For experienced skiers there is nowhere quiet like the Three Valleys, with its extensive ski area, excellent off-piste opportunities and fun terrain parks. |
But while you have the whole of the Three Valleys to explore, it’s well worth spending at least one day checking out what’s on your doorstep. The Courchevel valley has its own selection of challenging black and red runs that will keep even the most advanced skiers on their toes.
Here’s my suggested route for an exploration of Courchevel’s most demanding runs.
Early Morning Challenge
A great place to start your tour of the resort’s black runs is by heading up to the top of Vizelle. Take the Verdons cable car to the top station and then ski down to the Vizelle gondola.
From the top here you will have a dizzying choice of three black runs to choose from: Suisses, M and Combe Pylon. Those who want a slightly gentler start should check at the bottom station at Vizelle to see which of these have been groomed over night; one of them usually is and will provide a smoother first run. Of course once you’ve done that, the other two non-groomed blacks will be waiting for you.
After skiing all three you’ll deserve a break from the heart-racing action, so take the Vizelle once more and ski the beautiful red Marmottes down to the Chanrossa chairlift. From here you can decide whether to tackle the mogul field beneath the chair or the Chanrossa black – both have their own challenges and both can be great fun.
Head to the Top of the World for Lunch
Take the Marmottes chairlift up to the top of Vizelle and choose your favourite black run from the morning down to the Saulire cable car. At the top there is a restaurant which, at 2700m, has one of the best views in the Three Valleys. It is well worth stopping off here no matter what the weather as the panoramic windows offer a breath taking back drop even if you can’t eat out on the terrace.
Lunched and refreshed, you’ll be ready for the next challenge. The Saulire has a number of couloirs, most of which are so treacherous that they have been declassified as pistes, but there is one left to try your hand (or feet) at. The Grand Couloir black run is lovely if conditions are good but can get rocky and icy.
For the Afternoon
Having mastered the high altitude black runs Courchevel has to offer, you could now head down to La Tania and try the Jockeys black run down to Le Praz. Because this is getting very low (Le Praz is only 1300m) the snow can be difficult at times, but it is a woodland run so perfect for skiing in fog or snowstorms.
How to Get to Courchevel
Getting to Courchevel is very straightforward; you can fly directly from the UK to Chambéry, Grenoble, Lyon or Geneva airports. A lot of Brits choose to fly to Geneva thanks to the number of flights ranging from budget prices upwards.
To get from Geneva to Courchevel with a minimum of hassle, I suggest booking an airport transfer with a company like Shuttle Direct before you go. It’s up to you whether you want to save money by booking a group transfer or splash out on a private car.
The journey from Geneva to Courchevel takes around 2 hours and 20 minutes.
Lukas Johannes is a driver for Shuttle Direct, the number one provider of shared and private airport transfers all over Europe and northern Africa. If you’re looking for affordable ski transfers from Geneva to Courchevel, Lukas and his colleagues can make sure that you and your luggage get to and from the airport swiftly and safely.
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