Supersized resort that draws a lot of people to its slopes. It has some excellent off-piste freeriding opportunities.
No tree runs but good off-piste
2 Terrain parks
Huge number of busy but good runs
Fantastic slopes to learn on
Lots of bars and tacky nightclubs
Good value accommodation and facilities
Lift count : 6 x Cable-cars 10 x Gondolas 24 x Chairlifts 45 x Drag-lifts Other lifts 2 Lifts
Pass (Low/High Season) : 36.00 Half-day , 31.00-45.00 Day , 183.00-225.00 6-day , 183.00-225.00 6-day linked area , 699 Season pass
Alpe d'Heuz, view from plat des marmottes / Photo: WSG
Anyone planning a two-week trip to Alpe d'Huez, will not have enough time to ride all the amazing and varied terrain that this place has to offer, set in 10,000 hectares with 800 hectares of pistes this place is big. Each year, this high altitude resort offers amazing amounts of great powder days covering some fantastic backcountry and wide open plateaus, but the terrain is as much for the novice as it is for the advanced rider.
The resort has quite a history, being the first place in the world to have a ski lift installed back in 1936 and the long windy uphill approach to the resort plays host to one of the Tour de France stages in the summer. Due to its location and mostly south-facing slopes, the runs here get a lot of annual sunshine. This has the benefit of letting you ride in great sunny conditions and also helps to soften up certain areas early on in the day. There's heaps of snow here so don't be worrying if the odd bit thins out early.
The resort has a well-equipped and fast lift system that can shunt over 100,000 punters up the mountains per hour. Unfortunately, its popularity with overseas holiday crowds means that Alpe d'Huez can get a bit clogged up, especially at weekends. Holiday periods are absolutely crazy, so avoid this time at all costs if you want to escape millions of day-glow two-plankers. However, during normal periods you can ride freely all week long from top to bottom, on and off-piste, without having to cross-track your own path or that of another skier. The resort of Les Deux Alps is 45minutes away, and a 6-day lift pass includes a free day over there.