Review of Alpe d'Huez

8th January 2009 by Peter Hadfield 

Just back from a week in Alpe D’ Huez over the new year. Stayed at the P+V apartments in Quartier Les Bergers.Very friendly staff, almost ski in/out, clean rooms, sauna and outdoor pool (bracing)! You can book a 7 night evening meal option for £14 per night for 3 courses prior to arrival, to be taken at the restaurant on site, a bargain in these days of the mighty Euro! The food was superb, excellent home cooked local fare. On the subject of food, our favourite mountain restaurant was the Le’Herpie at the bottom of the Signal De L’Homme slopes, good food in pleasant surroundings.
So to the skiing, for the advanced skier/boarder it is worth considering how rocky the main higher mountain is, it needs a lot of cover to be enjoyable/open. Nearly all the blacks on the main mountain, and some of the reds were closed all week including the 16k Sarenne run, very disappointing. This was after one of the best starts to a season in 15 years and over a foot dump midweek, which opened up superb off-piste opportunities. They did get the Tunnel run open eventually, which I really enjoyed, my lad said it was the most scared he’d been on skis! It is a testing mogul field for most of its length in lovely soft snow, if you do it in the afternoon. The views are awesome and it has a secluded feel to it. For beginners the resort is pretty much perfect with nursery slopes without through traffic and extensive greens to progress to. The ESF instructor my beginner wife’s group had was very patient and “lovely” apparently. My strong intermediate daughter’s group was not challenged enough she thought, which is unusual for ESF. The problem with Alpe d’Huez arises for intermediates. A lot of the reds in Alpe d’Huez would be blacks in other resorts, and should be black here. Steep, unpisted narrow and crowded is a pretty good description of an Alpe d’Huez red. The problem was compounded by advanced skiers/boarders with no blacks to go on going too fast down crowded red runs and crashing into or frightening struggling intermediates. Skiing the deversoir and l’olmet reds consisted of weaving your way around the fallen for most of their length! Lower intermediates would be best keeping to the blues - the best ones are above Vaujany. The lift system is excellent, no queues even though the resort was very busy. Sign posting and directions at the lifts very good as well. I will definitely return - the people are friendly, scenery magnificent - but it will be later in the season.

Return to Alpe d'Huez