A beginner skier’s guide to the Aravis

Getting on skis for the first time is not always easy. However, your efforts will all be worth while with the great feeling you get skiing in an exceptional natural environment. The Aravis Massif and the Annecy region have several ski stations with all the ingredients you need to make a start. Here are some of our recommended pistes to get you started without any dramas.

 

Skiing in La Clusaz

 

 

This is the biggest ski station in the Aravis, with five mountains and a variety of descents. There is plenty of choice for skiers of all levels, from beginners to the more experienced. Reaching a height of 2600m, the area has 125km of pistes, with no less than 18 green runs and 30 blues. Beginners are well served!

 

Where to start  

 

The Beauregard Plateau, overlooking La Clusaz, offers lots of possibilities. The Les Riffroids ski lift will take you to a beginners’ slope starting close to the village. At the top of the gondola, the beginners’ area is served by the Ceutire and Etoile des Neiges, which will take you to the Source and Plateau green runs, ideal for practicing in peace.

 

The next step

 

From the Etoile and Ceutire ski lifts, the blue runs of Les Prises and Guy Périllat (La Clusaz’s own ski champion) offer you a nice run with wide curves to the bottom of the station. There you can take the Crêt du Merle chairlift to a choice of other good blue runs.

 

A good deal for beginners

 

There’s a special package for beginners which works on a points card system. It is valid for one or more lifts (you can use one lift several times, and others at special rates). The ESF ski school at La Clusaz offers a weekend package for first-timers, where you can learn the basics at your own pace (55€/hour for a group).  

 

More information  

 

Pre-order your La Clusaz or Aravis lift pass here

La Clusaz Ski schools

Adult day pass: 37.80€

 

Good to know  

 

Ski buses serve the Aravis stations (Grand-Bornand – Saint-Jean-de-Sixt – La Clusaz – Manigod – Thônes). It’s free with a ski pass or the carte d’Hôtes.

 

More information

 

Contact La Clusaz

 

La Clusaz resort website

Tel:04 50 32 65 00

 

Skiing in Le Grand Bornand

 

 

Nestled in the heart of the Aravis, Le Grand Bornand is a traditional village combining authenticity and a prestigious ski area. With 90km of pistes, of which 16 are green and 13 blue, the station’s highest point is Mont Lachat at 2100m. It’s a paradise for beginners, but there are some really lovely pistes for the more experienced.

 

Where to start

 

At the top of the Rosay gondola, you can get to the beginners’ area via the Les Raîches ski lift and the juniors rope tow, which serve the Serpentine and Violette green runs, which are ideal for gaining confidence and practicing.

 

The next step

 

To measure your progress, take the Languières chairlift to the top of Floria.  From there, two lovely blues, Abondance and Glisse en Cœur offer a lovely long descent, from which you can admire the scenery.

 

A good deal for beginners

 

Mini Domaine pass for beginners (29 €/adult,  23.20€ for under 15s). With a limited area of 14 lifts in Le Grand Bornand (Rosay and Joyère gondolas, Castor rope tow, Les Raîches ski lift). In April the ESF ski school in Le Grand Bornand offers a 20% discount on group courses for adults in the Printemps du ski promotion.

 

More information  

 

Pre-order your Le Grand Bornand or Aravis lift pass here

Le Grand Bornand Ski Schools

Adult day pass : 36.50€

 

Good to know

 

Ski buses serve the Aravis stations (Grand-Bornand – Saint-Jean-de-Sixt – La Clusaz – Manigod – Thônes). It’s free with a ski pass or the carte d’Hôtes.

 

More information

 

Contact Le Grand-Bornand

 

Le Grand Bornand website

Tel: 04 50 02 78 00

 

Skiing in Manigod

 

 

The station of Manigod is part of the La Clusaz ski field. It offers good choice for families and natural skiing experts. The station is based around the Croix-Fry and Merdassier cols, allowing you to switch to La Clusaz. With a high point at the Tete du Cabeau (1810m), there are seven green runs and 12 blues.

 

Where to start

 

Take the Rosière ski lift on the Croix-Fry side to try out your turns on the green run of the same name. The Chevreuil ski lift at Merdassier is a great place to start, as it serves lots of easy blue runs: Framboises, Girolles, Gentiane, Myosotis, which are ideal for learning the basics. Two Baby ski lifts (Baby-Chou and Perce Neige) are particularly designed for the smallest skiers.

 

The next step

 

The Croix Fry slope offers some lovely pistes, such as the blue Cabeau. With a La Clusaz /Manigod pass, you can switch to La Clusaz via the Envers green run.

 

A good deal for beginners

 

First time ski pass 11€ (limited to certain lifts). The ESF Manigod ski school offers evening lessons from 5.30pm to 9pm from 39€, when you can get a new perspective on skiing!

 

Adult day pass for Manigod 21.70€

 

Pre-order your Manigod, La Clusaz or Aravis lift pass here.

Manigod Ski Schools

 

Good to know  

 

Ski buses serve the Aravis stations (Grand-Bornand – Saint-Jean-de-Sixt – La Clusaz – Manigod – Thônes). It’s free with a ski pass or the carte d’Hôtes.

 

More information

 

Contact Manigod

 

Manigod website

Tel: 04 50 44 92 44

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Written by... Andrew

Andrew

Hi, I'm Andrew and I am the Social Media Manager at OVO Network. I live in La Clusaz and love everything about life in the mountains. My favourite things to do are skiing, mountain biking and chilling by Lake Annecy with my little family! - andrew.goodman@lastresort.info

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