La Thuile has quite extensive slopes linked to those of La Rosière via slopes above the Petit St Bernard pass – a good sector, poorly represented on the piste map. Many runs marked red should be blues. Strong winds can close high lifts, including the link.
Extent of slopes
A gondola out of the village takes you to Les Suches and an alternative chair to 100m below it. Shady black and red runs go back to the village through the trees. Chairs take you up to Chaz Dura for access to a variety of gentle bowls and slightly more testing slopes on the back of the ridge. From there two chairs go up to the link with La Rosière.
Most key lifts are fast chairs.
Short queues may form at the gondola first thing, but not at the chair. There are no problems once you are up the hill. Reporters regularly comment on the lack of queues: ‘Non-existent, even on an Italian holiday.’
The Wazimu (‘Madness’) park is in the Les Suches area and has a line specially for younger children.
Most of La Thuile’s slopes are north- or east-facing and above 2,000m, so the snow keeps well. There’s also a decent amount of snowmaking; grooming is excellent. The snow was in fine condition when we were there on a warm March visit.
Black pistes 2 and 3 down through the trees from Les Suches are seriously steep, usually groomed and great fun when they are. The black slopes at the top down to the pass are easier – but there is also plenty of good off piste here. Heli-skiing options include a 20km run from the Ruitor glacier to Ste-Foy in France, a short taxi ride from La Rosière for lifts back.
The slopes above Les Suches are gentle blues and reds, ideal for cruising. There are also good long reds through the trees back to the resort. The red runs on the back of the top ridge, down towards the Petit St Bernard pass, are less gentle. The pass road forms a very gentle red run to the village, dropping a mere 600m in 11km; avoid in fresh snow.
The skiing in La Rosière is more testing – mostly genuine red runs, sometimes with moguls, and with snow more affected by sun. The route back involves at least one long draglift.
There are no free lifts, but a special day pass allows use of the moving carpet on the village nursery slope. There is also a nursery area up at Les Suches and long, easy blues to progress to. Ride the gondola down.
These are great slopes for learning. There are no draglifts, unless you go to La Rosière. For the more experienced there are great tree runs and good freeriding and carving runs. But there are flat sections too.
There are 11km of loops on the valley floor and a further 20km in Arpy a few kilometres away.
Schools and guides
A recent visitor was impressed – her sons’ instructor ‘spoke good English and they had fun’.
There is a mini club and snow garden, a village kindergarten and the Birba Club for kids in the Planibel hotel. Over fives can join ski school.
Where to Ski and Snowboard
This guide is taken from Where to Ski and Snowboard, edited by Chris Gill and Dave Watts. Chris now produces Where to Ski guides to individual countries. Find out more and receive an exclusive book discount.