The ski season is just around the corner and everyone is getting their gear ready for the ultimate winter experience. The resorts across the nation are preparing for the influx of daredevils, thrill-seekers and skiing enthusiasts. The slopes will be packed with both newbies, enthusiasts and experts so everyone will surely have their share of fun this winter.
The most difficult runs in the country are graded according to their pitches, turns, drop-offs and a variety of possible physical obstacles. These slopes, generally regarded as advanced by international standards, are classified as a black diamond in North America. Successfully navigating them requires both stamina, acuity, agility and heaps of experience. They are definitely not for the novice skier and can be really dangerous for any ill-prepared athlete.
So let’s see which are the slopes that will leave even the expert skiers shaking in their boots
1. Corbet’s Couloir – Teton Village, Wyoming
Corbet’s Couloir is located in the pristine Wyoming Rockies, a wonderful mountainous area, famous for its multiple ski resorts. The run starts with an abrupt drop more than 30 feet high in a cleft-like rocky formation. This fantastic start will make skiers free-fall 10 to 30 feet, depending on the snow. The next obstacle is a Precambrian massive rock right ahead which skiers must avoid with a swift right-hand turn. Next, the slope opens up but remains spectacularly abrupt. The powdery funnel shape is about 700-feet long and will leave you asking for more.
A tip from the pros – try to avoid panicking at the start of the run and enjoy the second part of the slope
2. Paradise Run – Mad River Glen, Fayston, Vermont
Vermont is not your first choice when it comes to skiing, but Paradise run is absolutely breathtaking. The slope starts with a steep descent among a densely wooded area. There are multiple jumps, some higher than 20 feet, which add excitement even for the expert skiers. Next, a super steep section lined with frozen waterfalls complete the incredible scenery. There are massive pockets of powdery snow, side gullies and big moguls to avoid, but the ride is truly fantastic right to the end.
A tip from the pros – Paradise Run is somewhat dangerous because of the wooded area – try to avoid the trees as much as possible
3. The Fingers Run – Squaw Valley, California
Skiers across the country come to the fabulous Fingers Run in Squaw Valley for its incredible 2,000-foot vertical descent. The run starts from the KT 22 lift drop off area and descends quickly towards the Nose, reaching speeds of more than 50 mph. Then, the run splits into two sections (hence the name – Fingers), Main Air and Middle Knuckle, both offering exciting drops and 60-degree pitches. What makes the Fingers so great is the audience; there’s always someone watching the skiers descend, so expect some applauding when reaching the base
A tip from the pros – pay attention to the mid-section of the slope, where you can easily hit some of the exposed rocks
4. Rambo – Crested Butte, Colorado
Rambo is often ranked as one of the steepest slopes in the United States, 55-degree pitches being very common. What’s more, the run is lined with trees and there are plenty of near vertical jumps, falls and sharp turns. Skiers say that Rambo won’t let you turn around – once you start the descent there’s no going back. Its spectacular curves, however, make this run one of the most sought after in the state.
A tip from the pros – Rambo’s steep drops makes it popular for adrenaline junkies, but they can become quite dangerous, even for expert skiers.
If you plan on skiing this winter season, whether it be at these prime locations or somewhere else, be sure that you’re properly trained and skilled enough to take on the black diamonds. Also, when you’re out skiing for long periods of time, it is essential to pack a water and small snack, usually in a light-weight, easy to carry, waterproof bag, such as the ones on Adventure Lion’s site, to maintain hydrated and strong for the duration of your glide down the slopes.
Flaviu Mircea is freelance writer and outdoors man who enjoys sharing articles and insight into outdoor sports. If you would like to learn more about Falviu, you can check out his google+ profle.