But the question isn’t so easy to answer. This is because there are lots of variables that can determine the length of a ski run.
For example, do you measure them by the mile or vertical drop? Also, do you include backcountry routes, as well as groomed slopes? And does it count if you need to jump on a lift to join all the parts together?
The debate will continue, but in this post, we will attempt to cover the longest ski runs in the world without too much controversy.
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Longest Ski Runs In The World
- 1. Vallee Blanche, Chamonix, France
- 2. Zermatt to Valtournenche in Italy & Switzerland
- 3. Sarenne, Alpe D’Huez in France
- 4. The Last Spike, Revelstoke, Canada
- 5. Schilthorn-Mürren-Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland
- 6. Parsenne, Davos, Switzerland
- 7. Aiguille Rouge to Le Pre, Les Arcs, France
- 8. Les Grands Montets à Argentière Chamonix, France
- 9. Marmolada to Malga Ciapela, Italy
- 10. Plateau Rosa To Cervinia, Italy
- 11. Bormio, Italy – from the glacier to the village
- 12. Saas-Fee Top To Bottom, Switzerland
- 13. Les Deux Alpes – Top To Bottom, France
- Final Thoughts
- Enjoyed 13 Longest Ski Runs In The World? Share it with your friends so they too can follow the Kayakhelp journey.
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The Vallee Blanche in Chamonix, France, is an incredible location. The ride on the Aiguille du Midi cable car to the top is breathtaking enough and not for the fainthearted.
The cable car is in two stages, and you have to book your place, or you will be in for a long wait. It is also best to start out early in the morning, so you can score epic fresh powder in this iconic setting overlooked by Mont Blanc.
The run itself is an off-piste run and arguably the longest in the world. This 14-mile long run features over 8,858-feet (2,700 meters) of vertical drop.
The Vallee Blanche is a dangerous place to be, as it is riddled with crevasses, as most of the run is on the glacier. There is also a high avalanche risk most of the winter. Therefore, it is best to book a guide to ski the Vallee Blanche to stay as safe as possible.
When you ski the Vallee Blanche, you are treated to some of the best alpine views in the world. If you are lucky, you can ski all the way down to Chamonix in the right conditions, which is great fun, but tiring work.
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A visit to Zermatt wouldn’t be complete without doing this iconic ski run. This run stretches 13-miles, starts in Zermatt, Switzerland, and finishes in Italy.
It also lies in the shadow of one of the world’s most recognizable mountains, the Matterhorn. Another interesting point about this run is that you can ski it all year round. Thanks to its altitude and aspect, the snow on the glacier remains in pretty good condition most of the year.
This run is located in the Matterhorn Ski Paradise, one of the largest ski resorts in the world. It gives you easy access to some of the best ski slopes Switzerland and Italy have to offer.
At nearly 4,000 meters elevation, the resort is the highest in the Alps. Which means you are never too far away from a long sweeping slope to race down.
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The Sarenne in Alpe D’Huez is known to be the longest black run in the world. It is 10-miles long and winds down the mountain and through the valley back to the center of the ski resort.
Skiing the Sarenne takes you from epic views at the top through trees and shrubs as you get lower into the valley. Even though the Sarenne is labeled as a black run, it isn’t that challenging after the first section.
With this in mind, the Sarenne is doable by any intermediate skier who wants to tick off an iconic run.
When the visibility is clear, you can see part of the neighboring ski resort, Les Deux Alpes, and the glacier at La Grave. The Sarenne has reliable snow cover, but it isn’t always groomed, so you can end up on a horrendous mogul field if you get the wrong day.
You can get off the Sarenne at a couple of points, but don’t go too far right and end up on Le Tunnel. This is the most challenging slope with huge moguls.
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Revelstoke is home to North America’s highest ski lift. Therefore, you won’t be surprised to hear that it also has one of the longest ski runs.
The Last Spike got its name from the ceremonial final spike driven into the Canadian Pacific Railway line. This run measures 9.5 miles and zig zags beautifully down the mountain through the trees.
Skiers of all levels can enjoy The Final Spike, as it doesn’t cut through challenging terrain. It is perfect for beginner skiers looking for a longer run to tackle, as it also acts as a maintenance road for Snowcats.
