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Skiers who have conquered Corbet’s Couloir at Jackson Hole or the Swiss Wall on the border of France and Switzerland have a new piste to set their sights on. The Pillon-Cabane is set to open this winter, and it’s found in a setting skiers won’t soon forget.
The black-rated ski run is set on a glacier high in the Swiss Alps between the ski towns of Montreux and Gstaad. It is the latest addition to Glacier 3000, a year-round destination for mountain adventure. Pillon-Cabane is particularly unique because its access point is a 900-foot-long passageway that was tunneled through the mountain to access the slope on the other side. From there, it drops over 3,000 feet along the course of two miles. Along the way, skiers pass through powdery high-alpine snowfields and open glades with a mountain backdrop only the Alps could provide. The route is, quite simply, stunning.
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“This new slope will be one of the steepest in the world. With a tunnel passage and a start at 41 degrees, it will be a challenge that every experienced skier will want to take up the cause,” Bernhard Tschannen, CEO of Glacier 3000, told Snow Industry News.
And although a 41-degree pitch is impressive, it’s not what makes Pillon-Cabane worthy of a spot on your ski bucket list. In addition to the one-of-a-kind tunnel entrance, the run is set in a landscape of gigantic proportions. From certain vantage points, no fewer than 24 13,000-plus-foot peaks are visible, including the iconic silhouettes of the Matterhorn and Mont Blanc. And when Pillon-Cabane is attempted from the upper Scex Rouge station, skiers start their journey near a 350-foot-long suspension bridge that’s stretched precariously between two peaks (a sight that’s worthy of a visit itself).
Thanks to its glacier locale, the ski season at Glacier 3000 is long and snowy. The runs are typically open November to May and offer plenty of fresh, allowing for wonderful off-piste powder descents. The resort is home to the longest slope in the region, Red Run at just under five miles in length, and has Nordic skiing, winter hiking, and a ski and snowboard park. In the summer, Glacier 3000 operates the world’s highest alpine coaster.
Glacier 3000 is just east of the village of Les Diablerets, Switzerland. It is 20 minutes from Gstaad and 40 minutes from Montreux by car.