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Krumpe Rinne Couloir in Sölden

 

Logo Yellow GentianSteepest ski pistes in the European AlpsReviewer Alex


You probably recognize the moments that you talk with your friends about how steep and difficult the piste was that day. And that the conversation goes on about other steep slopes and which one is the steepest. So I did some field and desk research to get a list of secured slopes, wether groomed or not. If there are other pistes/slopes who belong on this list, please let me know. I’ll be happy to test and add them.

The top 12 of steep pistes (secured slopes) in the Alps:

  1. Manni Pranger, Steinach am Brenner, Austria: 102%

  2. Langer Zug, Lech, Austria: around 100%Langer Zug, Lech, Austria
    This piste is often mentioned with a 142%. As I know this slope pretty good and couldn’t imagine that it is that steep, I recalculated it with the slopescience.com tool (seems to be out of order at the moment, but maybe it comes back). With luck I get a 100% on the steepest part, so I leave it with that. Apparently a speedskiër once did 248 km/hour (154 miles/hour) on this piste.

  3. Gamsleiten, Obertauern, Austria: 100%

  4. Kandahar, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany: 92%

  5. Die Streif, Kitzbühel, Austria: 85%
    This piste is often seen as the hardest World Cup Downhill race of the season. The toughest could be the one in Wengen as well as that is the longest. Often you see the ski racers there to be too tired to end the race normally.

  6. Laber Nordhang, Oberammergau, Germany: 84%

  7. Forcella Staunies, Cortina, Italy: 84%

  8. Harakiri, Mayrhofen, Austria: 78% (on average!)

  9. Couloir Tournier, Meribel, France: 78%

  10. Mont Fort, Quatre Valléé, Switzerland: 77%

  11. Le Mur Suisse, Portes du Soleil, France/Switzerland: 76%

  12. Stade de vitesse de l’Aguille Rouge, Les Arcs, France: 76%
    This is an official speed-ski piste for world record speeds.

The steepest piste list doesn’t contain off-piste, backcountry, cliff jumping slopes of course, but only the secured descents/labeled ski runs. There are generally two ways to assign the steepness of a hill, percentage and degree. I have found most information in percentage, so I have used that. To give you an idea how they relate:

Ski slopes Degrees vs Percentage

With thanks for your input, the original top 10 is a top 12 now. The percentage mentioned is in most cases on a reasonable stretch of the steepest part of the slope.

And, how many did you do already? Which ones should be on the list as well? If you have any suggestions, please let me know via Google+, facebook or by e-mail info@yellowgentian.com.

Note: I would like to make a list for North American runs as well. As sometimes 90% of the mountain is labeled as ski run, it might be harder to get something close to objectiveness. Maybe we can make a top 10 of coolest descends with drawn routes on images?

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