Hi, Its Gareth from PDS 3 Valleys.
As I explained in the Beginners guide to Courchevel, Courchevel is a world class resort. For me as an instructor what makes it a dream resort to teach in is the fact that it has amazing choices of terrain for all levels of skiers, which are all linked up. This makes it a fantastic destination for groups or skiers and snowboarders of mixed abilities.
The Different areas of Courchevel
Courchevel is split into 4 different areas:
- Courchevel 1850
- Coruchevel 1650 (AKA Courchevel Moriond)
- Courchevel 1550 (AKA Courchevel Village)
- Le Praz (AKA Courchevel 1300)
This post is the second part of a series of posts to help late beginners – early intermediate skiers (skiers that at a minimum can already do basic snow plough turns, to those that can finish turns with parallel skis).
Or even simpler, for skiers that are interested in nice easy green and blue slopes. Remember this is only a guide, don’t be frightened to pick up a piste map and explore the mountain yourself.
In these series of posts we will explore the following:
- The best beginner slopes to warm up on for basic snow-ploughers
- The best runs to take from beginner slopes
- The best practise areas for late beginners – early intermediate skiers
- Recommended Green and Blue runs around the mountain
- The best runs back into the centre of 1850 and 1650 for late beginners – early intermediate skiers
- Easy day trips from 1850 – 1650, and visa versa!
This post will focus on:
The best practise areas for late beginners – early intermediate skiers.
Once you are confident enough to not need to visit the beginner slopes it is useful to know of some areas that are good to practise on with quick turn arounds, so you can get lots of practise in.
Areas in 1850
1850 has a lot of choice, we will focus on these two main areas.
Altiport – Green Run
The Altiport is a fantastic area for late beginners – early intermediate skiers. Next to the Courchevel airport, it is an enclosed “Zen Area”, similar to the learner slopes but with much more space and a steeper section. It has an easy drag lift that services the run, which means you can have a quick turn around and stay in this area to practise your skills. It is my favourite area to teach the skills needed to ski parallel. It also has a smaller run next to it if your are put off by the steeper section at the top. There is a snack café with toilets near by (next to the Pralong chairlift), the cfe has a few picnic tables outside. This is a great spot on a sunny day.
All in all, this is a perfect choice for late beginner – early intermediate skiers. When ever I get chance with this level of learner I will take a few laps on here, working on building confidence and technique.
Bellecote – Green Run
The Bellecote is a great run for late beginners – early intermediates. It is over 1 Km in length and goes all the way down to the centre of 1850. It has a couple of different lift options, the Bellecote drag lift or the Jarden Alpine Bubble (go to G4 station). It also has varying steepness to test your skills, but it is well within green terrain the entire way down and has nice wide pistes.
As it is a run down to the centre of 1850 it can get busy during rush hours (around 11am-12pm and 4-5pm), but it is an enjoyable ski and goes through some wooded areas and runs alongside beautiful luxury chalets and hotels, a great place to people watch (as long as you keep one eye on the piste!).
A great choice for a run to grab some laps on to practice your skills. Halfway down it even has a lovely restaurant / snack bar / hotel called the Courchneige, which is ski in ski out, and is a great place to stop for a hot chocolate on the terrace.
Areas in 1650
1650 has lots of choice like 1850, we will focus on these two areas:
Petite Bosse – Green Run
As previously mentioned, this is a fantastic green run to take some laps on. I really like using it as a place to take my learners to master their parallel skills or to introduce new skills that will lead them away from snowplough turns.
The main run starts from the top of the drag with the same name and then runs all the way down to the start of the drag lift. It isn’t an enclosed run like the 1850 altiport, but it is often very quiet and in a beautiful area of the mountain. At the bottom there is a lovely mountain restaurant called La Casserole, which has a terrace that’s often in the sun, so you can stop for a snack and a drink when your legs get a bit tired.
Granges – Blue Run
This run like Petite Bosse is not an enclosed practice area, however it is usually quiet, so it might as well be. Unlike Petite Bosse it is a blue run, which means it is a bit steeper. However, it is a very wide piste and has plenty of flat sections as you ski down the run. It is a perfect run for skiers that are starting to move out of snowplough, for those that are more parallel than they are snowplough.
Granges is particularly good for practicing on, as it has a fast drag lift at the bottom of it that takes you back up to the start of the run, so you can get heaps of practice runs on it. I love taking my learners on this run for a few laps to master some of the skills needed for parallel skiing.
In our next post we will give you some recommended green an blue runs to try around the Courchevel ski area.