Les Portes du Soleil is an enormous linked ski area that spans the French-Swiss border. You might have heard of some of its better-known resorts, such as Avoriaz or Morzine. But there are many more ski resorts to discover in this vast ski area: Abondance, Champéry, Châtel, La Chapelle d'Abondance, Les Gets, Montriond, Morgins, St-Jean-d'Aulps, Torgon en Val d'Illiez-Champoussin & Les Crosets. With a Portes du Soleil ski pass, you can ski in all 12 resorts, a total of 600km of runs! This can make it daunting to know where to start. We've lined up some of our favourite slopes in Les Portes du Soleil to make your choice easier!
The view from the top of the Coupe du Monde piste in Avoriaz is absolutely breathtaking and makes a spectacular start to this black piste. Take the Grandes Combes lift up to the Hauts Forts and ski non-stop down to Les Prodains, down below the treeline. If your legs aren't burning after this, then you're a real pro!
The Swiss Wall is one of the most notorious pistes in Europe, and should only be attempted by expert skiers. In fact, you might want to take a ski lesson or two before tackling this one! The piste is too steep for the piste basher and is therefore never groomed. This means you'll have to successfully navigate waist-high moguls if you want to make it down this one without sliding a few hundred metres on your backside! With a gradient of more than 90% in some parts, this isn't called "the wall" for nothing!
Châtel is a beginner skier's paradise. Off the Super Châtel lift you'll find a relaxing blue piste where you can practise turning to your heart's delight. Unfortunately, this one is less suitable for snowboarders, who might not appreciate all the flat bits.At the lift in Châtel
If you love skiing through the trees, then you've come to the right place! The Belette, which starts at Plaine Dranse in Châtel, is a 3.5km-long green piste that weaves its way through the trees towards Pré la Joux. Let yourself go!
The Mossettes piste starts on the border between France and Switzerland and grants a lovely view of the Dents du Midi. Ski towards Les Lindarets on the French side; the piste starts out red and turns into a blue run through the forest with some fun dips and turns for anyone who fancies a bit of light freeriding through the trees.
If you're planning on attempting this slope, keep in mind that the end can get a little mushy towards the end of the day. This is important because the run is 7km long so you won't have the legs to ski through slush by the end of it! If the snow conditions and temperature permit, then go for it. The top is nice and wide, and flattens out towards the bottom. Hey, you have to earn your turns!
Stash is a snow park made from natural materials, a true paradise for snowboarders and freeriders in general! This is a unique experience where you'll ski on cut trees and other features that blend seamlessly into the winter landscape. You choose from three different pistes of varying difficulty level.Stash, natural snow park in Avoriaz
Still can't make your mind up on which run is the best? Opt for a tour through the entire Portes du Soleil ski area! It's easy to get from one resort to another within the linked ski area. Try to hit up the whole batch: Avoriaz, Les Lindarets, Plaine Dranse, Pré la Joux, Châtel, Morgins, Champoussin, Les Crosets, Champéry and back to Avoriaz. You might find that the Swiss side still has some old-school lifts, and you might have to walk a bit in Morgins, so be sure to leave yourself enough time to get back to your starting point.
Born and raised in the ski paradise of Vancouver, Canada, I learned to ski before I can remember, balancing precariously on my parents’ skis as they sailed down the hill. I started snowboarding in my teens and am now delighted to be exploring everything Europe’s ski scene has to offer!
|30 June||The top 15 ski resorts in Italy|
|23 June||6 reasons skiing is good for you|
|11 June||The top 15 ski areas in Switzerland|