Sitting high across the Tarentaise Valley from Les Arcs, La Rosière has always been an intriguing ski destination.
Known as a great choice for families for many years, with a compact centre full of child-friendly cafes and safe slopes right above the village, it’s easy for other skiers to overlook as they head to the nearby 3 Valleys or drive past heading to Tignes or Val d’Isere.
But then there is a lot of skiing there (150km) and there has always been that unusual selling point of the piste connection over the Italian border to the resort of La Thuile. What could be cooler than skiing over to enjoy a real Italian pizza for lunch then heading back in to France for the night?
Well last winter La Rosière widened its appeal dramatically, now making it a ‘must ski’ for serious skiers as well as families. A long standing plan to build lifts to the top of local Mont Valaisan at 2,891m, the highest peak in the area, finally went ahead after a €15m investment (apparently this was all part of the original plan when the resort opened 50 years ago, it just took a while to get there).
It’s unusual for ski areas in the Alps to add new terrain these days, and totally unheard of for an expansion to also add 400 metres of vertical to a resort’s stats, as was the case here.
But for serious skiers it’s the fact that the new two-stage, eight-minute chairlift ride, ascending more than two kilometres over 864 vertical metres, opens up a vast new area of off-piste terrain, totally transforming the scope of what La Rosière offers, that’s perhaps the most exciting result of the development.
The terrain isn’t just extensive, the high altitude and slope orientation due to its location on the San Bernardo Pass bringing snow from both the west and the south means it tends to stay powdery for longer after each snowfall, so the chances of you finding some unforgettable descents when you visit are that much higher.