Val Thorens - slopes
Ski highlights for all levels
Beginners: the main beginner area is in the centre of the resort. Try the runs off Cascades and 2 Lacs. After you have a week or two of skiing under your belt there is lots to explore here. Beware though, many routes back into the resort become very busy as skiers head home to the rest of the Three Valleys in the afternoon.
Val Thorens have invested this year in improving facilities for beginners. They are also offering a 50 per cent discount on beginner ski passes, which give access to the 9 ski lifts serving the easiest slopes.
Intermediates: go for lunch – and the views – to the top of Pointe de La Masse or Cime Caron. Visit Saint-Martin-de-Belleville lower down the valley one day; there are lovely long quiet runs in that area. Val Thorens is a great resort for long wide runs on which to perfect your technique. The runs off Moraine and Funitel Peclet are great for this.
Experts: there is so much skiing in the Three Valleys that you will be able to vary your route every day. To get to Courchevel and back will take a whole day – be careful not to miss the last lift.
Orelle is great for big bowl skiing. Take in the views at the top of Col and at the high point of the Three Valleys, the top of Bouchet. Watch your speed coming back into the town centre. These runs tend to get busy. Have fun either side off Mont du Vallon and around La Masse.
There is a lot of opportunity for off-piste in Val Thorens as the snow condition stays good for longer than it would in a lower resort. Many routes start from the top of the Cime de Caron. You can get to the “fourth valley” from here, or head down to meet up with Boismint chair. From the top of Col chair, after a bit of a trek, you can again get to the fourth valley. If you are unfamiliar with the area, hire a guide.
Ski schools and guides
There are 31 lifts in Val Thorens, serving 68 pistes. There is more than 600km of skiing in the Three Valleys: 200 lifts transport 260,000 skiers hourly.
Snow reliability and snowmaking
Val Thorens is about as snow-sure a resort as you can get. It is the highest resort in Europe. There is a glacier – this means the resort is a good bet for early and late season skiing.
Get to the snow park by the Plateau drag lift. There is a Boardercross next to Les Chalets.