There are few more satisfying sensations than coming to the end of a long, challenging ski-run. From the moment you see the après-ski options stretch out in front of you through steamed-up goggles to the trudge back to the chalet on tired, well-used legs, the satisfaction of taking on a lengthy route is one that you’ll feel in your body. These ski-runs are five of the most exhilarating and the best, each offering something a little different.
Pic Blanc to L’Enversin d’Oz, Alpe d’Huez
Those who have been lucky enough to visit Europe’s ski destinations will know that Alpe d’Huez is synonymous with long ski runs. Of its five descents providing a collective 10,000m drop, the Pic Blanc stands out with two vertical kilometres that kicks off with a challenging black run before levelling out into a mixture of red and blue pistes. Aside from the variety, the resort is famous for its fantastic snow. Come March or April, this long run can still be skied from top to bottom.
La Sache, Tignes
In 1992, Tignes was the freestyle skiing venue of the Winter Olympics. Two and a half decades later, it’s still apparent why – you’ll realise its magnificence as soon as you tuck into this long black run! Before lunch, La Sache is steep, fast and enables you to reach considerable speeds... if nerve-holding is not an issue for you, that is! Come the afternoon and after several hours of carving powder, sizeable moguls clutter the upper slopes. Not for the faint of heart or for those without skiing travel insurance, some great off-piste tracks emerge on La Sache’s left-hand side.
Pistes like the Saulire are the reason why so many families love coming to Courchevel. At the summit of this 2700m slope, the mountain views are stunning, providing a beautiful backdrop to the negotiable black and red runs that descend 2000m. From there, the pistes emerge into blues, allowing you to ski into the resort’s villages.
The OK, Val-d'Isère
For many, Val-d'Isère’s OK is the ultimate long run. Since 1955, it has hosted the famous Critérium de la Première Neige, a race that has made ski-gods out of those who are capable of carving their marks into this dream piste. In its entirety, The OK offers one thousand metres of vertical drops, and is set in magnificent surroundings. While it may have hosted the skiing world’s great and good, it is wide enough to allow the keen amateur to gently turn down its slopes.
Peak to Creek, Whistler
While the French and Swiss Alps are always going to dominate a list of the world’s greatest long-runs, Canada’s Whistler resort deserves a place, tooPeak to Creek is particularly suitable for intermediate skiers, who can’t get enough of the 11-kilometre piste’s dramatic landscape, vertical drops, Alpine meadows and gorgeous glades lined with trees.At the end of a challenging day of skiing, Dusty's Bar is on hand to provide ribs and cocktails.
Before strapping up your boots and heading for the slopes, don’t forget one small but essential step: buying skiing travel insurance. As much as the twists and turns of the above slopes are sure to prove unforgettable, they can also be a little hard on the knees and full of surprises. Skiing travel insurance mitigates the risk of ploughing down these exceptional runs, allowing you to focus on the winding pistes that will stretch out beneath you.
Patrick Chong is the Managing Director of InsureMore, an award-winning team of spe-cialists in global single trip, annual, family, business and skiing travel insurance. Besides offering great deals on travel insurance, Patrick also collects and shares the best free travel competitions to help his clients get the most out of their holidays.