Expert Ski Holidays

The world's best steeps, deeps, moguls and more.

Chamonix

Traditional mountain resort, varied, high altitude t...

Great for:

  • Groups
  • Off-piste
  • après ski

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Zermatt

Glacier skiing, high altitude terrain, stunning panor...

Great for:

  • Groups
  • Off-piste
  • hiking

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Jackson Hole

World class skiing, Wild West après, Superb ski school

Great for:

  • Experts
  • Off piste
  • Groups

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Courchevel

5 star luxury resort, Vast 3 Valleys, Traditional cho...

Great for:

  • Families
  • Groups
  • Luxury holiday

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

St Anton

Huge Arlberg area, Awesome après ski, Extensive powd...

Great for:

  • Groups
  • Non skiers
  • Off-piste

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Verbier

Vast interlinked 4 Valleys area, Vibrant and varied ...

Great for:

  • Families
  • Groups
  • Non skiers

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Val d'Isere

½ of Espace Killy, Fantastic après, Traditional cho...

Great for:

  • Families
  • Groups
  • Non skiers

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Mayrhofen

Freestyling heaven, Tyrolean charm, Altitude & Snowbo...

Great for:

  • Families
  • groups
  • après ski

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Davos

Off-piste mecca, long ski season, Classic mountain town

Great for:

  • Families
  • Non-skiers
  • Late-season skiing

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Banff

3 ski resorts, Cosy mountain town, Stunning sights of...

Great for:

  • Long ski breaks
  • Non-skiers
  • Varied terrain

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Top 10 Most Popular

There’s expert level terrain, and then there’s the world’s BEST expert level terrain: the kind of stuff that leaves your ski day mileage in overdrive, thighs throbbing and face with a grin from ear to ear.

From record-breaking steeps to monster moguls and deep powder bowls, these resorts hold the key to terrain that’ll see seasoned skiers testing their mettle to the very max – and loving every second.

Top 10 Ski Resorts for Experts

No list of the world’s most challenging is complete without this ski town and its Mont Blanc backdrop. Long since established as a pinnacle of off-piste excellence and regular stop on the Freeride World Tour, some of the descents here mean serious business. The Valle Blanche is the most famous – a white knuckle 22km ride down sheer powdery faces, with a handful of different routes down. The Poubelle couloir and the Flegere bowl are among other highlights – hiring a guide here is more of an essential than a recommendation. The toughest piste skiing can be found on the glacier above Argentiniere, from the Bochard or Grande Montets chairs. Our favourite is Le Herse, a long, winding black with some mellow curves and sudden steeps, where the snow tends to be excellent. Freestylers here have great choice, too. The summit park, accessed from the Marmottons chair, has a full range of well-kept features. Things are a bit different over at the Brevent area, where it’s all about natural lips jibs and rollers to play around with exactly as you see fit.

Although Zermatt holds claim to the most photogenic mountain in the world, you won’t be thinking about your camera when you see the mass of expert pistes, glacier runs and wild powder descents that make up these parts. The immaculately groomed National that streams into the forest above Patrullarve is king of the black runs, while miles of reds stream across the Italian border and into Cervinia. Dip into the deep stuff on the Stockhorn, where a sea of moguls and deep powder covers the whole peak. Be sure to include the highlight: the steep north face - a 1100m vertical descent of bumps sandwiched between vast powder white. It doesn’t end here - giant alpine descents from the Monte Rosa peak and Alphubeljoch are only a helicopter ride away…

The Rendezvous soars above Jackson, towering so abruptly that it could only ever be a mountain for expert skiing. With a never-ending series of steeps - leading to moguls, to powder, to crazy chutes - it’s no wonder this is the starring location for GoPro, Red Bull and Burton promo videos. Chances are you’ve already heard of the infamous Corbet’s Couloir, and the ride up the Rendezvous Tram will have you on the edge of your seat as you get your first glimpse of hardy riders making the 10-20ft leap of faith. If couloirs are your thing, you’ve lucked out here – the 9 fingers underneath the Tensleep Bowl (just down from Corbet’s) are all equally as hair-raising as the next. When that’s tracked out, try Casper’s bowl and the Crags, or Cody’s bowl which leads the way to some of the wildest backcountry you’ll ever see. The sheer volume of extreme pistes ensures no-one leaves without testing their limits - the longest trail runs a massive 1.2km vertical down a course made solely of blacks, and it’s an absolute dream to ski.

The volume of pistes here is immense, and for the seasoned skier there’s no better place to blow the cobwebs off than from the top of Le Saulire. A myriad of descents lie before you, most of which have black markers running their length. Caught in good conditions, Suisses is as good a steep as you’re likely to find anywhere – its habit of forming fearsome moguls only increases the challenge... Combe de Pylones and the Saulire are other cracking black options, while the more intrepid may want to traverse across to the legendary Grand Couloir. Don’t let its appearance on the skimap fool you, this route is far too steep and narrow to be pisted, and similar powder pockets can be found under the chairlifts coming out of Aigulle du Fruit, the bowl between 1850 and 1650. For glorious glades, check out the trees on the far side of the Chapelets red or those lining the descents into La Tania on the other side of the valley. At the end of the day, the 3 Valley’s pass unlocks 600km to ski – and that’s just the pisted stuff – so it’s near impossible to get bored here.

St Anton is the gateway to a land of steep drops, deep powder bowls and some of the hardest black pistes in the world. The crowning glory of peak descents has to be the Valluga: Standing majestically high above any of its neighbours, its north face is so steep it might as well be vertical – suffice it to say that a guide’s a necessity here. There’s also the drop off the back of Kapall, which has plenty of off piste options (ski route 33 really tests your nerves with epic views over the valley). In the groomed department, a red in Anton (try the Rendl home run for some serious speed) would probably be a black in any other resort, and the blacks (#10 is a real leg burner) would be double black diamonds. All in all, with the Arlberg’s 540km of terrain, there’s several years’ worth of skiing to get your teeth into.

