World Reviewer rating

Worth a visit
Rating 0.9 (206 votes)

La Grave

Listed under Skiing in La Grave, France.

Photo of La Grave
Photo by flickr user Bennecontentos
Pin It

Cliché or not, the phrase “mean, moody and magnificent” applies so aptly to the quite extraordinary ski area of La Grave that I hope I am forgiven for using it. With the exception of Chamonix, there is nowhere that I can think of in the whole of the Alps with such startling, almost overwhelming glacial scenery. Dominated by the jutting multiple-peaks of La Meije at very nearly 4000 metres (more than 13,000 feet) it is a fearsomely beautiful place, and you need to treat it with the utmost respect. Before you attempt to ski La Grave, you should hire a guide. With a huge vertical descent of 2150 metres (7054 feet), La Grave is a vast, steep mountainside with no groomed pistes at all. Apart from a tame section at the very top on the Glacier de la Girose, with two T-bars, where it “links” in a manner of speaking, with the big local destination resort of Les Deux Alpes, the slopes provide an all-consuming, relentless descent from top to bottom. The two main descents, along with their variants, are simply the easiest and safest way down. If you stick to these two runs there is nothing really beyond a strong intermediate skier, but the moment you wander off in any other direction you may have to deal with much steeper terrain, a variety of couloirs and a selection of cliffs, small and large. In addition to this, on the upper sections, there is potential danger from crevasses and avalanches. Traditionally, La Grave does not open until January or February. There are two ways to reach the slopes: directly, by taking the two-stage, five-cabin téléphérique on a skyward journey to the Glacier du Vallon from the picturesque old climbing village of La Grave itself, on the spectacular Col du Lautaret. Or by making a 20 minute hike on skis across from Les Deux Alpes.

Written by  Arnie Wilson.

Comments, reviews and questions by other travellers

The ultimate off-piste ski experience

Would personally recommend the Snowlegend guides. My last personal experience on peakretreats.blogspot.com/2007/04/la-grave-la-meije-off-piste-mecca-in.html. April is a great time to go. Try the Derby de la Meije at the beginning of the month if you think you are better than the average poseur...

Post a comment, review or question

I want to
Question
My comment - optional
Rating - how would you rate this place or experience?
 

Who's been here

No travelers have told us they have been here. Have you?

Similar Experiences

  • Ski Whistler

    Re-named Whistler Mountain in 1965 (after the cry of the ubiquitous western hoary marmot, or Whistle Pig) the pleasantly car-fr…

  • Ski Zermatt

    No matter where you find yourself on the slopes of this remarkable ski area, the granite monolith of Europe’s most famous peak,…

  • Tignes

    Tignes lurks in the shadows of its more illustrious neighbour, Val D'Isére, yet still has a lot to offer. Although the simple, …

Nearby Experiences

  • Les Deux Alpes

    The Les Deux Alps resort is good for summer boarding because it’s got it’s own glacier so you can board long past the end of wi…

  • Laax Snowboarding

    Laax is as close as you can get to a resort just for snowboarders, but it’s linked to Flims, its ski inclined buddy. If you h…

  • Alpe-d'Huez

    Suitable for skiers of all abilities. Alpe-d'Huez boasts a wide array of sunny slopes, with over 300 sunny days per year. Altho…

Related links

Contribute to this page