Top Ten Extreme Ski Slopes


The first Scandinavian hunter-gatherers who happened upon the ingenious idea of attaching wooden planks to their feet in times of wintery excess would no doubt be perplexed by today's multi-billion dollar industry. Why, they might wonder, didn't we think of that?

Post-Pleistocene era, the industry manages to draw millions to some of the most beautiful scenic spots on the planet. The allure of the winter slopes attracts its fair share of headcases, too, for whom the joy of a leisurely glide down slopes layered with soft powder just won't do. No, these brave souls insist that steeper, icier, and downright scarier is better. The resorts, for their part, are only too happy to oblige: After all, didn't Adam Smith argue that supply will eventually meet demand? If you lift-serve it, they will come—and throw themselves into the jaws of extreme exhilaration, again and again and again.

It is to these sick-steep marauders that we doff our caps, presenting ten of the world's most fearsome, resort-accessible runs. GORP teamed up with author Peter Oliver and champion skier Alison Gannett to compile the 2003 list of classic heart-in-your-mouth steeps. This is to be followed by ten unheralded runs that dare you to ride the gondola all the way to the top. Alison's five expert-only picks are to be read, inwardly digested, and only attempted if you are a double-diamond expert with the appropriate safety equipment packed on board. You have been warned!


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