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Location: snowHeadLand
Resort: La Rosiere
Country: France
Domain: Espace San Bernado
Author: Frosty The Snowman
Date: 27/3-3/4
Our holiday: 2 families, with 2 kids each, youngest 8 eldest 10. 2 advanced adults, 2 intermediate kids and adults, and 2 learner kids.
Website :
Basics : Above Bourg St Maurice in the Haute Tarantaise, France.
Lift system : 2 x 6 man detachable chairs, 4 & 3 fixed chairs (try and avoid the Landelieres chair as it is very slow) and a few tows. Link into Italy is either 2 long but gentle drag lifts, or one drag and a fast chair with a cover. Italy has some good lifts with plenty of chairs and even 2 with covers that are in a susceptible area. The much talked about link can be cut down to one long but easy drag as you can ski off to the left at the top and down to a choice of 2 covered high speed detachable quads. Les Ecudets and Le petite Bois were closed due lack of low altitude snow
The terrain : Most of La Rosiere is on the side of an evenly sloped mountain and is mainly blue or gentle red in. The harder black and red runs were closed but did look very tempting. In most case a lift has to be taken after each run, with my favourite being the Blanchot which is best accessed by going left from the Fort chair, heading down the Choucas blue and then first left. The Choucas blue is the main run back from many areas and is a dull narrow road that crosses 7 other pistes and a drag lift. Not great fun.
La Thuile has the easier skiing at the top but with some cracking reds and blacks from 2200m down to the base at 1400m through the trees. Due to weather we did not explore La Thuile to its full extent.
The snow : The snow was abundant, but spring in nature with ice in the morning and slush in the afternoon. The slush was particularly thick after 2pm due to the very high temps. On one day we did have great conditions in the San Bernardo pass area, with nice piste and lovely off piste snow. La Rosiere had plenty of snow depth whereas La Thuile had very little. La Thuile had worked very hard at managing the piste and much of the resort was skiable.
Off-piste : The off piste is probably superb. The only area that I can comment on is in the San Bernardo link area served by the Bellcombe drags and the San Bernardo Piccolo, and Fourclaz chairs. This was the only area that had safe and acceptable snow and this was only on one day thanks to an overnight snowfall. All runs in this area have bucket loads of off piste ranging from challenging to that manageable even by me!. We were restricted to the above due to 2 preceding week of roasting temps. I was told by our ski hosts that the off piste is the real attraction for good skiers due to its abundance and lack of crowds.
The resort : The village itself is pretty with low rise buildings. Resort bus service runs every 15 minutes and appeared reliable. Plenty of nice eating houses but not much else. If you want lots of apres, clubs, ice rinks etc then go elsewhere. The village is compact and very user friendly. there is no through roads and so the village is quite night and day
Food : We had good grub at Le Petite Relais in resort, excellent grub at the L’Ancolie in Les Eucherts and Traversette at the bottom of the Fort chair (great views to), and outstanding grub at La Rascard in back street La Thuile. Much has been said on this forum about La Rascard but I will say that the pizza is the finest I have ever had, and it has a very nice “feel” inside. Kids had a superb Margeurita Pizza for 4.5 euros. The waitress was a bit grumpy but apparently she is always like that!!. Hugely recommended. It also makes for a great day trip. Drink highlights were thick hot chocolate and Bombardinos in Roxi’s bar/diner at the bottom of the Fourclaz lift, and barely liquid hot chocolate and Bombardinos in the San Bernado bar, nr the bottom of the San Bernardo Piccolo chair. Have the Bombardinos with cream. They were fab on a warm day, but must be heaven when it is cold.
Accommodation : Stayed at le Roc Noir with Ski Olympic. Tired hotel that is being dropped by SO for next year. This is a shame as it is in a great spot but itdoes need updating. We were aware of the limitations of theplace from the brochure, but was still better than many I have stayed in. Food ( Mexican feast was historic) and staff were excellent as were our ski hosts Richard and Tess. Ski hosting really can be a great feature of the holiday if you get a good host and good guests. Costs: £475 pp for 4 adults and 4 kids, good flights and quick transfers. Lift pass has gone up this year due to the new lifts but still only E146.00 for adults and E102.00 for kids
Conclusion: There is a lot of snobbish twaddle spoken about skiing areas and how BIG is best. La Rosiere / La Thuile blows this theory out of the water. A very interesting resort with something for all. OK la Rosiere doesn’t have the steepest terrain, but if its not “hard” enough for you then do the off piste, or ski the empty blacks quickly. It was Easter and the statisticians told me that there were more in la Rosiere than during New Year. At 9.15 at the bottom of the excellent Roche Noir chair the longest queue we encountered was 2 minutes, and this was only because people were putting on skis in the lift queue, chatting, or getting on in twos and threes.

La Rosiere is the best place I have ever been for beginners and kids, with superb facilities, excellent ski schools, and the quietest pistes you will ever encounter. This is such a HUGE bonus for learners and kids alike. There is limited accommodation in la Rosiere and the day-trippers and short trippers all do the more famous local resorts. The village is very pretty, friendly and reasonably priced with massive return business. Go before it gets “discovered”.

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