Val d'Isere Beginner Skiing

Val d'Isere's beginner skiing begins with the nursery slopes high above Rocher De Bellevarde. In a sense, beginners in Val d'Isere are thrown in the deep end. While the ski area is best for improving intermediates and advanced skiers, no question, plucky beginners will discover numerous ski runs suitable for their abilities.

Beginner Skiing in Val d'Isere

Although psychologically Val d'Isere is not the ideal beginners' resort, if you can make it here you can make it anywhere. The ski resort is anxious to dispel the myth that just because the ski area is fundamentally for strong skiers, it does not have much in the way of nursery slopes.

It does, although the overwhelming ambience veers in the direction of the hardcore Val d’Isere have put in a lot of work to put that right. In 2006 there used to be 16 green runs, but as of the 2014 season there are now 20 in the Espace Killy, which is enough for any total beginner. 

The good news is that beginners can zoom straight up the Olympique cable car to Rocher De Bellevarde to access six green runs, on which beginners can benefit from high altitude snow conditions, without feeling threatened by their environment.

If you are a total beginner out advice is to start with the Grand Pre green from the Grand Pre chair off the Rocher Du Charvet. It is a large, wide, and easy run for beginners and you will be tackling it from the top of the mountain – not many beginners can boast that.  

The Mont Blanc green is also very easy and flat, but that is where much of the good news ends.

The Genepy green is largely easy, but can occasionally develop moguls. It is a good spot for a picnic lunch if meeting up with other more experienced skiers in a group.

The Borsat green is good for beginners who have developed a little confidence, as there is an opportunity to schuss at the end as you come into the Borsat chair. The Borsat chair can become very cold, so it is not ideal for small children.

The best green run in the whole of the Espace Killy is undoubtedly the Verte, a huge, open piste at the top, but it gets narrow the further you go down, especially as you go past the Folie Douce. The Verte goes all the way down to La Daille, so is a great run to get under your belt as you begin to improve.

Apart from good village nursery slopes, which are free, Solaise is the only other gateway to some gentle ski slopes.

The Madeleine, Datcha and Glacier lifts offer a small selection of runs, though downloading by ski lift back to the valley floor is pretty essential to avoid tougher slopes lower down at the end of the day.

It is generally recognised that Val d'Isere's gradings err on the degree of difficulty. It is often said that a blue piste in Val d’Isere might well be a red piste in other resorts.

That said, there are a few blues that we feel are accessible to skiers who can handle the Verte green. The Col de l'Iseran runs are, by and large, wide and pretty easy, especially if conditions are good at the top of the glacier. And because they are quite a way from the resort village, these ski slopes tend to be uncrowded too.

The Aiguille Pers is wide, easy and often empty, the Pont Abatte blue under the Vallon telecabin is very flat while the Pyramides blue is fairly easy also. The Col blue is also worth a look but at one point has a very fast and steep section, which may create panic among those not quite up to speed. 

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