Avoriaz

Avoriaz

Overall Rating

Avoriaz

Avoriaz3.5/51
Avoriaz3.5 out of 5 based on 1 reviews
  • Recommend
    100%
  • Would Revisit
    100%
Ski & Sail Norway Lyngen Alps
Wagner Custome Skis

Portes du Soleil Resorts

French

Châtel
Les Gets
Morzine

Swiss

Champery-Les Crosets
Champoussin
Morgins
Torgon

    Portes du Soleil Ski Trail Map
  • Portes du Soleil Ski Trail Map
  • Vertical (m)
    Avoriaz only
    1,160m – 2,260m (1,110m)

    Portes du Soleil
    950m - 2,277m (1,327m)
  • Average Snow Fall
    8m
  • Lifts (195)
    13 Gondolas
    78 Chairlifts

    Avoriaz only
    34 lifts - 3 gondolas, 17 chairlifts
  • Opening Date & Times
    December to mid-April
    8:30am to 4:30pm
  • Terrain Summary
    Runs – 79km (incl. routes)
    Longest run – 8km
    Advanced - 12%
    Intermediate - 29%
    Beginner - 59%

    Portes du Soleil
    600km of trails
  • Lift Pass Price
    Day Ticket 20/21
    Avoriaz only
    Adult - €TBA
    Child - €TBA
    Child u/5yr – Free

    Portes du Soleil Lift Pass
    Adult - €55.50 to 59
    Child - €42 to 44
    Child u/5yr – Free
    Portes du Soleil Ski Trail Map
  • Portes du Soleil Ski Trail Map

Avoriaz - Reviews

Avoriaz - Reviews

Popular, Potential & Pitfalls

12/09/2020

POWDERHOUNDS EUROPE

Powderhounds Ambassador
Powderhounds Ambassador

POWDERHOUNDS EUROPE

Powderhounds Ambassador
Powderhounds Ambassador
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Telemarker
  • Rider Level
    Expert
  • Rider Age
    36-50
  • Month Visited:
    February
  • Admin Rating
    5

Popular, Potential & Pitfalls

12/09/2020

Our visit to Avoriaz was all too fleeting in mid-February 2019. We spent more time in the Portes du Soleil’s wonderfully quiet Swiss resorts & France’s Châtel instead. Regardless, we got a clear sense of its potential …….. & pitfalls.

Let’s not beat around the bush, Avoriaz’s major ‘pitfall’ is human related. There were simply too many of them. To be fair, it was deep into the second week of February & the sun was shining, but the proof is in the eating! Despite skiing in untracked fresh snow (from a storm a few days previous) in the Swiss resort of Champoussin that morning, in Avoriaz any easily accessible off-piste terrain was heavily tracked & even bumped by comparison. The difference is skier numbers is stark and strengthens our view that the Swiss Portes resorts are relatively ‘forgotten’, even though just over the ridge. The higher numbers of skiers from the French side are more transient, rather than resident, on the Swiss side, & the impact of snow quality is far less

The resort’s ‘potential’ revolves around the high average snowfall (in evidence during our visit when compared to many nearby locations), central location, quality lifts plus better than average on & off-piste terrain. The long novice, beginner & intermediate runs will delight the vast majority of skiers & boarders, particularly because of the ease with which one can link to Chatel or Switzerland, expanding the possibilities infinitely. The blue run from Pointe de Mossette to Ardent is around 8 to 10km long depending on your number of turns! Various snow-parks like ‘The Stash’ increase the fun factor. Advanced riders may be less impressed, but only marginally. The pistes of the Grandes Combes have a solid 1000m skiable vertical all the way down well pitched, north-aspect slopes & the off-piste freeride options are as expansive as one’s imagination.

Avoriaz plays up its position near the Portes du Soleil’s infamous Chavanette or ‘Swiss Wall’ run, but it is a truly over-rated proposition. As the name suggests, it isn’t even in France and is merely steep, bumped, nastiness which we would be pleased to see relegated to the history books (we are powder hounds after all, not bump dogs!). But whatever floats your boat, right? Clearly loads of people love the ‘challenge’. Skiing a shitty bumped, icy slope at Glencoe in Scotland or Mt Buller in Australia is just as challenging, so why do it when visiting France or Switzerland if you don’t have to? The better adventures are exploring the off-piste from the backside of the Pointe de Mossette or with a bit more effort, the ridge toward Pointe de Chésery. While the masses are schlepping around inbounds at Avoriaz, these descents will be untracked down to the long, groomed trail leading to Morgins village in Switzerland. Shame it takes at least 6 chairlifts to get back up to the top of Mossette, but you get my point. In the busy peak season, the best skiing in Avoriaz is ………….. away from it!

The high-altitude village of Avoriaz, a major feature of the region, is certainly a sight to behold. Initially suspicious of its design, after some closer scrutiny, it now appears to us to be a stroke of genius. When draped in a fresh mantle of snow, it appears as something from a distant fantasy world. Regardless of one’s views of how it looks, the ski-in ski-out convenience & excellent nearby novice lifts & slopes cannot be denied. However, learning to ski on the exposed plateau near the village in poor visibility or during a winter storm may well prove to be a truly unpleasant experience. The village has relatively few hotels & tends to the usual small self-contained apartments. Exceptions include the Residence Pierre & Vacanes Premium L'Amara apartments (they come complete with a horse-drawn sleigh to help you get around the village) & Hôtel MiL8. More traditional lodgings can be sought away from the resort village, but right near the lifts in the base areas of Ardent & Les Prodains. Whilst certainly not as snowy, the nearby towns of Morzine or Châtel provide the region’s premium French ski village experience.

Toward the end of the day, the mid-valley base area of Les Lindarets is positively humming & makes a superb location to have a few après ski drinks if day-tripping from Montriond or beyond.

Avoriaz will suit novices, beginners, intermediates & families looking for a snowy holiday spot with loads of groomed runs and close to a major airport. Whilst the terrain has advanced & off-piste appeal, most powder hounds will probably appreciate a less crowded Swiss village or a valley location where one can hedge your bets and go where the snow is best. As with the rest of the Portes Du Soleil, this place did make an impression on us though, and we will come back to explore it from the Morzine side next time.

You can see our thoughts on the pros and cons on the Avoriaz overview page and also see our European ski resort ratings regarding how we score it compared to other skiing areas.