Verbier’s reputation for extreme powder is so illustrious that its most fearsome terrain – Bec de Rosses – is often used at the end of the Freeride World Tour: its cliff drops and sheer steeps separate the pro’s from the world-leaders. Heliskiing is massive here, with guides leading unforgettable routes from drop off points like Petit Combin and Glacier du Trient. But the great thing about Verb is that you don’t HAVE to fly to have a good time as the lift-accessed off piste is nothing short of dazzling. A lot of the toughest routes share one common factor – namely Tortin as their final destination. Head for ‘the wall’ at Chassoure, where the mogul fields are the trickiest of the bunch. A bumpy bowl or narrow gulley carries you from Gentianes, while the Col de Mouches is a snowy basin that harbours a dangerous edge. The pistes here give everything to ramp up the intensity – start off with the steep, sometimes mogulled run on Mont Fort and ski down to Attelas, where the FIS race track to links to a black run home towards Medran.

La Face is the piste to conquer here – it’s an end-of-day challenge if ever there was one (especially when icy), with a mix of steeps and bumps delivering you down the Bellevarde and back to the town. Opinion’s divided on whether Epaule de Charvet is a gentler or gnarlier alternative – it’s shorter but still hair-raisingly steep, with some mammoth moguls along the way. Others worth conquering are Foret, also bumpy but this time super narrow, and Piste S in Solaise which, when open is a true thigh burner. It’s possible to ski all of Espace Killy’s black runs in one day, starting off at Le Fornet and finishing in Tignes Val Claret – it takes an early start, serious stamina and a taxi home from Tignes but your chalet mates will applaud you for it! We haven’t even started with the off piste, which is rather incredible. You’ll find guides and clinics galore – we could spend days in Le Fornet, where Le Grand Vallon features a gloriously deep bowl and the tree runs are riddled with powder pockets.

The ski area here covers two spectacular mountains, and the larger Penken is a goldmine of challenging terrain. The snowpark, sponsored by Vans, is one of Europe’s leading freestyle arenas, with 6 sections spanning a huge area. You’ll find every type of feature imaginable, from wallrides and rails to mammoth sized kickers – and regular riders include Jenny Jones. Things are no less sensational on the slopes, which include the steepest black in Austria, Harakiri. Named after Samurai ritual suicide, this 3.2km run has a gradient of 78% and requires some hard carving. Less celebrated but equally as fun are the twisting black 17 from Horberg and black 12 (AKA the ‘Devil’s Run’) under the Schneekar chair. Powder hounds will find tree lines galore full of hidden snow stashes and a guide will be able to show you some epic runs on the north face. That’s just the Penken… ask your guide about descents from the Horbergjoch and swap civilisation for the eerily empty (but oh so powdery) Death Valley for the ride of your life.

With a ski area spanning SIX mountains, there’s never a dull moment around Davos and Klosters. On the Parsenn, take the lifts all the way to the top point, Weissfluhgipfel. One run stretches north to the Schwarzhorn for a black-red-black ski to Wolfgang, and another points back to Davos for a black-blue-black descent into town. It’s well worth commuting (car or train) over to the Rinerhorn, where the long, wide black is often wonderfully quiet. But, if you really want to get away from it all, pick up a guide and venture off the beaten track. A whole mountain’s dedicated to powder here – the Pischa – and there are more stellar itineraries on the Jakobshorn, or you can really clock up the miles on a day tour over to Arosa. Freestyler’s are far from forgotten: The Jatzpark has world-class kickers, rails and more up at 2500m, and you’ll also find a whopping great half pipe and airbag jump down at Bolgen.

Good news scenery-junkies: Banff National Park has the steepest slopes in Canada, and it just so happens to be one of the most stunning parts of the world. With 3 ski areas, there’s more than enough to go round. Mt. Norquay has been the stomping ground of the Banff Alpine Racers for donkeys years, and with one zone - ‘North American’ – home to only black runs, it’s not hard to see why. We’re all rather fond of the Norquay Gulley, a short but sweet sprint and squeeze through a snowy ravine, while the Gun Run does what it says on the tin - high speeds, high octane and no looking back. Over at Sunshine Village, it’s all about Goat’s Eye Mountain: Think Again is the loftiest offering, and for a split second you might be doing just that, before the intense vertical drop carries you into the unknown. One spot here overrides everything else though - Delirium Dive. It’s easily the most extreme off piste around, and only the hardiest snow lovers dare to tackle the steeps, moguls, tight corners and snowy plummets. Then there’s Lake Louise, and she’s the prettiest, most gladed and packed with powder fields. Catch the Top of the World chair and get your skins ready, as a brief but tough traverse separates you from the backside chutes. On those champagne days, the fluffiest stuff collects here and remains almost untouched, making the near-vertical drop off the mountain nothing short of divine.

These expert destinations all have titles like "best Expert ski resort" or "best Expert resort in Europe", or appear in winners lists of top US advanced ski resorts such as "top Colorado Expert ski resorts" and "top Expert destinations in the USA"... Thus cementing their status as the best for advanced skiers and snowboarders in the world.

Thinking of skiing in a particular country? Read about our favourite expert destinations in France, or the terrifically testing terrain in Switzerland. Austria has a roster of bucket list places to ski and snowboard too, and there are some awesome resorts for experienced snow lovers in Italy.


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