Val d'Isere Intermediate Skiing

Intermediate skiers in Val d'Isere will discover there is almost no end to the skiing permutations they can enjoy. With 67 blue runs and 41 red pistes in the Espace Killy the mountains around Val’Isere really is a superb playground for intermediates.

Intermediates will discover there is almost no end to the skiing permutations they can enjoy in Val d'Isere, although some ski runs are under-graded.

Viewed in its entirety, Val d'Isere as part of the Espace Killy offers huge potential for big kilometre skiing for intermediates, with long ski runs, fast lifts and typically good snow conditions. There are not many other places where you can ski as much distance, if you want to. It is intermediate heaven.

Col De l’Iseran

For instance, in the Col de I’Iseran sector there are a several blue runs such as Aiguille Pers, Montets, Col, Pont Abbatte and Pyramides blues that are pretty easy for intermediate skiers. That said, Mangard is almost certainly a red piste, and not blue as delineated, and Signal is a red run that really should be classified as a black run. It is steep, narrow, and gets very icy.

Our favourites in the L’Iseran sector include the Rocher red, which is easy for its grading, although boarders will have to scramble at the end as it is quite flat.

The Moraine and Cascade reds are good for cruising and the Pre-Chemin blue, which is a lovely gully that was ultimately more fun that the parallel runs of Col and Pont Abbatte, is the best in the sector.

Solaise

Across the piste map the Solaise, where the women racers compete in major events, has an extensive network of excellent middle-order ski runs, although the famous bumps can be quite a handful for anyone but strong intermediates or advanced skiers.

From the Solaise side of the ski area you can drop into the Iseran valley on the new Lessieres Express chairlift and ski down to Le Fornet.

The network of blues and reds at Solaise are well worth the trip up the Solaise Express in the morning.

Timid intermediate skiers will relish the Col de la Madeleine blue, which is good for getting the confidence up, as is the Leissieres blue. The Glacier blue is great for cruising and for taking in the extraordinary view.

Improving intermediates will love the long Arcelle red down into Le Manchet. If you are looking for tree runs the Germain Mattis red snakes through the forest and takes you back down to Le Laisinant. Piste L is the blue alternative.

Fourche is down as a blue piste, but used to be a red and is slightly steeper than Col de la Madeleine, while the St Jacques blue from the top of the Glacier chairlift could also be classed as a red by some.

Bellevarde

Rocher De Bellevarde is configured such that on one side you have mainly testing pistes that take you down back down to Val d’Isere. On the other you have a choice of challenging intermediate pistes that steer towards the La Folie Douce bar and La Daille.

If you are a timid intermediate do not for a moment be beguiled by the Santons blue at the end of the day, which is the only blue our of a sea of black runs that feeds the return to Val d’Isere.

Whoever categorised this run as an intermediate piste needs their head examined. It is almost permanently icy, and is packed with intermediates at the end of the day trying to snake their way back down – better always to have a vin chaud at the top and get the Olympique cable car back down.

On the other side there are four pistes for intermediates that is dominated by the Coupe Du Monde <<OK>> red. It takes you past the Folie Douce, has wonderful views and provides thrills and spills all the way down to La Daille.

The Orange red provides nice tree-lined sections, and while it is fairly steep and icy in patches it is wide and provides a good test for improving intermediates.

The Diebold and “3j” blues are much the same – wide blues on which intermediates can really go fast, without much fear things can go wrong.

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