Magazine article The Spectator

Skiing in Val d'Isere

Magazine article The Spectator

Skiing in Val d'Isere

Article excerpt

First things first. Yes, Val d'Isere does have a reputation for being expensive - and it is, especially if you're planning on eating out and embracing the apres ski every night. But no matter what anyone says, you can't argue with the fact that the skiing is fantastic. Combined with its neighbour, Tignes, there's a total of 330km of piste to explore, with plenty of steep red and blue runs that are perfect for intermediate and advanced skiers.

One of the most frequent complaints about skiing in Val is getting home at the end of the day. Almost every route down to the main town is a challenge, even if you are fairly competent at descending mountains with a couple of planks strapped to your feet. For beginners, the very thought of descending the notoriously icy 'La Face' at the end of a full day's skiing, on legs exhausted from tackling moguls (and perhaps wobbling a bit from the vin chaud at lunch) is enough to strike fear into the bravest heart.

But you can just take the lift back into town.

You certainly won't be the only one.

More advanced sk iers shou ld bear in mind that not all the fun is to be had within the markers. In addition to the huge pisted area, there's also an incredible amount of off-piste. Staying in one of the most snowsure resorts in the Alps does have its downsides, though. If you're serious about going off-piste, make sure you get yourself a guide who knows the slopes. There are numerous avalanches every year due to the sheer amount of snow, and sometimes deaths. …

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