Family friendly, budget friendly and with a decent range of mixed ability terrain, Montgenèvre forms part of the extensive Milky Way circuit.
It’s the only French resort out of six resorts that are linked together via the ViaLattea circuit and is connected to the villages of Sestriere, Sansicario and Sauze D’Oulx in Italy. A cheap day extension gives piste-hungry skiers access to 400km of slopes in the Milky Way.
The village sits at an altitude of over 1800m, on a minor pass, and is perfectly positioned to get snow from all directions – it therefore benefits from excellent snow cover. Snow-canons also now cover 55 per cent of the mountain, including most lower slopes.
There is skiing on both sides of the mountain. On the north-facing Les Gondrans you’ll find nursery slopes, with a dedicated beginner’s area, and the south-facing slopes of Le Chalvet are just behind the village. From Les Gondrans, you can access the on-piste link to Claviere and the rest of the Milky Way. Le Chalvet is a small mountain which the locals flock to.
The village itself is traditional yet modern, convenient and compact and accommodation is centrally located. There are a variety of lodging options available, from quite sweet boutique hotels to more fashionable hotels and upmarket self-catered apartments. Many of these new lodgings have direct ski-in-ski-out access making them brilliant bases for families with tired little skiers. Several bars, restaurants and shops line the village’s main road and ski equipment hire shops are very good too.
Alpine forests surround the village making it look particularly attractive when covered in snow and the locals are very friendly. Non-skiing activities include sleigh rides, snowmobiling, and snow-shoeing. But for those in search of something more thrilling, heliskiing in the neighbouring resort of Sauze D'Oulx can also be arranged.
Apres ski is quiet and the evenings offer a relaxed and calm atmosphere, ideally suited to those looking for a laid back atmosphere.
Montgenèvre has a total of 59 slopes, covering 100km of pistes and served by 38 lifts. Of the pistes, 25 are beginner runs, 23 are intermediate runs and 11 are advanced runs. The ski resort has several runs of decent length, the longest being 7km.
Piste-wise the resort is perfect for beginners who are in their element with a wide selection of easy green runs from the top of Les Gondrans all the way back down to the village. There’s a wonderful nursery slope at the foot of Les Gondrans complete with magic carpet. Crowds are not an issue making Montgenèvre an excellent resort to learn in. Once beginners have practised their turns they should head to sunny Le Chalvet which has the long gentle Phare blue run.
Intermediate skiers can take advantage of nicely varied blues and reds above and below the tree line and even more cruisers in the vast Milky Way area. The overclassified blacks (in the Chalvet sector) are perfect for confident intermediates, and there are some nice reds – such as the narrow wooded runs to Claviere from Pian del Sole, and from Colletto Verde back towards Montgenèvre. Popular descents include the runs down from Les Anges and Le Querelay.
The terrain is diverse with open bowls and long groomed runs and intermediate skiers can confidently explore the whole resort. Shy intermediates have some excellent long runs on which to build confidence on both the Gondrans and Chalvet areas.
To access some fast reds and wide blues, hop aboard the Chalmettes cable car lift. From there, take the green La Crete to the Col Des Gondrans ski area. They all lead back to the foot of the two main lifts; Les Gondrans and Observatoire.
Montgenèvre is better geared towards advanced skiers and snowboarders who enjoy freeriding more than downhill skiing, as the marked terrain isn't the steepest. That being said, there are some decent red runs to carve and cruise.For exciting off-piste descents and bumps, head to the virtually untouched powder in the Col de l'Alpet area. Rocher de l'Aigle offers the most challenging descent and backcountry guides from nearby La Grave and Serre Chevalier regularly bring their clients here.