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La Rosière

La Rosière is one of two ski resorts of the bigger Espace San Bernardo ski area together with La Thuile. It is located in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region in France, while the second one is in the Aosta Valley region in Italy. That means you can ski or snowboard across the border and enjoy the slopes (and the two best cuisines in the world) on both sides of the mountain. Geographically, this is the Graian Alps in the Western Alps. The main feature of La Rosière (Espace San Bernardo) ski resort is its highest skiable peak Mont Valaisan (2,891 m / 9,484 ft) with a top station at 2,800 m (9,186 ft) with access to a 23 hectares (57 acres) freeride area. It is also a perfect natural viewpoint on the southern, Italian slope of the Mont Blanc Massif with the second-highest mountain of Europe, Mont Blanc (4,448 m / 14,593 ft), after Mount Elbrus (5,642 m / 18,510 ft) in the Caucasus. The entire Espace San Bernardo ski area has 89 slopes of 152 km (95 mi) and 39 ski lifts. It is best suitable for intermediate and easy skiing but there are also some advanced slopes. La Rosière season is from mid-December to early April in general.

La Rosière, France

Location

La Rosière Ski Resort is located in the commune of Montvalezan of Savoie department in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region in France.

But geographically, situated in the Graian Alps across Italy and France, both La Rosière and La Thuile ski resorts are in the same Ruiter Massif right between the Mont Blanc Massif on the north and the Vanoise Massif on the south.

La Rosière, France

In particular, La Rosière Ski Resort's altitude is between 1,190 and 2,800 m (3,904 and 9,186 ft) with a difference of 1,610 m (5,252 ft) from the village of Les Écudets to the top station of Mont Valaisan (2,891 m / 9,484 ft), which is a bit lower. Les Écudets is located 13.8 km (8.5 mi) southwest by the road from La Rosière, the main town of the resort, and its base station, which is located at 1,850 m (6,069 ft). But you can go down to the first one on skis. More: You can also go a bit further down to the village of Séez at 892 m (2,926 ft) by the Villard blue (easy) slope. That will give you an additional 298 m (977 ft) of vertical drop from 1,190 m (3,904 ft) or 1,908 m (6,259 ft) in total from 2,800 m (9,186 ft).

La Rosière is also situated at the gateway to the Vanoise National Park in the heart of the Tarentaise Valley. Thanks to its south-facing exposure, it benefits from plenty of sunshine and wide open views of the valley below.

La Rosière, France

Getting to La Rosière Ski Resort

La Rosière is an easy-to-reach ski resort from three French cities and towns: Lyon, Grenoble, and Chambéry, as well as from Geneva in Switzerland.

Nearest Airports

If you are traveling from afar you will also have no trouble getting to the area. All four of the above cities have international and regional airports with the following corresponding travel times by car from closer to more distant ones:

  • Chambéry Airport (CMF): 2 hours
  • Grenoble Airport (GNB ): 2.5 hours
  • Lyon-Saint Exupéry Airport (LYS): 2.5 hours
  • Geneva International Airport (GVA): 3 hours

La Rosière, France

Shuttle Services

There are several private and shared airport shuttle services available from all of the nearby airports, which are easy to find and hire when you are there. You can also use services such as Uber and Blablacar to reach the resort.

Parking Lots

If you’re planning to drive to La Rosière, there are several parking options where you can leave your car during your stay. There’s a free open-air car park at the entrance to the resort where you can leave your car all week and use a free Skibus shuttle service in the winter. There are also paid open-air parking lots by the ski lifts, though these cannot be left overnight. Most hotels, chalets, and apartment complexes have their own parking, which can be included in your booking or as a payable extra.

Season

The Espace San Bernardo ski area usually opens at the beginning of December and closes around mid-April, thanks to a favorable microclimate that prolongs the ski season. The international connection via a ski lift between Italy and France typically opens from mid-December until mid-April, depending on weather conditions.

