Chamrousse ski resort beginner's guide


Chamrousse beginner's guide

Discover a small guide to winter sports and in particular to skiing for beginners and less beginners, especially for the ski resort of Chamrousse.
To know : the status of beginner in the strict sense is "a person who has never skied in his life" for the ski schools and for the "Printemps du Ski" offers such as the "Beginner Pack" dedicated to novices who wish to discover skiing.
Once upon a time, Chamrousse was a mountain destination and family resort in the Northern Alps in the Belledonne massif, near Grenoble, capital of the Alps...
Originally, skiing was born for hunting, then adopted by the military and finally born as a modern "ski sport", one of the favourite leisure activities of the French during the winter holidays.
The arrival of skiing in France is attributed to the pioneer Henry Duhamel, with Norwegian skis that he tested on the slopes of Chamrousse in 1878. It was not until the 20th century that recreational skiing developed on a large scale in our mountains and that French resorts hosted major international skiing events. As in 1968, when the alpine skiing events of the Grenoble Winter Olympics were held in Chamrousse, the first Olympic Games to be broadcast on French television.

Discover everything there is to know about the world of skiing and its leisure activities: the resort, the ski areas and slopes, accommodation, ski passes, ski lessons, equipment hire and ski equipment.

Download the complete beginner's guide by France Montagnes, as part of the Printemps du Ski, the ideal time to start learning to ski (low prices on ski passes and accommodation, sunshine, events and activities).


Mountain resort (below) but also :
Ski lessons
Equipment rental
  • Chamrousse mountain ski resort grenoble isere french alps france - © Aeolus Drone


Ski resort and mountain town
This small mountain town was born in the 1950s and is a so-called "3rd generation" or "integrated" ski resort: it was built on a mountain pasture site without any facilities at an altitude of around 1,800 metres. It is a medium mountain resort whose highest point is at 2,250 metres (the summit of the Croix de Chamrousse).
The commune of Chamrousse was created in 1989 and today has about 400 inhabitants, called the Chamroussiens / Chamroussiennes. Most of them work in the resort as "permanent" (all year round) or as "seasonal" (during the winter and/or summer).
Small town and ski areas
The "resort" of Chamrousse is accessible from the city of Grenoble and its two major motorways, A48 from Lyon and A41 from Geneva. It is one of the few ski resorts to have two accesses, via the departmental road (D111), which guarantees good access.

Good to know: the shortest access to Chamrousse 1700 - Village du Bachat is via the D111 - Luitel side (2nd roundabout in Uriage coming from Grenoble) and the access to Chamrousse 1650 - Recoin is quicker via the D111 - Seiglières side (1st roundabout in Uriage) and for Chamrousse 1750 - Roche Béranger, it's your choice!

It is composed of several zones:
  • a small mountain town area divided into 3 poles at "Chamrousse 1650, 1700 and 1750", with accommodation, shops, restaurants...
  • "Alpine Park" ski area, for "downhill" skiing with snow fronts (area at the bottom of the slopes), slopes (area reserved for sliding), ski lifts (chairlifts, ski lifts, gondolas, conveyor belts, etc.) and various sports activities
  • "Nordic Park" ski area at the Plateau de l'Arselle in Chamrousse 1600, for cross-country skiing (skiing on the flat), snowshoeing and other Nordic activities... in alternating and skating (cross-country skiing techniques known as "classic" or "alternating step" in the two dedicated parallel tracks or free style of "skating step"), a "hors-sac" room (a place where you can "take your meal out of the bag", i.e. where you are allowed to picnic)

Discover the resort of Chamrousse through the resort map and the piste map.
Ski runs and levels of difficulty
A piste is a secure track laid out on the snow for skiing. Each piste is defined by a name, relating to its history, its natural heritage or its local personalities (for example "Stade Florence Masnada" for the double Olympic medalist skier, "Eterlou" for a small chamois, "Olympic Men" for the Olympic piste, ...), and a colour which defines its level (green, blue, red and black).
The map of the slopes shows all the slopes, the ski lifts that provide access to them (black line with the type of lift) as well as the main relief elements, all geographically located in relation to the town/village area.
Each of the runs is marked with circular and numbered signs showing its name and colour and the remaining distance to the end of the run. In addition, stakes and nets mark out the marked trails (as opposed to "off-trail") and help to find your way in case of reduced visibility.

The tracks are classified into four colour categories that define the level according to the percentage of slope and the nature of the terrain.
From green for the easiest (light slope and wide track), which can be found mainly in the Bachat-Boulot sector in Chamrousse 1700.
Then blue (slightly steeper and less wide slope) mainly at Roche Béranger in Chamrousse 1750.
Then the red (higher slope and more uneven terrain) especially towards Recoin in Chamrousse 1650, to arrive at the black (steep slope and generally bumps) in the Casserousse sector.  
All the cross-country ski trails (green to black) are located on the Plateau de l'Arselle in Chamrousse 1600.

Before leaving: find out about the weather, the state of the roads and traffic, check the condition of your car: tyre pressure, water and oil levels, battery condition, etc. Equip your car with snow tyres or, at the very least, put chains in the boot (test the fitting before leaving and take a cardboard box to put your knees on when fitting, gloves and a light).
You will also need a shovel to clear snow and a scraper for the windscreen.
Remember to raise the windscreen wipers in case of heavy snowfall and to put the car in first gear when parking on a slope.

Study the resort map to find out where your accommodation is located because Chamrousse, like other resorts, has different centres / housing sectors at different altitudes: Chamrousse 1650 - Recoin, Chamrousse 1700 - Village du Bachat and Chamrousse 1750 - Roche Béranger.

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