La Norma Ski Resort

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La Norma ski resort, Haute Maurienne France
La Norma ski resort, Haute Maurienne France
Slashing some unsullied powder at La Norma ski resort on a sunny Saturday morning
Slashing some unsullied powder at La Norma ski resort on a sunny Saturday morning
La Norma resort village & novice ski area
La Norma resort village & novice ski area
The Norma II chair reaches 2,750m elevation & accesses a whole lot of ski terrain
The Norma II chair reaches 2,750m elevation & accesses a whole lot of ski terrain
La Norma powder skiing
La Norma powder skiing
Perfect La Norma off-piste skiing in the late afternoon
Perfect La Norma off-piste skiing in the late afternoon
La Norma ski trails at Plateau de la Repose
La Norma ski trails at Plateau de la Repose
Scoping the next line in a zone near the Clot chair at La Norma
Scoping the next line in a zone near the Clot chair at La Norma
La Norma off-piste powder
La Norma off-piste powder
Mountain restaurant at Plateau de la Repose, La Norma ski resort
Mountain restaurant at Plateau de la Repose, La Norma ski resort
Mid-mountain overlooking the gondola top station at La Norma ski resort
Mid-mountain overlooking the gondola top station at La Norma ski resort
Beginner slopes at La Norma village
Beginner slopes at La Norma village
Fresh lines galore at La Norma on a powder day
Fresh lines galore at La Norma on a powder day
La Norma powder skiing
La Norma powder skiing
High alpine freeride terrain at La Norma
High alpine freeride terrain at La Norma
Telemarking powder in the alpine steeps at La Norma ski resort France
Telemarking powder in the alpine steeps at La Norma ski resort France
La Norma village base area & slopes
La Norma village base area & slopes
La Norma village
La Norma village
Early morning powder filled couloir at La Norma looking toward sunny Aussois ski resort
Early morning powder filled couloir at La Norma looking toward sunny Aussois ski resort
Leap into La Norma for unparalleled powder day fun
Leap into La Norma for unparalleled powder day fun

La Norma Ski Resort

Readers Ratings

La Norma

La Norma4.5/52
La Norma4.5 out of 5 based on 2 reviews
  • Recommend
    100%
  • Would Revisit
    100%
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Nearby Ski Resorts

Aussois
Bonneval sur Arc
Val Cenis
Valfrejus

    La Norma Ski Trail Map
  • La Norma Ski Trail Map
  • Vertical (m)
    1,350m - 2,750m (1,400m)
  • Average Snow Fall
    Unknown
  • Lifts (12)
    1 Gondola
    5 Chairs
  • Opening Dates & Times
    Mid December to mid-April
    9:00am to 4:30pm
  • Terrain Summary
    Runs - 65km
    Longest run - 8km+
    Advanced - 10%
    Intermediate - 65%
    Beginner - 25%

    Incl. Valfrejus - 135km
  • Lift Pass Price
    Day Ticket 20/21
    Adult - €33
    Child - €27
    Child u/5yr - Free
    Valid at Valfrejus
    Valfrejus Ski Trail Map
  • Valfrejus Ski Trail Map

La Norma Ski Resort France

La Norma is a certified Powderhounds Gem in the French Alps fabulous Haute Maurienne Vanoise region. Easy to get to, super cheap & seemingly designed with powder seeking freeriders in mind, La Norma is one of those special ski areas that provides lifelong powder ski memories when you least expected it.

Lovely La Norma is one of five local ski resorts that combined offer some of the best value big mountain skiing in the Alps. All within easy driving distance of each other, La Norma’s opposite is the sun-soaked south-aspect Aussois. Further up the valley, the expansive Val Cenis is the largest in the region & further still is the other local certified Powderhounds Gem of Bonneval sur Arc. Back past Modane, Valfrejus makes up the quinella - a ready-made ski safari week.

