There’s nothing like a good blue run to warm up your ski legs, build your confidence or just cruise along and enjoy the scenery. We’ve rounded up our pick of the best blues across Europe and North America.
First up, what is a blue run?
Blue runs are the next step up from greens, where you’ll learn the absolute basics. They’re steeper, with a max gradient of around 25% in Europe or 25-40% in North America. If you’re an intermediate who can make turns and stop properly – or even if you’re an expert who just wants to take it easy for a bit – these are the runs for you.
Our top 10
Tunnel, La Plagne, France
A popular pick with plenty of space to wind around others and go at your own pace. The highlight is the Tunnel des Inversens halfway down – a 136m long passage cut right through the mountain, with dancing lights and sound effects to cheer you on your way. Make sure you stop on the other side to take in the panoramic views of the Paradiski area, before you swoosh down to the end of the run.
Jausern, Saalbach, Austria
Test your stamina on one of the longest blue runs in the Skicircus area. This 7km slopes starts at the top of the Schattberg X-press gondola, up at 2,020m high, and goes all the way down to Vorderglemm village. It’s not too steep, so it’s a good one for intermediate families skiing together.
The Front Side area, Lake Louise, Canada
Take in some of the best views in Alberta as you slide off the Top of the World Express chairlift. South-facing and sunny, the Front Side area is a 1,200-acre playground. You can skip between interlinked blues all the way down, surrounded by beautiful sights – the Victoria Glacier, frozen Lake Louise, the grand Fairmont Chateau hotel and a sea of mountain peaks as far as the eye can see.
Rossinyol, Canillo, Andorra
Ditch the main slopes and find this lesser-known piste near Canillo, in the quieter end of the Grandvalira area. It skates along the mountain ridge from Portella at 2,465m, ending up in the village of El Forn. Test your control on the steeper sections and carve graceful turns on the flatter parts, savouring the quiet and views – then jump back on the lift to do it all over again.
L’Aiguille Percée, Tignes, France
A gentle run with non-stop photo moments along the way. Start with a snap of the famous L’Aiguille Percée, the eye-of-the-needle rock that dominates the Espace Killy skyline at 2,800m. Then set off for a 5km ride that gives you peak-to-peak views, before ducking into the treeline and finishing out by the dam in Tignes-les-Brévières.
Kapall blues, St Anton, Austria
Practise your technique on linked blues from the top of the Kapall peak. The higher you go, the more challenging the runs – and the views are pretty impressive too. The lower blues are sheltered by the trees, ideal for days when the weather and visibility aren’t great.
Les Cascades, Flaine, France
This one’s a natural beauty from top to bottom. It’s the longest blue in France, stretching 14km from the summit down to the village of Sixt. Take the gondola to the peak in Flaine and head down the only run that goes over the back of the mountain. It dips into the trees, along the edge of the nature reserve – look out for mountain goats – and past the falls it’s named after (‘cascades’ means ‘waterfalls’ in French).
Blue 4, Saas Fee, Switzerland
Lots of the runs in Saas Fee are relatively tame, and the connected blues between Felskinn and Morenia are a good step up from the greens. Pick your path as you follow the winding route, and then jump on the gondola to head back to the top. Or if you’re feeling confident, carry on down Red 6 to the village.
Jandri, Les Deux Alpes, France
Twenty years to plan and two years to build – the Jandri runs were a major milestone for Les Deux Alpes when the last one opened in 2015. You can now ski from the glacier to the resort on 10km of linked slopes, descending 2,000 vertical metres overall. Reckon you could do it all without stopping?
Four o’Clock, Breckenridge, USA
You know that feeling at the end of a long, satisfying day? That’s the four o’clock feeling. Aim to get the last lift up and do Breckenridge’s longest run when it’s pretty much empty. Take its 5.6km at speed or just relax and go with the flow. Either way, you’ll end the day on a high.
Looking to take a step up from greens or find a new favourite fun run? Start planning your next trip and cruise the blues this winter.