We arrived in Champéry mid-day in the first week of January, accompanied by a funny snowflakes dance in the air, welcoming this idyllic and typically Swiss mountain village, lying between Dents-du-Midi peaks and the summits of Dents Blanches, a dream starting point to explore the surrounding mountains and Les Portes du Soleil area.
In Champéry, all those who love the great outdoors and sports will find ideal conditions and infinite opportunities to satisfy their passions, while food-lovers can unwind in a setting where life is good.
From here, it takes a matter of minutes to travel with tele ski from the village centre to the ski slopes in Champéry – Les Crosets, so we did it and went up at Croix-de-Culet (1.962m). Once arrived here, the snow became thick and windy, reason why, during the downhill on the slope to Les Crosets valley, my goggles were frequently covered by fat snowflakes. But, anyway, it was a red-blue nice slope, so I enjoyed them as companions 😉
We stayed at Hotel Les Portes du Soleil, placed in the middle of alpine fresh air, comfortable with decent prices, a good place to relax with friends after a full day of skiing, by sitting down to a fine fondue, accompanied by a delicious glass of wine in the restaurant.
From the total of 13 resorts Portes du Soleil, among 7 are in French and 6 are located in Switzerland: Les Crosets, Morgins, Champoussin, Champery, Val-d’Illiez and Torgon.
Les Crosets offers the biggest area, the most runs with lots choices of reds or a blue all the way from the top of the Express Mossettes lift. From here you can head up the opposite side of the valley using the TS Crosets II. This rises up the mountain above two steep super well-groomed reds and for those of a particular persuasion there is a big snow park, more for the expert freestyler really. Dropping down the blue from the top of this lift stay hard over to the skiers left and make the signposted turning after the restaurant. This opens up another bowl from where it is possible take a super long red all the way down to Champery from the top of the TK Ripaille drag lift. Or if you want to head for home then drop to the TS Chavanette which will put you over into the Secteur Chavanette above Avoriaz. Under the lift line is the famous Swiss Wall, probable the most demanding run in the whole of the Portes du Soleil, really this run is only for expert skiers and even then it’s a debate as to whether it’s enjoyable or not.
Photo credits: myswitzerland.com, portesdusoleil.com, Didier Ruef, Télé Champéry – Les Crosets Portes du Soleil SA, personal archive Ruxandra Chiurtu