Piste Maps The Portes du Soleil ski area enjoys exceptionally good snowfall across the many valleys it covers. With our resort chauffeur you will be there and back in no time. Look out for the Milka cow while you are skiing about. She is known to hand out chocolates on the piste side on a regular basis. The main gondola also runs from the centre of the village which makes this as quick to access as possible for enthusiastic young skiers.
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The local piste map is much less clear than it used to be because they have made it smaller. Signposting is good. From here you can embark on a clockwise Portes du Soleil circuit by heading to the Swiss resort of Morgins. Or you can head north for the slopes straddling a different bit of the Swiss border, above Torgon with fab views of Lake Geneva. Or you can also take a recently created piste down to Vonnes and then the new quad up to the Linga sector, where you can start an anticlockwise tour of the Portes du Soleil circuit.
There is night skiing at Linga on Thursdays. Linga and Plaine Dranse are mainly north-facing and generally have the best local snow. The pistes to Morgins and towards Avoriaz get full sun. Grooming is very good. Two pistes from the Rochassons ridge are steep and kept well groomed. The moderately skilled can do the Portes du Soleil circuit without problem, and will particularly enjoy runs around Les Lindarets and Morgins.
Even timid types can do the circuit, provided they take one or two short cuts and ride chairs down the trickier bits. Visits to Avoriaz for the Hauts Forts runs are worthwhile for competent and adventurous intermediates. And note that the runs back to Plaine Dranse are real reds, and the Rochassons piste, especially, can get extremely busy at the end of the day. And there are nursery slopes at village level if there is snow there. Getting up to them is a bit of an effort, though.
For snowboarders Avoriaz is the hard-core destination for snowboarders in the Portes du Soleil and has a great selection of terrain parks plus a super-pipe. The Linga area has good, varied slopes and off-piste possibilities and more snowboarder-friendly chairlifts. For cross-country There are pretty trails 12km along the river, around Lake Vonnes and through the woods on the lower slopes of Linga, but snow-cover can be a problem.
The tourist office produces good maps. Chris now produces Where to Ski guides to individual countries. Find out more and receive an exclusive book discount.
Châtel: piste guide