Skiing in La Clusaz, France

Florence spent her early family winter vacation years skiing in the French Alps, in the village of La Clusaz. As it was her birthday coming up, we decided to have a family vacation and revisit La Clusaz, and invite her mother Paddy along.

La Clusaz is famous for how many world champions have come from the region. And you can see it while in the village or on the hill how important skiing is to the town people. They start them skiing young, as young as 3-years old. It’s part of the school sports curriculum. You can see them with instructors all over the hill and it is amazing to watch just how good they are. Going up a lift one time we saw a group of kids that looked like they were around 10-years old and were doing back flips and 360s on a mogle run.

We got very lucky with the weather as it was warm and raining a few weeks before our trip. But the week before we were to leave it got cold and snowed for a week, rebuilding the base. And then on our third day it snowed day and night, leaving us with over a foot of powder. And then the sun came out and we enjoyed real spring skiing.

We started off with a day of skiing in Saint Gervais, which offers over 400 km of runs and 250 lifts. We hardly got to experience what the hill had to offer, there was so much. It was just Jeff, Flo and I as Alison and Paddy were to arrive the next day.

We visited Chamonix for lunch, which was only a few kilometers away, a very well known ski resort. Lovely village, but because of the extreme verticalness of the mountains next to the village you can’t ski in and out and need to take a gondola to get to the slopes. We have been spoiled from past vacations and want the ski-in, ski-out experience!

The remainder of our skiing was at La Clusaz. Much smaller, but easy to get to know well. It is built over four mountains, connected by gondola lifts. We only managed to ski two of them, leaving us a good reason to return!

In La Clusaz we stayed in an old cabin/chalet built in 1861, (La Ferme de Juju) situated right next to one of the lifts. So we could ski from the chalet front door to the lift and ski back in at the end of the day. We really enjoyed Juju’s hot tub and steam room after a hard day of skiing.

By Friday the weather was getting warm and we could tell the hill was losing its base. And from the weather forecast it was only going to get warmer and begin to dump rain. I think we got the last good runs of the season. Highly recommend La Clusaz as it doesn’t go for the glitz, just offers a charming village and plenty of good skiing opportunities at a reasonable price.

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