The Profeet Ski Lab team were chewing the fat over a beer or two the other night and the subject came up of the biggest and baddest ski challenges out there.
Now you could choose a gentle ski holiday to La Plagne in France: maybe ski a bit, drink a hot chocolate, ski a bit more, stop for a two-hour lunch, ski a little bit more and stop for an early après drink…or you could try something extraordinary!
See what you think of this selection of ski challenges that our team came up with:
This challenge is so straightforward that 10-year-old Victoria White managed it in under a year back in 2007. You could follow in her footsteps or you could plan your own route.
Our suggestion is to do it by visiting the biggest ski area on each continent. If you start in Europe you could visit Les 3 Vallées in France, then cross the Atlantic to Whistler Blackcomb in North America. Then head South to Argentina where their biggest resort is Catedral Alta Patagonia with 120km of piste.
The next part of the challenge is to get to the continent of Antarctica where there is no actual ski resort but plenty of snow to ski on. The final leg of the challenge would be to ski at Mt. Buller in Australia and finish the trip on the Asian continent at the resort of Shigakogen.
There are hundreds of ski touring challenges you could undertake but there are two classics you should consider.
The first is a 31-day trek across the ice sheet of Greenland following in the footsteps of skiing pioneer Fridtjof Nansen. Expect to trek for 8 hours a day pulling a 65 kg sledge with all your food and shelter for the expedition.
In comparison, a more leisurely ski tour is the famous Haute Route from Chamonix to Zermatt. The itinerary is normally completed in five days, staying in Alpine huts and offering the chance to ski in the calm of the mountains away from the chaos of the slopes.
The rules are simple, race to the top of the mountain and back, with first across the line the winner. Oh, and one other rule: ‘No weapons allowed!’
Now in its seventh year the Afghan Ski Challenge has grown from just a handful of locals to an event that attracts international competitors.
It was started to raise the profile of skiing in the country and has encouraged at least two athletes to be the first nationals to enter the Winter Olympics in 2018.
Non-UK dwellers might find this strange, but we don’t have mountains on our doorstep, or even much snow each winter. So the UK has a selection of indoor slopes – effectively large fridges full of snow!
The challenge is to ski on all six UK indoor slopes in a single day. The journey is 473 miles and will take just over 8 hours.
On paper you should be able to get a full hour session of skiing in at each location but this will depend on two factors, the ‘Great British Traffic’ and your ability to get out of a car and get your ski boots on quick enough.
There are many notorious runs in the world. Most resorts have at least one that is claimed to be ‘the most challenging you’ll ever face’.
However, there is one that crops up in every list and that is the epic Chavanette (aka the Swiss Wall) on the French/Swiss border in the Portes du Soleil.
It’s a one kilometre run with a 300m vertical drop. It’s one of the steepest runs in the resort, is notoriously icy and features moguls that regularly reach the size of a small car.
Staying in the Portes du Soleil – the huge ski area that spans both France and Switzerland – the AJ Bell Alpine Challenge has been growing each year and has become one of the world’s biggest ski endurance challenges.
Over two days teams are expected to clock up over 160 km of skiing while taking in all 15 different ski resorts that form the Portes du Soleil ski area.
The event is a fundraising for the excellent Snow Camp, a charity that empowers young people in the inner city and brings them into the world of snowsports.
The Profeet Ski Lab in London specialises in custom fitted ski boots. To find the right boots for your ski challenge visit www.profeet.co.uk or call 020 7736 0046 to book an appointment.Last updated on May 7, 2018