Need a weekend away in the mountains? Courchevel could be a great option. But, with resorts at 1550, 1650 and 1850 to explore, it’s a vast place, and it can be hard to know where to begin.
Sweet Snowsports, British-run ski school (and friend of Camel Snow’s), give us their ultimate guide to getting the most out of Courchevel in two days.
Day One: Exploring the pistes
Spend your first day getting to know the ropes and the slopes. There are some truly unique pistes on offer in Courchevel, some world-renowned like the Grand Couloir, and many others overlooked.
Having enjoyed an early breakfast and fuelled up for the day ahead, get yourself down to the bottom of the Ariondaz bubble lift in Courchevel 1650. The chairlift opens at 9:00, and at this time of day, it’s unlikely for anyone else to be there yet. Ascend to the top in under seven minutes and you’ll likely be alone on the vast expanse of the blue Marquis piste.
Get back on the bubble then head down to the Grange piste serviced by a lone button, just under the Ariondaz bubble (though, be careful, if you don’t know where it is you may miss the entrance.)
Once your legs have warmed up, head over towards the wide bowl of Courchevel 1850. Make sure you ski Jean Pachod – a beautiful, panoramic red run from the top of the Chanrossa chair.
Head towards the restaurant Caves des Creux for one of the best lunches in Courchevel, a former cheese ripening cellar, for a superb view of Mont Blanc. Grab a table and go for the ribs cooked Asian style.
Post lunch, head down to Courchevel 1850 and ski the pistes from 1850 to 1550, including Tovets and Dou du Midi. Ascend the Plantrey chairlift and then it’s really up to you to take your pick! All routes that go back down to the bottom of the Plantrey chair lift (including those that go via town) are exceptional.
With a fair few kilometers under your belt, by now it will be time to pop into the Fire & Ice Bar at the Portetta Hotel in Courchevel Moriond for some hard-earned après drinks.
Top Tip – Look for piste maps and notices at the bottom of each lift, which list runs that have been groomed the night before.
Day Two: Off-piste powder heaven
Quite often you can wake up to find 30cm of powder has laid overnight in Courchevel. So, if that’s the case, where’s the best place to make fresh tracks?
Come blue skies or thick cloud; there’s plenty of terrain to explore after a massive snow dump. The tree-lined slopes to Le Praz from Courchevel 1850 are well worth a visit and run mostly through hidden, untouched secret glades. The old lift line from 1650 down to the Roc Mugnier chairlift is also one not to be missed.
If you find yourself blessed with blue skies and good visibility, ski the higher, steeper slopes of the bowl under the Aiguille du Fruit chairlift.
Lunch? There’s no time for lunch (as such) on a powder day! Make sure you grab one of the best and cheapest fait-maison baguettes in the region from Le Chabotté boulangerie in Courchevel 1850. Then, choose a comfy bubble to refuel in.
The expanse of off-piste terrain available in the Courchevel valley is vast. And, there’s always fresh snow to ski, even at the end of a big day, it’s just a question of finding the right instructor to show you around and keep you safe. One of the easiest and safest off-piste runs is in the Bel Aire area above Courchevel Moriond.
Note; inherent risks of skiing off-piste apply, so be sure to book an instructor or guide and equip yourself accordingly before you go out and enjoy all Courchevel has to offer.
Sweet Snowsports offers skiing and snowboard lessons in Courchevel 1650, with classes taught by their team of highly qualified native English speaking instructors. You can visit Sweet Snowsports’ website for more information.