Supersized resort that draws a lot of people to its slopes. It has some excellent off-piste freeriding opportunities.
Alpe d'Heuz, view from plat des marmottes / Photo: WSG
Freeriders can be forgiven for thinking that they are in heaven. Alpe d'Huez is a backcountry freeride gem with miles of off-piste powder, in areas such as Gorges de Sarenne and Glacier de Sarenne. Please note that, riding without a guide is total folly. For assistance seek out the services of a local guide through one of the ski schools, or via Planet Surf snowboard shop.
Freestylers are provided with 2 terrain parks located near the main area. At the beginner park at the base near the Troncon lift, you'll find a couple of kickers and some bumps . The advanced park's much more interesting with a number of big wedges and a good variety or rails - you'll find it near the Poutran lift. The park is not always kept in tip-top shape and serious freestylers might want to head to Deux Alps.
The lack of snow over the last couple of seasons has meant they haven't built a halfpipe for a while. Away from the park there are loads of natural air spots where you'll feel spoilt for choice.
Riders are teased with so many well groomed trails, that picking one as a favourite is just not possible. Whilst the resort can be busy there are enough trails wide enough to take the load, some of the narrower ones get moguled by the end of the day, so carvers should get up early to make the best of it.
Beginners have a huge area perfect for learning on, accessed by the Troncon cable-car from the base. It does get busy but the lower slopes are wide enough to handle it.