Les 3 Vallées is a favourite destination for expert skiers. Here, we offer you a wealth of places where you can challenge yourself: north-facing valleys, 40-degree slopes, powder fields and couloirs. Our ski area offers plenty of high-octane skiing for true ski fanatics. You don’t need to race like Worley or Pinturault to follow these routes. You don't need to be a pro either. However, you do need a decent skiing level.
Before embarking on any of the itineraries listed here,
make sure that you and the people you're skiing with:

  • Have a good skiing level: they should be able to ski everything, in all conditions. If you are not comfortable on a black bumps run, these itineraries could put you in danger.

  • Are in good physical shape.

  • Are in full possession of their faculties: i.e. are not tired or, worse still, under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

  • · If you go off-piste: you must be equipped with an avalanche transceiver, shovel and probe. You must also be capable of carrying out an avalanche victim search (i.e. you have completed an off-piste safety course).

Take care.

If you have any doubts, don't take any risks. Contact the nearest ski school instead: there you'll find qualified instructors who will help you become more independent.
So, shall we take you on a little tour?

🏴 La Grande Rosière

This is a wild, untouched area on the edge of the resort, a world away from the noise, bustle and traffic of urban life. On the lift, behind you you'll see a beautiful view emerge of the Méribel valley, especially of the village of Mottaret.
So off you set: start out gently and take stock of the mountainside. You're now looking down a long, straight descent. This is a favourite spot for powder hounds as the piste is not groomed after a dump of snow! When conditions are right (i.e. covered in fresh snow), this run is one long powder field.

Launch yourself down the slope, pick up speed and start making big turns: this piste is made for wide turns. If there’s fresh snow, you'll be able to send up whooshes of powder. And maybe even get the perfect powder turn photo to make your friends green with envy!

While most of the bends on this run are gentle and can be enjoyed at speed, some are steeper than others. One of these, coming at the foot of a steep slope, will test your tight cornering skills.

To get to the Grande Rosière, take the
Pas du Lac, Saulire or Vizelle lift.

🏴 La Face

the name says it all! This legendary run was the venue for the downhill skiing events at the 1992 Albertville Winter Olympics. Dozens of women skiers battled for best time on this steep and challenging run.This classic run will plunge you into the Méribel valley, with the resort in full view far below you.
Take the
Olympic chairlift which brings you to the top of the Roc de Fer. You're now on the ridge between Saint Martin de Belleville and Méribel, at the very edge of the ski area. Looking down this slope sends a small shiver down most peoples’ spines.
All you have to do now is set off: before you is a large bowl of ungroomed snow. As if at the start of a downhill race, you push on your poles and off you go! You can feel the adrenaline pumping as soon as you make your first turns. But your aching thighs will rein you back, and the difficulty and speed forces you to draw on your technical and physical resources to keep going down at this rhythm.

We suggest you to come here in the morning, when the sun slightly softens the snow.

🏴 Le couloir Tournier

This has shaken up quite a few skiers! Famous for its insane average slope (38% / 21 degrees) the "Tournier" tends to make people shake in their ski boots. Before entering the hard part, you'll enjoy a magnificent view over the valley.
While you are going up in the gondola, check the condition of the couloir. This type of couloir can change completely depending on the state of the snow. It can go from a field of powder to a field of hard, icy bumps.

Go for it! First you'll go along a ridge with a very exposed view. Then you plunge left into a large, shaded couloir. As you take your first turns, you'll hear the sound of your skis cutting through snow in a perfect curve. You link jump turns, weaving around the mounds of snow in search of the best line.

If you want to stop, it’s better to do it on the lower half of the couloir, which is more open and less steep. In fact, you'll very soon reach the end of the steep, narrow section. The cliffs are hidden and the valley opens onto a larger, sunnier valley. You can finally relax!

To get to the
Couloir Tournier, take the Saulire gondola.

🏴 La Vertical Experience, Ibex

You will start with a gentle descent facing the valley, then plunge into a steeper gully, with changes in gradient. This feels very ‘high mountain’ - you'll see a plunging cliff on your right and rocks on your left. A few turns further down, the gully opens up in to a large field (possibly of powder?) and a gentler slope.
If you still have enough strength in your thighs, enjoy letting rip at the end of the descent to impress the all the people watching below

The Couloir de l'Ibex (formerly known as Bouquetin) reveals all its potential on a day after fresh snow.

To get there, go to the top of the Bouquetin or
Roc des 3 Marches chairlift.

