Lets forget for a moment that the Courchevel skiing area is linked to the Meribel and Val Thorens areas, creating the Three Valleys – the largest linked area in the world – and just look at it on its own. By any standards it is a very extensive area in itself, encompassing the 1650 skiing on the Chanrossa in the east, the main area on Vizelle and the Saulire in the centre, and the La Tania skiing on Col de la Loze in the west. Add to that the runs down to 1550 and Le Praz and you have a terrifically varied, wide and deep area, with some 64 lifts and a vertical range of 1300-2700 metres.
The shape of the Courchevel Valley, concave with the high mountains set well away and the gradient becoming progressively more gentle towards 1850, yields a topography which has the best of both worlds regarding easier and more taxing runs. There is miles of easy blue and green skiing to be had in the Verdons, Biollay and Pralong areas in 1850, and the lower slopes of 1650, so beginners can experience much variety without having to negotiate a single red. From the Chenus and Loze mountains there are many intermediate runs back down into the main bowl or over to 1550, La Tania and down to Le Praz on more challenging blacks and reds. Off Signal and Chanrossa in 1650 there is good red skiing, and higher up in 1850, around Vizelle, the Saulire and Creux Noirs there is a whole other world of marvelous reds and blacks to discover, including the famous Grand Couloir, one of the steepest graded pistes in the Alps. The Courchevel Valley shape also ensures that there is no avalanche risk to the resort itself, and avalanche management of the high peaks is extremely conscientious.
The Three Valleys
And remember now that Courchevel is linked to Meribel and Val Thorens, and with a Three Valleys lift pass you are within easy reach of an almost inexhaustable range of intermediate and advanced skiing – enough to keep the most dedicated of skiers ocupied for weeks if not months.
Col de la Loze gives access to the local Meribel skiing, and from the Saulire there are many long reds down towards Mottaret. From there you can venture further afield, up to 3 Marches and Mont de la Challe and into the Belleville Valley, or further south to the beautiful and remote Mont Vallon with its two superb extended reds. From Mont de la Chambre there's a host of red skiing down to Plan des Mains, Les Menuires and Val Thorens, and from those bases you can try out the Peclet glacier, the very challenging runs from 3200 metre Cime de Caron and Pointe de la Masse, or venture into the Fourth Valley and the highest point in the whole area. There are also some excellent extended blue runs to be found in the high regions of Val Thorens, such as Niverolle and Chamois, so there's plenty too for the less adventurous intermediate skiier.
If you start out early, it's quite possible to get over to Val Thorens, have a good explore and get back to Courchevel in a day. Another option is to drive to Mottaret, giving more time over in the other valleys without having to worry about returning to Courchevel before the last lift.
Download Three Valleys Map
There are two kinds of passes available in Courchevel: the Vallee de Courchevel pass, which covers Courchevel 1850, 1650, 1550 and La Tania; and the 3 Vallees pass, which covers Courchevel, plus the Meribel and Val Thorens areas. There is also a 1650-only pass, covering just those local slopes.
The passes encompass three ages groups: 5–13 years old, adult and 65–75 years old. Children under 5 and senior citizens over 75 go free. Early and Late Season discounts are also available. For more detailed information and prices please visit the official Courchevel Site.