Part 2C. Vizelle


Vizelle is a much underestimated area. In any other resort it would be featured as the showpiece. In Courchevel it is a forgotten area on the way to somewhere “more interesting”. It has no less than four significant black pistes (each over 500m vertical descent) and two interesting reds. Between these lie extensive off-piste terrain with steep north, south, east and west facing slopes. Two of these are of particular interest. The better of these is Suisse. Suisse taken direct under the lift is an exciting testing run with several very steep stretches. Technically it is probably much more difficult than the Couloirs. The challenge is somewhat spoilt by the ease with which one can retreat from the difficult parts of the slope back to the prepared piste. However this does make it a very good area for people wishing to extend themselves physically without the associated danger of isolation. As the fresh snow deteriorates the area turns into an excellent bumps field with big, varied moguls. It is usually very quiet.The other is Couloirs des Belges. It was posted for decades as a red run and in normal snow conditions was arguably the trickiest red run in the alps. narrow, relatively steep and fiercely mogulled it can be a test even for decent advanced skiers. It is very short, but also provides a good trial for the longer couloirs which one can see immediately opposite. Finally on Vizelle I should mention a patch off off-piste snow lying between the Vizelle top telecabine station and the Combe de Saulire piste. It is accessed from a path blasted to enable weak intermediate skiers an easy way to bypass the steepest part of Combe de Saulire. It is nothing very special but the steepness of gradient and the feel of the snow approximate to that found in the couloirs. It is also very easy to escape off it by traversing left. It is therefore the ideal place for someone fancying the couloirs to test whether their technique is up to the challenge.



Copyright©Dennis Summerbell, 2004, (Link to full copyright notice)

Updated 3 May 2004