Heliskiing in The Alps
Heliskiing is an unforgettable experience. Our Concierge Team can book your trip with an experienced guide and all the necessary safety equipment.
You'll soar through deserted valleys of untouched snow before changing helicopters and taking the final short trip over to Italy, where you'll be dropped off high in the mountains. Your guide will lead you and your small group into off-piste paradise, with nothing but the wildlife for company. As you come to the end of your exhilarating ride through the fresh snow you'll be raring to go all over again.
A Spot of Lunch?
Why not combine your off-piste experience with lunch at one of the fabulous local restaurants? Both the Fogliettaz and the Col du Granier runs end up in Le Miroir where you'll find the renowned Chez Merie (book ahead which our Concierge Service). The Sainte Foy Village run will bring you to Restaurant Le Monal and La Grange, which both have excellent reputations.
Sainte Foy is blessed with beautiful aspects, everywhere you turn. In fact, Le Monal provides the idyllic backdrop to your winter holiday snaps run without skiing off-piste.
You can also venture to the top of the third lift to see Val d'Isère and Tigne's La Grande Motte Glacier. To your right, you'll see the spectacular Aiguille Rouge, Mont Pourri and Dôme de la Sache ranges with their glaciers - your winter holiday wonderland.
Off-piste Skiing in Sainte Foy
Sainte Foy Resort is where ski guides love to go to on their days off. It is a true hidden gem with it's exceptional off-piste skiing. In our opinion, it's the best ski resort in the world!
Off Piste Exploration Week
Looking to sharpen your technique, or discover more of Sainte Foy’s famous off-piste terrain, whilst enjoying all the benefits of a Première Neige Catered holiday?
Check out our Off-Piste Ski Week.
What Makes Sainte Foy so Outstanding for Off-piste Skiing?
- Sainte Foy's lift system is small but goes straight up to a height of 2620m with a further 300m accessible via touring skins or bootlegging.
- From the top lift endless opportunities for off-piste lines fan out in a huge north-west facing bowl.
- Due to its extensive north-facing aspect, the snow stays deliciously chalky long after the powder is gone.
- As there is so much to ski, and because the lifts in Sainte Foy are so uncrowded, the virgin powder remains for several days after all the bigger resorts are skied out.
...the backcountry offers endless adventure. And with a north-west aspect, you can find untouched powder long after nearby resorts have been tracked out.
Lucy Grewcock, The Independent, November 2011
Sainte Foy's Off-piste Runs
- Le Monal: See the video by clicking here. This route is found on the southern Vallon du Clou side of the Sainte Foy bowl, accessed and viewed from the top Aiguille lift. This is a well known route leading to the hamlet of Le Monal (award-winning, picturesque, quaint and now protected). It is a road in the summer, so is not difficult skiing. Once down in the hamlet of Le Monal there is a track (that does include some gentle uphill walking) that leads to the Plan Bois green run which runs back into the resort.
- Les Pigettes: Take a short hike up and over to the next valley from the track above Le Monal to find a huge number of off-piste lines that all eventually lead to Les Pigettes, a small hamlet higher up the Isère valley on the road up to Val d’Isère and Tignes. This is south facing so careful timing is needed for the conditions to be perfect. You can book a Première Neige local pick-up to get you back to the resort.
- Shapers, Morion, Crystal Dark: Each of these three areas are accessed from the top Aiguille chairlift. Shapers runs right through the middle of the Sainte Foy bowl as it is not that steep it is a great place to start to enjoy the off-piste and get to grips with powder. Morion is the steep face directly underneath the top Aiguille chairlift which can be hazardous, so please take care and pay attention to the pisteurs' markers. Crystal Dark is a steep, black run which requires a fairly long traverse left of the Sainte Foy bowl, but the huge area of off-piste, that fans out from it, is certainly worth it! Watch out lower down as the trees become quite dense, it is better to traverse right after the top pitch unless you are prepared to do some serious tree dodging!
- The Marquise: The high-speed 6-man Marquise chairlift (top at 2425m) takes you up over lots of tree-filled areas that are interspersed by a few pistes. Sainte Foy is blessed with extensive coverage of pine, unlike its bigger resort brothers. Trees offer better visibility as they contrast against the snow, so on bad weather days, skiing in the trees is safer. This run is suited for a wide range of ability groups; powder in the trees for the more advanced, wide blue and red pistes for those still gaining confidence. One can also choose to head left off the lift into the whole of the eastern side of the Sainte Foy bowl, the top of which is a huge expanse of open terrain before it hits the trees lower down.
- Fogliettaz: Offering 1500m of vertical, this is the most renowned off-piste route. It is not for the faint hearted or the inexperienced as it involves a 50 to 60 minute walk to the top at a height of 2930m, either bootlegging up the ridge from the top Aiguille lift, or heading up on skins. There are several entrances to the north facing Fogliettaz bowl all of which can be very steep. The route will end up at the hamlet of Le Crot, from which there is a road (open to cars in the summer) that arrives at Le Miroir. Bus services are limited from Le Miroir back to the resort, so it is well worth booking a Première Neige local pick-up, which you can organise with the Concierge Team.
- Col du Granier: This route, for those in the know or who have a guide, is accessed straight off the top of the Marquise lift. It runs on the eastern side of the bowl and into the next valley, arriving at the same spot as the Fogliettaz route. It may have less of a descent but it means no bootlegging or skinning and provides a great half day adventure. A transfer back to the resort will be required.
- Sainte Foy village (Chief Lieu): January is generally the month for the best snowfalls, at this time it is often possible to ski right down into the main village of Sainte Foy (vertical descent of almost 1600m from the top chairlift). The best way down is off the bottom of the Marquise lift (from here, it's a vertical descent of 1365 metres) but go with a guide or a trusted experienced local as it is easy to get lost.