La Rosiere Ski Resort Guide – Skiing in France

| January 21, 2013 | 15 Comments

La Rosiere Ski Resort in the French Alps is one of those beautiful ski areas that is a true hidden gem. It is part of the Espace San Bernardo Ski Area which crosses the border between France and Italy.

La Rosiere is located on the French side while La Thuile makes up the Italian portion.

While La Rosiere is not as well known as its big brothers and sisters such as Les Arcs, La Plagne or the Three Valleys, all located within 1 hours drive, this charming Ski Area benefits from much quieter ski slopes and the snow conditions are just as good.

La Rosiere and La Thuile Ski Area

La Rosiere Ski Resort Basic Statistics

The Espace San Bernado ski area containing both La Rosiere Ski Resort and La Thuile Ski Resort has over 160 km of groomed pistes. 38 ski lifts crisscross the two powder filled bowls that make up the Ski Resort areas and offers a wide range of slopes to suit all abilities.

  • Lifts: 38 (1 Cable Car, 7 high-speed detachable chairs, 11 chairlifts, 16 surface lifts and 3 learner conveyors)
  • Downhill Ski Trails: 80 made up of 8 Green, 25 Blue, 35 Red and 8 Black runs.
  • Beginner: 40%
  • Intermediate: 40%
  • Advanced: 20%
  • Cross-Country Trails: 12 km
  • Snowmaking Coverage: 20%
  • Highest Lift Elevation: 8,665 ft. / 2,641 m
  • Ski Resort Elevation: 6,070 ft. / 1850 m
  • Vertical Drop: 4,806 ft. / 1,465 m
  • Terrain Parks: 2
  • Halfpipe: None
  • Restaurants On Ski Area: 11
  • Bars on Ski Area: 4
  • Ski In/Ski Out Accommodation: Yes
  • Night Skiing: No
  • Ski Season Open/Close: Mid-December to late-April.

La Rosiere Ski Resort Piste Map La Rosiere Ski Resort Piste Map

Download the full-sized La Rosiere Ski Resort Piste Map.

Positives

La Rosiere faces south with spectacular views over the Tarentaise Valley along the French Alps. This also means that the days are longer and you are blessed with sun throughout the day.

Mid-week the crowds are non-existent and you can easily ski all day without hitting a queue for the chairlifts. Even during the busy Christmas/New Year period and February school holidays the crowds move quickly with no queue lasting longer than a few minutes.

Ultimately this means more skiing time and less standing around. And with the ski connection to La Thuile Ski Area in Italy you won’t get bored skiing here.

Very experienced ski schools who can cater for beginners to advanced skiers wanting a few extra tips. Plus there are three free chairlifts for beginners to start on without forking out for a ski pass.

Basically there is something for all levels of skiers to enjoy at La Rosiere Ski Resort.

Negatives

While having the sun all day on La Rosiere Ski Area is great, during the end of the ski season this can prove problematic with conditions turning slushy. Therefore it is best to ski in La Rosiere first thing in the morning before heading across the border to Italy and the north-facing slopes of La Thuile.

Be aware that the connection between La Rosiere and La Thuile has to be made via a VERY long drag surface lift.

As there are a high number of surface lifts, this can be particularly daunting for first time snowboarders. Although after a few times you will master the technique. You can also easily explore the entire La Rosiere Ski Resort just using chairlifts.

La Rosiere can be affected by high winds due to its openness. This means that the La Thuile connection may be closed from time to time.

La Rosiere Ski Resort Guide

On-Piste

The only trails in La Rosiere that don’t get groomed every night are the black runs. This means that every morning the very wide trails are perfect for warming up your legs with big turns before tackling the steeper bumps.

While there are not many Green Trails, don’t let that put you off if it is your first time. The Blue Trails are perfect for learning on and you will be whizzing down them with ease. Even the Red Trails are easy enough that skiers on their first week are able to tackle them after a few days on the slopes.

Best locals on-piste run

My favourite trail is definitely the never-ending top to bottom red groomed run from Roc Noir chair to the base of Petit Bois. You can get a lot of speed up without worrying about other skiers.

Off-Piste

Since La Rosiere is much quieter than some of the other ski resorts in the French Alps, you will find untracked lines of powder over 3 days after a snowfall. Even if you are skiing with beginners you can ride the same areas and chairlifts together due to the open bowls of La Rosiere. As the rest of your group snowplows to the bottom of the run you can dart off-piste and easily meet them at the same chairlift.

There are lots of small cliff-drops and challenging black trails for the more experienced skiers wanting to ski back-country runs, in-bounds.

Best locals run in powder

Ski to the top of Ecudets Chairlift and follow the Red Trail to the bottom. This run is usually left alone by tourists as other skiers will ski the wide open bowl in the next valley. This is also the best place for powder filled tree runs.

Ecudets Chairlift, La Rosiere Ski Area

Ecudets Chairlift after fresh powder

Terrain Park / Boardercross

La Rosiere Ski Resort is freestyle friendly with an excellent terrain park to suit all levels of skiers and snowboarders. The ski resort’s main snowpark is 300 metres long and has a number of features including multiple table tops, hips, fun boxes and rails.

All of these features are graded from Green to Black so you can work your way up to harder, and bigger, tricks. The giant airbag is also available for anyone to try a new trick on.

A skiercross and boardercross course has been developed next to the Fort chairlift. Great fun for everyone to have a go and a chance to race between your group. You can even stagger the starts to make it fun for the kids.

Other On-Snow Activities

La Rosiere Ski Resort is not just limited to skiing and snowboarding. 20kms of cross-country ski trails and snow-shoeing trails will keep you occupied, even after dark.

