48-Hours in the French Ski Resort of La Clusaz
24th January 2023 | James Cove, La Clusaz, France.
Last modified on January 27th, 2023
We are on our way from Verbier in the Swiss Alps to Pays de Gex in the French Jura. We needed a stop off and a ski. Step forward a fabulous area that we haven’t been to for too long.
La Clusaz is the real deal.
A picturesque mountain village set in the heart of the mountains with some fabulous and varied skiing.
Beginners are catered for in the Manigod area:
It is an intermediate’s paradise in the central section of the ski area:
And then there is La Balme, with its freeride area.
It is like a mini Argentiere, but without the glaciers.
First the village of La Clusaz.
It sits at 1,100m and is surrounded by picturesque mountains.
PlanetSKI passed through on Monday which is market day, with locals gossiping and fresh produce on sale.
We headed to Manigod first, but I couldn’t contain myself after doing just the first section of the first run.
It was so good to be back in the area.
We then just cruised around savouring this special part of the French Alps and its fabulous views.
The area has 84 slopes (7 blacks, 29 reds, 30 blues, 18 greens).
There are 49 lifts and 125kms of slopes.
It is under an hour from Geneva airport.
There were resort staff on hand at the top of the lift towards Manigod to offer people help and advice.
Then the obligatory PlanetSKI snow report was filed on Monday 23rd January:
The British ski tests are currently taking place in La Clusaz.
They are in the resort for a reason.
It has a huge variety of varied terrain where the skis can be put through their paces.
Last season the tests took place at Kuhtai in the Tirol – PlanetSKI was there and we joined in the testing.
This time we decided to ski the slopes of La Clusaz without the testing.
And look at the views.
This from the top of La Balme:
“We are a mountain village not just a ski resort, with people living here year-round,” said Berangere Teillard from the tourist office.
“Our ski area offers superb skiing for beginners, intermediates and experts.”
Every resort has some downsides and La Clusaz is no exception.
The lift system is in need of an upgrade with some antiquated offerings and it is a slightly dis-jointed and slow affair.
The skiing only goes up to 2,400m and that, in these times of climate change, altitude is important.
But it made no matter on my visit after all the recent snow.
And this being the French Alps, with a poor exchange rate, the cost of food and drinks is high compared to Italy and Austria.
A bowl of soup is over £10.
Though overall prices are cheaper than Switzerland, from where I have just come.
And we end this post with some images of the past 48-hours in La Clusaz.
Next stop on the evolving PlanetSKI alpine road trip (just delayed crossing back to UK by two weeks) is Mijoux in the Pays de Gex in the Jura mountains.
Check back to find out more…