Les Deux Alpes is hands down one of France’s most famous ski resorts. For many years, its name embodied what snowboarding was in France. Mostly thanks to Le Mondial du Snowboard, a week-end of gathering, snowboard-testing and partying that went on for almost 20 years. But Les Deux Alpes have moved on, and is still worth checking out. With its legit parks, dope locals and plenty of spots to party, it’s freestyling at its all year-round best.
- Access: Les Deux-Alpes is a one hour and fifteen minutes drive from Grenoble, which easily accessible by train, car or even plane. From there, take the bus or go for car-sharing: an environmental-friendly way of meeting fellow riders!
- Season: Summer: end of June to beginning of September. Winter: beginning of December to end of April. Open for the last ten days of October
- Number of lifts: 47, including 20 chairlifts
- Park facilities: A half-pipe, a slope-style, a big air and a beginners’ park in the winter, and one of Europe’s best snowpark in the summer
- Top features: The summer park, where most Euro pros come training
- Events: Enjoy the Glacier, when the resort opens in October
Before snowboarding was all over the place, Les Deux Alpes was a pioneer in France. Le Mondial du Snowboard was the place to be for board enthusiasts. They would gather for a sleepless week-end in the end of October, when the resort would open. So when the Mondial came to an end, it was a blow of course, but the community made its legacy live on. This was thanks to events such as the Kumi Yama and the Rock On Snowboard Tour. Now, Les Deux Alpes may not be the snowboard mecca it was once, but it’s still legit. And being so close to Grenoble makes it a perfect place for weekend trips. With its 96 slopes, ranging from 3600 meters high to Mont de Lans, 2300 meters lower, Les Deux Alpes offers some serious riding.
Park-wise, the resort really has two faces. In the winter, the shapers’ team pull together a dope snowpark. Beginners will have fun in the “easy park” while more serious riders will find plenty of terrain to progress. Rails and kickers come in various sizes and are maintained in proper style. So is the halfpipe, which can be pretty daunting for beginners. Still, it’s in the summer that Les Deux Alpes is at its best.
Get up early and enjoy the ever-evolving park with a bunch of locals who are killing it, and enjoy the sun! Most of Europe’s best crews, such as Workers and Postland have shot edits there, so learn from the best!
As for freeriding, the resort’s website boasts 10ha of ungroomed slopes – it even organizes freeride initiations on a weekly basis.
Beware of the Avalanche!
Nowhere but in Les Deux Alpes will you hear people so happy about diving into an Avalanche. This spot’s pretty dodgy but it’s definitely one of the best places in town to party. You’ll probably meet all the guys you shredded with during the day.
In the summer, the glacier closes pretty early but the swimming pool, the golf course, the beach-volley field and the skatepark will do just fine… Until the night! Good riding, good parties. That’s about all you need on a legendary snowboarding trip.