The first, and probably the most important thing you need to know about skiing in Les Menuires is that the resort lies right at the heart of the extensive Three Valleys ski area. This gives skiers based in the resort access to 600km of pistes accessed by 180 ski lifts running all the way from Val Thorens to Courchevel.
The ski season at Les Menuires begins this year on 10 December and runs through to 21 April, 2017.
At a height of 1850, and with lifts connecting it directly to Val Thorens with its glacier skiing, the resort has recently been awarded a ‘snow guaranteed’ label. This means that, for those skiing in Les Menuires, there is no chance of a ski holiday without snow. And, just to make doubly sure, the resort also has the capability to provide artificial snow cover over a distance of more than 40km.
Although no-one can tell the future and the weather is notoriously unpredictable, the average snowfall and base depth of snow last year will give you some idea what to expect. Les Menuires experienced a total of 109 inches of snow over the 2016 ski season with an average base depth of 31 inches.
The modern, purpose-built resort is made up of eight villages connected by paths, pistes, lifts and shuttle buses to ensure that each village can offer quick access from accommodation to piste.
There is a good variety of skiing available within the Les Menuires ski area, even before you venture out into the rest of the Three Valleys.
The resort’s 81 pistes are divided into 50 beginner runs (green and blue), 23 intermediate runs (red) and eight advanced (black). Beyond this there are also a number of ‘fun’ areas like the La Becca snow cross course and a snow park.
• 160km of pistes
• 81 runs
• 28km of cross-country skiing
• 5 fun areas
• 1 snowpark
• 2 sleding runs
• 8 cable cars
• 13 chairlifts
• 13 drag lifts
Best Areas to Ski
Some of the most challenging skiing in the resort can be found in the La Masse area with its three long, technical black runs. While these are tricky they are usually covered in great snow thanks to their north-facing position.
If you’re looking for something a little gentler then try the Mont de la Chambre. Starting at 2850m, the wide blue and red runs offer a gentle, but still exhilarating, run back into the resort.
For beginners there are a selection of gentle greens and more challenging blues scattered around the resort, making it an ideal place to learn if your friends are more advanced than you. You can ski on the same mountain, but enjoy different levels depending on your skills.
An adult six day pass for the Les Menuires/St Martin de Belleville area costs around €233. But in order to make the most of the extensive Three Valley ski area, it is well worth buying a Three Valley ski pass (which also covers Les Menuires) costing €294.
Skiing in Les Menuires really can offer the best of all worlds: the comfort and ease of a small ski resort with a good variety of runs, which can extend out into the famously vast Three Valley ski area if you want it too. Thanks to its elevation, and its investment in snow canons, this is as close as you can get to a ski holiday with guaranteed great snow.
Belinda Smythson works for Ski Amis, a specialist ski travel agency and booking service that has been helping avid skiers craft their perfect winter holiday for over a quarter of a century. With a team that has years of experience skiing in Les Menuires, Three Valleys, Paradiski, Espace Killy and Chamonix Valley, Ski Amis is the go-to company for winter sports fans looking for a holiday of a lifetime.
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