🏴 Chanrossa

Located at the edge of the Courchevel ski area, this piste feels a long way from anywhere. You're at the foot of the Aiguille du Fruit, a vast peak that looks down on everyone else (3,051 metres).
You start with a big comma-shaped corner to the right, with a moderate gradient that will plunge you into darkness. After that, the challenges come thick and fast: there’s a sudden change in gradient, which then takes you onto a large slope, facing the wild side of the resort (the Aiguille du Fruit is on your left). Pick up speed, choose your line and feel your thighs burn.

At the end of the straight, a big right-hand bend will test your ability to turn fast and hard. Then it's a quiet, undulating schuss that takes you back to the Chanrossa lift (fancy another one?) or Marmottes lift.

To get there,
take the Chanrossa lift. You can reach this either via the Aiguille du Fruit lifts, or via Pyramides then Roc Merlet.

🏴 Suisses

This is a technical challenge, Courchevel-style. Suisses is a black run that offers a continuous steep gradient, and is often in the shade. As a result, the snow stays good here.
If you're lucky enough to have a powder day, you'll find large, immaculate slope edges where you can bounce from one cushion of snow to another.

If the fresh snow doesn't arrive, that’s not a problem. Suisses is enjoyable for its technical challenges. Taken at speed, this run will push you to your limits: How fast can you take this bend? Do you still have enough energy in your thighs to really push down on your skis?

Head for
the Suisses lift, which you can access from the Vizelle or Marmottes lifts. When you get off the lift, you'll see a statue of a polar bear: it's your first warning as to the level of this piste. A big turn to the left, and off you go! The first slope opens onto a large valley, the whole left side of which is off-piste (not avalanche-controlled).
Then there's a big bend to the left, with a flatter area to rest your legs. Before the grand finale: a wide, open slope on which you may break a speed record.

Once you're at the bottom of this first descent, a second follows, taking you gently back to the middle of the resort, from where you go straight back up, or choose another sector to explore.

To get to Suisses, take either
Vizelle or Marmottes.

🏴 L’Éclipse

Do you have the urge to be a ski racer? If so, the Eclipse is the place to unleash your skis. In 2023, this piste hosted the speed events at the World Championships. And for good reason, with its 3.3km length and 970m vertical drop, its average gradient of 30% (17 degrees) plus some big corners and changes in gradient. It's a piste you simply must try.
Note that this run was designed for
professional speed skiers, who cover it at incredibly high speeds (over 100km/h). The bends are therefore fairly wide and open and therefore not dangerous for the average skier.
The start is a steep, open straight line, before a left and then a right turn. This big chicane should go fairly smoothly: your legs are still strong and you haven't built up speed yet.

This is followed by a large, very fast and winding slope: with 7 consecutive steep bends, interspersed with changes in gradient, which will be a test of your strength. When done at full speed by fully committed professional skiers, this part of the descent is spectacular to watch.

If you're still with us, you've done the hardest part: ‘all’ that's left is the last strait. At this stage, the racers are concentrating on managing their effort (and their pain), in order to cross the finish line as quickly as possible.

To follow in the path of champions, take the Plantrey or
Bouc Blanc chairlifts or the Chenus gondola to the Éclipse piste.

🏴 Jean-Blanc

Jean-Blanc was one of the founding fathers of Courchevel. What could be more appropriate than to name a piste after him?
Hence the 'Jean-Blanc' came in to being, and this run had a moment of international fame when it was chosen to host
the Alpine Skiing World Cup in 1966.
Want another anecdote? That was the first time that the average speed of 100 km/h was exceeded at an event. Now you know what you’re in for!

This black run begins in a narrow gully that winds through the forest. It has its share of difficulties: its steepness and its lack of sunshine make it a physically demanding piste.

Depending on the state of the snow, you may encounter bumps on the run.

To get to
Jean-Blanc, take the Plantrey or Bouc Blanc chairlifts or the Chenus gondola.

🏴 Masse

When you get to the top of la Masse gondola, you’re thrown straight into it, that's for sure. Once up there, all you can see is the horizon (and the resort of Les Ménuires below). The mountain itself disappears out of sight beneath your feet.
It's a wall. When the snow is powdery, you'll find a field of fresh, steep, open snow that's just waiting for you. When the snow is harder, it's a fast, technical descent that gives you a full-on workout.

