La Clusaz - Ski Resort and Snow Summary
La Clusaz - Ski Resort in Aravis, French Alps - 132km of Piste (1100m to 2600m)
Traditional Savoyard village, regarded by some as one of the most picturesque in France. Large ski area for a single resort. Off the piste there is plenty to do - the area is famous for its farm foods, including wine, cheese (reblochon and chevrotin), pastries and ham. There is a weekly village welcome evening for guests and a market.
Key Facts for La Clusaz
|7||Black Pistes (11km)|
|23||Red Pistes (30km)|
|28||Blue Pistes (68km)|
|27||Green Pistes (23km)|
|70km||Cross Country Pistes|
In addition to the skiing in La Clusaz itself (132km of pisted ski runs), the appropriate ski Lift Pass will allow you to ski or snowboard in the other Aravis ski resorts of Le Grand Bornand, Manigod and Saint Jean de Sixt.
La Clusaz is the largest station of the Aravis and comprises a variety of distinct ski areas around a traditional and un-spoilt village centre. Beginners are well cared for with various Green runs close to the town, on the Beauregard peak, and above the Col de la Croix Fry. Both Beauregard and Croix Fry are highly recommended for families as they tend not to attract the speed freaks and cliff jumpers. Intermediates are easily able to put some mileage under their skis, although the links between the ski areas often need to be supplemented with a short ride on the regular and reliable ski bus service (included in the lift pass).
Expert skiers have an awesome playground on La Balme; a large bowl containing a few pistes and a variety of off-piste itineraries ranging from easy to indisputably hard-core. If going off-piste, you must pay attention to the conditions posted at the start of the lifts (particularly the La Balme chair) as the avalanche risks in this area can be locally higher than nearby. If the pisteurs have roped off any area (common in the afternoon), you should choose another route (there are plenty).
Our verdict :- traditional, unspoilt village, friendly locals and great skiing!
Snowmaking :- La Clusaz is able to augment natural snow, on 2km of ski runs, with 190 Snow Cannons.
Ski Lift Capacity :- The 55 Ski Lifts of La Clusaz are able to uplift 53,000 skiers / snowboarders per hour.
There are six Airports within two hours drive, so ski weekends, snowboard breaks and short ski holidays to La Clusaz are perfectly feasible. Geneva Airport is just one hours drive away, in good driving conditions, so you can be on the piste quickly.
Skiing in La Clusaz
La Clusaz's skiing spreads across five mountains - Beauregard, La Croix Fry-Manigod-Merdassier, L'Etale, L'Aiguille and Balme. These are all lift linked to one another by more than 50 lifts. The big area covers all kinds of slopes from large wooded trails for relaxed descents, to high summits and steeps. Beauregard is the mountain closest to the village and is regarded as a place for easy cruisers, although with all the slopes below the treeline its possible to enjoy some exciting tree skiing if you have the technical expertise required. Over the back of Beauregard there are the Croix-Fry Manigod Merdassier slopes which were linked to the resort in 1985. This is an area of largely gentle slopes, ideal for children and beginners. Right next door however are the slopes of l'Etale, largely above the treeline and much steeper.
Rising up across the village is the Aiguille Mountain, known for its sunny slopes with big verticals, such as the Grand Crêt which drops 1,200 metres (3937 feet). You can also take the exciting la Combe du Fernuy run which starts black but ends red and leads you over to the fifth and highest mountain, Balme. This is the most snow sure of the resort's ski areas with long fast cruises, all above the tree line.
There are plenty of attractions for advanced to expert skiers on the slopes of La Clusaz. A Summit Circle route has been introduced, using only black and red trails. It includes, among others, the 4km (2.5 mile) long Vraille slope on Balme which drops 1100 metres (3609 feet) on North facing terrain with a reputation for powder snow. Another tough slope is the Crêt du Loup mogul slope, now known as 'The Edgar Wall' after Edgar Grospiron, a French skiing champion who lives in the resort. Located on the Aiguille mountain it is one of the best natural mogul slopes in the world. Expert skiers also have the chance of steep slope skiing with a little bit of hiking to take the route from Aravis to La Giettaz. Off piste touring with a Mountain guide is another option as is heliskiing in Switzerlnd and Italy.
A ski bus network links the base of the mountains and makes the link over to the smaller ski area of le Grand Bornand at least once every 30 minutes. La Clusaz is a centre for other snow sports also, notably Telemark - being a former host of the original downhill skiing sport's World cup event in 1994, as well as to more modern variants like Skwal and carving. Cross-country skiing is another strength with 70km of trails spread across the two plateaux of Confins and Beauregard.
Snowboarding in La Clusaz
La Clusaz has kept at the forefront of European snowboarding, being one of the first resorts to grant 'boarders access to all areas and introduce terrain features. It was also one of the first Alpine centres to establish a permanent Boarder Cross where four freeriders can race against one another down a course of bumps and banks. The first two carry forward to the next round in the standard Boarder Cross contest. There is also a Snowpark which incorporates quarter pipes, gaps, tables, fun boxes and whoops. Facilities are locasted on Cret du Loup and Manigod.
Away from terrain parks the Balme mountain is generally regarded as a snowboarding paradise with powder stashes, big craving slopes and plenty of natural hits.
La Clusaz Aprés Ski
A lively resort, La Clusaz has an Entertainments office which arranges events daily to help the village maintain its feeling of being a lively community rather than just a place with a lot of bars. The Monday evening welcome nights, with free vin chaud at the tourist office are a good place to pick up information on what's happening during your stay and informally meet a wide dross section of village residents.
Regular events include weekly torchlit descents for both adults and children which you can participate in through the ESF during high season. There are also displays of past skiing techniques, fashions and equipment by the ski school and special Christmas and February carnival events. For the normal selection of bars, restaurants and night clubs, La Clusaz has it covered. The Pressoir bar stocks over 80 beers and is open until 2am as is Les Caves du Paccaly and Le Grenier. Night Clubs include L'Écluse and Club 18.
La Clusaz Snow Reports by e-mail
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Ski Weekends and Short Breaks - La Clusaz
Ski and Snowboard Weekends and Short Breaks staying in our Aravis Lodge and catered chalet in La Clusaz France for skiing and snowboarding weekend holidays and corporate trips.
La Clusaz in brief
La Clusaz Ski Resort is:
Very good for Expert Skiers.
Excellent for Intermediate Skiers.
Very good for Beginners.
Very good for Snowboarding.
La Clusaz Season Dates
Open from : December 21, 2013.
Closes : April 27, 2014.
Usual opening - Late Dec.
Usual closing - Late April.
NOTE:- Opening subject to Snow Conditions in La Clusaz.
La Clusaz Piste Map