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Who has summer skied at Les Deux Alpes?

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 

Some of you may have seen the notice posted by a member who is organizing a summer program to ski the glacier at Les Deux Alpes. Sure looks enticing. I searched a found some posts going back to 2001 but nothing more recent. Anyone done this? Basically, is the skiing for real or is it more a novelty? Thanks.


post #2 of 29


post #3 of 29
Thread Starter 

Can you be more specific???

post #4 of 29

National teams from all over the place train there in summer.

Hardly a novelty. Good fun watching some really excellent technical skills on display, and seeing how the good guys train.

It is a glacier - no steep and deep in summer. In winter La Grave is just over the mountain and you ski there from L2A so can be a good time to scope a return trip in winter.

In Summer you ski from around 730am until 1pm IIRC.  After that it is mountain bikes, canoes, parapenting, swimming, ice-skating, archery. Most of that is on same lift ticket or reduced price with lift ticket. Mountain biking is the big sport, huge trails etc.


I did ski boot deep light dry powder in August there once though! 

You can never tell what the mountains bring.


Early in Summer(June) you have most chance of more terrain. May still have snow down to lower levels. Late summer(August) you are glacier only.


post #5 of 29
Thread Starter 

skimuggle, obliged.


post #6 of 29

 Your welcome...


I forgot... this is one of the largest skiable glaciers IIRC


The crepe cart place is a must. 

The ?bakery? makes yummo wholegrain bread. 

It is France cheese is good.


Remember french swimming places often dislike board shorts. 


post #7 of 29

Not a big fan of that place, though of the three glaciers I've skied on -- Mt Hood, Zermatt and there -- it probably has the longest runs. Still, summer skiing tends to be pretty limited. Hard in the morning (which is when the national teams train) and really soft in the pm.


Les Deux Alpes is kind of an amusement park type place, full of alpine slides and various rides which are included in the lift ticket. Lots of Italians. Not particularly atmospheric nor particularly French, in my view. Kind of a schlog to get there, too.


From a purely skiing point of view, I hear much better things about Passo Stelvio. Mr Nobody has probably skied there.

post #8 of 29

Never been to Les Arcs, as Mr. Prickly points out, it's full of Eyetalians and I tend to avoid crowds of my country fellows like the plague...Thus I go to the seadise, where other crowds of Eyetalians are spending the summer...teeheee.

As a kid I've spent some summers (usually one or two weeks) skiing the two closest glaciers here.

Stelvio and Tonale. Stelvio is by far the bigger of the two, but it's quite a drive from Bormio or Santa Caterina since the bed directly on the glaciers or at the pass aren't that many.

In both cases it was morning skiing only, as the afternoon was dedicated to other activities, visiting (both are places of historical interests, trenches from WWI are present and sometimes one could still find remnants of weapons and hmm soldiers)

The picture below is from 1975, it was taken at the Stelvio glacier during a summer skiing week.

As you can see, no "dedicated" classes for children were available...I was one of the few skiing in summer


In later years I've come to avoid glacier skiing, in summer, I always think of it as the equivalent

of a redfish waterbowl...But I liked to end my (skiing) season at Tonale, which usually stays opened till

june, then closes in July August and opens again in October (compared to Stelvio which should stay open all summer IIRC)

The pic below is from end of April (2003) of Tonale. Those are the two main lift and as one can see the two "runs" are quite short...

post #9 of 29

Right, I'd forgotten about Tonale. Admittedly, I have a real blind spot for skiing in that part of the country. I either ski at my home hill or head west or due north, where the roads are better. Thus, the only summer skiing I've done since moving here is in Zermatt, accessed from the Cervinia side. An easy, easy two-hour drive from Milan.

post #10 of 29

There's also the Val Senales / Schnalstal glacier, just above Merano/Meran.

Stenmark used  to train there, my uncle who went there a couple of times for september skiing (weeklong aocasions) always tells me how a nice guy he is.

And usually Stelvio is the seat of summer trining for the Italian team (and others).

