Avoriaz ski area has 75.5 kilometres of pistes accessed by 17 chairlifts, 2 cable cars and 14 drag lifts. There are 4 green pistes, 25 blue pistes, 14 red pistes and 6 blacks. In addition to this you'll find some of the best snowparks in the Portes du Soleil and a halfpipe.
Avoriaz is perched 600 metres above the neighbouring ski area and town of Morzine on the cliffs above the valley Ardoisieres. The lowest part of Avoriaz ski area lies at 1100m and the highest part of the ski area is at 2466m, so you'll always find better snow up here than in Morzine (see the piste maps).
There are three main access points to get to Avoriaz from Morzine: from the centre of Morzine, The Prodains Bubble and the Linderets Express.
The first is the simplest from Morzine as the Super Morzine bubble sits in the heart of the town but in peak weeks it should be avoided as the connecting chairlift, Procolou, gets very congested and has huge queues. The new high-speed Linderets Express is a local favourite as it has a good, rarely full car park, no queues and drops you at the foot of the Ardent bowl. Alternatively, take the Prodian 3S cable car.
Intermediates & Advanced
Intermediates and above will appreciate the vast range of Avoriaz which has nearly 250kms of reds and blues to choose from. The resort is more snow-sure than Morzine due to its elevation of 1800m and snow lasts at village level for much of the season. You may, however, experience some bottlenecks during peak season; although the uplift is good and fast and there will be less traffic once you leave the lower runs to resort. Avoriaz offers some tougher terrain with runs on the Hauts Forts and down to Les Prodains including the World Cup downhill course.
Anyone seeking to ski one of Europe's tougher mogul fields should attempt the notorious "Swiss Wall" linking France to Switzerland via 300m of some of the toughest bumps around! You can always avoid the nasty rectangular moguls at the top of the run by heading off to the side and then rejoin when they appear slightly gentler! There is another great mogul run directly out of Avoriaz under the Express Lac Intrets - Stade du Slalom.
For the more advanced skier with a penchant for steep fast blacks and long mogul runs the Hauts Forts is the place to head. There are multiple black runs dropping down to the TS du Crot and onward to the valley floor, amongst them, the Coupe du Monde downhill course.
For those wishing to take a more leisurely but still exciting approach then drop down the Bleue d’Arare and onward to the home run of Le Crot. Both are excellent runs and not as easy as you may think. The former is used for ski races and the latter does not see much action until the end of the day so you can be relatively unencumbered by avoiding hordes of your fellow skiers and borders.
Further afield, above Avoriaz, sits the Secteur Chavanette. This is a local favourite after a snowfall as in addition to the wide bowl topography which offers big open faces there are patrolled but un-pisted areas featuring rugged natural terrain. Lots of little and not so little rock and cliff drop-offs, natural gullies and a multitude of natural kickers form here, offering a chance to practice your freeriding skills. The area is served by two express lifts: Express du Fornet and Express Choucas meaning you do not have to wait long to return to your favourites. The runs here tend to be longer than average for this section of the Portes du Soleil as a function of a greater vertical drop and are great for those wishing to get the leg burn going on a top to bottom drop.
Beginners & Families
The Avoriaz ski area is by no means exclusively for experts though; just below the town is Procolou, a wide, very gentle blue. This is a perfect beginner run. Be warned though this is a favourite with ski schools and when the holidays are in full swing expect large queues.
More Morzine Insights...
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- Morzine in December 2019 - What weather to expect & what to do
- What's new in Morzine winter 2019/20
- Pre-season snow conditions in Morzine
- Avoriaz opens early winter 2019/20