Coming to a ski resort for the first time as a beginner skier or snowboarder can be a bit daunting, especially if this is your first ski holiday in Morzine. With a little bit of locals know-how, we've got some suggestions to help you make the most of your time skiing here.
Morzine is part of the vast Portes du soileil ski area, that links up 12 different resorts on the French and Swiss borders, combining the fun and charm of riding in the forest and the vast open spaces of powder snow. There are 287 pistes which in total cover 650km , 196 ski lifts , 632 snow canons covering 367 hectares, 7 snow parks, 3 half pipes and 4 border-cross courses - and lots to do for beginners.
Beginner specific lift passes
Here in Morzine/Avoriaz you can buy a Morzine/Les Gets lift pass, which grants you access to the Morzine side of the mountains, this includes Morzine, Les Gets, and a little place called Mont.Chery (a little known area just a short walk through Les Gets town). The Morzine/Les Gets pass is great for beginners and family adventures, boasting a wide range of mellow terrain and lifts, which is great for the more nervous beginner. Take a look at the Morzine-LesGets piste map.
Which lifts and pistes are best for beginners and why?
Avoriaz - Proclou lift, which grants access to the 'mini stash' and some real nice, long green runs.
Piste B, C and D at the top of the Pleney in Morzine, right after you get off the lift and to the right (Blue runs) all accessible by the main Pleney lift.
Piste N (also a blue), which surrounds the 'pinguins parc', a beginner area for kids, accessible by the Belvedere lift.
All these places are where you will usually see the kids and beginners lessons going on, and they are all very nice and beginner friendly.
Where to rent your gear & clothing?
There are numerous places you can hire high-quality skis and snowboards in Morzine, however these companies stand out due to their friendly service, and massive range of equipment;
Coq and Bull Surgery - These guys offer rental of the finest ski and snowboard equipment, and couldn’t be a nicer bunch of guys, they are also a service shop, so should your own equipment take a beating, they are experts in bringing the dead back to life (trust me, they are absolute wizards!)
Intersport (Super Morzine and Rue du Bourg) - There are two inter-sport shops in Morzine (rue du bourg & next to the super morzine lift), and not only do they do a huge range of rental skis, boards, and helmets, they are also a pretty huge shop, so should you want to treat yourself to your first set of skis, or first board, they have a huge selection of well priced items. You can even buy servicing kit like wax and files if you are in to taking good care of your own gear. Find more ski hire shops in Morzine.
There are few if any places that rent ski-clothing in-resort so we highly recommend getting kitted out before your holiday. This UK website offers winter clothing rentals delivered to your door or you can buy your own.
What to wear or bring?
Buying all the gear before you go can be daunting if you’ve never set foot in a ski resort before. Look for all weather goggles and technical ski socks, not the thickest ones you can find in your drawer! The key items to bring with you, along with the obvious ski jacket, salopettes and sunglasses, are as follows:
- Layers - thermal tops and leggings, fleeces, hoodies, hats and a good pair of ski gloves (there's nothing worse than cold fingers!) Weather on the mountain can change pretty quickly, and you are much better off wearing thinner items as opposed to big, bulky jumpers that take you from one extreme to another!
- Socks - a variety of socks ranging in thickness, it may sound weird but in my experience hire boots can be quite painful with the wrong socks.
- Sun cream - even when it’s cloudy the sun here can (and will) still get you, and don't forget the underneath of your chin as the sun reflects off the snow too. Also don't forget to use a lip salve with an SPF.
- Piste map - make sure to always have one in your pocket while you're out on the mountain.
Thanks to New Generation ski school for this article. They offer instruction from a professional, experienced team in Morzine. Small group lessons are great for beginners who want to learn in a social setting. Their local instructors will pick the most suitable terrain to build your confidence, and improve your technique throughout the week.
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