Off Piste Ski Holidays

First Class Freeriding – the best backcountry in the world.

Chamonix

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

Great for:

  • Groups
  • Off-piste
  • après ski

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Verbier

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

Great for:

  • Families
  • Groups
  • Non skiers

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

Val d'Isere

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

Great for:

  • Families
  • Groups
  • Non skiers

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Zermatt

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

Great for:

  • Groups
  • Off-piste
  • hiking

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Courmayeur

Pretty, car-free village , International ski pass

Great for:

  • Families
  • Off-piste
  • Foodies

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

Jackson Hole

World class skiing, Wild West après, Superb ski school

Great for:

  • Experts
  • Off piste
  • Groups

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Tignes

Espace Killy ski area, Fantastic après ski, High alt...

Great for:

  • Families
  • Glacier skiing
  • Non-skiers

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Whistler

Largest ski area in North America , Consistently vo...

Great for:

  • Groups
  • Families
  • Non-skiers

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Top 10 Most Popular

With the heftiest cliff drops, narrowest couloirs and smoothest powder bowls, the world’s best off piste resorts have to be skied to be believed. Get the gear, hire a guide, pray for pow and make some memories – in bucket-list resorts like these, you’ll experience the very finest descents on the planet.

If you fancy feasting on the freeride terrain of a particular country, our guides to the best off-piste resorts in France, Austria, Italy and Switzerland should help steer you in the right direction (and if your legs aren't aching for a perfect powder run by then, we'll eat our helmets!).

Top 10 Ski Resorts for Backcountry

Cham’s home to the most famous off piste run in the world - The Vallée Blanche – and every expert worth their salt simply has to ski it. Ride the Aiguille du Midi up to a tremendous 3842m and follow an epic 24km trail weaving across the Colle del Gigante and Mar de Glace glaciers. The Brévent-Flégère region sets you on course for carving through waist deep powder with panoramic views of Mont Blanc and out across the peaks of France, Switzerland and Italy. At Brévent, wind through the collection of steep couloirs above the Charles Bozon piste and make fresh tracks in the Flégère bowl where you’ll find awesome natural pipes and table-tops. The Grand Montets area is the gateway to long verticals and exceptional snow, with trails that span across to include the Argentière glacier. Newbies should head to the Balme and Les Houches areas to taste their first powder – dip on and off the pistes and into the treeline for super soft white without straying deep into the wilderness.

With more lift-serviced verticals than anywhere else on the planet, thousands of powder hounds make a yearly pilgrimage to Verbier. The magnificent Mont Fort has just one heavily mogulled piste, making the rest of the mountain yours to devour… The classic route down the backside can’t be missed, and ducking under the rope at the peak only makes it more thrilling. Other gems include the Stairway to Heaven from Col des Gentaines, the Rock Garden and the Breblet Couloirs. For more trees and powder than you can shake a ski-pole at, take the route from La Chaux to Le Châble. Sail the powder of Barry’s Bowl and straight into the forest above Bruson for no end of spectacular trees, chutes and drops. There’s always a way to up the ante in Verbier – conquer Bec des Rosses and you’ll be in an elite group made mostly of freeriding professionals.

St. Anton may have some of the biggest names in après ski, but this Tyrolean giant also has some of the finest, steepest and deepest lines out there. Instructors and guides aren’t hard to find here (Brit-run Piste to Powder are brilliant) and they’ll ensure you have the correct skill set before unveiling the finest terrain. The Valluga north face carries a fearsome reputation – quick bouts of short sharp turns mix with long stretches of open snow to fly across. Things are just as exciting east of the town, off the Kapall lift, where Schonegraben - ‘The Beautiful Grave’ - features steep glade runs and bowls (just remember to traverse out back towards the Kapall to avoid a mighty hike). One of the gentler options is the Rossfall, reachable via a short climb and traverse to the right of the Riffle 1 chair, where the rolling stretches and stashes are a dream to ski.

This half of Espace Killy’s known for its trickier-than-average descents – pair this with some of the best quality white stuff in the Alps and you’re in for an exhilarating week on the snow. The Spatule and Banane are two of the most established routes on either side of the Bellevarde area – with everything from cliffs and bumps to trees and stumps to keep you occupied. Over on the other side of town, take the Fornet cable car, followed by the surface lift to the left, and then head forwards to feast your skis on Le Grand Vallon. A maze of different routes opens up before you, each leading down towards fabulous tree sections.

