One of the best things about the resort is its suitability to all levels of skiing ability. And there’s heaps of terrain - tight, open trees, couloirs visible from the lifts, limitless banks and gullies, natural hits everywhere and a huge natural funpark.
Much of the area is covered in openly spaced larch forest, that is, trees without needles in the winter. The effect is that you can see what’s in front of you for hundreds of metres which translates into hitting the steeps without having to exercise too much caution. Yay speed! The forest also provides a solid training ground for those venturing off-piste for the first time and is accessible from the Bachas chair lift.
Beginners have easy trails next to all of the villages and separate beginner slopes up the mountain. These are generally crowd free which gives newbies ample space in which to practice. We like the green runs around the Frejus charlift. On the downside there are a number of drag lifts to contend with.
Intermediates have access to long cruising trails of up to 10km in length. At the Bachas chairlift above 1500 there are lots of pistes criss-crossing down through the larch forest . Recommended runs include the Cucumelle, Le Petit Alpe, Grand Gargouille and Bois des Coqs.
Once you’ve weaved through the trees you can head to La Grave in just 30 minutes, and Montgenevre isn’t far from Briançon. The lift pass includes Montgenèvre on the Italian border, and if you purchase an add-on pass, it’s possible to ski, if conditions are right, all the way over to Sestrière and Sauze d'Oulx in Italy.
Advanced skiers and riders, particularly those who love freesking, have masses of terrain to sample including the extensive backcountry and cross-country for which a number of guiding services are available. There are five cross-country routes in the valley of varying length and difficulty. Those who like marked runs will enjoy blasting down the Olympic Luc Alphand run – it’s one of the fastest on the mountain. Expert skiers can also test their mettle on hairier challenges such as Jacksons or the Tête de Grand Pré and Montagnolle descents.
For fresh tracks make your way to the fields and trees off the Cibouit chair lift in Monêtier – take skier’s right across the black run and use the shoulder above the Tabuc black run.