Pros & Cons for La Norma Ski Resort

Pros

  • Luscious north-aspect terrain with a big mountain feel.
  • Simple & efficient lift system.
  • No lift lines & extraordinarily little competition for first tracks on a powder day.
  • Reliable snowpack.
  • Long skiable vertical.
  • Diverse off-piste terrain including couloirs, alpine bowls, trees, ridges & gullies perfectly connected by traversing piste trails.
  • Enthusiastic après ski in the village.
  • Accommodation is mostly ski-in.
  • Excellent value lift pass interlinked with Valfrejus.
  • Easy public transport access by train & bus via Modane.
  • Simple to get to by car - only a few km off the motorway plus ample free undercover car parking close to the lifts for day trippers .

Cons

  • The village is in shade for much of winter.
  • Piste trails are limited with many being simply traversing summer roads (great for off-piste returns but not great for much else).
  • Low elevation base area (for France).
  • Several long, flat linking piste trails create issues for snowboarders.

Pro or Con (depending on your perspective!)

  • Village is compact & quiet after-hours.
  • Limited hotel accommodation & few (if any) luxury accommodations (although several chalets are bordering on lux)!

Skiing & Snowboarding, Lifts & Terrain

La Norma benefits from having most of the ski terrain up high above 1800m elevation. Also, whilst the village below is shaded, the ski terrain has a more westerly aspect, attracting some sunshine, even in mid-winter, on most slopes. On-piste, several long zig zagging trails from top to bottom are dreadful for anyone except beginners and families. There are some exceptions, with several long intermediate pistes worthy of a few turns. It is possible to ski the entire 1,400m vertical from the Norma II chair on advanced & intermediate piste. The long trails traversing the mountain do however make for superb off-piste returns, allowing descents from just about any point on the mountain with an all-but guaranteed exit onto a groomed trail. Val Cenis has a similar set-up.

See the La Norma ski trail map.

La Norma is a wonderful place for novices finding their legs. The base area & mid-mountain zones have short beginner lifts & extended easy trails (summer roads) from which to learn safely & in all weather.

From mid-mountain upwards, the off-piste freeride terrain is absolutely fabulous, straightforward to navigate & relatively deserted. Anywhere off the top of Clot or Norma II chairs has a solid 750m+ of gorgeous skiable vertical with terrain features including couloirs & rolling alpine terrain, plunging gullies & intricate pine forest runs, natural jumps, pillows, meadows, steeps and yet more interesting trees. Worth remembering that much of the mid-mountain forest (which we enjoyed immensely) is actually out of bounds for skiers as it is protected wildlife habitat.

The ski lifts at La Norma are neither super-modern nor ancient. They are perfectly adequate for the job & in combination with the traversing trails, provide exceptional access (& egress!) to the terrain. On a powder weekend during French school holidays in early March, we saw zero lift lines.

Lift Passes

La Norma’s incredibly cheap lift pass has the doubly delicious benefit of being valid in nearby Valfrejus, located just across the motorway! Additionally, lift passes of 6 days or more include 1 day at each of the other Haute Maurienne ski resorts of Aussois, Val Cenis & Bonneval-sur-Arc. Awesome!

See here for the Valfrejus ski trail map & the Haute Maurienne resorts map.

Where is La Norma France?

La Norma ski resort is in the Haute Maurienne valley within sight of a motorway & high-speed rail line, but is for inexplicable reasons, relatively devoid of skiers. Only 8km east of the transport hub town of Modane, the low elevation village can be reached in just 5min. La Norma is 195km (2¼hr) drive south of Geneva, 215km (2½hr) drive east of Lyon & 113km (1½hr) west of Turin. Gateway airports to the region are Geneva (GVA) & Lyon St Exupéry (LYS) for all travellers, but airports in Italy can be easily utilised too.

Public transport to the region is excellent. Modane has a railway station served by TGV high speed trains on the Paris-Lyon-Turin-Milan line. A major bus terminal is next to the station. Regular buses head to all five Haute Maurienne ski areas, including La Norma (the M10 line). Alternatively, a private transfer from the train station to just about anywhere in the Haute Maurienne will be relatively inexpensive.

Search & book train tickets to Modane.

Driving to La Norma can be super quick when compared to other French ski resorts, but that speed will come at a price. The motorways leading to Modane from both France & Italy are all tolled. From Italy, the Frejus tunnel at the French border costs more than a day ski lift pass one way – so day trips to the region from Bardonecchia or the Via Lattea are generally out of the question!