La Rosière, France

Snow and Weather Conditions

Thanks to regular and abundant snowfall, the slopes in both La Thuile and La Rosière are usually covered in snow. There are also 477 snow cannons to cover the slopes if there isn't enough snow. In particular, La Rosière is south-facing, meaning it gets a lot of sun, and on warmer days lower slopes can get a bit slushy by the end of the day.

La Rosière Ski Map

La Rosière is a relatively small ski resort that is not hard to figure out. It consists of three areas formed around the three peaks of the resort in Vanoise Massif:

  • The first one is the actual village of La Rosière, where you can take a lift to Le Roc Noir (2,333 m / 7,654 ft) and descend to the village of Les Écudets.
  • The second is Fort on the slopes of Mount Fort de la Redoute (2,390 m / 7,841 ft). The first and second are connected by blue and red trails.
  • The third is Mont Valaisan (2,891 m / 9,484 ft), where the elevator of the same name leads from the base of the previous peak.

La Rosière, France

There are two smaller ski areas in Espace San Bernardo: Snowzone and Liaison. The latter connects La Rosière and La Thuile with each other. In particular, this is Bellecombe 1, a 1,678 m (5,505 ft) long J-bar lift with just 231 m (757 ft) of elevation difference that although easy to use, can be challenging for beginner snowboarders who need to hold their balance on the long, flat terrain. It also starts with a bit of a pull, making it tricky to set off for beginners.

From here you can ski down a long blue run, Liaison, Nr 26, before briefly joining the end of red slope Nr 7, San Bernardo, Espace San Bernardo’s longest run, to take the chairlift over into Italy. Alternatively, you can head from Bellecombe 1 directly to Bellecombe 2 which will lead you directly to the Belvedere Pass.

When skiing at La Rosière, you’re surrounded by the towering peaks of other high and big mountains in the area. In addition to the snowy dome of Mont Blanc (4,810 m / 15,780 ft), these are dramatic peaks of Grandes Jorasses (4,208 m / 13,805 ft), Dent du Geant (4,013 m / 13,166 ft), and many others.

La Rosière Slopes and Ski Lifts

Thanks to the international connection between the French La Rosière and the Italian La Thuile ski resorts with a single Espace San Bernardo ski pass, you get access to 152 km (95 mi) of piste across 89 slopes and 39 ski lifts with the ability to transport 63,000 people per hour.

From the beginning of December to mid-April, the area offers an extensive choice of slopes for all ages and levels: numerous long, wide, and gentle blue slopes for beginners, more challenging and adventurous varieties of red slopes for intermediates, and advanced black slopes where inclines can reach 76% for expert skiers.

La Rosière, France

However, please note that the official coloring of the slopes is slightly different from the division above.

  • Thus, there are some green pistes for beginner skiers, which are designated as "Easy" ones.
  • In turn, the regular blue easy slopes are called "Medium”.
  • Next, the red runs of medium or intermediate difficulty are officially considered "Difficult".
  • Finally, the black pistes are "Very difficult".

At the right side of each slope, an orange marker aids you and helps you find your way in foggy weather. Beyond these signs, you are off-piste.

Yellow and black striped poles, ropes, and nets are a signal to not pass any further and signify danger.

Speaking again, particularly of La Rosière, its slopes are long, wide, and gentle, meandering down the valley, perfect for beginners and relaxed skiing. However, there are also several red runs on the French side of Espace San Bernardo, as well as a dedicated freeride area at the top of Mont Valaisan for a little more adventure.

The Espace San Bernardo Ski Area also comprises two slalom stadiums: the Joël Chenal Stadium in La Rosiére and a slalom stadium in La Thuile close to the top of the Bosco Express Chairlift. The area also has a snowpark, a boardercross slope, two fun cross areas, a secure free-rider zone, and a snow kite zone, as well as two game parks for kids to keep the whole family happy.

