Holidaymakers often overlook the small, unassuming ski resort of Sainte Foy nestled in the Tarentaise Valley. With only four chairlifts, 15 slopes and accommodation for 2,500 people it is dwarfed by the neighbouring resorts in the Espace Killy.
However, it’s off-piste and backcountry areas can easily compete with those of Tignes and Val d’Isere. We’ve complied a list of some of Ste Foy’s best off-piste runs:
The North Face of le Fogliettaz
The north face of the Fogliettaz is the jewel in the crown of Sainte Foy off-piste routes. Accessed from the top of the Aiguille chairlift, making a short traverse along a ridge and then hiking to the highest point – hike time is 40-60mins. The initial part of the face is steep (anything from 40 to 50°+ depending on where you drop in) with a descent of over 1500 vertical metres. As it’s a North-facing slope the lack of sunlight means the snow stays in good condition longer than many of the other slopes in the area.
Le Petit Col, L’Epaule, Le Croix
These three steep runs can all be accessed from various points along the hike to the top of the Fogliettaz, all running down the steep face back to the pistes. The Croix offers four steep couloirs all leading to the steep, open slopes above the Grand Soliet and Plan des Veaux runs. – careful route planning, a high ability level and the instruction of a guide should be utilised in order to ski these runs safely.
Suitable for those less-confident off-piste, Shaper’s is the easiest of the three buy propecia 5mg officially-designated off-piste areas and also usually the first to be officially open after a fresh snow-fall. The run itself is marked by poles. Following the poles will take you to natural jumps, wide open faces and a steep finish. However, entering the run a little further up the hill, from the Plan des Veaux piste, will give you the option of some steeper gradients, small cliffs and couloirs to play around on.
Morion is the official off-piste area directly below the top of the Aiguille chair. The top of the run is often wind-blown making it quite icy. If the wind is blowing from the direction of the resort there is a serious risk of avalanche. There are markers down Morion showing two potential lines, if you venture away from these markers you’ll encounter some rocks and cliffs, so careful line-choosing is neccessary. You can link the runs of Morion and Shaper’s Paradise to create a long off-piste run when there’s fresh snow.
Crystal Dark is one of the three official off-piste areas, accessed by turning off the Aiguille piste.You’ll initially have to traverse a large area before taking a steep face down to reach the Creux de Formeian piste. Crystal Dark leads onto a backcountry area known as “Far Crystal” – well outside of resort boundaries, some tricky descents and ending on a line of cliffs with only a few safe routes out – this is one for only the most experienced skiers/boarders with the help of a guide.