Ski Holidays In La Thuile Promise Excellent Snow Conditions
Italians have labelled La Thuile “Little Siberia.” They are not exaggerating. La Thuile boasts plentiful snow dumps and some of the best snow conditions in the Alps.
The north facing exposure spanning the French-Italian border is a relatively quiet, family-friendly resort belonging to the wider Espace San Bernardo. Subsequently, there is a 150km ski area of fresh snow and perfectly groomed slopes to discover.
La Thuile Resort
La Thuile is best suited to intermediates and advanced skiers although there is plenty of slopes that are groomed for beginners to taste your first experience of the piste. This magnificent expanse of terrain links with La Rosiere and provides sufficient diversity to satisfy skiers of all levels.
A key factor that swings in the favour of La Thuile is the slopes and ski lifts are less crowded than neighbouring Courmayeur. As a result, queue times are significantly reduced and the powder stays fresher for longer. Advanced skiers will even find untouched swathes of piste.
The quaint mining village has a historical feel and is a pleasant base to explore in the evenings. The apes-scene is more attuned to a few drinks and a quiet meal rather than a raucous party scene. La Thuile is, therefore, better suited to families and couples that prefer peace over parties.
|No. of Pistes:||38|
|Total Piste:||146 km|
|Cross Country:||12 km|
|Gondolas/ Cable Cars:||1|
La Thuile Ski Areas & Slopes
La Thuile is part of the Espace San Bernardo ski area which boasts almost 150km of soft, fresh powder and is home to two slalom stadiums, a snowpark, a bordercross slope between La Thuile and La Rosiere, a secure ride zone and a snowkite zone.
You can go on the La Thuile website for more details about the length and difficulty of slopes in the ski area.
The principle ski area in La Thuile. Here you will find groomed pistes for all abilities including forested runs through the trees from Les Suches to La Thuile.
Intermediate-Advanced: Confident skiers typically head straight for Chaz Dura where a mix of red runs help you to settle into the week with a varied warm up. Red run 4 is a gentle starter to acclimatise you to the snow conditions whilst the 11km red 7 takes you through the trees and past ancient buildings. Advanced skiers will enjoy black runs 2 and 3.
Beginners: The gentle nursery slopes at Les Suches are perfect for beginners. Once you progress off the nursery slopes, head for the neighbouring blues a little further up the mountain. They are typically uncrowded and a great place to practice your snow plough. Once you’ve built up some confidence, test your nerve on the Bellecombe drag lift. The disadvantage for beginners at Les Suches is there are no easy slopes back to the main entrance, only red and black which are too steep for beginners.
Once you’ve mastered La Thuile, why not head across the border to France. You can access La Rosiere using the same ski pass as La Thuile. In La Rosiere, you will find a snow park and a gentle border cross which is fun. In Zittieux, just above the Ecudets lift, there is some free riding for snowboarders and skiers.
Intermediate-Advanced: The off-piste freeriding opportunities from Combe des Moulins are the best option for advanced skiers at La Rosiere. Confident intermediates though will find plenty of testing red runs, some with moguls.
Beginners: The south-facing red and blue runs at La Rosiere are easy to navigate and well suited to progressive beginners and less confident intermediates. From La Rosiers, you can take the Col de la Traversette which leads to the Chardonnet chairlift and gives you access to the chairlift at the top of Belvedere.
Belvedere is one of the most exciting ski areas of La Thuile but best suited to advanced skiers and confident intermediates looking to raise their game. Anything on the north side has unsullied deep powder and, together with the Fourclaz and Piccolo San Bernardo chairlifts, deliver adrenaline-fuelled sessions.
Intermediate-Advanced: Belvedere boasts numerous high altitude red runs, some of which are steep, fast and very exciting. Advanced skiers will not want to miss black 25, a challenging and exhilarating descent from the top of the Belvedere chairlift to the base of the Fourclaz Express.
Beginners: Belvedere goes from the higher altitudes of the mountain and is not recommended for beginners.
Having opened in January 2019, Mont Valaisan is the newest and highest terrain in La Thuile and makes it easier for visitors to enjoy the popular area of the mountain. Mont Valaisan has always been a favourite for free riders and the two new lifts provide access to five well-groomed reds and more free riding opportunities for advanced skiers.
Intermediate-Advanced: Off-piste is still the best option for advanced skiers although the reds provide an enjoyable descent back to the village.
Beginners: Mont Valasian does not have any slopes that are suitable for beginners.
Ski Holidays in La Thuile
La Thuile Ski Passes
La Thuile's ski lifts are usually open from early December until late April and the Espace San Bernardo lift pass covers all the lifts in the La Thuile and La Rosiere ski area.
Ski pass prices can vary, with normal tickets costing €42 for one day during normal season and €46 during high season. For 6 days, ski passes cost between €220 and €240.
Prices are reduced for seniors, and children who are 18 years or younger.
La Thuile Ski School and Zuba Ski both offer skiing and snowboarding lessons to individuals and groups including children. If you intend to go off-piste for the first time, contact a mountain guide through Compagnie des Guides Rutor.
La Thuile ski resort is not very big but there are plenty of ski equipment hire shops. Snowell has several stores in the village and offers 10% off when you book online. Skimium also offers up to 23% discounts when you book online. Alternatively, use Skiset and they will take care of everything for you.
Family Fun in La Thuile
La Thuile is geared towards families heading to Italy on a skiing holiday. Friendly, uncrowded and affordable, this pretty mining village is purpose-built for families rather than rowdy ski parties.
The slopes at La Thuile are also family friendly. The nursery slopes for Bambinos and beginners are closest to the lifts, but there are also some tricky red and black pistes through woodland in the lower parts of the mountain so experienced parents can tackle adrenalin-pumping slopes without straying too far from the where the kids are cutting their teeth.
Once the children have progressed from the nursery slopes there are several greens and easy blues where they can develop their skills and build confidence.
There is also the children’s snow park in Fantaski where older children can be left to their own devices. Infants and toddlers that are not skiing can be left with one of the local child care centres.
When to Go?
Thanks to the microclimate in the Italian Alps, La Thuile boasts excellent ski conditions right throughout the season. The ski area does not attract crowds like the more famous Courmeyer so the slopes are not too busy even during school holidays.
The best time to visit is arguably Christmas when the charming village transforms into a winter wonderland complete with fairy lights, festivities and Santa’s dog-guided sled all in attendance.
La Thuile always has healthy dumps of fresh snow, but with climate change affecting weather conditions, it’s always best to check the snow reports and snow webcams.
Thanks to the north facing slopes and snow sure microclimate in La Thuile, the weather is ideal for skiing.
Late November/early December to late April.