Five Top Snow-Sure Ski Resorts
From Tignes and the Grande Motte glacier to the snow-covered Norwegian slopes, here are 5 of the best Snow-sure ski resorts:
At 2,100m, Tignes lies in a hanging valley with direct access to the Grande Motte glacier so even when the snow is thin on the ground there is always plenty of skiing available. The Espace Killy ski area includes 300km of slopes ranging from 1,550m all the way to 3,455m – the base height being higher than in many other ski areas.
Thrill-seekers can try their turns on Les Trolles, a fun black run that’s perfect for speed. Intermediate skiers can circuit the resort on the many blue runs that surround the lake and beginners have a choice of five free nursery slopes, all of which are served by snow cannons.
Val Thorens, France
Another high resort with direct access to the massive Three Valleys ski area, Val Thorens sits at 2,300m and is the highest resort in the area. There are 600km of pistes to play on so you can ski a completely new route every day of the week.
It lies high above the tree line so can be a bit bleak in bad weather but on sunny days there’s nothing to match a day skiing in the legendary ‘fourth valley’ of Orelle then taking the amazing (black) combe de caron run home. The resort may not be the most picturesque but it has a vibrant nightlife with plenty of bars and clubs. And there are enough restaurants for you to visit a different one each day for a fortnight.
Saas Fee, Switzerland
With a ski area between 1,800m and 3,500m and access to a glacier, Saas Fee is a favourite destination for pre-season ski tests and late-season powder hounds. While there are only 140km of pistes, a good number of these are on the glacier and those that aren’t are equipped with snow cannons meaning that snow is pretty much guaranteed. The resort exudes the sort of Swiss alpine charm that many other high resorts lack in their starkness.
Located on the other side of the Matterhorn to Zermatt, this Italian resort gets better snow than its neighbour and has direct access to the huge glacier on the Klein Matterhorn. Set at 2,050m, Cervinia is the more affordable option in the newly-named Matterhorn Ski Paradise but still enjoys a good share of the ski areas of altournenche and Cervinia.
The Cervinia bowl is an intermediate’s heaven and has plenty of off-piste for powder junkies to play on. For a leg-burner, try the 14km run all the way from the Swiss-Italian border down to the resort. Head down to the village for a good selection of rustic Italian restaurants such as the Chalet Etoile by the Plan Maison chair.
If you are after something a little off the beaten track, try Norway. With guaranteed snow of the kind the Alps can only dream about, the scenery of fjords and lakes is magical. At night you can even catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights.
Norway is a favourite with ski tourers thanks to its abundance of cross-country routes. The terrain is varied and immense and the ski slopes are wide with modern lifts. The abundance of snow means there is also plenty for non-skiers to do such as dog sledding, tobogganing and ice fishing.
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