famous amongst off-piste skiers. They are often associated with ‘cool rides’, ‘world class’ and ‘off-piste mecca’.
6. ZermattZermatt is something of a holiday paradise that attracts families and skiers of all levels. There are nevertheless also good chances of extreme skiing, particularly off-piste skiing. This ski resort is after all located around the Matterhorn massif, the second highest mountain in Europe and with some of the most vertical slopes. Zermatt is a good place all year around with excellent snow conditions.
Soon to come: Niseko, JapanSki trips to Niseko in Japan have become increasingly famous during the last few years, not least among off-piste skiers. The slopes are grandiose and there is generally no crowd. Thanks to the dry mountain air, the snow that falls in Niseko is very dry and fluffy. Some would say it is the best in the world.