Top Ten Extreme Ski Slopes

Beyond Black: The World's Top 10 Classic Steeps
By Peter Oliver & Alistair Wearmouth

When extreme skiers go south for the summer, you'll likely find them catching the waves in Baja or honing their devil-may-care skills on the slopes in South America or New Zealand. For South American action, the degree junkies congregate in Las Leñas. There, they congregate in the Marte zone, a super-steep jumble of rock-lined chutes and open faces that is the epicenter of South American extreme skiing.

Las Leñas, a short 90-minute flight from Buenos Aires, sits high in the Andes mountain range at 7,400 feet. The climate brings dry, powdery snow between June and October, the months when most folk north of the equator are more focused on how to squeeze three kids and the dog into a sweaty tent.

The terrain at Las Leñas is jagged and steep; even better, the resort's founding fathers had the foresight to build a lift—Marte, named after the face it serves—all the way to the top. Huck yourself into the 50-degree chutes on El Marte and you'll probably find yourself cursing the liberal Argentinean definition of in-bound terrain management.

Resort Facts

Web: www.laslenas.com

Season: June to October


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