If you are feeling like a little more adventure then it is worth trying out the extreme snow-kite and speed riding zones on the mountain which will get your adrenaline pumping. Or just take in the scenery while paragliding.

Heliskiing in La Rosiere is actually perfect. While Heliskiing is banned in France, you can catch your ride from La Rosiere across the border into the Italian Alps to ski from the top of a number of untracked mountains.

Lift Passes Cost

There are three free drag lifts for beginners, although these won’t get you very high up the slopes. The prices for full lift tickets include both La Rosiere Ski Resort and La Thuile Ski Resort:

  • Adult 1 Day : €38.90
  • Adult 6 Days : €186.00
  • Child Day (5 – 12 years): €27.20
  • Child 6 Days (5 – 12 years) : €130.20

There are also the full range of ski passes such as La Rosiere Ski Resort only, half-days and multi-day options. You can find them listed on the Official La Rosiere Ski Resort site.

Location / Getting to La Rosiere Ski Resort

Located only a short 25 minute drive from Bourg St Maurice in the French Alps, La Rosiere Ski Resort is perfectly located for international travellers looking for a snow adventure.

Bourg St Maurice is serviced by the Eurostar with direct day and overnight ski trains from London running twice a day on Saturdays. There are direct shuttle buses from the train station up to La Rosiere Ski Resort.

The best airport to fly into is Geneva,which is only a 2 hour drive, depending on road conditions. Grenoble Airport is an alternative located about 3 hours drive from the ski area. Both are accessed by excellent public transportation including buses and trains.

Consider hiring a car for your ski adventure so that you can explore other ski resorts if you are tempted.

Bourg St Maurice Sunset, French Alps

Sunset over Bourg St Maurice

Where to stay in La Rosiere

La Rosiere 1850m is the perfect ski in/ski out location with lots of options depending on your budget and needs. These include self-catering chalets through to 5-star chalets with full 5 course meals every night.

The other option is stay within Bourg St Maurice or the surrounding villages for those wanting to explore other ski areas. It does mean you will need to drive 1/2 hour up to La Rosiere ski area each day.

You can view the various Hotels in La Rosiere here.

Where to eat in La Rosiere

La Rosiere has three restaurants and bars on the mountain with the usual mountain style food and snacks. The finest dining can be found in the La Rosiere 1850m village itself.

The best coffee and hot drinks in La Rosiere can be found at the top of Fort Chairlift in a tiny slopeside hut. They have the best views across the French Alps and even have a snow cave for the kids to explore.

La Rosiere Ski Resort is best for…

Families or groups of friends who are looking for a quieter, and cheaper, week away skiing. La Rosiere Ski Resort will keep all levels of skiers occupied for the week. Especially if you venture into La Thuile a couple of times during the week.

Where else can you ski across the border for an authentic Italian pasta lunch before finishing back in France next to the fire with cheese and wine?

Insider Local Tip

On a nice day ski across the France/Italy border to La Thuile Ski Area, which is included in your lift ticket price, for better food and a chance to explore a different mountain. Kids will love the adventure and it will break up the week.

To find our more about La Rosiere Ski Resort then visit the Office of Tourism website for more information.

About the Author ()

Cole is one half of New Zealand's leading adventure travel blogging couple who have been wearing out their jandals around the world since 2009. He loves any adventure activities and anything to do with the water whether it is Surfing, Diving, Swimming, Snorkeling or just lounging nearby on the beach. You can follow Cole on Google+. Or consider following us via RSS Feed, Twitter, Facebook and subscribe to our Newsletter.

Comments (15)

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  1. What’s all that white stuff????? Definitely been in Central America too long….
    Karen @ Trans-Americas Journey recently posted..Best of the Trans-Americas Journey 2012 – Best HotelsMy Profile

  2. Laurence says:

    Crikey, comprehensive post! If I ever get round to doing some skiing in France, this one will be on the list!
    Laurence recently posted..2012 in review – the photo editionMy Profile

  3. Jennifer says:

    Perfect for beginner skiers you say? That would be us! I definitely need more lessons and Tim just needs practice. Looks gorgeous!
    Jennifer recently posted..Seven Romantic Getaways for Valentine’s DayMy Profile

  4. Cheryl says:

    Great guide! I don’t even know how to ski, but I’d love to go just to take in those spectacular views.
    Cheryl recently posted..Photos: The Chain Bridge in Budapest at Night.My Profile

  5. The nightlife in La Rosiere ski resort is limited, however, the bars all know how to have a good time. Most are found in La Rosiere Centre but there are also an increasing number of options in smaller Les Eucherts. No ski trip would be complete without singing along to a covers band so make sure you head for Le Petit Danois bar at least once. If you fancy yourself as the star you can serenade the other guests with a spot of karaoke at Arpin’s or for dancing, head for Le Pub which rocks until late. A more refined evening can be had at Clay’s Piano Bar. Bar Fusion in La Rosiere Centre or La Grange and Kitzbuhel in Les Eucherts are also fun.

  6. Sonya says:

    Fab ski resort guide!
    Sonya recently posted..iPhone Photo + SnowMy Profile

  7. The mountains are beautiful! Now, if I only could ski without falling down every 5 ft :)
    Mary @ Green Global Travel recently posted..TBGB: Preventing Gender-Based Violence & Empowering Youth In TanzaniaMy Profile

  8. Ronny says:

    So cool that there are ski resorts in Europe where you don’t have to worry about lines during the week … always heard that hills over there are so busy!
    Ronny recently posted..Practical Tips for Driving in DenmarkMy Profile

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