Valmorel - Ski Resort and Snow Summary
Valmorel - Ski Resort in Le Grand Domaine, French Alps - 152km of Piste (1400m to 2550m)
Valmorel is not yet 40 years old, and very tastefully designed, gaining widespread admiration for having the advantages of a purpose-built resort without looking like one. The ski area is linked to that of St François Longchamp giving over 150km of terrain. An 'ideal family resort'
Key Facts for Valmorel
|5||Black Pistes (9km)|
|11||Red Pistes (19km)|
|25||Blue Pistes (48km)|
|14||Green Pistes (17km)|
|20km||Cross Country Pistes|
The French ski resort of Valmorel is part of the Le Grand Domaine ski area with access to 167 individual pistes. In addition to the skiing in Valmorel itself (152km of pisted ski runs), the appropriate ski Lift Pass will allow you to ski or snowboard in the other Le Grand Domaine ski resorts of Doucy-Combelouvière and St François Longchamp. Valmorel is directly linked by Ski Lift to the ski areas of Doucy-Combelouvière and St François Longchamp.
With pistes above 2500 metres, skiing and snowboarding is assured throughout the season.
Snowmaking :- Valmorel is able to augment natural snow, on 6km of ski runs, with 343 Snow Cannons.
Ski Lift Capacity :- The 38 Ski Lifts of Valmorel are able to uplift 51,000 skiers / snowboarders per hour.
There are five Airports within two hours drive, so ski weekends, snowboard breaks and short ski holidays to Valmorel are perfectly feasible. Chambery Airport is just one hours drive away, in good driving conditions, so you can be on the piste quickly.
Skiing in Valmorel
Marketed primarily as an intimate resort proud of its architecture and layout it comes as a pleasant surprise to find that the ski area is so big, with 150km (93 miles) of runs stretching across the Maurienne and Tarentaise Valley. Such a ski area is not huge by the standards of the French super resorts but it's certainly as big as anywhere else you will find in the world.
Known as the Grand Domaine area, it inevitably links to neighbouring resorts, in this case St François-Longchamp, as well as the smaller traditional villages of Doucy and Les Avanchers nearby. The two major resorts are at each extreme of the skiing area so there's a good sense of travelling to get from one to the other and its best to allow a full day to make the return trip. More than 300 snow guns help to ensure that the link stays complete throughout the season.
Naturally the ski area has been just as well designed as the village. Pistes run right down into the village itself. Beginners have an excellent purpose designed area, separate to the main skiing and allowing first timers to build up confidence before hitting the greens (very easy runs) out in to the great white yonder. There is even a slow chairlift so you can get used to going up, as well as down, in an unintimidating way - an idea common in North America but invariably ignored or forgotten elsewhere in Europe.
Intermediates will have the most to enjoy in Valmorel's skiing, with the vast majority of trails graded blue or red to suit their standard. You get an enjoyable sense of travelling by taking the half dozen series of lifts and runs across to St Francois Longchamp and with slopes facing in all directions it's possible to stay in the sunshine all day by moving around the mountain.
Expert skiers are most likely to head for reds and blacks of the Col du Mottet and the Massif de la Lauzière above Longchamp. Powder fans will find huge expanses within easy reach of the lift system. The smartest thing to do is to hire a guide who'll lead you on a long run down the Belleville Valley to St Jean below Les Menuires.
The ski school employs ninety instructors able to instruct in all major languages and all the snowsports including competition skiing, powder snow, snowboarding or 'surf' as the French prefer to call it, cross-country skiing, skwall, and telemark.
Group lessons have a single meeting point in front of the ESF (French ski school) building in the hamlet of Mottet. Courses of lessons are normally for two and a half hours per day, six days a week, commencing Sundays or Mondays.
Snowboarding in Valmorel
At the top of the Creve Coeur chairlift there is a snow zone for freeriders on skis or boards. A boarder cross and various rails are maintained and adapted to suit all ability levels. A meeting place with cool zone and barbecue is regularly in use, and the Park is served by the Gollet drag lift. .
Beginners are recommended to head for the Biollène trail. Off the slopes, Valmorel's idea of creating a safe and relaxed family environment may not match every 'boarders idea of the ideal après scene, although there is action to be found in some bars.
Valmorel Aprés Ski
Most après ski activities are centred on the pedestrianised main street through Bourg where street cafés can be lively as soon as the lifts close.
Popular spots include bars like the Cafe Alpin, Ski Roc and the Perce Neige are usually the busiest in the resort. Later on there are cocktail bars. Late night dancing is offered at Les Nuits Blanches night club.
Radio Valmorel on 104.3 FM can keep you informed of entertainment opportunities, as well as weather forecasts and ski conditions.
Other evening activities include the cinema and evening snow shoe hikes and you can opt to spend an unusual night out by visiting the Kanata igloo village (15 minutes from the resort) by foot.
Valmorel Snow Reports by e-mail
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Valmorel in brief
Valmorel Ski Resort is:
Very good for Expert Skiers.
Excellent for Intermediate Skiers.
Excellent for Beginners.
Very good for Snowboarding.
Valmorel Season Dates
Open from : December 16, 2013.
Closes : April 19, 2014.
Usual opening - Mid Dec.
Usual closing - Mid April.
NOTE:- Opening subject to Snow Conditions in Valmorel.