Vaujany re-designed its beginner sector for the 2009-10 season, concentrating on the snowsure Montfrais Plateau after previously having nursery areas located in different sectors. The new facilities here are double the size of the previous area and include a new easy-to-ride conveyor lift. Access from the Montfais gondola has also been improved so it goes further, removing the need for a drag lift and with smoother access to the slopes. Add to this some highly regarded ski school lessons and lots of long greens and blues to progress on to and you have a very rounded offering for beginners.
Vaujany gives access to one of the world’s largest ski areas on the Grandes Rousses massif, stretching for more than 2,000 vertical metres above the resort. And 2,000 vertical metres means some very long runs, including the world’s longest groomed trail, the 16km long Sarenne which, although graded black, can in reality be successfully tackled by any advanced intermediate. The gondola or giant cable car lifts skiers high in to the heart of the ski area in minutes, and you can move rapidly on up to the region’s highest point at Pic Blanc (3330m) for views out to Mont Blanc and the Grand Paradis. Almost every type of run imaginable is here, chutes, powder bowls, long cruising motorways, tree skiing and, if that's not enough, a six day ticket gives access to the slopes of nearby resorts including Les 2 Alps and Serre Chevalier.
Highly rated for experts, the region has 16 black runs and 66km of black-graded piste – that’s a lot of choice and that’s just the groomed trails. Most skiers will want to try the Sarenne run, the world’s longest black (and the world’s longest groomed run) which descends a fantastic 2,000 vertical metres. It’s not actually particularly challenging below the upper sections, so you may opt to do it at night with your belly full after a gourmet dinner; that should certainly add to the challenge. Mountain guides will be more than happy to show you any of the many classic off piste descents available in the region, again with 2,000m vertical descents possible when conditions are right, some right above Vaujany. Make sure you’ve been building up your knee strength before you arrive in the village.
Snowboard / Freestyle Skiing
There’s a vast choice of terrain for boarders as for skiers, with plenty of powder stashes and off piste itineraries for freeriders to enjoy in their eternal quest for powder. If you’re looking to hit the park, freestyle skiers and snowboarders will find two terrain parks, a half pipe for beginners and a boarder cross course, but they’re not among the best in the Alps. The main park, now more than a decade old, is located right up above Alpe d’Huez itself and has a great range of terrain features. Park maintenance is not a massive priority for the resort, as it’s only occasionally shaped and can look a little unkempt. So if you’re looking for a freestyle holiday in the park, you may find better options elsewhere. A newer park is closer to Vaujany, or the village’s local slopes, and has mostly less intimidating jumps and features.
There are 50km (just over 30 miles) of cross country trails in the region, divided in to three loops. All are graded relatively easy and all are up at a relatively snowsure altitude around 2,000m so they are largely up above the tree line.
The trails are divided in to five separate sectors and the longest, at 20km, is the closest to Vaujany. Accessed from the mid-station of the cable car at Alpette, it circles the local lake and crosses several pistes (beware of downhill skiers) and passes Alpine lakes and several mountain restaurants en route to Alpe d’Huez. There are four shorter loops in the region. The ski school offers cross country ski tuition although this normally takes place from Les Bergers on the far side of Alpe d’Huez which is a bit of a trek from Vaujany.
Vaujany Average Snow and Weather Conditions
Vaujany is located at the bottom of the Grand Rousses ski area and some slopes are south and south westerly facing which may cause an issue with snow coverage on lower runs at the very of the season.
To offset this the resort has invested heavily in snowmaking. The constantly expanding and upgrading system currently covers nearly 33km of key runs with more than 430 snow guns, just on the Vaujany sector alone. In any case, the cable car lifts skiers and boarders direct from the village to L’Alpete at a snowsure 2050m and the upper runs, over 3,000m higher, are on the Sarenne glacier and were formerly open for summer skiing.