Val Thorens beginners area
This page covers the Val Thorens beginners area.
Beginners usually start at the Rond Point des Pistes, and use the magic carpets and nursery slopes there. Then, Deux Lacs chairlift gives access to the main green run. Cascades chairlift is usually the next one to try.
After that, there are some fairly easy blue runs.
Read about the Val Thorens beginners area here.
Thorens beginners area
Val Thorens beginners area: nursery slopes
The Rond Point des Pistes in Val Thorens has some gentle slopes which are ideal for complete beginners to get used to sliding a few metres. It's where most ski lessons with ski schools start too, with meeting points for group lessons for adults, children, and snowboarding, and for private lessons.
Getting to the Rond Point des Pistes
If you're staying lower down in Val Thorens, in the rue du Soleil, it's easy to get to the Rond Point des Pistes. You can walk directly onto the snow at the hairpin bend in the road by the Chamois d' Or; or, from Montana or Temples, you can use the magic carpet lifts (Musaraigne and Campagnols, which open at 8.30am) to get up there.
If you're a beginner staying in the middle or top part of resort, you'll have to walk from the place de Caron, down a short slope called La Voie Lactée (the Milky Way), to get to the Rond Point des Pistes. The easiest way to do it is to walk in the Castor & Pollux tunnel, between the two magic carpets, on rubber matting. To get back up to the place de Caron, take one of the two parallel magic carpets Castor and Pollux (no lift pass needed). Later in the week, beginners will be able to ski or board down La Voie Lactée.
You can see the Rond Point des Pistes on our resort map.
Once you've got your balance at the Rond Point des Pistes, you'll move onto the beginners' area (espace débutant ), which is served by two travelator or 'magic carpet' lifts. The lower one is Musaraigne (which means shrew), and the upper one is Campagnols (voles). They are in perspex tunnels, which are great for protecting you from the wind, but not so good as it gets warm in the spring, when it can feel like being in a greenhouse. No lift pass is needed for these magic carpets.
The area by Musaraigne is easier; when you're confident there, move on to Campagnols. If you're a beginner, try to avoid the piste in betweeen the two magic carpets, as it's a busy thoroughfare for confident skiers and boarders heading towards the rest of the lifts in the ski area.
When you can control your speed, and turn left and right, you're ready to take a chairlift and attempt a green run.
Val Thorens beginners area: green runs
Deux Lacs (two lakes) is the first chairlift that beginners should take. Head past the bottom of Musaraigne, go by the Plein Sud chair (on the left), and you'll arrive at the departure point of Deux Lacs chairlift (on the right hand side of the piste).
From the top of the Deux Lacs lift, turn left on Traversée des Deux Lacs. Almost immediately, there's a mountain restaurant - the Chalet des Deux Lacs. Then there are a couple of options - a left turn down the Espace Junior (recommended for the first descent), or continue to the Chalets du Thorens, and take the Combe de Thorens. Either way, you end up back at the Rond Point des Pistes.
Those are the main green runs. The resort also created a new green run for 2011-12, from the top of the Cascades chair - Deux Combes. (In fact, it used an existing track, but made it wider, and more official, by signposting it).
Now we look at the easy blue runs.
Val Thorens beginners area: easy blue runs
If you're progressing from greens to blues, Dalles is usually the next step after Deux Combes. Turn right at the top of Cascades chairlift to head down Dalles, towards the Chalet de la Marine mountain restaurant.
Other easy blues (starting with the easiest) are Gentiane, Linotte, Moraine, Blanchot, and Plein Sud.
How difficult a run is can vary a lot, depending on the weather and snow conditions. Runs are generally easier first thing in the morning, too, when they have been pisted overnight. By the afternoon, they can get more chopped up.
If you want to get to the top of the mountain, and ski down on a fairly easy blue, there's Tete Ronde, Niverolles, and Pluviometre.Beyond beginners, we have a guide to the ski area by sector. Read our overview of the Val Thorens ski area...
We hope you make rapid progress in the Val Thorens beginners area.