by: Simon Greenwood - 19th February 2012

  • 4
  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Expert
  • 5All-Mtn. Terrain
  • 4Family Friendly
  • 2Nightlife
  • 3Terrain Park
  • Value
great off-piste; large variety of runs; no queues; generally quiet slopes; very scenic
lack of nightlife; could be more restaurants; not much to do except skiing/boarding

Full review

St Sorlin within the larger Les Sybelles linked area is an absolute hidden gem. I almost hate to say it because I'd rather it didn't get popular, but it really is. The wider area, Les Sybelles, covers about 310km of pisted runs, but what makes Les Sybelles special is the wide array of accessible off piste opportunities. I've been snowboarding six weeks in total now, and this was the first time I really spent a lot of time playing about in off piste areas; it was amazing! It's all really accessible so you don't have to do much (or any) hiking to access the off piste, it's often just there begging to be ridden as you get off a chair lift. Fortunately what makes Les Sybelles even more special currently is the lack of crowds. Lift queues are non-existent in out-of-season times (we went end of Jan 2012) and the slopes don't get crowded, particularly the higher slopes where there aren't groups of beginners. The area of St Sorlin links to the other two main areas, La Toussuire and Le Corbier, pretty easily via a fast six man chairlift and then a couple of easy drag lifts (yes, unfortunately to get across to the other areas you have to go on at least one drag lift). Although as a snowboarder using drags is a bit of a pain, fortunately you were allowed two feet in which makes things tons easier. One thing this area used to get heavily criticised because of was the lack of chairs and the over-abundance of drags. In a whole week's snowboarder (and we basically covered the whole region), we only went on about five drag lifts. There are so many chairlifts, if you're concerned about other (older) reviews saying there are too many drags, don't be worried because you'll be fine. All the long ascents are now catered for with chair lifts rather than drags (in the past), so this is a huge improvement for the region. Overall, Les Sybelles is a brilliant resort. it probably won't challenge skiers are boarders who enjoy difficult red and black pistes but if you're into off piste, I definitely recommend coming here. The pistes are generally all good (only one was a bit of a mogul/ice field - the red Rocher at St Sorlin), and great for fast cruising, and there's enough slopes to enjoy spending a week here, but the greatness of the region simply comes from its off piste, and if you're into this, it shouldn't be missed.
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