Nestled in the heart of the majestic French and Swiss Alps, the Portes du Soleil is a paradise for winter sports enthusiasts, offering a vast expanse of interconnected ski resorts (over 600km of pistes, not to mention the freeride areas). Join us as we explore the breathtaking heights and exhilarating slopes that make the Portes du Soleil a must-visit destination for anyone with a passion for skiing or snowboarding.
Mossettes - Skiing at the Peak of Portes du Soleil
The highest skiable peak in the Portes Du Soleil is Pointe des Mossettes. Not only one of the highest, but Mossettes is one of the most prominent peaks in the Portes du Soleil ski area, located on the border between France and Switzerland.
Elevation and Location:
Pointe des Mossettes stands proudly at an elevation of 2,277 meters (7,470 feet) above sea level. Situated in the Chablais Alps, it straddles the Franco-Swiss border, offering stunning views of both countries. As part of the expansive Portes du Soleil ski area, Pointe des Mossettes is a key hub connecting several resorts on both the French and Swiss sides.
You can find your way to Pointe des Mossettes using the piste maps on THIS PAGE.
Access to Pointe des Mossettes is primarily through the ski resort town of Avoriaz on the French side or Champéry on the Swiss side. From Avoriaz, skiers can take the Mossettes chairlift, which gradually ascends to the summit, providing breathtaking views of the surrounding Alps throughout the journey. The Swiss side can be accessed by cable car from Champéry.
Mossettes is one of the longest lifts in the Portes Du Soleil, providing stunning views over the Lindaret bowl and wide-open pistes of the Avoriaz ski area, which you can enjoy during the roughly 15-minute ride. If it’s inclement weather, definitely wrap up warm before riding this lift!
Once at the summit, visitors are rewarded with an awe-inspiring panoramic view of the Dents du Midi mountain range, the Rhône Valley, and the Mont Blanc massif. On a clear day, the vistas stretch as far as the eye can see, making it a perfect spot for both skiing and sightseeing.
The views make the Pointe des Mossettes the perfect spot for a lunch spot. The Cookie Cafe sits proudly at the summit. With their speciality being burgers, sit down and soak in the stunning views while you refuel - it's a perfect place to relax, recharge, and appreciate the beauty of the Alpine surroundings. They also do a great Aperol Spritz, but be warned it’s a long ski back to Lindarets and the Ardent lift if you have one too many…
Top tip: go upstairs for an incredible view, comfy sofas and the perfect place to escape the crowds for a hot chocolate or beer.
Skiing and Terrain:
Pointe des Mossettes is renowned for its excellent skiing terrain. The descent from the summit offers a variety of slopes suitable for different skill levels, from challenging black runs to more moderate blue and red runs, as well as plenty of off-piste either underneath the Mosettes lift or dropping down towards Les Crosets on the Swiss-side (full Portes Du Soleil lift pass required for return journey!)
For anyone wanting to tick off the Swiss Wall, one of the steepest ski pistes in the world, you can get to it from Pointes Du Mossettes and traversing across to the top of the Choucas lift.
What’s skiing like in the Portes du Soleil
Off-Piste Adventures: Exploring the Untouched
For the more adventurous skiers, the Portes du Soleil offers many off-piste opportunities. Leave the marked trails behind and venture into the untouched wilderness. While this requires skill and caution, the reward is an intimate connection with the mountains, surrounded only by the sound of your skis slicing through the snow.
Areas to explore;
"The Stash" in Avoriaz
A unique and eco-friendly snow park located in a forested area, designed to blend with the natural surroundings and offers a variety of off-piste lines, jumps, and features for freestyle skiers & boarders. Young groms can also check out Lil’Stash, a firm favourite of locals.
Swiss Wall (Le Pas de Chavanette)
The Swiss Wall (Le Pas de Chavanette piste) is infamous for its steep descent, making it a challenging area. It's not recommended for beginners, but advanced skiers and snowboarders can get their adrenaline fix on this iconic run. The Chavanette Bowl, often referred to as the "Tortin," is a vast off-piste bowl with challenging terrain. Skiers and snowboarders can enjoy deep powder runs and steep descents in this renowned area.
Anyone taking on The Swiss Wall better brush up on their mogul technique…
The Swiss Wall
Valley de la Manche
Accessed from the Arare area from Avoriaz, an up-and-over chairlift from Mossettes. You can drop down to a small village and catch a bus back into Morzine.
Combe du Machon, Avoriaz
Combe du Machon is an off-piste area known steep terrain and mogul fields. It's a great spot for any advanced skier looking to test themselves. It can be found near the Grandes Combes area, and you can ski to the bottom of a number of lifts.
Pointe de Nyon in Morzine
Pointe de Nyon offers a mix of challenging off-piste runs and breathtaking views. The terrain is varied, providing opportunities for both open powder fields and more technical descents.
Interconnected Bliss: Seamless Skiing Across Borders
What sets the Portes du Soleil apart is its interconnectedness. With a single ski pass, you can seamlessly traverse the French and Swiss Alps, exploring different resorts and enjoying a variety of terrains. This unique feature makes it a haven for ski enthusiasts who crave diversity and challenge in their winter adventures.
Nature Lovers Dream: Preserving the Alpine Paradise
The Portes du Soleil is not only a playground for skiers but also a sanctuary for nature lovers. The region is committed to sustainable tourism and environmental preservation. Skiing in this area allows you to appreciate the beauty of the mountains while being mindful of the delicate ecosystems that thrive in these high-altitude environments.
Whether you're a seasoned skier wanting to explore a new region or a beginner eager to experience the magic of the mountains, the Portes du Soleil has something for everyone. So, gear up, hit the slopes, and immerse yourself in the unparalleled beauty and excitement of the Portes du Soleil.