Gondola cable cars:
Valmorel’s Grand Domaine ski area has a good mix of terrain, with an impressive 165km (103 miles) of groomed pistes. This resort is particularly suited to beginners and intermediates; although there are also some steeper areas for advanced skiers and boarders.
Valmorel ski resort has no fewer than six learning areas especially for beginners to learn to ski, which is a unique proposition in France. Two of these are just for young children (in the ski nursery area); a further two are located at Malatrai; while the remaining areas are at Crève-Coeur and Doucy Combelouvière.
Intermediates have the most to enjoy here, with much of the terrain suited to their ability level, including long cruising pistes of up to 4km (2.5 miles) in length.
Although not known as a destination for advanced skiers, there are challenges to be had – particularly on the red and black graded runs of the Col du Mottet, as well as on the Massif de la Lauzière. The eight blacks include the challenging 3km-long (2 miles) Riondet descent.
The local mountain guides office will be happy to take skiers off-piste when the conditions are good and safe – one popular off-piste route is the long descent down the Belleville Valley to emerge below Les Menuires in the Trois Vallées (Three Valleys) ski area. It’s also possible to sign up for two- to four-day ski safaris of the wider region with the mountain guides.
For freestyle skiers and boarders, there are several specially designed sectors located throughout the ski area. The ‘snow zone’ has a boardercross, slopestyle and freeride area, and there are three snow parks (at Gollet, Prariod and Beaudin), two boardercross courses (at Arenouillaz and Charmette) and a further two snow cross areas (at Gollet and Riondet).
Valmorel is the only resort in the world to have built an eight-seater gondola to access non-downhill terrain – Belvédère du Bozon, which sits at 2,000m (6,562ft) above sea level.