Despite its relatively compact size, Les Orres still somehow manages to provide all the ingredients for a ski holiday of distinction: 100km of ski runs accommodating all levels of experience, an extensive snow park, many cross-country routes and a wealth of other challenging off-piste facilities.
The ski area stretches up from 1550m right to the top of the connecting ridge between the summits of Boussolenc and Aupillon at 2720m, the perfect vantage point from which to explore the north-facing slopes of Les Orres. The fact that the ski area looks out northwards has one special advantage: reliable snow conditions right through the season. At the same time though, skiers can enjoy plenty of sunshine, thanks to the fact that the area is so far south that it lies virtually on the same latitude as Genoa. This also means a quite dry climate, causing the snow to stick around for longer. A network of 22 lifts allows visitors to reach every corner of the ski area with the utmost ease.
With its predominantly easy and medium-difficulty runs, Les Orres is the ideal destination for beginners, as well as for families who wish to enjoy the delights of the beautiful wooded mountainsides together. Beginners can take themselves on a journey through enchanting larch woodlands by means of any of the easy-rated runs, which are mainly to be found below the treeline, or make use of one of the several small practice-lifts at Les Orres 1800.
|Length of ski slopes||100km|
|Number of ski slopes||37|
From about 2000m and upwards is the realm of the more experienced snow-enthusiasts. The areas longest run, the 6km “Grand Cabane”, is just one of a large range of red-rated runs. Others include the “Boussolenc”, “Bergerie”, “Myrtilles” and “Clos Deuis” runs, which all offer spectacular views of the villages below and of Lake Serre-Ponçon. Soon-to-be professionals looking for a real challenge can turn to “L’Horrible” run, which well and truly lives up to its name, or alternatively the black-graded “Pousterle” run, which also serves as a venue for international competitions. Freeriding fans will also find themselves well at home, with a great choice of off-piste activities as well as the runs themselves. There is also a slalom course to be found above Les Orres 1650, near the “Bois Long” chairlift.
The area directly above Les Orres 1650 is also of much interest to snowboarders and freestylers, as it is home to the ski area’s snow park, consisting of 3 different zones. The first of these is the “boardercross” run in the upper reaches of the park, where groups of 4 can enjoy an intermediate-difficulty track packed with exciting crests and turns.
The “slopestyle” area includes plenty of tables, hips, “big air”, rails and boxes for boarders of all skill levels to enjoy. The different modules are all colour coded from green to black according to difficulty, allowing each boarder to see at a glance which is his or her best line through the course. The third zone is a particular favourite among beginners, a “snake run” through the trees. There is also a so-called “Chill-Zone” attached to Les Orres’ snow park.
Cross-country skiers can take their pick from 3 different routes, covering a distance of 30km between them. A particular highlight here is the route leading from Le Ranch to the “Gîte de la Draye” hut. Most take around 3-4 hours to travel there and back, a total distance of 24km winding through the thick larch woodland of Les Orres. Mélézet provides an alternative starting point, and a third route comprising a small 1km circuit is to be round at Le Ranch.