- Ski resort(s)
"An expert skier's paradise
“When accessing the La Grave-La Meije ski area, you are no longer at a ski resort. You are now in a high-mountain sector, in an unpatrolled area where conditions can quickly change drastically and where you are personally responsible for you own safety”—such are the words one can read on the official pamphlet of La Grave. And, even if your experience at La Grave doesn’t turn out to be quite as perilous as this warning might suggest, once you hit the La Meije Glaciers, it’s a whole other world!
It was a gloriously sunny Saturday afternoon when I arrived at La Grave, just in time to take in the après-ski vibe. All of the outdoor terraces were filled to the brim and the streets were packed with skiers still dressed to enjoy a few more runs. And, from the looks of them, these were not your typical skiers. Each and every last one of them was equipped with elliptical skis, ARVA equipment and shovels!
When I hit the slopes the next morning, it became abundantly clear that the skiers I had seen the day before were indeed in the right place—this was truly an expert’s paradise. Luckily, I had stopped in at La Grave’s Maison des guides to find myself a seasoned guide before venturing off. Hiring a guide, for yourself or for your group, is really the only way to enjoy worry-free skiing in these parts.
Based on what everyone had told me, I knew I’d love La Grave—nothing but intense mountain runs accessed by the Glaciers de la Meije Cable Car. Forget perfectly groomed trails here! But, I have to say that, even though I knew what to expect in terms of the skiing, I never would have guessed just how incredibly beautiful this place is. Since experiencing La Grave’s altitude of 3,200 m, its endless stretches of snow and ice, and its amazingly steep couloirs, I haven’t stopped thinking about it.
Before you heed the call for adventure and take off to explore La Grave’s picturesque village and amazing cable car, it’s probably best to find out if you have the physical and technical abilities to tackle this terrain safely. Once you’re sure you’ve got what it takes, I guarantee this trip to the Alps will be your best by far!
By Paul Dubrûle
Director of Ski Sales"