The Portes du Soleil ski area

Today’s images are from my recent ski trip to Morzine, one of the gateways to the vast Portes du Soleil ski area. See previous post for a bit of background – ‘An Alien Concept‘.

The Portes du Soleil encompasses thirteen resorts straddling the French-Swiss border in an area between Mont Blanc and Lake Geneva. With approx 650 km of marked pistes and about 200 lifts in total, spread over 14 valleys and about 400 square miles, The Portes du Soleil vies with the Three Valleys ski area to be regarded as the largest linked ski area in the world. By any standard it is vast with terrain to suit skiers and boarders of all levels of competence.

Piste skiing - click to enlarge

Trying to sum up what this ski area offers in a few images is an impossible task but the following set of images will give some idea of what this ski area is like.

We have snow! - click to enlarge

There is plenty of snow; what nature provides and what the snow blowers create.

The Plaine Dranse hub - click to enlarge

Each valley has it’s own hub from where up-lifts take you to a ridge that leads you over to another valley’s terrain.

Dents du Midi and Dents Blanches - click to enlarge

Views from ridges are magnificent – this panorama from the Swiss border encompasses two superb clusters: the Dents du Midi (left) and the Dents Blanches (right).

Watching the action - click to enlarge

And there’s always time for a coffee at one of innumerable small chalets, snack bars or restaurants from where you can watch the action.

The view towards Mont Blanc - click to enlarge

But it is always the high points that yield the greatest vistas – and when mist hangs in the valleys, the views are ethereal. This image from near Les Gets looks towards the Mont Blanc range thinly veiled in cloud.

View from Pointe de Chery - click to enlarge

The view from Pointe de Chery near Les Gets in the mid-afternoon.

Dents Blanches from the Abricotine piste - click to enlarge

The view of the Dents Blanches from the Abricotine piste below the Pointe de Mossette.

See: ‘An Alien Concept‘ – an intro to this trip.

And see: ‘The Architecture of Avoriaz‘, images of the purpose built ski resort at the heart of the Portes du Soleil ski area.

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About LensScaper

Hi - I'm a UK-based photographer who started out 45+ years ago as a lover of landscapes, inspired by my love of outdoor pursuits: skiing, walking and climbing. Now retired, I seldom leave home without a camera and I find images in unexpected places and from different genres. I work on the premise that Photography is Art and that creativity is dependent on the cultivation of 'A Seeing Eye'. I'm not averse to manipulating images to produce derivatives that may sometimes be far removed from the original.
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9 Responses to The Portes du Soleil ski area

  1. Simon Morris says:

    Wonderful post and series of photos Andy – we almost bought property in the nearby Le Val d’Abondance (Abondance Valley). However, after much debate we opted for the equally stunning Vosges area. That was in March 2007… 5 years later and we’ve settled in New Zealand’s beautiful South Island – it’s bizarre how things turn out!

    Thanks for sharing… it brought back some nice memories! 🙂

    • LensScaper says:

      Many thanks, Simon. Glad you enjoyed the post. About 4yrs ago we nearly bought in Chamonix, but prices were sky high and we decided not to proceed. Probably the right decision as values have dropped back considerably since then. But… I still hanker after that area. The Portes du Soleil are pretty amazing in summer too.

      ________________________________

  2. Jimi Jones says:

    Wow, these are just stunning, Andy. Love this series. Excellent post, man.

  3. Rick Louie says:

    Cool shot of the The Plaine Dranse hub!

  4. seekraz says:

    Beautiful photos of another world. Thank you.

  5. Stunning images Andy and wonderful post. I (almost) feel like I was there.

  6. Dave DiCello says:

    I think I need to take a vacation to the mountains! What an amazing set here man, the shadows in that first one are killer!

  7. Wow, Andy, this set is beyond amazing my friend!! What a great view of one of the greatest places in the world!!

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