223km of pistes, access to the most notorious off-piste in the Alps and Europe’s biggest summer terrain park. Les Deux Alpes has enough to keep you entertained all-year round – literally
Its high-altitude glacier makes it snow-sure until late April, and there’s even summer skiing to be had from June until September. It won over sponsored skier and self-confessed nomad Jack Peppiette back when he visited as a teen, and now he’s made it his home. We caught up with him to get the low-down on all things Les Deux Alpes.
FIRST RUN OF THE DAY
For an easy warm up to start the day take the Jandri Express I and II all the way up to the bottom of the glacier. Take one of the Puy-Salie T-bars up (they run parallel to each other) and head down the blue Jandri 5 to your right, following until it joins Signal 1 and 2. Blast it down to the bottom of the Signal chair. It always gets me going in the morning sun.
FOR FRESH TRACKS
One of the great things about Les Deux Alpes is that it’s the only resort that has a direct link to the legendary off-piste mecca that is La Grave – there are plenty of guides in L2A that’ll take you over there for a day. If you hit it right you’ll be in for some of the best turns of your life.
If you want something a little less intense and little more accessible, there are plenty of epic lines from the Jandri Express II. Try the Pylone Electrique, a steep and narrow couloir with some impressive ice walls. The last place to get tracked out is the face just above the snowpark. No one hits it until one of the locals cuts the first tracks.
WHERE TO GO FOR LATE-SEASON SNOW
Anything above the The Jandri I lift (2600m) is great right until the very end of the season, as it’s high enough to keep the snow fresh. But if you want to be sure of perfect late-spring skiing, head for the glacier, where the pistes are guaranteed snow all season long. If you fancy practising your flips and rail slides, the snowpark above Toura holds out way into spring as well. And although the season ends on 28 April, you only have to wait two months until the glacier reopens for summer skiing. Brilliant!
WHAT’S THE BEST THING ABOUT
LES DEUX ALPES?
The snowpark – it’s the whole reason I moved here! I could lap the slopestyle run all day every day. The only reason I ever leave it is when the weather’s bad, and even then I give it a good go before I give in! There’s also a great atmosphere in the town – bars, clubs and an après vibe just as epic as the mountains and park.
THE MISCONCEPTION OF LES DEUX ALPES IS…
That it’s just a family resort. Yes the pistes and activities around town are family orientated, but Les Deux Alpes is still a party town, and the park and off-piste can be as gnarly as you could possibly want them to be!
WHERE TO EAT ON THE MOUNTAIN
Head to Chalet La Toura, close to the Jandri express mid-station, for the best pizza on the hill. It has a sunny terrace where you can sit back and watch the all the park action with a cheeky beer or two. For those of you who’ve undertaken Greek-style austerity measures, head out to the chill out area by the snowpark.
They regularly fire up the BBQ and the atmosphere is electric.
NIGHTLIFE IN LES DEUX ALPES
Mini Bar, below the Avalanche club,is the place to go for DJ sets and mash-ups, especially on a Saturday night. If you’re still in party-mode, head upstairs to the Avalanche club where everything sounds good after
a drink or two…
PISTES AND PASSES
- Number of runs: 223km of pistes over 427 hectares (93 pistes in total)
- Blue runs: 42
- Red runs: 21
- Black runs: 11
- Lift passes: €41 day; €231 week
Like the sound of all that spring and summer snow? Check out our five favourite late-spring ski resorts…