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THE LOWDOWN

“Les Trois Vallées is the largest linked ski area in the world. Even the keenest ‘piste-basher’ will only cover a small fraction of the available runs in a week”

Where to Ski and Snowboard, 2014

 

St Martin de Belleville has skiing to suit all levels. For beginner skiers there is a nursery slope in the centre of the village and blue runs descending all the way back at the end of the day.

From St Martin, ride the gondola up to Tougnète, where you can explore all the pistes of Les Menuires and Val Thorens, as well as St Martin’s local slopes (offering fantastic blues and reds that shouldn’t be missed). Alternatively, drop over the ridge to discover the extensive slopes of the Méribel valley. From there, you are one ride away from Courchevel.

With 600km of pistes, there’s really is something for everyone and the area is ideal for the mileage-hungry amongst you. Plenty of the pistes are easy cruising blues or more challenging reds. One of our favourite local reds is ‘Jerusalem’ which goes from the top of the Tougnète ridge, picking up ‘Biolley’ into St Martin.

Some of the best steep pistes are located on the slopes of La Masse, an area facing St Martin and Les Menuires. These red and black runs have excellent snow because of their north-facing orientation, and are served by a fast jumbo gondola. Freestylers will find many areas to try their skills and jumps. And, of course, there’s remarkably good off-piste to be explored with a guide/instructor.                                                                                                     
Go here for the official Les 3 Valléess website or here for the resort site of St Martin-de-Belleville.

Some things you might want to consider or sort in advance:

Equipment hire – available from several providers in St-Martin-de-Belleville and can be booked online, ahead of your arrival from Intersport (2 stores), Skimium, or JeanSport2000

Ski-pass – we all know they don’t come cheap… but at least here, you really do get to roam far & wide with Les 3 Vallées pass. If you’ve just started learning or not likely to cover much distance, consider the pass limited to the Belleville valley only (still many, many miles of piste!). Go here to the official site for online purchase, and remember there are small discounts when buying as a couple or family.

Nifty app – the official Les 3 Vallées ‘Addict’ app is super-useful and free to download to your iphone or ipad. In addition to handy piste maps, it provides up-to-the minute info regarding conditions, lift hours, piste opening/closures and restaurant overviews.