With its
300 metres of vertical drop over 800 metres of piste, your skis will get a good workout too.
Once the steepest part of the run is behind you, you'll reach the red Fred Covili piste, named after a famous skier from the Moûtiers valley, below.

To get there, take
the two Masse gondolas (Masse 1 then 2).

🏴 Lac Noir

Far from any hustle and bustle, the Lac Noir takes you to a wild and unspoilt area. You have to earn your entry to this piste: first you have to build up and maintain speed along a blue slope. If you arrive here first thing in the morning, you'll see a gorgeous sight from this blue run: standing on a ridge, you'll see the sun-drenched village of Les Ménuires on one side. And on the other, the Vallée des Encombres, still shrouded in darkness.
But that’s enough day dreaming, let’s get back to reality: at the end of this ridge, you join the Lac Noir piste. At this point, stretching before you is a valley plunging straight down to the resort of Les Ménuires. The first part is often in shade which means it usually has excellent snow on it.

Take advantage of the initial steepness to make some big, powerful turns and test your reflexes. Next, a less steep and sunnier section will allow you to “restore health”. Then there's a second section that will use any remaining strength in your quads.

To get there,
take the two Masse gondolas.

🏴 Cascades

To start your tour of Val Tho’s steep runs, Cascades is a must. Quite simply, it's the closest steep run to the resort centre!
Set off from the resort centre and head for the
Cascades lift. Why is it called that? You'll see the ice falls close by, which makes you feel you’re in the high mountains.
On the way up, you can size up
this ungroomed black run. Like all ungroomed blacks, Cascades can be either a sloping field of soft powder OR... a wall of icy bumps that will knock your socks off.
At the start, you'll find a gentle slope to get your legs going. This will allow you to pick up speed and, if you can, absorb the bumps at the same speed as a moguls champion.

But this will soon change, as the bumps become more pronounced on the final section of the run, before joining the main route down to the resort. Here, you'll have to carefully work out your trajectory, following the rhythm of the bumps... and gritting your teeth.

A little anecdote: In Val Thorens, we all have fond memories of 1986. That year, Eric Berthon, a local skier, won the very first Freestyle World Championship in the history of skiing (gold medal in moguls).

Why are we telling you this story? Because Eric used to train on Cascades.

There are 3 ways to get to "Cascades": the
chairlift of the same name, the Péclet Funitel or the Lac Blanc chairlift.

🏴 Combe de Caron

This is one place you really shouldn’t miss in the 3 Vallées: La Combe de Caron. As you may know, Caron is the second highest point in the ski area.
To get there, head to the bottom of the resort: go down towards the
Boismint area. Just before this, you'll see the first gondola lift, called Caron. Take this until you reach a second, even more massive cable car: the Cime Caron. Aptly named, it will take you to the 3,200 metre high Cime peak.
As you get off this lift you will be hit by the view, the wind or the cold... Any one of these 3 elements (if not all 3 at once) remind you of what makes
Cime Caron such a unique place.
You start out in shade along cliff face, before reaching a junction with the red Cime piste. Then you dive in. From here, a steep but groomed wall awaits you.

The steepness of the slope means you'll need to be in good physical condition. If you have great technique, you may be able to make beautiful carved turns down the slope.

This run alternates between very steep areas with bumps and gentler areas where you can let off the brakes and carve more easily. It usually lies in a mixture of sun and shade.

To get there, take the
Orelle-Caron gondola or the Cime Caron cable car.

🏴 La Combe de Rosaël

This may be the only black run on the Orelle side, but it's not to be missed. You'll love the start from Cime Caron for its incredible 360° view and the feeling of being on the roof of the world.
Advanced skiers will also enjoy the 500m vertical drop over 2km, which makes for quite a slope!

You start with a moderately steep, wide run with big bends. This part lends itself to wide, high-speed turns. Then there’s a sharp left-hand bend where the action really begins: the gradient increases for the first time as you enter a long straight section. Then the gradient increases even more, towards a series of curves and compressions.

The final touch is a gigantic wall that will take you over the sound barrier if you forget to brake.

The snow on this sunny slope can be fairly hard in the morning, then sun-softened in the afternoon.

To get there, take the
Orelle-Caron gondola or the Cime Caron cable car.

Did you enjoy this little tour? Remember that the 3 Vallées is a major centre for extreme skiing and competitions. Many French champions began their careers here, and more have come from elsewhere to win medals in the 3 Vallées.

What's certain is that we've been perfecting these routes for years. We have made them more fun and more challenging, but also safer.