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Featured in: News & Reviews Ian Huyton, Les 2 Alpes Reporter Published

Why Les Deux Alpes is great for beginner skiers

The best advice for novice skiers and snowboarders

Coming to a ski resort for the first time as a beginner skier or snowboarder can be a bit daunting. With a little locals know-how, our tips and tricks will help you make the most of your time here and hopefully leave you desperate for more.

Les Deux Alpes is well known as a family-friendly resort as well as for its legendary après ski and nightlife. While many beginners will appreciate those aspects of the town, the big question is what the slopes are like to learn on. It's not all about the super steep runs coming down from the glacier or the neighbouring off-piste mecca of La Grave. There is a wonderful world of beginner areas to explore in and around the resort and across the whole of the ski area.

Here are our top tips:

  1. You may not need a full lift pass - beginner slopes are usually low down, easily accessed and some don't require a lift pass at all
  2. Book into ski school, don't let your mates / partner teach you, trust us and hire a professional
  3. Consider your choice of equipment hire shop
  4. Plan your outfit before you arrive
  5. Utilise free public transport
  6. Enjoy the fun zones, they usually have a beginner area
  7. Explore the whole resort, seek out the blue and green runs away from the beginner zones
  8. Explore the blues and greens of the other resorts included in your pass
  9. Enjoy après-ski - after all you'll have earned your stripes

Book online

Whilst it is possible to arrange these things once you're in resort, we wouldn't recommend it - especially lessons. Plan ahead, book what you can, and take the pressure off that first morning.

Lift Pass
If you're a complete beginner and booking into ski school you might not need a full 6-day pass. It's worth checking with your ski school before you buy, some schools offer packages that include a lift pass. With this in mind, it might seem like a good idea to wait a day or two before investing in a full ski pass. Alternatively, there are a handful of free lifts which will get you started, and a slightly cheaper pass which covers all the lower slope lifts. Buying online couldn't be easier and the pass itself can be recharged / reloaded next time you visit. And rather than opt for them to be mailed to your home address, simply pick them up in resort. It's one less thing to remember to pack. 

Lessons
Don't let your friends or partner attempt to teach you to ski or snowboard. Trust us, for the sake of your relationships, put yourself in the hands of the professionals. Luckily there are many ski schools in Les Deux Alpes offering group and private lessons with friendly and knowledegable English speaking instructors. If you're the only beginner in your group it's definitely worth joining group lessons. You'll learn in a safe and fun environment, and make new friends with rest of your crew over your shared experiences. Lessons are definitely something you should book well in advance to ensure you get your slot - especially if your ski trip is during the school holidays.

Equipment hire
Renting your gear online is often cheaper than in resort, and most shops have beginner ski / snowboard packages on their websites. Also it's worth making sure your pick up point is close to your accommodation, so it's not too far to carry your gear. Some shops offer free locker use near the slopes for customers, delivery services, and will even come to you for fittings on arrival if pre-arranged, especially if there's a group of you. It's worth checking this with the shop before you book. 

Buy Ski Passes

Ski School Lessons in Les 2 Alpes

Skimium - Sport Emotion Diable Ski Hire, Venosc shop interior

Make the most of your time

All the gear, no idea
For the beginner skier or snowboarder it might seem expensive to lay out for the right apparel before you arrive, and there are few places that rent clothing in resort, so borrow what you can, check out the sales and online discounts. At the bare minimum make sure in addition to your trousers and jacket, that you've got a helmet, some goggles, gloves, and technical ski socks. Plus a lightweight back pack is always handy for carrying water, snacks/lunch, sunscreen and an extra layer.

Get on the bus
Plan your route from your accommodation to the beginner slopes, and use the resort's free shuttle bus ('navette') to get around until you get the knack of carrying skis and poles like the pros.

The beginner slopes
Les Deux Alpes has a great selection of beginner areas along the ‘Snowfront’ – the area at the foot of the pistes where the snow meets the town. The best to start on are by the Petit Viking lift at the Venosc end of town and the Petit Bosquet lift at the Mont de Lans end. Both these lifts are free, as are the two Coolidge lifts. There is also a good beginner area further up the mountain at the Les Crêtes area, most easily accessed via the White Eggs gondola lift.

The fun zones
For beginners, the Family Cross (a super easy ski / boarder cross that is not much more than a narrow piste with lots of hairpins) and Easy Park run alongside each other, close enough that you can easily hop from one to the other. The big red Hollywood style Les 2 Alpes sign is also in this area so you can take advantage of a few photo opportunities.

Explore
Beyond the nursery slopes, Les Crêtes is the best place for your first longer runs. The Petites Crêtes and Bellecombes 1 green runs are the ones to look for, accessed using the Cretes chairlift. Down in the resort, the snappily named ‘Access Vallée Blanche’ piste is a pleasant green piste which winds through the chalets of the Petit Plan area. At the bottom, the Petite Aiguille chairlift lets you return to the resort centre via the tail end of the Demoiselles piste. The whole Demoiselles run starting from Les Crêtes is not recommended, despite being green. It is long, narrow and very, very tiring.

Once you are comfortable on the green pistes and venturing onto blues, the runs on the glacier are well worth a visit. Not everybody will reach this stage in one week, but when you get there the views are stupendous. From 3,500m you can see across the Alpes to Mont Blanc and into Italy.

Beginner Ski Areas in Les 2 Alpes

a bus in 2 alpes

Enjoy après-ski

After all you have earned your stripes (and probably some bruises), now it's time to share your stories from the day with your family and friends, new and old.

Les 2 Alpes is a great place to let off some steam after a day's exertions on the slopes. Whether that's in the local après-ski scene over a beer or two, in a local restaurant, or with a swim and sauna to relax those aching limbs. If you buy a six-day lift pass, the full pass also includes free use of facilities like the swimming pool and ice rink.

These are great options for a day off the skiing, in the event of poor weather or a great way to spend a few hours after the slopes close.

Families, at the very least, may finally have a shot at exhausting the kids with this option!

Sports & Fitness in Les 2 Alpes

Beginner skiing in Les 2 Alpes winter 2017-18

More inspiration...

So what are you waiting for? Get yourself out here and have some fun in the snow!

Accommodation in Les 2 Alpes