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 place to teach 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)
We will cover La Tania on another series of posts…..
This post is the first part of a series of posts to help late beginners – early intermediate skiers. To clarify, this is skiers that at a minimum can already do basic snowplough 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.
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 practice 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 top 10 recommended Green and Blue runs for late beginner to early intermediate skiers. An important read for your first couple of days skiing if you are at a late beginner stage. The first couple of days are often critical to a good holiday, gradually building your confidence and technique is important.
Top 10 Recommended Green and Blue runs around Courchevel
Courchevel has a large selection of green and blue runs. There are too many to mention in this post, so I will focus on some of my top 10 favorites (not in any order).
- Verdon – Green Run, 1850. This is a popular run and so can get busy from time to time, but it is a great wide motorway slope. Although it is a green run the top section is more like an easy blue run. It is a great run to practice the skills needed for parallel turns. It has a few lift options to it and can take you all the way back to the centre of 1850.
- Marquis – Blue Run, 1650. This is a bit of a gem! Although it is not a hidden run, as it is one of the main runs down to 1650, if you hit it early it can be excellent and is long so you feel like you have a good ski. Having recently been landscaped in 2017, it is now perfect for practicing the parallel skills. This is fast becoming my go to morning run in Courchevel 1650, as many skiers prefer to head off up higher first thing in the morning, leaving Marquis free for me to enjoy the freshly groomed pistes!
- Indians – Blue Run, 1650. This is another good run down to 1650. It goes through a forest and is a great run to do on foggy days, as the tress can help you see the lay of the land. It is a pretty easy blue. The beginning of the run is the most challenging part, the rest is more like a green run all the way back down. Dropping down into the forest section always makes me feel like I am in Narnia, especially with the Native American village that is down there.
- Signal – Blue Run, 1650. Signal is a short run, but it has a great progressive gradient change. It starts off as flat as a green run and then gradually moves into steep blue terrain, this works perfectly as it gives skiers a chance to find some rhythm and balance before moving onto its more challenging section. The challenging section is great too, as it has a nice flat runout. So, if you are carrying a bit too much speed you have a nice flat run out to help you control your speed at the end.
- Gentiane – Blue Run, 1650. Gentiane is my favorite run to go on with early intermediate skiers. It is usually quiet and tucked out of the way enough that people don’t notice it. It has lots of good fun terrain changes to practice the parallel skills and is long enough so you feel like you have had a good run. SHHH don’t tell everyone about it!
- Petite Bosse (section from top of drag lift to bottom, not the path) – Green Run, 1650. As previously mentioned, it is a great run to practice the skills that will take you out of snowplough and into parallel skiing. Petite Bosse is also a great run to ski on during a snow day, as it has a good tree line which will help with poor visibility. It is a little on the short side however, but it links on to Indians run which we mention above. So when you fancy a change you have a good option in Indians.
- Bellecotte – Green Run, 1850. As mentioned in a previous post, this is a perfect run for those that are confident snowploughers and looking for a place to practice the skills needed for parallel skiing. It has good eating and hot chocolate options a long the way too.
- Biollay – Blue Run, 1850. This is a classic run in 1850. It can get a bit busy, although it is a very wide run so often it is a good one to take, even though it’s a popular one. As with any blue run, It does have steeper sections which would be unsuitable for snowploughs. However, it is a perfect slope to use to develop the parallel skills, as long as you look where you are going and avoid the steeper bits. It does have other runs linking onto it so you can avoid its steeper sections, if you are not ready. A great slope for those are more parallel than they are snowplough.
- Renard – Green Run, 1850. This run is often forgotten about as many skiers tend to head to Verdon, which runs parallel to it on the other side of the family park. Renard, is a green slope which has a bit of a camber which makes it good for those needing to practise their right turns.
- Lac Ariondaz / Ariondaz – Blue Run, 1650. There is a section between these two runs which I love to take learners on to help develop the skills for parallel skiing. It has a really wide section that has a steady easy gradient, which helps parallel.
In our next post we will give you some recommended runs to go on that take you back into the main meeting points / resort around Courchevel.