In sight of the mighty Matterhorn, Zermatt’s off piste a feast for the eyes AND the skis. 36km of the area is hazard protected but left wonderfully ungroomed, including two cracking itineraries from the Rothorn to Tuftern, both featuring gullies that collect pockets of dreamy, deep snow. We could easily spend hours on the Stockhorn, where lift-served powder is the order of the day and the most notable descent is an intense, high-gradient mogul face through Triftji. The rest is yours to carve through, from the gladed glory of the Schwarzsee to the uber snowsure Theodul glacier and air-accessed verticals of Monte-Rosa.

Laying claim to the Italian side of Mont Blanc, Courm’ has an epic landscape of high-rise peaks and powder filled valleys. At an eye-watering 3462m, the Punta Helbronner station’s perched atop a peak barely wide enough to hold it – for a top-of-the-world viewpoint over Italy, France and Switzerland. From here, the Vallée Blanche cable car connects you over to the legendary Aiguille du Midi in Chamonix – for the Vallée Blanche’s 24km of white-knuckle glacier terrain. Or opt for the Toula Glacier, a wonderfully long, deep expanse of pristine snow leading all the way back to Courmayeur. For a glade goldmine, there’s no better than the Pavillion Woods route down to La Palud, whilst back amongst the bulk of the pistes, you’ll find some superbly long marked routes like the Arp Dolonne which tours over the Col D’Arp.

When a resort dedicates a WHOLE mountain to freeriding (forming one of the nation’s biggest freeride areas), it earns serious kudos – and as you’d expect, Davos and its sunny powder base Pischa are home to some seriously cool itineraries. Here it’s all about getting up close and personal with Mother Nature, on delicious descents like the ones towards Tschuggen that are ungroomed but hazard-controlled. Heading over to the mighty Jakobshorn, you’ll find some sensational steeps. A high altitude path runs through the serene Dischmatal valley over to the rustic Teufi restaurant, where a hearty Swiss feast is top of the agenda before the bus ride home. After an evening of R&R, get a guide to take you to Mederger Flue from Schatzalp or do a day tour over to Arosa and back - following Conan-Doyle’s footsteps.

In 1999, Jackson was one of the first North American resorts to lift the backcountry ban – thank heavens, as this place is far too good to miss out on. Since opening its 5000 acres of terrain, the area has nurtured the likes of Travis Rice, with weeks here seen as a coming-of-age ritual for experts the world over. Rendenzvous Mountain, is a jungle of extreme descents – and its king is Corbet’s Couloir. A mettle-tester if ever there was one, the initial stomach-churning plunge and sharp rock-avoiding turns are rewarded with insane powder snow. On top of this, the nine fingers under the Tensleep Bowl are each as fearsome as the next, and Alta, Expert and Tower Three Chutes are some seriously steep tree descents.

There’s no shortage of big name routes in these parts – and the brilliant thing about Tignes is that everything’s super easy to access. Plus there's all manner of clinics, classes and tours to get stuck into (with companies like TDC and Progression), for expert instruction and guidance. You’ll find nine Naturides here – marked out descents in Toviere, Palet and Aguille Percee that gather oodles of natural bumps and powder. Beyond that, the Finger couloirs and Mickey's Ears are two famous spine tinglers to ski when the avalanche bulletin permits. If the snow gods are in your favour, carve a line in the terrain between Aiguille Percee into Les Brevières which throws up a trio of tricky couloirs and dips into the treeline. The Grand Motte is glorious - from its views to the super snow sure powder – La Langue du Glacier is a favourite, where the initial steep is worth gritting your teeth for when it comes to swooping down the wide bowl later on.

With almost half a million acres of powder terrain, you can ski Whistler for decades and still make new discoveries. See if the local ski patrol are still offering Avalanche Awareness Tours to clue up on safe backcountry skiing, then the Garibaldi National Park’s your oyster. The tree skiing on both mountains is spectacular: there are some cracking runs from Whistler’s Garbanzo Express and down the back of Franz Chair, while on Blackcomb, the firs around the Crystal Chair gather some awesome powder stashes. Find a guide who knows the area inside out and ask them about Million Dollar Ridge and Diseased Ridge – two local legends featuring hikes and technical drops. On a powder day, join the locals hiking the Flute bowl or for a super long cruise, do the Peak to Creek – a hoot when you’re racing your SNO mates to the bottom (also when watching the barmy skiers attempt to cliff drop ‘Air Jordan’ as you wait for the Peak chair…).

Titles like "best Off piste ski resorts" or "best Off piste ski resorts Europe", plus winners lists of top US ski resorts such as "top Colorado Off piste ski resorts", "top Off piste ski resorts in USA" are where these best Off piste ski resorts worldwide come from.


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