La Rosière, France

So let’s sum up the information about the slopes, ski lifts, and other skiing-related features and services of the entire Espace San Bernardo Ski Area:

Slopes

  • Total slopes: 89
  • Slopes total length: 152 km (95 mi)
  • Types of slopes: easy (blue) — 59 km (36 mi), 38.8%; intermediate (red) — 79 km (49 mi), 52%; advanced (black) — 14 km (8 mi), 9%
  • Longest slope: 7 San Bernardo (11 km / 6 mi) at La Thuile
  • Steepest slope: Nr 3, Franco Berthod, at La Thuile — 76%
  • Total skiable terrain: 3,000 hectares (7,413 acres)

Ski lifts

  • Total lifts: 39 (1 gondola, 20 chair lifts, 12 button/platter/T-bar lifts, and 5 magic carpets)
  • Lifts operating hours: 8:45 am to 4:45 pm in general
  • Top station: Mont Valaisan (2,800 m / 9,186 ft)
  • Base station: Les Écudets (1,190 m / 3,904 ft)
  • Difference between stations (max vertical drop): 1,610 m (5,282 ft)
  • Lifts capacity: 60,000 skiers per hour

La Rosière, France

Other features and services

  • Artificial snow: Yes
  • Night skiing: No
  • Cross-country ski trails: 6 km (3.7 mi)
  • Snowshoe trails: 12 of various levels of difficulty and more than 20 km (12.4 mi) of total length
  • Snowboard park: Yes
  • Sled slopes: Yes
  • Snow tubing: No
  • Ice-skating field: Yes
  • Snow kite: Yes
  • Slalom stadium: 2
  • Outdoor stores: Yes
  • Ski rentals and boot fitting: Yes
  • Ski schools: Evolution 2, Ecole du Ski Français (ESF), OriginAlps, and others
  • Ski guide and ski tours: Yes
  • Kindergarten: Yes

La Rosière, France

La Rosière Cross-country Skiing and Snowshoeing

La Rosière offers both cross-country skiing and snowshoeing trails for some time off the slopes. There are three different cross-country skiing pistes of 6 km (3.7 mi) divided into 0.5 km (0.3 mi) “Plan de l’Arc” green (beginner) piste, a 1.5 km (0.9 mi) “Bosse brûlée” blue (intermediate) piste and one long “Teppe des abeilles” black (advanced) piste of 4 km (2.4 mi).

There are also designated routes for pedestrians, as well as for snowshoes. The longest one, “Chemin des Ecoliers”, is 13 km (8 mi). However, it is an advanced trail. For intermediate or easy winter hiking take “Le bout de la Route” of 3 km (1.8 mi) long or “Chemin d’Italie” of 1.1 km (0.6 mi), respectively.

These paths are mostly in or just nearby the resort. You can also take the Fort Chairlift or Plan du Repos Chairlift to reach a panoramic point with a view on Mont Blanc and take the “Chemin Panoramic Mont Blanc Trail” of 2.8 km (1.7 mi) long.

La Rosière Backcountry Skiing

There is plenty of opportunity to get off-piste and enjoy the surrounding backcountry area in Espace San Bernardo. Within the La Rosière ski area, you can access a designated freeride area of Mont Valaisan, accessible via Les Moulins and Mont Valaisan chairlifts. The area gives powder enthusiasts 24 hectares (59 acres) of ungroomed skiing with 400 m (1,312 ft) of descent.

If you’re looking for a little more adventure, off-piste excursions and tours are offered by certified guides with whom you can explore the nearby Rutor Glacier, Mont Pourri (3,779 m / 12,398 ft), or even Mont Blanc if you have enough courage.

When skiing off-piste, always hire an experienced local guide that knows the area well, particularly if you’re planning to go to Mont Blanc as there are many crevasses. The three best schools with local guides are Evolution 2, Ecole du Ski Français (ESF), and OriginAlps.

La Rosière, France

To get to Mont Blanc you can take a free shuttle to the Mont Blanc Skyway lift from La Thuile which will take you all the way up to Punta Helbronner (3,462 m / 11,358 ft). From here you can ski down following an off-piste route to Courmayeur, or cross the border into Chamonix via Valle Blanche, an 18 km (11 mi) off-piste route for expert skiers.

