Quite a good choice for first-timers, La Rosière’s selling points include its slopeside convenience, choice of ski schools, wide expanse of easy slopes for learning on, right next to the resort and its relaxed, “no pressure” attitude to life in general! There are three free ski lifts for beginners to save you needing to splash out on a lift pass from day one and there’s a dedicated area of green (very easy) runs beside the Clarines and Lievre Blanc lifts on which to practise the basics of firstly standing up, and secondly turning and stopping. Once that’s mastered there are longer greens and slightly harder blues to progress seamlessly on to!
La Rosière’s skiing is predominantly intermediate terrain and the long connection over to La Thuile is a particularly rewarding experience, crossing the long plateau to get over the old border really feels like you are making a trek. The skiing on the La Thuile side is worth the expedition too, as the slopes go lower on to tree lined runs rather than being almost entirely above the treeline as they are at La Rosière. The link is sometimes closed, usually by strong winds, and it does involve some lengthy rides across the plateau between the two resorts using a succession of elderly drag lifts – so it’s not entirely effortless. Remember not to leave it too late to head back. Runs are up to a remarkable 11km (seven miles) long and back. On the La Rosière side there are numerous wide fast cruising runs on the open sunny slopes.
Although not especially renowned as a destination for advanced skiers, experts do have a choice of more than 15 black runs across the circuit and the mountain guides office or ski school will be happy to show you numerous challenging off-piste routes too – so essentially there is in fact plenty here if you’re prepared to look for it. The toughest run is arguably the Franco Berthod piste, more than three kilometers (two miles) long. The resort’s steepest run plunges at an impressive 72%.
La Rosière isn’t a bad base too for day trips to nearby Paradiki (La Plagne and Les Arcs), the Espace Killy (Tignes and Val d’Isere) or the secret powder-heaven of St Foy – all within an hour’s drive. There is also that option of heli-skiing in to Italy too with vertical descents of over 2,000 metres possible from drop points more than 3,000m up on peaks like Ruitor, Miravidi and Ouille.
Snowboard / Freestyle Skiing
La Rosière is quite a boarder friendly destination where the relaxed village atmosphere combines with some good fast easy-to-ride uplift and an effort by the lift company to create terrain features for freestylers to enjoy.
The resort’s main snowpark is 300 metres long over a 50 metre vertical and incorporates a host of features including hip, multiple table tops (for three different ability levels from beginner to intermediate) fun box and rails. There’s also a skier cross and boarder cross course.
If you fancy doing something a little different on your board this is also the place to try speed riding and snow kiting (see Resort Attractions) section.
The cross country skiing opportunities at La Rosière are fairly limited – enough to keep a competent skier busy for half or possibly a full day, but not much more, and anyone just looking for a cross country ski holiday should probably look elsewhere. There are 7km of trails in total, of which only a kilometre is rated easy, the other 6km is divided up relatively evenly in to intermediate and difficult terrain.