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  • Ian Mckellar

Where & When to ski in Avoriaz

No one likes standing in a lift queue when they're skiing. The good news is a bit of local knowledge can help you to avoid them. This blog will give you an idea of where and when to ski in Avoriaz, both in terms of when in the season and when in the day.

What time of year?

The lifts in Avoriaz typically run from around 10th December to 20th April each winter. January to March are the most reliable months, but fantastic conditions also regularly occur in December and April.

One thing we notice as ski instructors talking to our guests, is that many people underestimate the spring season. Yes, the weather can be warm and sunny in April, but there is ALWAYS snow left in Avoriaz.

Some of the lower and sunnier slopes may close, but the higher runs and pistes of the Arare and Hauts Forts region have 5 months of snowpack which has been compressed daily by the piste bashers. Whilst the lifts close in April, the local ski clubs still use the ski area long after the season, often well into June. Off piste, at the top of Arare, digging a snowpit in late April will often reveal more than 2-3 metres of snow depth. If you're worried about lack of snow, booking in April is less risky than booking in December.

'If you're worried about lack of snow, booking in April is less risky than booking in December'

Yes, admittedly, it can become slushy in the spring, but April is one of our favourite months of the ski season - you can enjoy the skiing or snowboarding all morning and enjoy the sunshine and parties in the afternoon. Plus, later on in April, the slopes are quiet and the accommodation prices are lower.

How to Avoid lift queues

The worst lift queues always happen at the same lifts and the same time of day. There are a few bottle necks in the way the resort traffic flows which create these.

The worst lift queues will be found on the Proclou Chairlift and Le Tour chairlift. If you're coming on a busy week (Christmas or February) then try to avoid these chairlifts at peak times - i.e. mid morning and mid afternoon.

The French love to lunch. 12-2pm is often the quietest time on the slopes, so if you can factor in an early or late lunch, you'll not only get quieter slopes but also it'll be way easier to find a table in a restaurant.

As a reminder, Avoriaz offers queue jump lines for ski schools and their clients. It's only fair that those who have paid for lessons get priority so this is an added incentive for booking lessons.

Also, if you and your group can manage hard blue terrain, nip down to le Grand Combes Chairlift if you want to get to the top of Arare. Sometimes Le Stade and Lac Intrets can be busy during peak weeks, so you can also use Grand Combes to get to the top. It is a common misconception that this lift only accesses harder reds and black runs. you can easily scoot across at the top and get onto the main blue runs of the Arare.

In terms of choosing your week - March is normally the quietest month. Sometimes it can be almost spooky how empty the slopes are in mid-March, so if you're looking to avoid queues and crowds, choose either the middle of March or the last week in April.

And if that isn't enough, ski touring is the ultimate way to avoid crowds and queues. If you are confident on Red Run terrain, you're ready to have a go at off piste skiing and ski touring. Get in touch with our office team for tips and suggestions - we'd be delighted to show you the ropes!

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