In mountain skiing, as well as in life, the moment comes at times when foolhardily it is desirable to be beyond the ordinary frames of routine. And then the skier or snowboarder approaches the beginning of one of “black” descends, and reckless trembling of heart paints the grey monotony of everyday life in all paints of a rainbow. What are the most abrupt descents of the world and where to find them? The answer can be found on this page.
1. La Chavanette, Avoriaz, France
The Swiss wall – It’s a name that does not say anything to the usual skier. However everybody who ever stood on the very brink of this steep descent of 200 meters, gets shivers merely from the hissing sounds of this name. «Only for professionals» – says the tablet at the beginning of the descent. The beginners, who are not frightened of the warning signs, will be stopped by the steep abyss, so abrupt that the skier who is standing on it is not able to see that there are only continuous potholes passed on a virgin soil and deep snow waiting for him ahead. And if the slope is smoothed out to an ice condition, it is impossible to survive on it.
2. Delirium Dive, Sunshine Village, Canada
Delirium Dive is the most abrupt descent of the Goat Eye Mountain. This is the favorite place of the reckless American skiers, whose adrenaline is warmed up not only by steepness, but also by a high danger of avalanches. The avalanche patrol insists on providing the skiers with avalanche beacons and on giving them shovel and a tester before the skiers leave on a route. Without them it is impossible to get on the elevator. Besides that, there is no possibility to rent equipment on the base of the resort; skilled skiers come here with their own equipment.
3. Grand Couloir, Courchevel, France
The well-known resort of Courchevel already became the talk of the town on news sites about the whims of the Russian oligarchs. And nevertheless the aim of going there is not only to get a cigarette lighted from 500 euro denominations and to squander brilliants. From the elevator station La Saulire starts the most difficult part of descent in the Big Couloir. If it hasn’t snowed for a week or two, the several first turns can be considered as a survival test, but further the route extends and the second half of the descent does not require any extreme skills.
4. Corbet’s Couloir, Jackson Hole, Wyoming, USA
Corbet’s Couloir is the descent, which skilled skiers and snowboarders should overcome at least once a life. The new elevator on the mountain Rendezvous will get any beginner here. Many go for a ride here – to the top point and downwards – on the elevator for several times, before they dare to undertake a reckless descent. However, the slope itself, the angle of which does not exceed 40 degrees at 15-metre width, is not too terrifying. The main thing is to overcome yourself and jump at the very beginning of descent. There are two ways either to jump at the left, then having flown by 3-4 meters to displace weight forward and to join the sharp turn, passing by the big rock, or to make a six-meter jump over the rocks.
5. Backside of the Valluga, St. Anton, Austria
To appear top of the most extreme ski zone of Austria is possible, only having passed the qualification test. The slope has a small angle of inclination and is usually covered with a fine snow, however the comfort of descent is deceptive – after all it ends with an abyss. It is enough to miss the left turn because of fear or inexperience and the adventure will end on the rocks – with 700 meters lower the slope.
6. Tortin, Verbier, Switzerland
The sensory acuity here depends on the condition of a route and the height of a snow cover. When there is much snow, the extremeness of descent may not be noticed. However when the slope is smoothed out, the farther skier flies, the higher are the hillocks and more terrifying is the descent. If the route is smoothed out to an ice condition, its passing turns to a deadly attraction.