Just 41 kilometres of piste and seven ski lifts might sound small, but don’t let the numbers fool you: the blissfully quiet pistes mean that you can really make use of the space.  There’s also a good variety of slopes and terrain, from the open runs at the top to those that weave through the forest lower down. The layout of the resort means that those of differing levels can meet up quite easily for coffee or lunch.

Being predominantly north-facing helps keep the snow fluffy too – particularly important in a resort with such abundant off-piste opportunities, where you can be returning all day for powder run after powder run and still not find it tracked out. Of course, it should be said that outside of the areas that house the groomed pistes most slopes are not avalanche protected, and therefore – as in any resort - you are advised to venture off piste only with an instructor or qualified mountain guide.

There are two nursery slopes with travelators at the base, then three consecutive chairlifts take you up to the Col de L’Aiguille at 2620m, serving most of the pistes and off piste in the wide bowl. The first of these, Grand Plan, has been upgraded to a fast lift this season. A fourth lift, the fast six-seater Marquise, was installed a few seasons ago on skiers right of the bowl, giving easier access to some off-piste routes as well as increasing the options for intermediate runs.

Ski highlights for all levels

Beginners: Learning to ski in the more relaxed ambience of the quiet slopes of St Foy does offer advantages over other busier, more well-known resorts. There’s a small nursery slope for absolute beginners and children that’s separate from the main slopes at the base of the resort, and a bigger one to progress to. Once you’re ready to head up the lifts, a long, gentle blue run from the top of the first lift, Gran Plan, snakes through the trees back to base. And once you’ve got your confidence on that there are several more challenging blue runs to progress to.

Intermediates: While on paper the lack of piste kilometres might make mileage-munchers think twice, St Foy does have some great quality runs and a 1000-metre vertical drop, descending from open slopes at the top into forest runs lower down. Like other resorts, it has its fair share of good and genuinely challenging red runs to keep intermediates amused, such as L'Aiguille from the top of the third lift, which connects with down to Creux de Formeian and La Savonette all the way to base - and the pistes connect in such a way that after you’ve done L’Aiguille there are lots of other ways down too. The difference is that with so few people here you can really enjoy that race-track carving feel, sweeping down to queue-less chairlifts to take you back up for more, such as the scenic Grand Soliet blue run from the Marquise chair.

Experts and off-piste: St Foy has four marked black runs, the most challenging of which is the 2km long Crystal Dark. Three of these, including Crystal Dark, are called Natur’ runs and are ungroomed and more like off piste, with multiple ways down. But where the resort really stands out is its tree skiing and off-piste powder possibilities – which are seemingly endless. There's lots of between-the-pistes off piste, some of it easy, some quite extreme with cliffs to avoid. And from the top of the L’ Aguille and La Marquise chair lifts you can head off into north-facing powder fields. Some link back round to the resort village at 1550m, others to the outlying villages of Le Miroir and La Masure, or further up the main road up to Val d’Isere, from where you can get a bus or taxi back to the resort.

There’s a wonderful 1,700 vertical metre descent of the north face of Fogliettaz. The full route is reached via an hour or so’s hike from the top of the third (Aiguille) chair, with a choice of ways in. Those not wanting to hike can miss the first, steepest pitch and traverse in from the top of the Marquise chair. The route starts open before heading into trees and through old villages only inhabited in summer. In the other direction from the top of Aiguille there’s the long off-piste route through the Valon du Clou to the deserted picturesque summer farming hamlet of Le Monal. From here you can either return to the resort via a rather flat route, or continue on to the road up to Val d’Isere. Of course, all these off piste routes should be attempted with a guide, which can be hired from the Bureau des Guides Montagne de Haute-Tarentaise (+33 6 14 62 90 24). The guides will also coordinate with buses or arrange taxis back to the resort as necessary.


With few flats to speak of and plenty of powder - plus an uncrowded snow park, St Foy is an excellent choice for snowboarders.  In Natur’ run Shapers Paradise - you’re encouraged to build your own kickers. And of course all of that - including terrain park - is a lot of fun for skiers as well as snowboarders! 

Plan Bois has some flat sections, and you need a bit of speed to get along the beginning of La Chapelle and for the run Combes that comes back from Marquise to get across to the bottom of the second lift.

Ski schools and guides

The ESF in St Foy has an excellent reputation and the fact that the slopes are quiet creates a good learning environment.  Other good schools include Evolution 2, K Spirit and Snocool.  For advance off piste guiding, there’s the Bureau des Guides de Sainte-Foy and Tarentaise Tours

Lift system

In addition to the magic carpets for first-timers, there are four ski lifts in St Foy – all of them chairlifts – the newest being the six-seater Marquise. The Gran Plan chair from the base is being upgraded to a faster four-seater this year, and a lift up from Bataillette is planned for two years’ time.

Terrain park 

As befits a modern family resort, La Rosière offers a comprehensive range of fun facilities. Above the main La Rosière 1850 village, for example, are the Snowcross des Zittieux, the Snowpark de la Polenta plus a Stade de Slalom. Head a little higher and below the Col de la Traversette and you’ll find the long, snaking Boardercross du Fort, which we spotted from the Fort chair-lift and just had to try. The Italian sector, on the other hand, takes a more traditionalist approach to its skiing, including some undemanding cross-country trails.

Snow reliability and snowmaking

Although blessed with relatively good natural snow and predominantly north-facing runs, St Foy does have decent snowmaking facilities.