Just got back from a week snowboarding in Serre Chevalier Valee. This is a little known resort made up of 4 main villages. All the staff know english and some of the bar staff were english, but we very rarely heard anyone on the slopes. Which was fantastic, because getting around and ordering food etc was super easy but you also felt like you were in a local hotspot.
2016 has been a challenging winter for snow, and we found that at the ends of the day the runs back down were regularly churned into moguls & ice (wouldn’t be a problem if everyone turned on top of the moguls!), but the piste bashers were great and it would be flat by the next morning.
It was so quiet, despite being only a week after half-term and glorious sunshine all but a couple of days! I started the week with my weight on the wrong foot and was lacking in confidence so basically having the piste to myself meant I was actually turning instead of just leafing the whole way down! We had a friend working out there who gave me some pointers to fix that and a couple of days later took me and the other snowboarder in a lovely bit of off-piste. Wasn’t virgin so we knew we couldn’t get too lost!
On one day there was a blizzard, which was a bit cold on the lifts because none of them had covers, but the following day was so lovely and powdery that basically every hillside with snow was patterned with the wiggly lines people had taken having treked up the ridge from the top-most lift. So soft and fluffy… although having just learnt to put my weight on my front foot to turn, I did wind up sinking a few times and having to dig my board back out!
What was fun about this resort was that there were ‘fun zones’ so we weren’t just pottering around the pistes. These varied from boardercross tracks to a traditional park, to the melee zone where there were timber boxes and rails set up of varying difficulties. there were quite a lot of little unofficial kickers to play around on at the edges of piste.
We stayed in Villeneuve, there is a little red train that drives around to easily get you around the town that runs every 30mins ish, but its so small its easy enough to walk in board boots, the skiers found it a bit more challenging and sometimes took other shoes with them for the walk. There are 2 main places for going out, Le Frog and La Grotte. La Grotte had a younger clientele so that’s where we ended up when we were out, mainly because there were pool tables so even if it wasn’t a busy night we still had something to do (and surprise free shots- win!). Le Frog had good food though (Hmmm-steak).
So to sum up, Serre Chevalier is a great relaxed resort with plenty of runs and variety. There is plenty of scope to go low-risk off-piste (eg cutting corners off from one piste to another). If you’re a complete beginner getting back down to town is challenging as a boarder, but any skiers would be fine. If you want serious apres-ski this isn’t the resort for you, but it’s not dull either.