Les Deux Alpes is great for advanced skiers and snowboarders with a fantastic range of challenging pistes, including 12 black and 22 red runs. It's often described as an 'upside-down' resort because the cruisy glacier blues are found at the top of the mountain, and the steeper more difficult faces are lower down.
Straight to the top
As soon as you get here you'll want to head straight to the top of the mountain, so take the Jandri Express 1 and 2 followed by the Puy Salié T-bar. Signal 3 piste is one of the steepest reds that Les Deux Alpes has to offer, and is a great warm up run which starts easy and steadily gets steeper. Beginning at the glacier (3,200m) take the furthest right of all the pistes to experience a vertical drop of 250m, it is wide and very rarely in bad condition, though can be icy due to the altitude. The piste's steepness eases off near the bottom, where you can turn right and join Signal 1 piste.
The Glacier 6, 7 and 8 red pistes are also found up here. To begin with follow Glacier 1, keep right until you see a red piste on the right. Starting gently it drops to a steep section, after which a blue run leads back to Jandri 4 on the left. Otherwise, you can follow the red to an intersection with three options. The left-hand Glacier 6 is the easiest of these, with a short steep section leading to Jandri 4. The most impressive option is to continue straight on Glacier 8, underneath the Glacier chairlift, but this piste can be quite busy, and moguls do develop in the afternoon. Glacier 5 is a red and whilst it is as steep as most blacks it's intensity is short-lived. You will end up taking Glacier 1 (blue) for a while before ending up on Glacier 8, which has a right turn onto Pierre Grosse 1. This is another black, very steep but usually well-groomed with good snow. You could take Pierre Grosse 2, which leaves the aforementioned red run 100m earlier, it is marked but be aware it is left unpisted. Both runs arrive at the Fée 1 blue where you continue on a flat until you reach the Fée chairlift.
Now you're in the Fée sector
La Fée valley is one of the best areas to enjoy some of the most scenic red and black pistes all day long. Currently, the quickest way to access these is to follow the Jandri 3 piste from La Toura as far as the Sautet chair. From here you can take the Fée 4 and 5 reds, or the steep and icy Fée 6 black back to the La Fée high-speed six-person chair. The start of Fée 4 is a great place for going fast whilst Fée 5 is often the place to find the moguls. If you like un-pisted itineraries, Fée 7 and Thuit 5 are well worth doing too. Keep doing laps of the Fée chairlift as you tick off these routes.
When you have had your fill of the Fée area, follow the Thuit 1 blue into the Thuit bowl and take the three-man Thuit chairlift. At the top, head left for the Bellecombes chairlift and take a good look at your next challenge, the Bellecombes 6 black, as you ride up above it. Formerly known as the Grand Couloir, this is long, steep and usually bumpy. Do not ski this run if it is closed, as it is threatened by avalanches from the Rachas faces above. At the bottom, take the Bellecombes chair again and this time head right along the reds to the Super Diable 1 black. This is one of the longest blacks in the resort and the lower section is consistently steep and often bumpy. The run plunges 800m from the mountain into the valley. At the end of the day you can start in the late sunshine on the west-facing slopes and finish in the village where dusk has already fallen. Be sure to ski this well to impress the crowds on the terrace of the Diable au Coeur, where we recommend stopping for lunch. After which, if you want to go back up for more, the Diable 2 unpisted itinerary is waiting for you.
Back to where you began
Getting back to resort there are three routes down when conditions are good - the Valentin, Diable 1 and Vallons du Diable. Valentin will take you back to the Mont de Lans part of Les Deux Alpes. It is snow sure, due to snow cannon on both sides the whole way down, and a massive snow making machine at the top pumps out a vast amount of snow making it even steeper. With a vertical drop of 300m, it's one of the fastest pistes Les Deux Alpes has to offer; very steep and very wide, the best time to ski it is early in the morning when it's deserted.
Le Diable route will take you to the Venosc part of Les Deux Alpes. It is the steepest and longest black run in Les Deux Alpes, running from 2,400m down to an altitude of 1,600m. The top is wide and rolling, steep but not as steep as the lower section.
The Vallons du Diable is a good, long, interesting red to the Venosc end of the resort, but unfortunately the snow cover is often poor on the lower south-facing section. A nice option is to do the top section of the Vallons du Diable then cut right onto a cat-track then out onto the bottom half of the Diable 1, giving the best bits of both pistes.