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The 100 Largest Ski Areas In The World

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Christoph Schrahe - Free Report: The 100 Largest Ski Areas In The World

http://www.pistenlaengen.com/en/the-100-biggest-ski-resorts.html

The report on the 100 Largest Ski Resorts in the World for 2019/20 is now available for free download for the first time.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Thanks, looks like alot went into producing that, a good read
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
A wealth of stats in here . Would be interesting to combine the SM number , lift capacity and visitor numbers into one table...

To find the quieter resorts (in theory). I reckon Espace San Bernado (La Ros + La Thuile) would come out well on that.

26th in the SM list (249 points) , 37th in the VTM but 80th in visitor numbers...

My experience of the Italian side at least has always been virtually empty pistes and lifts...
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Agree with the comments above.

A very interesting read - must have been a huge amount of work to calculate all the figures in it! Also great that it's now free; the document's been available in previous years but it's been very expensive. Now, I know that size certainly isn't everything, but the real piste length figures are useful to know, as the exaggeration of figures by resorts is a pet hate of mine.

For example:

Les Sybelles claim (or claimed) 310 km; real figure = 163 km
Via Lattea claim (or claimed) 400 km; real figure = 269 km

I'm not quite sold on the weighting of variables determining Skimiles. Personally I don't think "longest run", "elevation difference" or "number of mountain flanks" necessarily affects enjoyment of a ski area. The longest runs often take multiple lifts to get to the top anyway, and I'd enjoy skiing two runs of half the length just as much as a single run of the combined length. As a result I think some resorts benefit disproportionately from the factors above.

For example:

Engelberg-Titlis real figure = 38 km; Skimiles figure = 159 km
Murren real figure = 46 km; Skimiles figure = 177 km
Monterosa Ski real figure = 80 km; Skimile figure = 204 km

Whereas other resorts lose out (or gain less):

Morzine real figure = 120 km; Skimiles figure = 169 km

...which means, for example, that according to Skimiles, Murren is bigger than Morzine-Les Gets...

I've also some reservations about the calculations for transport capacity (e.g. some lifts are in more useful places, but no weighting is given to this; pulsed gondolas are given very high scores, despite actually being very inefficient; cable cars have high speeds but involve lots of standing around waiting for them).

The piste comfort figures are also determined solely by the lifts which serve them, but actually the number of visitors is just as (or more?) important. For example (and this is a hypothetical scenario) a resort where every run was served by its own huge cable car would generate a low score for piste comfort. But if you were the only person on the lift, you'd still have the run to yourself...

Skier visits are very interesting though, especially if you look at them alongside (real) piste length. It justifies the oft-held view that La Thuile / La Rosiere has very quiet pistes. Other ski areas which stood out as being particularly quiet include Big White, l'Espace Lumiere and Livigno.

I wonder if in a future edition we'll see all the above scores brought together to produce an "overall ski resort amazingness" figure?
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
The snow reliability figures will be interesting next year because they are going to take account of 'skiable days', rather than just snow cover.
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Saas Fee claimed 100km, actual 51km. i've never been to Saas Fee, however when previously considering it; i thought the piste map looked small. I'm surprised the length has been misquoted as double what it is.

like others i'm looking to divide length by number of skiers to find the quietest slopes.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
So, with such a list I am already going down it ticking off where I have been and where not. Pretty big bucket list left though, and some big ones still on my list. (I've only done 50% of the top 10!)

My previous target was to go to the highest. Like Himilayas, or when Tibet opens up some skiing there would be ace. (I've done Breckenridge and Zermatt, just Yunnan China and Kashmir India to go)

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/ski/news/world_s-highest-ski-resort-to-be-built-in-tibet/

Not sure if I will make the other 50% before I run out of juice. (or they run out of snow)
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
And they do a (German language) Top Trumps game for ski resorts! Cool!
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Good spot.

No surprise to see so many Swiss resorts making up their mileage stats.
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Some interesting stats/data I wonder when this information was compiled, as I feel that the information re Espace San Bernardo is a little out of date. The two new lifts on Mont Valasain have given five new pistes which have increased the maximum Vertical drop available - 2800 meters down to 1176 meters and added possibly another 25 kms of piste as well as increasing the off-piste potential. Glad to see that visitor numbers do not reflect the attributes of this area, keep staying away- more room for those of us who enjoy skiing there.
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Lee Shaw wrote:
Some interesting stats/data I wonder when this information was compiled, as I feel that the information re Espace San Bernardo is a little out of date. The two new lifts on Mont Valasain have given five new pistes which have increased the maximum Vertical drop available - 2800 meters down to 1176 meters and added possibly another 25 kms of piste as well as increasing the off-piste potential. Glad to see that visitor numbers do not reflect the attributes of this area, keep staying away- more room for those of us who enjoy skiing there.


I have a feeling the now verified and published km for Espace San Bernado already includes the Mt Valaisan extension ... so the data / report must be quite recent.

From this article - https://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/ski/news/first-look-at-new-ski-area-in-la-rosiere-france/

"The lift company made a second announcement while I was there - it has had the length of its pistes officially measured by independent expert Christoph Schrahe of pistelength.com, who measures slopes straight down the middle. His verdict - 152km of piste, including the new area; La Rosière previously claimed 160km."

So they must have way over egged the pudding in the past !! After the Schrahe measurements , the km of pistes went down from 160 to 152 (and that includes the new sector)

never felt as big as they claimed...!
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
What is Schrahe's methodology? Does he measure on the ground or use maps? I don't think figures being exact to the km are the issue but they should be comparable between resorts.
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
@davidof,
I've wondered this. Given how many resorts he looks at I'm guessing he's using maps, maybe even Googlemaps, as I doubt he could get around to measure 'on the ground'.
If this is the case then resorts with a high percentage of steep slopes could be being downgraded on km of piste if the measurement is from a 2-D perspective.
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