Happy Halloween! From Austria’s steepest black piste to Banff’s most extreme freeride zone, ski company Inghams reveals the top hair-raising, spine-chilling, blood-curdling, scariest ski runs to make you scream!
1. The Harakiri, Mayrhofen
The Harakiri ski run in Mayrhofen is certainly not one for the faint-hearted. Numerous signs warn of the impending danger but the top is actually pretty gentle, enticing the more curious skier or snowboarder… it’s a deceiving start to what is Austria’s steepest black piste. Any snow (real or artificial) simply slides down the slope, creating incredibly icy conditions – it’s either carve hard or freeze up with fear!
Seven nights half-board at the four-star Hotel Neuhaus in Mayrhofen, Austria, from £749 per person based on two sharing. Price represents a saving of £160 per person and includes return flights from Bristol to Innsbruck on December 15 and airport transfers. Visit www.inghams.co.uk/fab5
2. The Swiss Wall, Avoriaz
The Swiss Wall is Portes du Soleil in France’s most terrifying ungroomed ski route! Perhaps thankfully, as you pause beside the warning sign at the top, the initial gradient is so steep it blocks your immediate view. It’s only when you commit do you see the rock-solid, blue-tinged icy patches navigating their way between car-sized moguls that cover almost the entire run… this one certainly has the fear factor!
Seven nights self-catering at the four-star Les Crozats Apartments in Avoriaz, France, from £440 per person based on six sharing an apartment. Price represents a saving of £160 per person and includes return flights from Manchester to Geneva on January 12 and airport transfers. See www.inghams.co.uk/fab5
3. Delirium Dive, Banff
To ski Banff’s double black diamond route, the infamous Delirium Dive, all are obliged to carry a backpack, avalanche beacon, shovel and probe, and must have had avalanche training. This exscream freeride zone is restricted to super expert skiers and snowboarders and even they aren’t allowed to ride it without a buddy! Once more, to get to the start, there’s a hair-raising 200km hike along a narrow, icy ridgeway!
Seven nights room-only at the four-star Caribou Lodge in Banff, Canada, from £895 per person based on four sharing a room. Price represents a saving of £54 per person and includes return flights from Heathrow to Calgary on December 4 and airport transfers. See www.inghams.co.uk/fab5
4. Chassoure-Tortin, Verbier
Verbier’s frightful Chassoure-Tortin run has to be one of Europe’s most notorious mogul fields, a true test of leg strength – there’s no time for trembling knees here! This ungroomed route starts with a long, icy, rocky traverse before becoming wider, but it remains a minefield of irregular, choppy moguls that actually get worse before they get better. This run demands respect!
Seven nights on a catered basis (including buffet breakfasts, afternoon tea and cake, and evening meals with complimentary wine for six nights) at the four-diamond Xtra Chalet de Verbier in Verbier, Switzerland, from £687 per person based on two sharing. Price represents a saving of £170 per person and includes return flights from Gatwick to Geneva on January 5 and airport transfers. See www.inghams.co.uk/fab5
5. Gran Risa, La Villa
La Villa’s Gran Risa ski slope is far more likely to give you the goose bumps than the giggles! The legendary black piste in the heart of The Dolomites has been host to the FIS World Cup Giant Slalom since 1985. It’s frighteningly fast and demands an exceptional level of technical skill: sharp bends, plentiful blind spots, a gradient of up to 60o in places, and a horrifyingly hard top layer of ice make this run one of the most challenging slopes in the Ski World Cup!
Seven nights on a catered basis (including buffet breakfasts, afternoon tea and cake, and evening meals with complimentary wine for six nights) at the four-diamond Chalet Hotel Al Pigher in la Villa, Italy, from £826 per person based on two sharing. Price represents a saving of £170 per person and includes return flights from Edinburgh to Innsbruck on January 12 and airport transfers. See www.inghams.co.uk/fab5