Downhill skiing & snowboarding
Lift-assisted downhill skiing and snowboarding are the most popular activities in Val Thorens. So much so that we could write several guides dedicated to them... and, in fact, we have! Take a look at our Ski Areas, Pistes and Parks Guide where you'll not only find a lot of information on the Val Thorens ski area but also links to many other articles: Ski Lifts Guide, Best Pistes Guide, Snowparks Guide, Beginner Ski Areas Guide, Advanced Ski Areas Guide, Off-Piste Ski Areas Guide, Ski Itineraries Guide and even a guide on the best places to go skiing when the weather is bad.
However, lift-assisted downhill skiing and snowboarding aren't the only things you can do in Val Thorens while having a pair of skis or a board strapped to your feet.
Get back to nature and explore the lovely tranquil cross-country ski trails. There are two different techniques – classic and skating. Classic is the easiest for beginners; you simply place your skis in two parallel grooves, push off and glide around the trails. Skating is more energetic and a slightly harder skill to grasp; you push your feet out to either side as though you are ice skating and use your poles simultaneously to gain momentum. You can hire the comfortable boots and lightweight skis and poles fairly inexpensively from most sports shops and book a group or private lesson to learn the basics from most ski schools or private instructors. A number of adventure companies also offer cross-country skiing guiding, tours and lessons too. Find your way around with the cross country skiing maps.
How much does it cost to go cross-country skiing in Val Thorens? Cross-country rental prices starting at around €15 per day. You may also want to book a group or private lesson to learn the basics, in which case prices start at around €180 for a six-day group lesson.
Ski-touring or split boarding
Val Thorens is popular for ski touring, whether it's going up the pistes that most people normally ski down, or tackling more of a back country route. A number of ski schools, private instructors and companies can show you around, or if you've got all the necessary equipment you can head out in your own group. This year Val Thorens have also created a marked 1.5 km route for those who want to give it a go in a safe environment. After gaining 280m in elevation you can ski back down the Plein Sud blue run.
How much does it cost to go ski touring or split boarding in Val Thorens? It depends. Ski touring prices in Val Thorens range between €60 per day if you’re only renting the gear and around €400 if you’re also getting a guide for the day to help you explore the backcountry. Of course, if you already have the equipment and the local knowledge, ski touring in Val Thorens is free!
Enjoying the thrill of being on the pistes need not escape you if you're less mobile or have special physical needs. Resorts all over the Alps offer equipment and fully qualified guides to help you get the most out of your experience. Sit-ski, taxi ski, Vertiski, Handiski... whichever method you're used to, or would like to try there will be at least one ski school or activity company in Val Thorens that offers this service.
Challenge your friends & family to a boarder cross race in the snowpark. With linked turns, hills and over 1.4 km of the course to race down you can enjoy challenging your friends and family to a race down the boarder cross. The giant air cushion is the perfect solution if you want to learn or improve your freestyle skiing or snowboard technique. If you don’t ski but still want to make some moves through the air, the AIR TUBBY is for you! Settle yourself into a rubber ring, slide down the run and land gently on the airbag.
The idea behind speed riding is to combine the sensations of skiing and paragliding into one activity, and then descend off-piste sections of the mountain using a mini-wing to enable you to access areas that you might not normally go. Learning and having fun with speed riding comes very fast as long as you are a competent skier; you need to be able to ski red pistes with confidence in any type of snow. Speak to one of the companies offering this activity who can show you the ropes (literally).
How much does it cost to try out speed riding in Val Thorens? Beginner speed riding lessons usually start at around €100 for a half-day group lesson and they include the wing but not the ski hire – high-end ski hire for advanced skiers starts at around €30 per day in Val Thorens. Speak to one of the companies offering this activity who can show you the ropes (literally).
Telemarking is a form of downhill skiing where you are only attached into the binding at the toe, so to turn, you have to lunge and bring your heel upwards. Talk to one of the ski schools or private instructors who can teach you how to telemark and take you out on excursions using this technique.
How much does it cost to go telemarking in Val Thorens? It depends. Telemarking prices in Val Thorens range between around €40 if you’re only buying a ski pass for a day, plus around €70 if you’re adding one-day gear rental, and around €90 if you’re also getting a private instructor for an hour to teach you the basics.