Les Menuires Intermediate Skiing

Les Menuires is perfect for intermediate skiers who like clocking up mileage in the sunshine. It also provides an excellent environment in which to progress from intermediate skier to more advanced levels.

Les Menuires provides ample scope for those who are taking the step up from beginner level and for those who are quickly progressing to more advanced levels.

There are 44 blue runs in Les Menuires and St Martin, and 22 red runs, spanning both sides of the Belleville valley.

The majority of the runs are on the Meribel side. When the sun is out it bathes most of these for large parts of the day, because most of them face South or South West. Whilst this is very enjoyable, it can create problems when temperatures rise in late season, because the snow becomes slushy in the afternoon, and icy in the morning. If early morning ice becomes a serious problem, cross the ridge and ski down to Meribel on pistes that predominantly face East and are at their best early in the morning. Be warned however, that some of the reds on the Meribel side are steep (the top of Venturon for instance), so if you’re a less confident intermediate, stick to the blues when crossing over.

But when conditions are good, the whole mountainside from Roc de Fer (2290m) above St Martin, to Col de la Chambre (2850m) above Les Menuires offers a huge range of blue and easy red pistes.

Particular favourites are the Mont de la Chambre blue, which is a wide motorway run that is perfect for practising your turns, while the Grand Lac blue is more North facing and offers 1,304m of vertical all the way down to St Martin de Belleville – you will have earned that lunch. The fast lifts back up (usually without queues after 10am) mean it’s easy to repeat, but perhaps an even better alternative is to try the Jerusalem blue or Pramint red which both descend to the bottom of the St Martin Express chair.

The Pluviometre blue is wide and a joy to ski as well as being the route into Val Thorens although there are flat sections which have to be taken fast in a schuss if you want to avoid a push uphill. If you turn back to Les Menuires on the Boulevard des Echauds there are even more flat sections, so the the Alpage red which snakes a similar path down from the ridge might be a better alternative.

In good conditions, the Allemands red from the top of the Roc 2 chair is wonderful and links into perhaps the best red in resort, Les Grandes Combes. It has great rollers, few skiers go on it and there are no snow cannon so the snow is always real.

In the La Masse sector, the Vallons, Les Enverses and Chemin des Vallons blue runs, all accessible from mid-mountain are all relatively easy. The blues from the top of Masse 2 and Lac Noir are considerably steeper but should be skiable by most intermediates, and are great fun. Even steeper still are the reds and the blacks on La Masse, but these are oriented towards advanced skiers. The Masse draglift is also a tricky drag lift for intermediates to use because of the steep slope it ascends. 

For keen intermediates, however, the 160kms of pistes in Les Menuires and St Martin are just the apperitif. The entire 3 Valleys ski area is within easy reach and there is fine intermediate skiing in Val Thorens, Meribel and Courchevel as well. In poor visibility, the wooded slopes above La Tania are aslo well worth a visit. 

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