The run is groomed often, making it super easy, which is a stark contrast to some of the challenging terrain Revelstoke is better known for.
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The Schilthorn in Lauterbrunnen has been the venue of the largest amateur ski race since 1928. The course, known as “The Inferno Race,” begins just below the Schilthorn and charges down into the valley.
This is a very demanding course, but you can ski it when the race is not taking place. The starting point isn’t that obvious, as you need to walk through the woods near to the Maulerhubel lift.
The run is just over nine miles long, so you will feel your legs burning by the time you get to the bottom.
Lauterbrunnen itself is a vast ski resort. It boasts 42 ski lifts that service over 2,171 meters of vertical drop. This stunning ski resort is tucked into a valley overlooked by some of the most impressive cliffs and rock formations.
Adding to the drama of Lauterbrunnen’s landscape are no less than 72 thundering waterfalls.
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The longest run in Davos is 7.4-miles long and it takes you from the summit of Weissfluh to Küblis. This is one of those iconic runs that are steeped in history, that will give you a nostalgic trip as you carve down the mountain.
You can take on the Parsenne descent when the conditions permit after catching the funicular from Davos Dorf. This takes you to the Weissfluhjoch, so you can get on the short cable car to the Weissfluhgipfel.
The first part of the descent down to Schifer is pretty straightforward. Then you have a long blast through a forest area and over undulating meadows until you get to the hamlet of Kublis.
Once in Kublis, you can jump on the train back to Davos. Alternatively, stop for a well-earned beer in the pub.
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The ski from the top of the Aiguille Rouge starts at 3226 meters and takes you all the way down to Villeroger as 1200 meters. There are a few variants on the way down, but if you take the most direct route, you still get 4.3 miles of fun. However, you can detour into the woodlands and extend the run by over a mile.
This doesn’t seem like much, considering the length of the other slopes on this list. However, it feels longer, thanks to the variety of terrain you experience on the Aiguille Rouge.
At the top, you can experience high-alpine terrain with panoramic views of the French Alps. There is even a sky bridge viewing platform to enhance your sightseeing.
There is a short steep section at the top of the Glacier du Varet. This is a bit challenging for less experienced skiers, but the slope mellows after this section.
However, there are some tricky sections as the slope meanders down the mountain on the edge of the Vanoise National Park. You will find that the run becomes much easier when you reach the treeline on your way to the charming hamlet of Le Pre.
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Back to the iconic French ski resort of Chamonix for this next long ski run. Chamonix is actually made up of several villages that are not all connected by ski lifts.
Les Grands Montets area is known locally, simply, as Les Grands, due to how big everything is. This area is heaven for freeriders, and it has earned legendary status thanks to the upper area’s ungroomed and steep slopes, beautiful valleys, and incredible snow.
However, you can get to the Argentiere area starting in the car park at the bottom. The lift takes you to 1972 meters at Lognan before you jump on the Grand Montets lift to 3275 meters.
From here, you have a few choices in terms of routes across the Glacier des Rognons. The glacier is covered in crevasses, so you need to be careful or take a guide.
A great option is to head for the Pointe de Vue, which is on your right. You can follow the lift line, and there are several variations you can take on the way down, but they all meet at the same point in the woods to Argentiere.
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Malga Ciapèla is located at 1450 meters at the foot of the Marmolada mountain in the Dolomites. You can reach the summit from there and it is the starting point of the Marmolada cable car.
The ski resort of Malga Ciapela is regarded as the gateway to the Arabba-Marmolada ski area. The area has 62 km of slopes serviced by 27 ski lifts.
This is a small area compared to other resorts, but it is home to some of the world’s most incredible views and ski touring terrain.
If you catch the Marmolada cable car, you can reach the top of the Punta Rocca at 3269m in three stages. At the top, you will see incredible views of the Dolomites, which are very different from the Alps.
Even though the descent is historic, it isn’t particularly difficult. Any intermediate skier will be able to ski this route without too much bother.
You are treated to a long and leisurely cruise with incredible scenery until you reach the bottom. It takes you back to the lift where you started, so it is easy to lap if you want more.
