East of Grenoble and east of Modane near the Italian border, the remote Val Cenis Vanoise ski area has 61 pistes totaling 100km that are served by 28 lifts with a maximum descent of 1500m. While not known for steep groomed pistes, the upper slopes are above the treeline open powder bowls that have steep freeriding lines. Located in the Haute Maurienne Vanoise, the family-friendly Val Cenis ski area interconnects five villages including Bramans, Sollieres-Sardieres, Termignon, Lanslebourg and Lanslevillard. The latter village of Lanslevillard is considered to the best base area and has the most charm.
Most of the good off-piste freeriding at Val Cenis is off the far eastern lifts including the Plan Cardinal lift, the Solert lift and the Arcellins lift. Off Plan Cardinal to the east, there are freeriding lines with gullies, rocks and some forest. Off the area between Solert and Arcellins, there is a more gentle off-piste riding zone that leads down into gladed forest. Lastly, try heading up the Col du Mont Cenis lift (2330m) and look for the off-piste face heading towards the summit station of the Buffa lift. This region is locally known as the Far North.
While in Val Cenis, don't miss out on the bus ride (30 minutes) up to the remote Bonneval-Sur-Arc ski area at the head of the Maurienne valley to the east. While it's not very well know, local freeriders rave about it.
Actually, Val Cenis is part of the Haute Maurienne Eski-Mo lift pass that is valid at four other regional ski areas including Bonneval-Sur-Arc (25km pistes), Aussois (45km pistes), Val Frejus (65km pistes) and La Norma (65km pistes). There is a free ski bus that interconnects the villages.
To reach the snowboarding in Val Cenis Vanoise by train from Paris, take the TGV to the Modane station. In Modane, take the bus up Val Cenis. Another option is the shuttle bus service offered by AltiBus.
TIP - Keep an eye on the Val Cenis Vanoise ski map over the next couple years - there are project plans to add lifts up Combe de Clery to Cime du Laro (2880m).
Overall, Val Cenis Vanoise is the 41st most popular snowboard & freeride destination of all 50 snowboarding resorts in France.
Local Contacts: Haute Maurienne Tourism +33(0)479-0599-06; Val Cenis Ski Area +33 (0) 4 79 05 96 48
Best Season: Dec. - Mar.
Average Difficulty: Moderate
Base Camp: Auberge de Jeunesse Val Cenis +33 (0) 479059096
Luxury Loding: Etoille des Neiges, Lanslevillard; Hotel Saint Charles 04 26 30 36 96
Reference Source: click here https://www.valcenis.com/
GPS: 45.28467, 6.882501
Date Published: 1/11/2018
Date Updated: 10/7/2020
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