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''This is the last bastion of unexploited French skiing' - The Daily Telegraph
Ste Foy is a highly-respected but lesser-known ski area surprisingly near several French mega-resorts in the snow-favoured Tarentaise Valley. Small in lift number, it is huge on character, peace and powder. Best of all the base station and main lift are a mere 100m from the chalet. Three chairlifts rise from 1550m to 2620m and there are two 'magic carpet' lifts on the nursery slopes, which end just opposite the chalet. A fourth high level lift opened in the 2006/07 season opening up even more skiing in Ste Foy's vast sunny bowl, with new intermediate-graded runs from one of the highest points in the resort. Both lifts and slopes are uncrowded and the snow usually stays in excellent condition on the pistes because of the small number of visitors and the excellent snow enjoyed by the sheltered north-west facing bowl.
The marked runs can keep all standards happy. Those who love the pistes will find 35km (23% black including two ungroomed freeride areas, 47% red, 24% blue, 6% green) at their disposal, accessed by three quad chairs and the new fast six-seater. There are gentle, tree-lined greens and blues, wide and fast reds and challenging blacks. Ste Foy is a great place to learn to ski as the quiet pistes funnel back to one point at the base so no-one can get lost.
There are two lovely rustic mountain restaurants at the top of the first quad lift, or you can head back to one of the restaurants at the base - or even the chalet! - for lunch.
Many find they can't tear themselves away from Ste Foy, but if you want to venture further afield, with a 6 day Ste Foy pass you are entitled to a reduced price day pass in each of Val d'Isère, Tignes, Les Arcs, La Plagne and La Rosiere. Great value when your Ste Foy pass costs just 159 Euros for 6 days!
'It's an uncrowded gem with some wonderful off-piste slopes for experts and intermediates' ('Where to Ski and Snowboard 2009').
The pistes are only the start of the Ste Foy experience - the resort is a freeriders natural funpark. There is nowhere better for intermediates to start experiencing powder, off the sides of the runs. And the terrain will also delight experts, with everything from steeps to wide open bowls and superb tree runs. There are secured freeride zones and freestyle areas. What's more, because of the small number of visitors the snow stays pristine and scenery unspoilt long after the fresh snow in Val d'Isère has been cut to shreds. You'll soon understand why so many guides bring groups from neighbouring resorts to ski in Ste Foy!
From the top lift at a height of 2620m, there is access to an area which has the potential to be larger than that of Ste Foy's more famous neighbouring resorts. Taking a guide, you can undertake several classic itineraries which can be tailored to suit different levels of ability. A gentle trip via the pretty village of Monal can be done without any hiking. Amazing routes such as the north facing Fogliettaz and the Col d'Argentiere with their challenging slopes and couloirs accessible by a short hike. Overnight stays in various refuges are also available. Book a guide with the ESF and they will organise a bus back to the resort where necessary and so to the door of the chalet. Heliskiing is also available dropping you at up to 3,400m for the 20km descent from the top of the Ruitor Glacier to Ste Foy village.