La Grave

Freeriding

Above the only gondola, freeriders will find two T-bars that lead to the Glacier de Ia Girose. If La Grave hasn't seen snow in weeks, this mountain gets mogul madness. If this is the case, the 15-minute hike over the top to Les Deux Alpes should entice the pipe and park enthusiasts.

If it does dump snow, cruise down the glacier, but be pre-warned of the numerous, unmarked crevasses. Contact the area's tourist office to find out about free guided tours, and have a chat with the patrouilleur sat in the hut next to the cablecar station, who will give you the current what's what. 

Further down Glacier de Ia Girose lies many steep cliffs and unavoidable gullies. Once past these gullies, stay on the traverse to the skiier's right, keeping an eye out for the gondola station at P1. DO NOT become bewitched by the untracked powder through the trees and river beds, or you will find yourself plummeting off 100m cliffs.

Ruillans, spread out like curtains, are four couloirs to be explored. This gives you the chance to ride top to bottom. Further down are some great natural quarterpipes and tree runs. Take warning of the cliffs and the river near the bottom.

This side of La Meije has held the legendary Derby for the past 17 years. In the world of snow racing, the Derby has the largest vertical drop of 2,150 metres on snowboard, ski, monoski or telemark, and is held at the end of March for 5 days. For details, visit www.derbydelameije.com

 

Beginners

La Grave is basically only home to diehard extremists, beginners should head elsewhere.