Les Menuires Advanced & Expert Skiing

There are eight black runs and ‘Liberty Ride’ ungroomed slopes in the local Les Menuires ski area, most of which are concentrated in the La Masse sector. Advanced skiers, however, will want to explore the entire Three Valleys, and Les Menuires is an excellent base for this.

The best place for advanced skiers to head towards is La Masse which has high, steep, snow-sure slopes which predominantly face North East. This is also usually one of the 3 Valleys least crowded sections, so experts can often tackle the slopes at high speed in comparative safety, but please take care when doing this.

The Dame Blanche is clearly the daddy of the black runs. It is seriously steep and winds across the spine of Pointe de la Masse with soaring views across the valley and into Lac du Lou. Even the drag lift you use to access it (Masse) can be a challenge.

If Dame Blanche is a real test, then Lac Noir and Masse provide a short, sharp hit. Masse is rarely groomed, and there is an extended Liberty Ride (ie: freeride but patrolled) area to skiers left of this and even more off-piste to skier’s right.

Rocher Noir is another good black run that starts from the top of the Rocher Noir chair, although if you want to ski almost 1,000m of vertical you can warm up by tackling reds such as Longets and Cretes, which are the steepest in the sector and have stunning views. The Fred Covili, Mur Rouge and Rochers reds are slightly easier, but well worth doing, if only for the views.

On the other side of the valley, Leo Lacroix is a long black run, and invariably a mogul field, but not particularly steep. There are also ungroomed but patrolled Liberty Ride areas close to the Sunny Express (Pylones) and St Martin Express (Riondaz) ski lifts. The red runs on this side of the valley are more aimed at intermediates but have occasional steep sections.

Once these runs have been skied, advanced skiers can either try the extensive off-piste possibilities in Les Menuires or move onto the advanced skiing available in Meribel, Val Thorens and Courchevel. In particular it’s worth noting that the Meribel valley’s highest skiing at Cote Brune and Mont Vallon, much of which is aimed at advanced skiers, can be reached more quickly from Les Menuires than it can from the centre of Meribel.

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