Classifying the difficulty of a ski slope is very complicated and is often influenced by many factors such as snow conditions and maximum/average gradient. In this article, however, we reveal what we at Snowit consider to be the 5 most difficult ski slopes in Italy.
The black ski slopes are always experienced with a certain excitement, some are within everyone’s reach, but other slopes are for real experts. So, facing a black ski slope definitely requires technique and preparation, as well as a certain amount of caution.
We would like to reiterate that there is no objective assessment of the most difficult ski slopes, because in addition to the track, the conditions of each slope are important to consider, but we have nevertheless drawn up our own ranking.
Find out which are the 5 most difficult ski slopes in Italy:
1. Franco Berthod – La Thuile
The Franco Berthod slope in La Thuile, characterised by 800 metres of altitude difference from 2,310 metres to 1,510 metres of cross-country skiing, should definitely be included in our list of the five most difficult ski slopes in Italy.
It is a very difficult ski slope and certainly the one with the highest gradient, as it reaches up to 73%. The slope is also often icy, making the downhill even more difficult, since it is mostly in the shade in a north-facing forest. In this case, it is the “snow factor” that leads us to place the ski slope among the most difficult in Italy.
This ski slope also hosts women’s World Cup races, in fact it has hosted downhill and super-giant races in recent years.
In addition, the track offers numerous variants that can make it more affordable, for example, you can cut the first “S” and the main wall, but the complete track is the one that follows the World Cup track.
If you are in La Thuile, also try the Maison Blanche black slope, which has two very challenging main walls, but also a small change of gradient.
2. Hernegg – Plan de Corones
The Hernegg of Plan de Corones was designed with the collaboration of Bernhard Russi, a famous downhill champion. The result is a track that starts in Kronplatz and ends in Reischach: 5 km long with an altitude difference of almost 1,000 metres and a gradient that reaches 70% in some places.
Hernegg is part of the circuit of the “black five“, five black ski slopes next to each other. In our opinion, the final wall of the Hernegg is the most challenging section, but to remove the doubt you can try all five.
The other four of the most difficult slopes in the ski area are: the Sylvester, parallel to Hernegg, which develops over 5 km and 1,300 metres of altitude difference; the short, but challenging wall of the Erta; the Piculin with a gradient of over 70% and the Pre de Peres.
3. Thoeni – Chiesa Valmalenco
The Thoeni slope of Chiesa Valmalenco is certainly one of the most famous slopes in the Skiarea Valmalenco Bernina Ski Resort, named after the legendary Gustav Thoeni.
Marked with a yellow sign indicating it as a slope suitable only for experienced skiers, we recommend that you only take it after checking the snow conditions.
The steepest wall is the final one, which reaches almost 70% gradient and is always icy due to its orientation. It is undoubtedly a challenging slope, with a high gradient and technically difficult as it is often frozen due to the lack of sun exposure.
This is definitely one of the 5 most difficult slopes in Italy, so if you think you are an expert skier, what are you waiting for to try it?
4. Spinale Direttissima – Madonna di Campiglio
The Spinale Direttissima slope, which is located in the Madonna di Campiglio area, has an altitude difference of about 600 metres with a length of almost two and a half kilometres and it is taken from the arrival point of the Spinale Cabinovia, on Monte Spinale at an altitude of 2100 metres.
The ski slope, with a maximum gradient of over 70%, is a black one from another era. Thanks to continuous changes in gradient and numerous bumps, it doesn’t give your legs a break, to the point that it almost feels like “landing” in Madonna di Campiglio.
5. Gran Risa – La Villa
In our list of the 5 most difficult slopes in Italy, we want to end with the Gran Risa slope. Here, in the ski resort of La Villa in Alta Badia, it is not so much the slope’s gradient, a maximum of 60%, that dominates the slope, but rather the time of day.
It is one of the ski slopes of the World Cup circuit and, for the occasion, is made completely frozen, but, fortunately, a few hours after the race, the Alta Badia cats break up all the ice. Sometimes, however, during the night, the slope freezes again, making the situation very complicated.
To do the Gran Risa “you need strong legs” because you start from 2077 metres of Piz la Ila and traverse 650 metres of altitude difference over a length of 1,200 metres, arriving below the village of La Villa, through a dense coniferous forest between ‘esses’, walls, curves and false floors. Absolutely a must to try, to immerse yourself in the World Cup if you are in the Dolomites.
Snowcare Ski Insurance
Have you decided to face one of the most difficult ski slopes in Italy? Good, but don’t forget to take out insurance against injury and damage while practising this sport.
The insurance company Snowcare, in partnership with Snowit, has created the perfect insurance for winter sports enthusiasts.
Buy your skipass with Snowit and add Snowcare insurance from 2.50€. Once purchased, it will be active in 20 minutes without signing any forms and without queuing up at the checkout.
Read more in the dedicated article: “Compulsory ski insurance: Snowcare takes care of it“.
Go skiing with Snowit on Italy’s most difficult ski slopes
Well, now that you have decided which slopes you want to face and after adding your Snowcare insurance to your snowitcard, you are all set for a great skiing holiday.