Important: when backcountry skiing and accessing the freeride area, always bring the required shovel, probe, and avalanche beacon with you and check the conditions with the ski patrol staff.

Ski Pass and Discounts

An Espace San Bernardo ski pass gives you access to all of the lifts and runs in both La Rosière and La Thuile. Your ski pass loads onto a hands-free card, which you can keep in the pocket of your ski jacket as you pass through the barriers. The card costs an extra €2 and can be used multiple times to upload ski passes in the Aosta Valley as part of a sustainable incentive to limit the number of disposable ski passes.

Discounts are often available when booking ahead and online, for multi-day passes, families, or groups, and offers with access to other ski resorts in Aosta Valley.

Espace San Bernardo ski passes are available to purchase for 2 hours, an afternoon, a full day, multiple days, and even the entire season. Beginners can buy a special pass that gives access to Edelweiss magic carpet, discounts are applied to multiple-day passes, and non-skiers can buy round trips on the DMC gondola to Les Suches at a discounted rate.

Speaking about the children's ski pass in Espace San Bernardo Ski Area, there are some differences between the resorts:

  • La Rosière. Children from ages 5 to 12 years receive a discounted rate (as well as senior citizens from 65 to 74 years old). You can opt for a ski pass that only gives access to the La Rosière ski area, or get a pass for the Espace San Bernardo ski area for access to both resorts.
  • La Thuile. Children up to the age of 8 are entitled to a free pass for the same period as a paying adult or teen. Any unaccompanied child under the age of 8 who will be charged 75%. Discounts are also available to children up to 14 years old, teenagers up to 18 years old, and adults over 65 years old. Always make sure to bring your ID for proof.

La Rosière, France

Groups of four or more that purchase all passes together will get a 10% discount on ski passes for six or more days. Beginners get a discount for the La Rosière ski area for 3 hours and access to 5 lifts. Online promos are available via La Rosière’s website, and a pedestrian ski pass is available for non-skiers, giving access to five ski lifts.

There is also an opportunity to buy a so-called X-PERIENCES ski pass for the Espace San Bernardo, a multi-activity pass. This is a 6 or 7-day pass that includes an extra half a day skiing on arrival, a “first tracks” sunrise experience with breakfast at a mountain restaurant, unlimited access to lifts with snowshoes, and access to off-piste activities such as cinema, ice rink, and the XTreme luge.

Tourist Information

Before or after skiing, visit the La Rosière Ski Resort official tourist office:

La Rosière Tourist Information

705 Route du Col du Petit San Bernard, 73700, La Rosière (Montvalezan), France

+33479068051

info@larosiere.net

La Rosière, France

Dining

Italy and France have arguably the best cuisines in the world. When skiing in the Espace San Bernardo across both resorts, you can sample some of the best of each country’s mountain food, from raclette, fondue, and tartiflette in La Rosière, to polenta, cured meats, lard, game, Soca (a traditional soup), and fontina cheese in La Thuile.

You’ll find plenty of restaurants in each resort, along with supermarkets to buy groceries for picnic lunches on the slopes. If you’re planning to stay out skiing all day, you’ll also find mountain huts along the slopes that offer plenty of lunch options and snacks, including warm food, or a typical bombardino drink to warm you up and give you a boost of energy. For example:

  • La Genepi. Noted as the best food in La Rosière, La Genepi is a traditional low-key family-run restaurant in the center of La Rosière. Enjoy stunning mountain views from the restaurant’s terrace and tuck into delicious French food or indulge in a fondue.
  • L’Ancolie. Based in Les Eucherts, L’Ancolie is set over several floors, complete with decorative Alpine agricultural tools, and serves authentic French cuisine. The menu is full of traditional Savoyard dishes and mountain food.
  • L’Antigel. A stone and wood chalet sitting on the slopes of La Rosière, L’Antigel offers the choice between a snack bar for a quick bite or a restaurant for those that want to kick back and enjoy a rest before heading off for an afternoon of skiing. The restaurant offers a mix of traditional food and burgers and it’s worth making a reservation in the busier periods to ensure a spot.