This descent is historic because it follows an old World War One trail used by Italian forces. It is easy to find your way, as it is clearly signposted all the way down.
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Cervinia is a stunning Italian ski resort on the Swiss-Italian border. This gives you great scope for a European ski trip, Italian food, Swiss cheese, and chocolate, with world-class skiing.
If you head over the border to Switzerland, you can do the Zermatt to Valtournenche route we described in item number two on this list. However, you can do a shorter run by making the seven-mile descent from the Rosa Plateau, a glacier on the border.
This red run, known as the Ventina track, starts at one of the most scenic points in the Alps. Before you set off, you have to take a look around at the peaks, including Mount Cervino, Monviso, and the magnificent Mont Blanc (Monte Bianco in Italian).
The run starts with an s-shaped wall and continues along a pretty flat slope with various undulations. From the Goillet cable car, the slope gets steeper and often icy. Still, there are alternative ways of getting down if this proves challenging.
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Bormio is a beautiful little Italian ski resort, but its ski area goes all the way up to 3,000m.
Bormio is also home to the Pista Stelvio, the most technically challenging course in the Alpine skiing World Cup. You can take on sections of the Pista Stelvio yourself, all in one go.
If you fancy taking on the piste of champions, you can do it day or night. Bormio has realized that this iconic run needs to be enjoyed by everyone, so they have lined it with floodlights.
It is super simple to do the Pista Stelvio, as you can catch the eight-person gondola that takes you to Bormio 2000. After this lift, take the cable car to Cima Bianca at 3012m.
Once at the top, you can choose between easy and intermediate slopes that run both above and below the treeline. But both routes take you back to the town.
The Stelvio piste is graded as a red piste and is challenging for intermediates, which is hardly surprising considering its reputation.
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Saas-Fee is a beautiful Swiss ski resort, regarded as the “pearl of the alps.” It retains a traditional mountain town atmosphere, but it has a modern ski lift system to help you reach its fantastic slopes.
The ski area is among the most snow-sure locations in Europe, even though it isn’t that big. Most of the resort is traffic-free which adds to its charm.
Towering above the resort are some of the most imposing mountains you will ever encounter. Weighted heavily with glaciers and dramatic rock formations, the scenery is striking and impressive.
You have to get on quite a few lifts for a long blast from the top, but the final stage is the Metro Alpin underground railway. This train takes you up to 3456 meters and Saas-Fee’s summer skiing pistes.
There are two routes down to the village from the top. Many people regard the Morenia route as the best to the right.
This is a stunning descent into Saas-Fee, with the lower half giving you a climactic finish as you charge down the mountain’s main red slope.
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Les Deux Alpes is the world’s second ski resort, established after Chamonix. It is located in the Southern French Alps and has a reputation for being a party town.
Les Deux Alps is an unusual ski resort as it is “upside down.” The more accessible slopes are at the top of the mountain, while the more challenging ones are closer to the resort’s base.
At the top of the mountain is a glacier that is open during the winter and summer. To get to the glacier, you need to catch the Jandri Express gondola and then take the funicular train that runs under the glacier.
Before you set off, it is worth checking out the views, as you are at 3600 meters, higher than all the other peaks. You can also see Alpes d’Huez from the top.
At the top funicular station, you have the choice of taking a drag lift further up the glacier. This extends your run back down or gives you access to the extreme ski destination of La Grave.
There are several choices to make for the run back down into Les Deux Alpes. Which one you take will depend on your personal preference and which bar you want to go to.
An easy green run snakes down the mountain after some wide blues. But there is the infamous Valentine black run if you feel adventurous.
The Valentine starts off incredibly steep and gets riddled with moguls late in the day. It is common for mud patches to appear approaching spring, so you need to have your wits about you if you are going for an end-of-season speed record.
There is a blue run that takes you to the main part of town, which may be a better choice for most people.
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Now you know all about the 13 longest ski runs in the world, where they are, how to get to them, and what to expect. It is a tall order to ski all of them, but if you are in the area, you have to give them a try.
These leg burners are a right of passage for skiers and snowboarders. They create stories and memories that you will never forget. Not to mention bragging rights after you have a few of them under your belt.