I guess that they (the teams) move from glacier to glacier to find the best conditions...

post #11 of 29

I skied there in july 2005.  Les 2 alpes as a town is pretty average.  however the skiing was good fun.  You onlt ki to mid day because the snow gets alittle slushy.  its preety cool to ski in the morning and go to the pool in the afternoon and work on the tan.  i was around 26 degrees in the afternoon.  If you are going any later than July it might be closed. 

I stayed in the youth hostel which was good value mainly because of the delicious home cooked dinner.  i skied around 3 days which was pretty much all i needed.  There was quite a big park that went on till later on in the afternoon if your into that.

post #12 of 29

I had great skiing there one spring but the town had such a bad vibe we left that afternoon.  Pretty much a place put there to extract $ from visitors.

post #13 of 29

Deux Alpes is the second oldest ski resort in France - right behind Chamonix... It is a town that became a resort not a purpose built tourist hole... 


It was never "built to extract money from tourists"... They just added the skiing to what was there... look around at some of the photos around the town... talk to the locals...etc etc.. 


Plenty of interesting history there for me...  

post #14 of 29

The place is a hole, c'mon. No just kidding, I've only been there once. Did strike me as a bit on the Vegas side, though.

post #15 of 29

I thought it was Ok... went back many times - but I had friends there


Not so many huge resorty buildings full of people on package tours... More french than English speakers(except for the english pub)...  


Granted I believe that some of the Italian visitors can be a pain... So head for New Zealand?  Nah -  a  small number of loud obnoxious drunks and they seemed to be Italian or British when I was there - but you will find that in most ski areas sadly...   Most of the Italian race kids start to behave if you just put them in their place - go to back of the line like everyone else... ditto the coffee line jumpers(again Italian)... 


Was a lot less aggravating than Cham to be staying in... lift queues are much better than Italy... Food is good and at good prices... Hiking is nice, beer was good, cakes superb (Ok l like tartes aux myrtilles) Mountain biking looked great although I did not get to try it. 


Vegas? No casinos to be seen?  


For a ski resort in summer it seemed pretty non- spaghetti western (tumbleweeds down the street)... 


post #16 of 29

No, I meant Vegas-like in a tarted-up, neon-lit kind of way. Very amusement park, very Club Med. But full of Italians (and I can get that right here at home, thank you very much). I thought the skiing was OK compared to other summer options. And it would be a fun place to take your kids, that's for sure, with all the rides and what-not.

post #17 of 29


post #18 of 29


post #19 of 29


Well, I did run into this guy there once...

post #20 of 29

I found this guy there.  He was French, and hadn't been to Denver, just liked the outfit.


post #21 of 29


Originally Posted by skimuggle View Post


Nice spot! We were too cheap for a place like that in town, instead we went to the valley and found this for $40, with a traditional local dinner.




Edited by newfydog - 5/5/2009 at 03:54 pm GMT
post #22 of 29



that place cost me around 30 euro per night -single person in double room... with breakfast...


They cooked me dinner for a little more each day... Beer on balcony was good...

post #23 of 29

 Oh and I walked across the tennis court to catch the lift

post #24 of 29

Good find!


Our place was run by a mountain guide and he gave us free passes to L'Alpe de Huez the next day.


(lifting my leg to water a bush)


Actually though, we would have stayed up there if we'd found a place like that...What was the name of it?



Here's our find:



Les Petites Sources
DURDAN Pauline et Eric
Le Vert
38520 Bourg d'Oisans
Isère (Rhône Alpes)



Description de la chambre d'hôtes

Pauline vous accueille dans sa maison montagnarde. Celle-ci répond à votre attente de bien être et de dépaysement, vous trouverez calme, repos et une ambiance familiale.

Nous proposons un accueil en chambres d'hôtes demi pension ou nuit petit déjeuner. Polyvalente, notre maison héberge des familles ou des petits groupes.

Petits déjeuners et repas pris dans la s.à.m. voutée.

