Alpe d'Huez, Grandes Rousses
A fantastic resort - perfectly laid out for all to enjoy the skiing with great views, food and accommodation - this really is a 'hard to beat' ski destination!
Alpe d'Huez skiing
Alpe d’Huez is set on a high sunny plateau, at 1,860m in the Grande Rousses area of the Southern French Alpes. Surrounded by an amazing snow bowl, it has mile after mile of varied pisted and off piste opportunities. With over 250km of skiing to choose from, it provides endless choices for all levels of skiers and boarders. The resort boasts an excellent snow record due to its high altitude – high altitude goes hand in hand with breathtaking views and a wonderful starting point for the Sarenne descent, officially one of the longest black runs in Europe.
Alpe d'Huez is known as Island of the Sun ('Lile au Soleil') and most of the main slopes face south benefiting from the claimed average of 300 sunshine days a year! The resort spreads down a gentle slope in a triangular shape from the main lift station at the top corner. Access roads enter the village at the lower two corners. The main Avenue des Jeux is used as a central focus and this is where you will find some of the shops, bars and restaurants along with the swimming pool and ice rink. Towards the bottom of the town is the older, original core of the resort which has a slightly more traditional feel to it.
Alpe d'Huez has skiing suitable for everyone. The large network of lovely wide green runs immediately above the village is as good a beginner area as you will find anywhere. For intermediates there is a fine selection of blue and red runs, the variety being difficult to beat with trees, valleys and a range of terrain to explore. The slopes divide into four areas with good connections between them. Every section of the resort has some challenging red runs to test the adventurous as well as some serious off-piste routes for the experts to enjoy. Gondolas and fast chairs are the main access to the lifts, although there are a few older chairs and drag lifts scattered around.
There are two terrain parks, one near the bottom of the slopes for novices with various jumps and rollers and another 1.5km advanced park close to the Lac Blanc drag which has a half-pipe, jumps, rails, big air and boardercross course. Above Vaujany there is another beginners park. Experienced boarders are well catered for with lots of good freeriding to be had, together with vast and varied off-piste to be tried with a guide. For cross country skiers there are 50km of snow sure trails with varying degrees of difficulty.
The resort is linked to Vaujany where there is some great runs and some lovely little cafes - well worth making the effort to get there as only a short ski away from the main slopes of Alpe d'huez.