La Rosiere ski resort
About La Rosiere
One of the less internationally well known resorts in the famed Haute Tarentaise region, over-shadowed somewhat by famous neighbours La Plagne, Val d’Isere and Tignes, La Rosière is a family-friendly resort that deserves to be better known.
La Rosière’s large ski area is one of only two in the country that offers cross-border skiing in both France and Italy, sharing its Espace San Bernardo pass with La Thuile in the Aosta Valley. This Italian connection adds plenty of interest to La Rosière, with the additional dimension of Italian skiing, culture and cuisine all accessible by slope to skiers of intermediate standard and above. It also means heli-skiing – which is banned in France – is possible from here.
La Rosière village itself is divided into a number of linked sectors (sometimes known as ‘districts’). The newest of these is Les Eucherts, one of the best in which to be based as it has the most attractive traditional chalet-style architecture and great facilities, such as an ice rink, bowling alley, tourist office, nursery and direct access to the ski runs from most accommodation. Having developed this district, the resort authorities are now increasingly focused on redeveloping the original village in a similar vein.
La Rosière is located in the Savoie region of the French Alps. The resort lies high above the mountain town of Bourg-Saint-Maurice, across the valley from Les Arcs, and is close to the Vanoise National Park and Mont Blanc.
On the slopes
The size of the Espace San Bernardo, which links the ski areas of La Rosière in France and La Thuile in Italy, is such that it offers plenty of skiing for all ability levels. The season here lasts from mid-December to mid-April and the resort has a good snow record.
Intermediates will want to take the long Bellecombe drag lifts across the border plateau to access the vertical down to La Thuile. The runs on the Italian side offer some contrast to those in France, with the resort lower and somewhat older, meaning there are some narrow runs cut through the forest here; whereas in La Rosière, almost all trails are wide, open and above the treeline.
Advanced skiers have more than a dozen black runs to enjoy on each side of the border, including the 3.6km-long (2.3 miles) Franco Berthod piste, regarded as one of the toughest at the resort. Heli-skiing with a high mountain guide – reputed to be some of the world’s most exciting and affordable – will be a temptation with popular routes down from Miravidi and Mont Ouille (both providing vertical descents) or from Ruitor, which offers a huge vertical of virgin powder snow.
La Rosière has fully embraced new snow sports and operates a snow park with various lines for different ability levels, as well as offering activities such as snow kiting. There are also ski cross and boardercross courses and a speed-riding school here.