La Rosière, France

La Rosière Accommodation

There are numerous accommodations in La Rosière to fit most budgets. I would recommend checking these particular options:

  • Alpen Lodge Hotel. Featuring a restaurant, indoor pool, and spa and wellness center, Alpen Lodge Hotel makes for a comfortable stay. Your stay comes with free parking and all rooms have fully equipped kitchens so you won’t have to eat out every evening. You can rent skis and buy your ski pass directly from the hotel, with ski-to-door access available.
  • L’Accroche Coeur. A friendly chalet-lodge based in Les Eucherts, L’Accroche Coeur offers all of the necessities for a comfortable stay. You can opt for bed and breakfast and half-board to include an evening meal. The bar is open all day and you can catch some rays on the south-facing terrace. There’s also a small sauna and gym available for guests.
  • Hôtel Relais du Petit St. Bernard. Offering a restaurant, boarding, and snacks, Hotel Relais du Petit St. Bernard is a budget-friendly option when staying in La Rosière. Located just 300 m (984 ft) from the center of La Rosière, the hotel is perfect for families, couples, and single travelers, offering all of the amenities needed for a comfortable stay. Enjoy panoramic terraces and take a break in the relaxation area that offers a sauna and hammam to recover after a day’s skiing — access is included in the price of your stay during winter.

Events and Apres-Ski

Nightlife in La Rosière is low-key, although you can find a bit more going on in nearby Courmayeur in Italy. But you’ll find celebrations for Christmas and New Year’s Eve, along with several other activities throughout the year.

As for sports events, La Rosière hosts freeride qualifiers, such as the Freeride World Qualifier in 2023 as part of the Freeride World Tour, a week-long event that included three freeride competitions. The resort also hosts trail races, sunset sledding, nighttime snowshoeing, and plenty of activities for kids to enjoy.

Chapelle Saint-Michel, La Rosière, France

Chapelle Saint-Michel in Châtelard near the La Rosière

Nearby Towns and Cities

La Rosière is a small traditional town with easy access to bigger nearby towns. In case you don't find something in it that you need or just want to explore the surrounding area on your way to or from the resort, check out these two towns:

Bourg-Saint-Maurice

Full of charm and plenty of culture, Bourg-Saint-Maurice is a great place to base a visit to the French Alps. Located in the Tarentaise Valley, the town is a gateway to several great ski resorts, along with La Rosière you can access the Paradiski (La Plagne, and Les Arcs/Peisey-Vallandry) and Tignes-Val d’Isère ski areas. There are plenty of restaurants, bars, and shops to keep you busy if you’re looking to get away from the slopes. The town is easy to reach with high-speed trains from Paris, London, Brussels, and Amsterdam.

Bourg-Saint-Maurice, La Rosière, France

Chambéry

Once home to the Dukes of Savoy, Chambéry is a beautiful old town, perfect for strolling around. Visit historical monuments and architecture such as the Chambéry Cathedral, Savoy Castle, and Elephant Fountain, or head to nearby Lac du Bourget, the largest freshwater lake in France. The food is rich and delicious thanks to influence from the Court of Savoy and Italy, and there are plenty of restaurants to try out. You can reach the town from Chambéry airport or nearby Geneva airport and it’s well-connected by train and bus.

