Valloire is a relatively good choice for beginners, there are pleasant nursery slopes by the resort and up at the top of the gondola next to the Thimel restaurant. There is also a choice of ski schools with the competition between the French ski school and the International ski school helping to drive up standards.
Once basics have been mastered more than half of the runs are graded easy, so you’ll soon be whizzing around the whole ski area. Along with a relaxed atmosphere and attractive scenery, skiers in Valloire will pay less than average for the Alps on the slopes and in resort, so it’s a more affordable place in which to start your skiing career.
The ‘Domaine Galibier – Thabor’ is the name of the ski area Valloire shares with neighbouring Valmeinier. The 150km of trails provide plenty of challenges but also lots of fun for regular recreational skiers who’ll enjoy the long cruising runs, up to 10.5km (seven miles) long which run down from the powder slopes above the treeline at the top of the slopes, then cut down through the forest above Valloire.
The two resorts are divided by the Crey du Quart mountain ridge which has wonderful long cruising reds and blues back to Valloire and more reds and blacks over towards Valmeinier.
Although dismissed by some as lacking challenging terrain, the region actually has nine black runs and a reputation for raising French champion skiers!
The black runs are distributed relatively evenly across the area, but are concentrated slightly more on the Valmeinier side, where a challenging mogul field usually develops on the black above Valmeinier 1500. There are also several steep blacks on the lower half of the Valmeinier side of Le Crey du Quart above L’Almera which is also a key off-piste ski area that you can tackle with the ski school or guide.
Snowboard / Freestyle Skiing
Freestylers will enjoy Valloire’s main Lac de la Vieille snowpark. It is a first rate facility that has been ranked the best in Europe by some ski magazines and is complete with half pipe, a relatively easy ski cross run, a medium-level terrain park and a pro riders' slopestyle course with big air jumps and larger rails.
The park has a staff of four maintaining it, its own drag lifts, and can be accessed with a regular ski pass or with a low-price terrain-park-only ticket.
Younger children and beginners have three easier level parks with smaller jumps and rails to enjoy on the “Escargot” green slope. For freeriders there’s lots of great terrain and, with more than half the lifts chairs, it’s easy to reach most of the terrain without needing to take a drag.
There are 10km of cross country trails in Valloire itself on the Verney Plateau, with easy to medium runs. However these are part of a larger Nordic trails network in the wider area with a variety of run lengths from two to 20km long although some of these are only-open mid winter when snow conditions are optimal. The more advanced terrain is largely up on the Balcon de Valloire.
Valloire Average Snow And Weather Conditions
Valloire is at quite a good height for a traditional village, and the ski area stretches more than 1000 metres above, with more than two-thirds of the terrain above 2000m in altitude and on north-facing slopes, so it all bodes well for good conditions throughout a normal winter. The snow cover is boosted by more than 400 snow guns covering key pistes and a third of the terrain overall.