There’s nothing like covering some serious distance on skis and lifts, and if this is your aim you need to go for one of the big linked ski areas like the Portes du Soleil (650km of piste), Paradiski (425km) or the Three Valleys (600km). Study the view and the piste map to get your bearings, so that you can fully appreciate the enjoyment of crossing ridges and valleys in great strides.
Covering the Three Valleys
Team MadDogSki took on the Three Valleys last season, setting ourselves the challenge of visiting every one of the 11 main villages and getting back in time for a beer and a triumphant après dance on sore feet. Check out the video we made, and see how close we came to the most expensive taxi ride of our lives
Good for intermediates
It’s a long old way, but it’s perfectly feasible, and remarkably it can be done almost entirely on blue runs, with the occasional red, making it fun for the keen intermediate with more stamina than finesse. Ticking off the villages means taking a lot of long runs all the way down (which can be icy at the bottom), and long lifts all the way up again, but the Three Valleys lifts are so state-of-the-art that this shouldn’t hold you up much, and in any case you need the time to let your muscles recover, and study the piste map well.
Do it youself
If you fancy having a go, start early in Courchevel 1650, the furthest village to the east, and zigzag to the west, ticking off 1850, 1550, Le Praz and La Tania, followed by the three villages in the Meribel valley, and then St Martin, Les Menuire and Val Thorens – the highest resort in the Alps at 2100m. Then hoof on home as fast as you can – a taxi ride back to Courchevel from over here would cost 150€, were you to get stuck.
Alternatively join in with the Three Valleys Enduro, a similar mission to loop the whole area in teams of three, completing challenges along the way. The Enduro takes place every April and features a giant tartiflette for the competitors!