Chambéry, La Rosière, France

mountain lifts
Status Type Name
Opening Hours
open
Clarines
09:00-17:00
09:00-17:00
Status
opened
Opening hours
09:00-17:00
Schedule period
4.20.2024 - 4.27.2024
Start - End
1 859 m - 1 958 m
open
Eucherts
09:00-17:00
09:00-17:00
Status
opened
Opening hours
09:00-17:00
Schedule period
4.20.2024 - 4.27.2024
Start - End
1 832 m - 2 191 m
open
Fort
09:00-17:00
09:00-17:00
Status
opened
Opening hours
09:00-17:00
Schedule period
4.20.2024 - 4.27.2024
Start - End
2 007 m - 2 391 m
open
Lièvre Blanc 1
09:00-17:00
09:00-17:00
Status
opened
Opening hours
09:00-17:00
Schedule period
4.20.2024 - 4.27.2024
Start - End
1 871 m - 1 986 m
open
Lievre Blanc II
09:00-17:00
09:00-17:00
Status
opened
Opening hours
09:00-17:00
Schedule period
4.20.2024 - 4.27.2024
Start - End
1 871 m - 1 988 m
open
Lutins
09:00-17:00
09:00-17:00
Status
opened
Opening hours
09:00-17:00
Schedule period
4.20.2024 - 4.27.2024
Start - End
1 840 m - 1 840 m
open
Manessier
09:00-17:00
09:00-17:00
Status
opened
Opening hours
09:00-17:00
Schedule period
4.20.2024 - 4.27.2024
Start - End
1 828 m - 1 856 m
open
Moulins Express
09:00-17:00
09:00-17:00
Status
opened
Opening hours
09:00-17:00
Schedule period
4.20.2024 - 4.27.2024
Start - End
1 933 m - 2 449 m
open
Plan du Repos
09:00-17:00
09:00-17:00
Status
opened
Opening hours
09:00-17:00
Schedule period
4.20.2024 - 4.27.2024
Start - End
1 849 m - 2 332 m
open
Roches Noires
09:00-17:00
09:00-17:00
Status
opened
Opening hours
09:00-17:00
Schedule period
4.20.2024 - 4.27.2024
Start - End
1 864 m - 2 333 m
close
Bellecombe 1
09:00-17:00
09:00-17:00
Status
closed
Opening hours
09:00-17:00
Schedule period
4.20.2024 - 4.27.2024
Start - End
2 188 m - 2 428 m
close
Bellecombe 2
09:00-17:00
09:00-17:00
Status
closed
Opening hours
09:00-17:00
Schedule period
4.20.2024 - 4.27.2024
Start - End
2 421 m - 2 569 m
close
Bellecombe I
09:00-17:00
09:00-17:00
Status
closed
Opening hours
09:00-17:00
Schedule period
4.20.2024 - 4.27.2024
Start - End
2 188 m - 2 430 m
close
Chardonnet
09:00-17:00
09:00-17:00
Status
closed
Opening hours
09:00-17:00
Schedule period
4.20.2024 - 4.27.2024
Start - End
2 225 m - 2 387 m
Dahu
09:00-17:00
09:00-17:00
Status
unknown
Opening hours
09:00-17:00
Schedule period
4.20.2024 - 4.27.2024
Start - End
1 837 m - 1 880 m
close
Écudets
09:00-17:00
09:00-17:00
Status
closed
Opening hours
09:00-17:00
Schedule period
4.20.2024 - 4.27.2024
Start - End
1 191 m - 1 913 m
close
Mont Valaisan Express
09:00-17:00
09:00-17:00
Status
closed
Opening hours
09:00-17:00
Schedule period
4.20.2024 - 4.27.2024
Start - End
2 452 m - 2 796 m
close
Petit Bois
09:00-17:00
09:00-17:00
Status
closed
Opening hours
09:00-17:00
Schedule period
4.20.2024 - 4.27.2024
Start - End
1 528 m - 1 905 m
close
Poletta
09:00-17:00
09:00-17:00
Status
closed
Opening hours
09:00-17:00
Schedule period
4.20.2024 - 4.27.2024
Start - End
1 954 m - 2 180 m
close
Sévolière
09:00-17:00
09:00-17:00
Status
closed
Opening hours
09:00-17:00
Schedule period
4.20.2024 - 4.27.2024
Start - End
1 839 m - 2 009 m
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