Ski resorts by train

Le Grand Bornand - slopes

With the Aravis range forming the backdrop – its highest peak being the distinctive Pointe Percee – Le Grand Bornand has 88km of runs served by 30 lifts, including two gondolas.

On the slopes directly above Le Grand Bornand are gentle runs for early intermediates, but you'll need to take the gondola over to Chinaillon to get to the main concentration of runs.

The resort has sensible ideas on lift pass pricing. If you want to ski only part of the day – and not pay for a whole day – you can take a 4-hour pass. For a current €24.50, you begin your day when you want and ski for 4 consecutive hours, avoiding peak periods if you're wise.

An excellent beginner's pass gives access to 13 lifts serving the easier slopes, for €17 a day. A great idea to encourage people to try cross-country skiing is a 5-day pass giving a free day for one-to-one langlauf instruction – there are extensive trails in the Bouchet Valley below the old village and also towards Chinaillon.

Linked by shuttle bus, La Clusaz has a further 132km of runs served by 45 lifts.

Beginners: you’ll find extensive nursery slopes at the top of the Rosay gondola. The Joyère and Rosay sectors are ideal for beginners, on gently wooded slopes above Le Grand Bornand.

Chinaillon also has easily accessible beginners' slopes. Plentiful wide blue runs are perfect for beginners to graduate to.

Intermediates: the entire area is predominantly blue and red with lots of super cruising. Intermediates will find the reds perfect for building confidence and the resort prides itself on its well-groomed pistes.

There are some fast new lifts too, which makes it easy to clock up the miles.

Experts: a handful of challenging blacks are to be found, the most serious of which are from the top of Le Lachat. La Floria also boasts a decent black run. Very special is the recently opened Espace Freeride, an ungroomed and fairly steep bowl which is a great playground for experts, accessed from the top of Lachat.

The resort also sensibly leaves some red runs ungroomed, allowing excellent mogul fields to form. Many other off-piste routes are possible with a guide, and ski touring opportunities are extensive.

Ski schools and guides

There are two ski schools, the Ecole du Ski Français (00 33 450 02 79 10) and the Ecole de Ski Internationale Starski (00 33 480 80 60 50). Both offer a full range, with Starski very strong on freeride and freestyle, the ESF with a comprehensive children's programme and also geared for disabled skiing. Both promise maximum groups of 8.

The Aravis Sport Organisation (00 33 450 09 00 45) works with the ESF on made-to-measure corporate and group events and ski week programmes.

Choose from over 17,000 instructors in 250 resorts across the French Alps


Snow reliability and snowmaking

Although not high – the top station is at 2,080m – the resort has a good snow record. To help out, 100 snow cannons cover 18km of runs.

Terrain park

The snowpark is rated among the 5 best in France, with boardercross, half pipe, rails and tables – it's all there. The resort hosted the French Snowboarding Championships in 2007.

LASK Araris piste map

Ski area
Village Altitude
Ski Altitude
1000m - 2100
Green Runs
Blue Runs
Red Runs
Black Runs
Total Runs 157
Terrain Park
Cabin Lifts
Chair Lifts
Drag Lifts
Total Lifts 102