La Thuile, IT & La Rosiere, FR, Feb. 2, 2024

Tony Crocker

Staff member
La Thuile is no more than a half hour drive from Courmayeur. We found out later that they use the same Aosta lift ticket than can be reloaded online.

Although the weather was better, I presumed as at Courmayeur we should take lifts to the top right away and ski north facing until the core east facing area above Les Souches softened. But as we rode the Chazdura Express, the skiing looked good with no loud noises from icy turns. View east from top of Chazdura:

We took 3 quick laps on these groomers, packed powder on the upper ¾ of them. This sector is tilted slightly more northeast than the Checruit sector of Courmayeur.

Then we skied 3 laps on the backside north facing Fourclaz lift.

Surprisingly these runs were more challenging, as they were not groomed as intensively and had sections of loose chunks and golf balls. View from top of Fourclaz north toward Monte Bianco:

Zoom view of glacier originating on SW side of Monte Bianco:

We extended one of the north side laps by starting from the higher Belvedere lift. As we started down we noticed a guided group skiing off piste.

I could tell watching their turns that the snow was good so next time up I had to check it out.

The snow was soft chalk in the 30+ degree chute but had a firm partial refreeze lower down on the apron.

Liz got this pic of me just below the chute.

And this lower down:

The hard snow was smooth and supportable so not that difficult making my way to the piste.

We took one lap on Piccolo San Bernardino, then crossed into France. View down the aptly named Fort chair into La Rosiere:

I’m at the end of the fort in question.

Liz at the front.

The plaques commemorate Croix de Guerre awarded to a couple of soldiers who served here in June 1940. Mussolini attacked to possibly gain some of the Savoie before France surrendered to Germany. But the Alps are easy to defend and the Italians got nowhere. We saw a similar plaque above Briancon last year. One of the Croix de Guerre soldiers was killed in Indochina in 1947.

It was now 1:15 so all of south facing La Rosiere had softened to spring conditions. View across the valley to Arc 2000 at center:

View slightly farther south to Mont Pourri overlooking Les Arcs:

Lower ski pistes are in Villaroger at the end of Fraser’s favorite 6,200 vertical Aiguille Rouge run at Les Arcs.

We skied mellow cruisers to first Eucherts, then Roches Noires lifts.

Next we skied to Moulins so we could get up to the 2800 meter high point Mont Valaison, which ChrisC recommended last yea

From the top of Mont Valaison the wide off piste bowl skier’s left had excellent corn.


Liz enjoying the corn:


I’m lower down here.

The off piste corn continued pleasant below the Valaison lift before we skied the lower part of the Combe piste to Moulins.

The second time up Mont Valaison we needed to ski the 2800 and Galinette pistes to Fort. Signs recommended being at the top of Fort by 3:15 to return to Italy. We arrived there at 3:11.

We rode the two Bellecombe pomas so we could reenter La Thuile via the southern boundary piste #18. This was a mellow wilderness trail, off by itself for a mile and a half and 2,200 vertical. One last pic on #18 just below tree line:

We skied to Les Souches via the Arnouva and Argillien chairs. It was now well past 4PM and we did not think it was a good idea to ski black pistes down to the 1400 meter base at the end of the day under current conditions. No apologies for “weak sauce” today; we skied 17,000 vertical in La Thuile and 11,300 in La Rosiere. Liz’ knee replacement is being put to the test and performing well.

We had a 2+ hour drive to Orsieres after skiing so we would be positioned to get to Verbier early on Saturday. Just before sunset the mid and upper Helbronner tram stations are illuminated.

The backup to get through the Mont Blanc tunnel was half an hour but the view while waiting was not too shabby.
Last edited:
St. Luc is definitely the longest, also includes 4 dogleg turns. I suspect James would agree.
As my father used to say, "I've forgotten more (long Pomas) than you'll ever know!" I'd have to go through dozens of TRs from obscure ski areas to come up with a definitive list but yes, St. Luc would certainly be in the Top 3. Off the top of my head, others that come to mind include the lovely Espace Diamant (banned from Tony's hit list due to low elevation), as well as St. Véran and Ceillac in the Queyras region.
"I've forgotten more (long Pomas) than you'll ever know!"
Was your dad a fan of Bobby Knight?

(banned from Tony's hit list due to low elevation)
Banned only from the advance commitment list. There's a lengthy list of low altitude areas between Geneva and the Jungfrau we would have considered this year with appropriate conditions. In 2017 I set 3, 4 ,5 and 6 day vertical foot records (see bottom of this page) at low altitude areas in Austria including one of only 9 lifetime 40K days at Saalbach-Hinterglemm.
Last edited:
I could tell watching their turns that the snow was good so next time up I had to check it out.

The snow was soft chalk in the 30+ degree chute but had a firm partial refreeze lower down on the apron.

I think the North side of La Thuile could be a powder bonanza with 10-15cm or more - ample terrain, challenge, and likely low crowds/low density.

They are long aren’t they? The longest you’ve experienced in your extensive ski travel?

Definitely quite long. It's incredible that they have not been replaced by an HS Quad since they are the core link between La Rosiere and La Thuile. I am sure it deters some skier traffic?