8 of the World’s Most Extreme Ski Destinations

Mayrhofen, Austria

The sprawling village of Mayrhofen, located at the end of the long, flat Ziller Valley, boasts the steepest groomed slope in the world: Harakiri. While it’s short, it’s definitely not easy, standing vertical at 78 percent. It’s so icy, it’s taken a number of lives and was even named after the Japanese word for suicide.  This black-rated run also attracts a large cheering section of skiers who prefer the watch the experts tackle it rather than risk their own lives. Samantha Berman, Senior Editor of Ski Magazine once noted, “The only thing crazier than skiing it is watching them break out the specialized equipment needed to groom the slope.”

If you go in early April, you can also attend the week-long Snowbombing festival, which features a whirlwind of  top-notch international DJs and bands, in this idyllic alpine setting. Cutting-edge performances are hosted in unique venues, including everything from a towering igloo, to an enchanted forest clearing.

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