2014/15 New year skiing in the Alps
Alpe d'Huez is one of Europe's premier freeskiing venues. The site of the Pomagalski's first surface lift in the early sixties, the resort gained popularity when it hosted the bobsleigh events of the 1968 Winter Olympics. At that time the resort was seen as a competitor to Courchevel as France's most upmarket purpose built resort but the development of Les Trois Vallées, Val d'Isère, Tignes, La Plagne and Les Arcs saw Alpe D'Huez fall from favour in the 1970s and early 1980s.
Today it offers 236km of piste and 84 ski lifts, the resort is now one of the world's largest. Extensive snowmaking facilities helped combat the ski area's largely south-facing orientation on the lower slopes and helped Alpe d'Huez appeal to beginner skiers, with many very easy slopes. The expansion of the skiing above the linked resorts of Vaujany, Oz-en-Oisans, Villard Reculas and Auris boosted the quantity and quality of intermediate grade slopes but the resort is mostly known for freeskiing, drawing many steep skiing enthusiasts to its high altitude terrain.
Aside from the Tunnel and Sarenne black runs (the latter the world's longest at 16km), many Off-piste opportunities exist both from the summit of the 3330m Pic Blanc and the 2808m Dome des Petites Rousses. These include the 50-degree Cheminees du Mascle couloirs, the open powder field of Le Grand Sablat, the Couloir Fleur and the Perrins bowl. Up to 2200m of vertical descent are available with heli drops back to the resort's altiport. The proximity to the exclusively off-piste resort of La Grave as well as tree skiing at Serre Chevalier and the glacier and terrain parks of Les Deux Alpes have made Alpe d'Huez a popular base for skiers looking to explore the Oisans region.
The resort offers a wide selections of bars and restaurants for the all important apres ski, and, as the main ski bowl is next to the resort centre, all facilities are within easy reach.
This resort is popular with visitors from the British Isles and as such caters very well to this market offering a wide range of services for all ages.