La Norma Accommodation

The ski resort village of La Norma is locally referred to as the La Station Cosy (or The Cosy Resort). Its compact village is purpose built, but thankfully one that escaped the worst excesses of the late 20th century French ski resort village over-development. A reasonably pleasing collection of shops, restaurants, services, apartments & chalets, only one building overly insults the senses and that can be overlooked as an aberration. Its shaded position makes it anything but cosy in mid-winter but provides easy access to the ski terrain, with most accommodations either ski-in or remarkably close to it. The Résidence Goélia Les Balcons d'Anaïs Apartments are well positioned near the lifts, shops & ticket office, plus have 1, 2 or 3 bedroom options.

Search & book here for all La Norma ski accommodation.

Being only a 2km drive off the main valley road, La Norma is a hugely convenient day tripping location. Just below the resort in the authentic village of Villarodin-Bourget, the gorgeous Au Coeur des Alpes provides a wonderful 'small' hotel experience in its historic building. Alternative accommodation options abound in the valley from Modane all the way up to Termignon & Lanslebourg-Mont-Cenis. The Val Cenis accommodation provides an excellent centrally located base to explore the entire region.

Ski Rentals, Lessons & Guiding

Ski rentals are available at La Norma ( in the centre of the village near the lifts) & throughout the Haute Maurienne via our local partners, Skiset. Receive a discount when you search & book via our La Norma Ski & Snowboard Equipment Rental page.

[AdListings Filter="La Norma Guiding"]

Activities

Aside from downhill skiing & snowboarding, the Haute Maurienne Vanoise has a festival of winter activities to distract you. Aussois & Val Cenis have some extended Swiss-like toboggan slopes plus winter walking & a few minor cross-country ski trails. Up the valley in Bessans is an incredible cross-country ski & winter walking trail network that goes all the way to Bonneval. Other trails exist down valley toward Aussois at Sardieres. Lovers of ‘old stuff’ (like us) will enjoy wandering around the forts either side of the deep defile spanned by the Pont Du Diable (crampons needed for the climb down to access the bridge in winter!) near Aussois. The Fort Victor-Emmanuel, Fort Charles-Félix & Redoute Marie Thérèse make for an interesting distraction from the slopes.

Review

The Powderhounds visited La Norma in January & March 2020. We rate it a Powderhounds Gem. Click on the review link in the left column (or top of the page if on a mobile) to read all the reviews.

See how La Norma compares to the rest of the European ski resorts on the Europe ski resort ratings page.

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Tours in or near La Norma

Single-Base, Multi-Ski-Area Tours

Off-Piste Maurienne Ski Tour
GUIDED OFF-PISTE FREERIDING
8 Days | 7 Nights | 6 Ski Days
Ability: Intermediate to Expert
Discover the best kept secret off-piste powder in the French Alps with a guided tour of the Maurienne valley ski resorts! Explore Aussois, Bonneval, La Norma, Val Cenis & Valfrejus, plus the high glaciers from Orelle-Val Thorens. Join a fixed date tour or create a custom tour to suit your best dates & group size.....
Price p/p From price based on 7 nights twin-share lodging in low season.
Base/invoice currency is in EURO inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 1,833
View Details
 
See all Single-Base, Multi-Ski-Area tours that visit La Norma here

Single-Base, Single-Ski-Area Tours

Daily Freeride Haute Maurienne
GUIDED OFF-PISTE FREERIDE
Daily Freeride Tours
Ability: Intermediate to Expert
Enjoy the best freeride skiing in the Haute Maurienne on a day trip with Up Guides. Suitable for all abilities, use lifts & skins to find untracked powder in Aussois, Bonneval, La Norma, Orelle, Val Cenis & Valfrejus. Join a daily tour or create a private day tour to suit your best dates, group size & ability .....
Price p/p From price based on a single day tour in a mixed group.
Base/invoice currency is in EURO inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 107
View Details
 
See all Single-Base, Single-Ski-Area tours that visit La Norma here
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