Talking Points

7 Reasons Why Snowboarding in Europe Rules

Give it up for Europe!

Mario Käppeli boosting a backside 180 into the Zillertal valley. Photo: Patrick Steiner

While there are most certainly bigger and more gnarly mountain ranges in the world (just look at Alaska or the Himalayas), the Alps are unparalleled when it comes to sheer scale, the number of resorts and accessibility to amazing alpine terrain.

Of the approximate 1200 resorts in Europe, more than a third are located in the Alps, which also contains some of the biggest shreddable expanses in the world (Espace Killy and the Portes du Soleil). The Portes du Soleil region for example, dwarves its North American equivalent – Whistler Blackcomb, with a whopping 650km of piste versus 160km.

Many of the resorts in the Alps lie above 2000m in altitude, meaning that any snow that does fall will stay frozen and powdery for longer. These high altitude resorts have the added bonus of increasing the amount of vertical that you can ride – the Sarenne run in Alpe du Huez, France is a whopping 19km in length from start to finish and extends over 2000m of vertical.

Why this may sound like leg melting stuff (it is), wouldn’t you rather have longer runs to ride than be on the chair the whole day?


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