A lot of skiers would say the best feeling on the mountain is dropping into powder fields. The deeper the better when it comes to off piste skiing. Our experts have selected the best off piste skiing in Europe. We have factored in snow conditions, varied terrain and access to freeride terrain. Each ski resort you can hire a top-class mountain guide to take you to the best spots in the area. Take a look at our recommendations.
Andermatt is a freeride skier’s paradise. The Gemsstock mountain terrain has steep descents and some big vertical runs to explore with a local mountain guide. Its high altitude of 1,444m-2,961m helps with snow reliability throughout the season. You can also head towards Sedrun where there’s more freeride terrain to enjoy. On and off the mountain this ski resort is a high-quality experience.
For some of the best off piste skiing in Europe, head to Chamonix. The freeride opportunities are limitless with a local mountain guide. Its steep terrain coupled with high altitude and a great snow record makes for brilliant off piste skiing. In particular, the freeride skiing along the world-famous Vallée Blanche and on the Grands Montets glacier is a must. No wonder skiers around the world visit the ski area.
Courmayeur doesn’t disappoint when it comes to off-piste skiing. The Italian ski resort is snow-sure throughout the season and has some great freeride descents to explore. If you hire a local mountain guide you can try some fantastic powder pockets. The views at the top of the Punta Helbronnner are breath-taking and the descents are incredible too. You can also head north towards Chamonix and ski the famous Vallée Blanche, returning via the Mont Blanc Tunnel.
North facing slopes and an altitude of 1,050m-3,020m is the perfect recipe for great powder skiing in Engelberg. If you’re looking for a challenge the legendary ‘Big Five’ freeride runs is some of the best off-piste skiing in Europe. The steep descent of the Laub in particular is great to explore with a local mountain guide. Many skiers hail Engelberg as the freeride mecca of Switzerland.
Regarded as the home of Italian off piste skiing, Gressoney is a must-visit for any powder hunter. The level of the terrain is varied with descents that are both gentle and challenging. A great place to progress your off-piste skills if you’re new to freeride. We recommend the Punta Indren area which has over 1000m of off-piste to drop into. If you’re feeling adventurous you can also book heli-skiing to get to some real untouched powder pockets.
For a variety of freeride action, La Thuile has a great selection of descents to enjoy. Snow conditions are reliable throughout the season with many north-facing slopes and an altitude of 1,176m-2,880m. Part of the Espace San Bernardo you can also head over to neighbouring French resort La Rosieré. If you’re searching for an adventure the resort also offers heli skiing bookings.
The Arlberg ski area, including St Anton, has some of the best off piste skiing in Europe. It has some of the top lift-served off-piste in the world. On top of this, you can also have some great ski touring experiences too. There are some incredible runs off Valluga heading to Zürs on a powder day. The region has a unique weather cycle, meaning there’s a high chance of deep snow throughout the season.
Val d’Isere is one of the most popular ski resorts in the world and it also has incredible freeride skiing to try. There’s plenty of terrain to explore with both gentle and steep descents. The Bellevarde side of the mountain has the most freeride opportunities. In particular, the Charvet Tour is the most well-known off-piste run in the Espace Killy ski area. It’s a fantastic descent that starts at the Grand Pré chairlift back to the Manchet Express chairlift.
For some of the highest quality off-piste skiing, head to Verbier. There’s both marked and unmarked freeride terrain to explore, which is perfect for different levels of powder skier. If you’re looking to dabble in some deep snow the Col des Gentianes Tortin and the Mont Gele are great marked off piste runs to start on. For more of a challenge try the Stairway to Heaven and Hidden Valley off piste descents with a local mountain guide. So much choice for those who love powder skiing.
The views of the iconic Matterhorn mountain is not the only reason to visit Zermatt. Its off-piste skiing is some of the best in the world. A fantastic decent you can try is the south-facing Paradies freeride run which takes you from Blauherd down to Findeln. The high altitude and many north-facing slopes combination preserves the snow very well on a powder day. True Swiss bliss!
To find out more about the best off piste skiing in Europe, please call our ski experts on 0207 471 7700.
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