TR, Alpe d’Huez, 18th to 25th January 2020


TR, Alpe d’Huez, 18th to 25th January 2020

Started by Dobby in France - 7 Replies

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Dobby posted Jul-2020

LGW to Chambery, FlyBe
Flights were fine. Slight delay but fog had just about cleared by the time we had to land.

Chalet Cimes, Alpe d'Huez

I was part of a large group that booked-out the whole hotel. The food was typical chalet fare, with buffet breakfast, afternoon tea and evening meal with wine. Tea was very good, if you got in on time. The rooms were a bit tired, especially the beds (very soft and a bit knackered). The evening meal was good, but the veggie food was by all accounts not great. The bathroom was OK, and was stiflingly hot, but obviously had been renovated recently.

The boot room was OK for a party of our size. Dunno where you'd put your skis if the hotel was full. There were no boot heaters.
The staff were helpful and friendly.

The location was excellent from the viewpoint of getting to and from the slopes. Walk 50 yards to a piste and ski down to the Grand Sure lift that takes you up to Signal or walk 400 yards or so to the lobster pots, which will take you to the main DMC area. You can also ski back to within 50 or so yards of the hotel from the DMC with a little bit of poling or go down Petite Sure red from the Signal area. The hotel is quite close to some of the apres bars too.

The Skiing
This is a resort I've wanted to ski for a few years, not least because it has a reputation for being sunny (and for someone who always skis in mid-January, somewhere sunny would be nice) and I wasn't disappointed.

There are several village centres, Alpe d'Huez itself, Auris en Oisans, Huez, Villard Reculas, Oz en Oisans, Montfrais, Maronne and Vaujany. Villard Reculas, Auris, Oz and Montfrais have their own small ski areas. Skiing between the villages gives a great feeling of travel, but you can sometimes feel you're spending a lot of time on lifts.

The skiing above Alpe d'Huez gets steeper the higher you go (roughly speaking). A sort of opposite to Les Deux Alpes. The skiing immediately above Alpe d'Huez itself is mainly greens, blues and a few reds. The skiing immediately above that (from 2800m to 2300m) is essentially red run skiing, and above that, it's mainly blacks.

Generally speaking, I think this resort is best for beginners (green runs), confident intermediates (confident on "proper" reds and easier blacks) who like a bit of travel and advanced skiers (not fussed, can ski 'owt). While there is plenty for true blue skiers to do, you have to plan and it's a bit spread out.

For beginners, there are plenty of green runs above the DMC1 lift, plus you can either ride a chair or gondola to get there. These slopes are long and wide, so traffic shouldn't be a problem, though there are some steeper parts that you may want to avoid. From the top of the DMC1 lift head right to the Poutran and Grenouilles lifts for quieter green pistes. There is also a long green (Chez Roger) above the Bergers area. Les Demoiselles on the Auris side is a nice green.

For the true blue skier, Marcel's Farm from Signal to the DMC is a great little run, as are Bergers and Agneaux in the Bergers sector. Village from DMC 1800 to Huez is a lovely quiet blue, quiet probably because the lifts back to from Huez to Alpe D'Huez are incredibly slow. The blue from Signal to Villard Reculas is OK but not the easiest blue in the world and probably should be avoided first thing in the morning (says the muppet who kept falling on the ice). The blues around Montfrais are pleasant enough, as is Les Eterlous on the Auris side. Pre-rond from the top of Signal d'Homme is a bit of a road, so not that enjoyable. Couloir from Lac Blanc 2700 to Les Jeux 2100 can get busy and pretty chopped up later in the day.

For the confident intermediate there is a lot to do, but it's spread out. Great if you like a sense of travel, not so good if you don't. Most of the reds are proper reds and I cannot recall many of the reds being over-graded. Deversoir from Clocher de Macle to Marmottes was a particular favourite and was very quiet (probably because the Lievre Blanc chair was closed). Campanules was a great quiet run on account of it only being accessible from a black from Clocher de Macle and the venerable Chalvet chair. All of the runs from Dome 2800 and Lac Blanc 2700 to Alpette and Oz were good, but Chamois gets narrow in places, which could be a problem if busier. There were also some bumps what I have wiped from my mind (backwards bump skiing anyone?). The red from Montfrais to La Villette was lovely, if a bit slushy. Sarenne was also a great run first thing in the morning. There are only two or three steep bits and they are at the top of the run.

For example, the gondolas from Vaujany to Alpette and from Alpette to Dome are single-carriage gondolas so there may be some hanging about waiting to get up the mountain.

Lifts were generally OK, but there are some slow ones, and there are a couple of cable cars that you obviously have to wait for. Televillage from Huez to Alpe d'Huez is a vintage "egg" style lift. Chalvet is a slow 2 man chair, but the quiet run off it is lovely. Le Villarais took a while too from Villard Reculas to Signal. Marmottes 1 to Marmottes 2300 gets busy at Folie Douce time (1430 onwards).

Some highlights that have got to be tried – you must go to the top of the Pic Blanc for the incredible views even if you don't ski down. Also, the Alpauris "scare chair" from Bergers across the valley to the bottom of Signal de l'Homme is a must.

Overall, a great week. Would I return? So many other places to ski so probably not in the near future, but I would probably return if and when I can ski the black runs better.[b]

reply to ' TR, Alpe d’Huez, 18th to 25th January 2020'
posted Jul-2020

Good write-up, thanks! Not been there for many years but will head back one day (too many places to ski, so little time!).
The Admin Man

reply to ' TR, Alpe d’Huez, 18th to 25th January 2020'
posted Jul-2020

I am planning to stay for my first week next Jan in a little place in between L2A and AlpH ..the weeks lift pass gives you access to both, and..if you are an old f**t like me ..its free!...Have car will travel ..then on to the Dolomites and Austria.

reply to ' TR, Alpe d’Huez, 18th to 25th January 2020'
posted Jul-2020

Good write-up Dobby. Was Le Tunnel open ?

reply to ' TR, Alpe d’Huez, 18th to 25th January 2020'
posted Jul-2020

Edited 1 time. Last update at 08-Jul-2020

reply to ' TR, Alpe d’Huez, 18th to 25th January 2020'
posted Jul-2020

Must say I didn't notice. Not the sort of run I would tackle :)

reply to ' TR, Alpe d’Huez, 18th to 25th January 2020'
posted Jul-2020

Me neither !

reply to ' TR, Alpe d’Huez, 18th to 25th January 2020'
posted Jul-2020

Been a couple of times and it does have sun, ime.
The village is mot the most appealing...modern and functional, i think.
Skiing is across the board and the best day a storm day with low vis,but not too low, and half the lifts shut which meant people didnt go out.
You could ski blues and hardly see your tracks as dumping too much.
Had to completely dig the car out and drive down the multiple switchbacks in snow. Wish we could have extended that stay.
I have friends who says differently but first impression is a intermediate resort.

Topic last updated on 19-November-2020 at 09:26

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