Oz is a particularly good resort for beginners because of its easily accessible nursery area and laid back atmosphere. Most of the accommodation in the resort is just a short walk from the Poutran lift, and easy green runs are accessed with a moving carpet and drag lifts specially designed for beginners and slow starters to use. Beginners wishing to venture further afield can also take the either the Poutran or Alpette lifts to the beginner slopes at Alpe d'Huez or Vaujany respectively. The beginners' area at Alpe d'Huez is considered to be one of the best in France, with a great mix of 20 green runs just above the village.
Due to the variety extent of the mountain accessible from the resort, Oz makes a fantastic option for intermediates. Directly above the village you'll find some good red runs, but those looking for something a bit gentler can try the various blues at Vaujany's Montfrais, just at the top of the Alpette gondola. Up at Signal above Alpe d'Huez there's a good selection of long blues and reds, and several more at the top of the Poutran II and 1er Troncon cable cars. From here you can ski back to Oz on the poutran, boulevard des lupins and l'olmet runs.
The Alpe d'Huez Grand Domaine is also home to many black pistes, making the area a good choice for those looking for a challenge. There are quite a few blacks up at Pic Blanc, the highest point at 3330m, which is easily reached on the gondolas from Oz. Don’t go home without trying the Sarenne - the longest black run in the Alps! An impressive 16km in length, this is situated over on the other side of Alpe d’Huez. For a local charge you can ski this run by moonlight with a guide.
Snowboard / Freestyle Skiing
Oz is highly rated by snowboarders - especially experienced boarders - because the variety of the terrain means there's a lot of freeriding and some great off-piste to explore with a guide. A huge terrain park stretches down from the lower stage of the DMC gondola, with fantastic jumps, lots of rails and an airbag. For those just learning, there's a smaller but equally well-regarded beginners' park above Vaujany.
Fans of Nordic skiing will enjoy the 30km of cross-country trails that can be accessed using the main lifts in Oz. Up at 2,100 metres, you'll find two marked itineraries: The Poutran Loup, a 10km blue trail, and the Lakes Loup, a 20km red route.
At the exit of the resort, the Pré Reynaud Loup is another option - a 4km blue trail.
Average Snow and Weather Conditions
Oz en Oisans has a long season and good snowfall record for its relatively low altitude, with the resort typically staying open from mid-December until the end of April. Natural snow on 50km of the resort's 62km of runs is complemented with snowmaking - a total of 700 canons - making sure skiing and snowboarding is possible throughout the season, even on lower slopes. When heavy snow falls the slopes just above the resort are some of the best in the area, and people staying elsewhere may not be able to access them. A definite plus to staying in Oz!
The fact that the resort has quick links to Alpe d'Huez, and up to the Sarenne glacier at 3,300 metres, means that even if snow cover is poor at village level at the beginning or end of the season, holidaymakers can take advantage of the fast lift system to explore this huge and diverse ski area, which offers some of the highest and most snowsure slopes in France.