There’s no use crying over potentially melting snow as winter draws to a close. Do something about it and slip in summer ski action at Les Deux Alpes, which, as well as being a Mecca for freestylers with an awesome après ski scene, is also home to Europe’s largest and most lofty skiable glacier. And you know what that means… snowsure baby! Year. Round. Skiing. You’re welcome.
Don’t Sweat the White Stuff
Most of the skiable area around the resort is at an elevation above 2,000m, making it one of the most reliable, snowsure ski resorts on the planet – so you’ve got to be happy with that. Want to be even happier, though? How about the fact that there’s a permanent snowfield on the Mont de Lans glacier – from the peak at 3,600 all the way down to 3,200. That’s some serious fun to be had right there and, if you want to make your ski season last all year, you can come and ski the glacier from June all the way through to August! The surf might be up everywhere else in Europe but at Les Deux Alpes we’re still skiing!
Freestyle Land Snowpark
During summer, the snowpark moves from 2,600m up the mountain to the glacier at 3,600 – well, why wouldn’t it? So if you’re looking to show off your freestyle skills (or develop some new ones) on a few kickers and rails and boardercross, this is the place to do it. In recent years this snowpark has gained a reputation as the best place in Europe, and some say in the world, to come for summer freestyling. Because of that it can get pretty busy, but that just adds to the adrenaline rush, having to dodge all those other freestylers!
When the park moves up to the top of the glacier, aside from the beginner’s area there are a couple of intermediate and advanced pipes, as well as a kickers/tabletops area and a boxes/rails area. If you’re a real expert (or working towards it!) Park Avenue is a themed run complete with lamposts and other urban details, and the Slopestyle line offers the biggest air you’ll find in Europe.
Details: The snowpark is serviced by three lifts and you can get access anytime you like with your Les Deux Alpes lift pass.
There’s plenty of knarly off piste action around the resort, but if you’re coming here out of season La Dome Glacier is the place to be. You can get the funicular to an elevation of 3,400m and then cut along the side of the mountain to the face of the dome. After that the only way is down – and what a downhill run it is. The highlight of this spine-jarring off-piste run is the 400m vertical drop at the end that leads you to the Signal chairlift at La Grave. Scary? No question. The best fun you can have on two planks of carbon fibre? Definitely!
Tip: This is an extremely challenging off-piste route, so unless you’re a top-notch expert you should definitely not attempt it without a local guide. They know the safest routes down and the best way to avoid the crowds. (Going early is the order of the day as it can get pretty tracked out by lunchtime.)
The Perks of Summer Skiing
As well as the snowpark mentioned above, summer skiing on the glacier consists of 11 runs (nine blue, one green and one red) served by 17 lifts – so, even though it can get very busy out on the pistes, congestion is kept to a minimum. But busy-ness on the pistes is relative really, because in proportion to the 10,000 skiers a day in winter, the 1,500 in summer are positively paltry.
The conditions, too, are pretty awesome in summer – with warmer temperatures resulting in some neat, compact runs that just get a little slushy later on in the day. Even though there’s not much in the way of fresh powder, the runs get a nice smooth finish due to the melting and refreezing overnight.
Because of the warmer temperatures, the glacier runs usually open and close a little earlier than you might be used to – but, hey, that just means the après starts earlier too! The lift passes should also be slighter cheaper, due to the limited ski areas.
Sun’s Out, Guns Out!
Even if you’re a die-hard surf nut, giving up a few waves for the chance of some summer glacier skiing is well worth it. And with the milder temperatures and the proximity to the sun, you might even get a better tan…
Disclaimer: In no way do we condone the practice of nudie-run glacier skiing in order to ensure an all-over tan… but we’re just saying it could be a thing…
How to Get to Les Deux Alpes
No matter where you’re coming from it’s easy to get yourself to Les Deux Alpes. You can take your pick to fly in to Lyon, Grenoble and Chambery and, with a flight time of around 1 hour and 40 minutes from the UK, you won’t even have time to get restless. You’ll be able to find regular flights to each of those airports and, especially during the summer season, you can pick up some great online deals.
Whichever airport you choose, the fastest and most convenient way of getting the rest of the way to Les Deux Alpes is on a Shuttle Direct airport transfer. You can book a private service just for you, or take one of our cost-effective shared services. If you fly into Chambery the journey by road will take around 1 hour and 45 minutes, and it’s less than two hours from either Lyon or Grenoble. If you’re travelling with your own ski equipment just let us know at the time of booking and we’ll carry it for free.
Where to Stay:
La Résidence: You’ll never be far from the ski action at La Résidence, situated just 200 metres from the slopes and a few steps to the restaurants and shops. There’s room for a few in the spacious apartments, and you’ll be able to survey your next day’s ski action from your private balcony with views over the slopes.
Le Tyrol: Step out the front door and on to the slopes from your home away from home at the self-catering Le Tyrol. With everything you need to keep your ski holiday ticking over, there’s ski storage onsite, spacious apartments to chill out on your downtime, great views over the slopes and within walking distance of all your après entertainment.
Au Couer De La Station: For comfortable, convenient accommodation in the heart of Les Deux Alpes, Au Couer De La Station is situated walking distance from everything and just 100m from the ski lift. If you’re looking for a place to lay your head in between glacier skiing, this friendly establishment has everything you want and nothing you don’t.
About Shuttle Direct:
If you need to organise transport from the airport to your accommodation in Les Deux Alpes, Shuttle Direct is the most trusted name in ski transfers with a wealth of services to destinations throughout Europe. We offer a large range of fixed price shared or private transfers to and from any train station or airport, and our fast, friendly service will suit any budget or group size.
Make an online booking through our simple to navigate website and allow the expert team at Shuttle Direct to take care of all your onward travel arrangements, so you can concentrate on enjoying your holiday.