Les Carroz is recommended for beginners because it has a laid back atmosphere, a highly regarded ski school and good nursery slopes down by the village, which were further enhanced for the 2009-10 ski season with ground works and other improvements to make them more user-friendly for first timers.
The gondola makes it easy to get up the slopes once you feel confident to tackle longer runs, and there are some great long green easy category cruisers back down through the trees to the village. The newly created "Carroz Beginners' Pass" is a low priced ticket bought by the day when you need it and includes two returns by cable car, unlimited use of the Crêtes and the Plein soleil ski lifts and chairlift.
Intermediates have a superb range of terrain stretching out above them from Les Carroz. The gondola lifts skiers up in to the heart of the Grand Massif where more than 100 runs, some up to 11km long, await.
There’s also a great variety of terrain from the wide open slopes above the tree line that fill the huge snowbowl above neighbouring Flaine. Below this the wonderful long runs continue, carving in to forest, back down to Les Carroz or to neighbouring villages like Morillon or Samoens.
With 15 black runs in the region, Les Carroz has a lot of steep piste to offer serious skiers, including local favourite, the Piste des Cascades which pitches at up to 40%. However, to make the most of the full range of opportunities this huge area provides you need to hire a guide (+ 33 611 32 90 07) to check out the off-piste opportunities of the Grand Massif, from the huge snowbowl at the top of the area to the tree skiing above les Carroz itself.
Daily ski touring trips are also organised in the area and you can take a day trip to Chamonix, an hour away, and tackle the infamous Vallee Blanche, the world’s longest lift-served off-piste run at 20-25km (depending on how far down it you can get).
Snowboard / Freestyle Skiing
Snowboarders are very well catered for with great free riding terrain in the powder bowl at the top of the Grand Massif and several major terrain features for freestylers.
The JamPark in Aujon above Flaine is a bit of a trek from Les Carroz but worth the effort. This is one of Europe’s best terrain parks and there’s also a half pipe to enjoy.
Cross-country skiing takes place at the Col de Pierre Carrée, believed to be the highest cross-country ski area in the French Alps up at 1844m. There are 17km of trails suitable for either classic or skating technique with great views out across the Arve valley. A free shuttle bus service also links Les Carroz to 50km of paths at nearby Agy.
Average Snow And Weather Conditions
Les Carroz receives around five metres of snow each winter and, despite the relatively low altitude of the village, has a good snow record on the north facing slopes, the key 25 percent of which have snowmaking cover.
The wider Grand Massif ski area has an excellent snow record, thanks in part to its proximity to the Mont Blanc massif and always finishes the winter in late April with several metres of snow lying. The gondola link to the higher slopes means it's no problem reaching the snow if warm weather results in limited cover at the start or end of the season at resort level.