Although it’s a bit of a cliché, the ski area of La Rosiere and the Espace San Bernardo in which it’s situated, definitely has something for everyone. La Rosiere is a great place to stay with a young family and/or beginners as there are plenty of gentle slopes right at the village-edge. Equally, for intermediate and advanced skiers and snowboarders, there is a lot of challenging terrain, off-piste, a great snow park and a number of challenging snowcross zones.
How often do you get to ski into Italy? Not very! La Rosiere is the only French resort in the Northern Alps that is linked to Italy. Ski over to the Italian village of La Thuile for a pizza, an ice-cream and a totally different atmosphere. The border lies at the top of the ski area of La Rosiere and is marked by a big old fort which makes for a great picnic spot with the most amazing 360 degree panoramic views.
When comparing the two villages of La Rosiere and La Thuile and the lift pass options, it is worth bearing in mind that if you are an advanced skier and/or cover a lot of ground, then the whole Espace San Bernardo area pass would be a definite plus as the pistes down to La Thuile are steeper and a lot more challenging than those on the French side. There are plenty of blacks which are often pisted daily and a mega long red run by the name of San Bernardo, which drops over 1000 metres. To get a better idea of the layout of the resort check out the Espace San Bernardo piste map.
Off-piste in La Rosiere
Because of its close proximity to the Italian border, La Rosiere is a popular area for heli-skiing as it is legal to drop skiers and snowboarders from a helicopter in Italy, but not in France. More easily accessible off-piste can also be found in abundance in the area. There are plenty of trees for bad weather days down to the Ecudets chair lift for example, but also a lot of open powder fields further up the mountain. The south facing aspect of the resort sometimes means that off-pisters may have to be quick to make the most of the fresh stuff before it gets affected by the sun, especially later in the season. One thing is for sure, there will be fresh tracks to be had for days after a snow fall as there are just not that many people around to track it out, compared to in nearby Tignes and Les Arcs for example.
Ski passes in La Rosiere
First of all, let’s mention the free lifts. For total beginners and young children it may be worth a couple of days utilising La Rosiere’s free lifts. Also worth mentioning is that under 5s and over 75s are entitled to a free area lift pass.
Now back to the rest of us who have to pay…You can only buy a lift pass exclusively for the La Rosiere area for a maximum of four consecutive days, but it won’t even cost you €100. That said, better value for money for those who can get around on the mountain is the Espace San Bernardo pass, which means you can go everywhere and is available for up to fifteen consecutive days. Great deals can be had for families of four (with children under 17). Lift passes can also now be bought and recharged online.
Snow parks in La Rosiere
There are various ‘Snowzones’ dotted around the ski area of La Rosiere. Adrenaline junkies have plenty to get extreme with, a snow park, snowcross and boardercross areas. Also, not many resorts can boast a dedicated and official snow kite area – a flat, often windy plateau at the top of the Col du Petit-Saint-Bernard makes the perfect space to snow kite!
The one snow park can be found in between the Stade de Slalom and the Poletta chair lift. It gets a lot of sun, which is often a good thing for a snow park and is well maintained by locals who are passionate about freestyle snowboarding and skiing. In fact, there are a couple of France’s up and coming freestylers who call La Rosiere home.
Ski schools in La Rosiere
There are a couple of the standard French ski schools in La Rosiere – ESF and Evolution 2. Both have English speaking instructors that can be requested at the time of booking. Elite Ski is a British-run school in La Rosiere that runs private lessons and guided trips, but not group lessons, these can be booked through Elite Ski but will be carried out by the ESF, with whom they work closely.
Ski hire in La Rosiere
When you arrive in La Rosiere, it’s evident that there are plenty of ski hire shops to choose from, both in the main village and in Les Eucherts, so you don’t have to go far to get sorted with your gear. If you don’t want to leave your chalet or apartment at all, you could leave it to the Rental Republic team to come to you! You can book everything online before setting off on holiday and the mobile ski technicians will come to your residence upon your arrival and kit you out ready for the slopes.