A good choice for beginners as the resort operates a special 15 acre beginner area that is separated from the rest of the slopes and employs many English-speaking instructors to teach you the basics.
Plus, you have the convenience of doorstep ski slopes so minimum hassle before you actually reach your lesson (in some resorts you need to take a ski bus and/or a series of lifts to reach the nursery slopes, which on top of getting used to fitting and walking in the unfamiliar ski gear can make the experience too stressful).
There are then plenty of easy runs to progress on to with about two-thirds of the runs classified as easy. Costs can be kept down a little by buying a Valmorel-only pass when needed (maximum duration is three days).
The Grand Domaine gives regular skiers the chance to cruise some 75 easy to moderate runs and visit the neighbouring resort of St Francois Longchamp for lunch perhaps, before heading back. Indeed with most of the terrain best suited to intermediates you’ll feel top of the pack here.
There’s a good mix of trails from wide long snowy motorways which are up to four kilometres long to shorter more technical runs down through the woods.
Valmorel’s advanced skiing can easily be summed up as ‘under-rated’ by British skiers who simply look at the map and see just eight black runs in the whole Grand Domaine.
What’s under-rated though are the extensive off-piste opportunities available to explore with a mountain guide. The Vallée de la Lauzière (also known as the valley of "Eau Rousse" or the “Vallée de Celliers”) is particularly good for this and has just been made a lot more accessible by the new Celliers gondola. This remote area has been protected from any development, creating a wild Alpine environment and a base for many ski touring itineraries. It’s also possible to ski off piste with a guide to the Belleville Valley at the base of the 3 Valleys, the world’s largest ski area.
The on-piste challenges shouldn’t be sniffed at either though: the three kilometre long Riondet run is probably the toughest in the region, with the Mottet piste often challenging too, when the moguls are at their meanest.
Snowboard / Freestyle Skiing
Along with the freeriding opportunities, Valmorel’s terrain park, the Snowzone, is located at the top of the Crève-Coeur chairlift. It has a good range of features including rails, tables and multiple jumps. The park also includes a half pipe and boardercross.
A second area of interest is Valmorel’s ‘Valmocros’ which the resort helpfully describes as “a sort of boardercross course which most people can enjoy.” It includes an ‘environmental awareness’ sector that’s full of good advice for green boarding, and a relaxation sector.
Although the majority of the regions 50+ lifts are drags, there are now 20 chair and gondola lifts so most of the resort’s key points can be reached quickly.
Valmorel has several cross country areas to choose from.
The biggest sector is the Naves area, known as the highest and sunniest cross country ski area in the region. There are 43 km of trails here, suited to both skating and traditional styles separated in to two sectors.
The easiest sector is near the village of Grand-Naves and contains the easiest terrain in the area, including trails suited to complete beginners. The second is Grands Plans and has the more challenging trails, located between 1610m and 1800m.
You do need to purchase an ‘area access badge’ before setting out. This can be bought at the Naves Maison de la Montagne building at the entrance to the village of Naves where equipment can also be rented.
In Valmorel itself there are another 20km of trails leaving from Les Avanchers and heading out to the Empyrée and Pierre Laron. The starting point can be reached by the free shuttle bus and access to the trails is also free. Finally, in nearby Doucy-Combelouvière, there are another four kilometres of trails.
Valmorel Average Snow And Weather Conditions
Valmorel’s slopes stretch up above 2,500m and are largely north facing so snow cover is normally good throughout the winter. The resorts key lower runs are covered by more than 340 snow guns which add to the snow surety so long as temperatures are low enough.