Val d’Isère is renowned for being one of the best places to ski and snowboard off-piste in not only the Alps but the world. The vast Val d’Isère & Tignes ski area lends itself superbly to off-piste skiers and boarders with endless accessible areas to venture off the slopes and into the fresh powder.
Not for the faint hearted, off-piste skiing can be relentless and highly challenging, yet extremely rewarding and an enjoyable skiing experience for advanced skiers. Before embarking on your off-piste adventure, it is important you are fully prepared and have received appropriate avalanche safety training. If you are not familiar with the area it is highly advisable you hire an experienced guide to take you around the mountain. Not only is this safer, the guide’s extensive knowledge of the area, means that you will be taken to the prime off-piste areas.
Where to ski off-piste in Val d’Isère
With plenty of lifts taking you to the highest points of the resort, it is possible to ski off-piste in virtually any area of the Val d’Isère & Tignes ski area. Despite the high number of runs in the area, the sheer size of the combined resorts means that finding somewhere to venture off-piste is easy. Naturally, there are areas which lend themselves more than others.
The Bellevarde section of the mountain is well-known for its steep off-piste areas including the ‘Banana’ and ‘Charvet Tour’ routes which are the most popular. To access the Banana, head to the top of Le Face from the Olympique cable car and you will come to a left turn where you should continue straight on down to the off-piste area.
Charvet Tour is perhaps the most well-known off-piste zone in Val d’Isère because of its great conditions and distance from the pistes. To reach it, take the Grande Pre chairlift and turn right to follow the mountain down to Val d’Isère. The gradient of the slope is not too steep making it the perfect place to practice and get to grips with off-piste skiing.
Although these routes are popular, they are south facing and prone to sliding which can lead to avalanches so be cautious, especially on clear days when it has been sunny. It is advisable to ski this area in the morning to minimise the risk of avalanches.
Off-piste lessons and tours
If you are an intermediate skier and are interested in venturing off-piste, take a look at our off-piste weeks run by Henry's Avalanche Talks (HAT) which give you a great balance of adventurous off-piste skiing being taught appropriate techniques for skiing in deep powder and mountain education in a safe, fun and easy-going environment.
For a truly thrilling experience, heli-skiing is fast becoming a popular way to venture off-piste. Take to the skies and admire the spectacular views of the mountains from above with a helicopter ride to your drop-off point before skiing back to the resort through some of the most remote and untouched parts of the mountains.