Worldwide Ski ResortsFranceLes Orres

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Les Orres, Risoul, and Vars are situated in La Foret Blanche and make up the largest ski area of the Southern French Alps.


Les Orres, Risoul, and Vars are situated in La Foret Blanche and make up the largest ski area of the Southern French Alps. Risoul’s large sunny terrain is almost entirely within a vast snowbowl that allows runs to radiate out from all directions. The connection over to Vars, which was completed in 1986, is well established at a high point on the circuit giving a snowsure link and enabling a total skiable terrain tally of 170km (over 106 miles). Beginners are likely to start by using special learner tows right by the resort on the wide sunny slopes, great for staggering to one of the cafés after classes end. The compact nature of the resort means most guests will find they can get from apartment, to rentals, to ski school, to lessons to bar without too much stress.

Once the basics have been mastered on the piste there’s easy progression up the mountain with several long easy greens beginning higher up the bowl and served by the Clos du Vallon chair. Intermediates will enjoy the huge Foret Blanche the most with long blues and reds both above and below the treeline, the latter providing shelter on cold days. The trip over to Vars gives you a feeling of ski touring, but make sure you start heading back before 3pm in order to reach all the last lifts of the day. Popular runs include the Pinitaux Superior which includes moguls and short steeps, whilst the long blue down to Vars Sainte-Marie is an 8km (5mile) long treat. Experts have more limited choices although there are 11 blacks, the majority (eight) above Vars, which has the steepest skiing on the circuit. There can be good off-piste powder above Risoul to tackle with a guide after snowfalls, and the moderate gradients make it suitable for first-timers.

Mountain Information

Little trouble with queuing, even at the busiest times, with the linked system able to quickly take skiers onto the upper slopes. Slopes face North, West and East. Risoul offers excellent beginners area close to village, and easy access to blues for the more advetures learners. The area comes into its own for intermediates when you consider the miles of groomed, but often challenging blue and red runs. There are good off piste opportunities for the more adventurous.

Apres Ski

Les Orres is a quiet resort but boasts all the holiday facilities you would expect from a
French resort. The most popular bars include le Montaigne and La Ficeliere. The small local restaurants are not to be missed for a quiet night out. Les Caves de lUbac provides a late night venue. There are also plenty of shops, cafes and bars in the commercial area.

French Resort Guide

Resort Information • Les Orres

Resort Height Resort Height 1550m
Top Station Top Station 2730m
Bottom Station Bottom Station 1550m
Vertical Descent Vertical Descent 1220m
Drag Lifts Drag Lifts 14
Chair Lifts Chair Lifts 8
High Capacity High Capacity 0
Opening Dates Opening Dates Dec-April
Rating Expert Rating Expert 6
Rating Intermediate Rating Intermediate 7
Rating Beginner Rating Beginner 8
Apres Ski Rating Apres Ski Rating 6
Snow Reliability Snow Reliability 6

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