Eric, guide de Haute montagne vous conseille et organise séjour pour groupes à ski de fond, raquettes, et à pied en toutes saisons dans le Parc National des Ecrins.

post #25 of 29

Does look nice. Course it's no Tom-Tom Motel, where I stayed in your hometown once, Newf, but it would do in a pinch.

post #26 of 29

That is Cote Brun... 

post #27 of 29


Originally Posted by prickly View Post

Does look nice. Course it's no Tom-Tom Motel, where I stayed in your hometown once, Newf, but it would do in a pinch.


No kidding?  it still exists, and has not improved.

post #28 of 29

Dating myself here, but I'm pretty sure it cost $10 a night when I stayed there.

post #29 of 29

I just went to Les Deux Alpes for a morning of skiing the glacier (July 9, 2010).  The upper reaches of Les Deux Alpes in France (Near Grenoble) are open for skiing the glacier for several weeks. It’s probably bigger than most people think with 4 chairlifts 7 draglifts (cable T-bar), 2 snow tows and 1 funicular. The glacier offers 110 hectares (approx. 300 acres) of piste skiing including 1 red run, 8 blue runs and 2 green runs (but they are really all greens in my opinion). The altitude of the skiing  is 2,900-3600 meters. They maintain a Super Pipe, half-pipe, hips, quarters, modules and boardercross.


The glacier is open from june 16th to august 28th (2010), from  7:00 to 12:30. It is firm in the morning, and gets a bit sticky at noon, but not deep mush..just sticky, slightly corny snow.  Everything is groomed flat in the morning.  While they tell you it only takes 24 minutes to get to the glacier by the Jandri Express…it realistically takes 45 minutes from the village once you wait in line to board the Jandri telecabine, switch the to the second telecabine for the final ascent to the baselodge of the glacier.  You can see the site from several webams.


They claim this is the largest European glacier used for summer skiing.  You can realistically expect to see national teams setting up gates for training on the glacier first thing in the morning, and on any particular week, you may run into hordes of European ski academies and/or schools out for summer ski training, so expect some liftlines since the surface drag lifts are slow, but keep the crowds on the slopes to a reasonable level.


The resort village is a fairly low-end, family-oriented affair, with your basic pizza shops and bars, tourist souvenir shops and the like.  No Michelin multi-star dining extravaganzas and the fur-coat scene to go with it. It reminds me of a Jersey boardwalk.  Functional, simple, low-key and just fine to keep you fed and watered on a visit to the glacier.


Les Deux Alpes is a mecca for downhill mountain biking. They have one of the best networks of widely varied downhill terrain I have seen, with some truly hairy trails and superbly banked downhill courses…something for everyone.  They also have a killer freestyle MTB (VTT) park at the base, with drag-tow surface lift service so you can hook on and get a ride back up for the freestyle park without riding a long chairlift way up again.  Very nice layout.  Very busy.  Some truly hardcore downhill freaks visit Les Deux Alpes, and there are some very serious bikes to be seen. As expected, there are TONS of rental shops for bikes, armor, gear…you name it…  Pretty happening place with serious downhill mountain biking and skiing in the summer!    A good restaurant guide can be found over at Telegraph.co.uk.  I had a dynamte tartiflette at Crepe's A GoGo....(not just crepes), and you can get a 3 -liter draft beer if you want!  Very nice, friendly place, just at the quiet end of the main street.


Some pics:


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Looking down the main drag.

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Looking the other way down the main drag.

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Always handy to have around...


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DSCN0978 (Large).JPG

Typical line at the bottom....the really savvy kids will take one ski off and hobble-push in line to get a better position (takes up less space...you can squeeze up front easier).


DSCN0993 (Large).JPG


DSCN1015 (Large).JPG

Serious VTT downhill courses

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DSCN1017 (Large).JPG


DSCN1023 (Large).JPG




Edelwiser Speed 172cm, Rip'nWud FRC "Pro" Model 188cm with light topsheet, Rip'nWud TwinTip BC 184cm with dark topsheet.


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