If you have not picked up a 3 Valleys or Val Thorens piste map or have not read much about skiing in the 3 valleys and Val Thorens then you might not realise that there are actually 4 valleys in the 3 valleys!
Anyone in marketing is probably thinking that they have missed a trick here, after all surely 4 valleys is better than 3 valleys? Well without going into this too deep why this is as this post is not about the history of the 3 valleys, but here is a brief run down:
A long long time ago on a mountain far far away…
… a few decades ago the force was strong between the three major ski resorts in the area, Courchevel, Meribel and Val Thorens. This became too great and instead of battling it out on their own they decided to join an alliance to create a superpower of a ski area. As the three members were located in three valleys they called the alliance, The Resistance!
Sadly they couldn’t get the website name for that so they changed their minds and called it the 3 Valleys (actually 3 Vallees) instead.
Meanwhile just over the mountain a little village started to become a small ski resort in their own right called Orelle. They had access to some great powder and good slopes but didn’t have access to the vast 3 valleys. Well I say that, for many years you could actually squeeze through a gap in the mountain to ski either side, but the lifts and passes were not connected in anyway.
Fast forward several years and Orelle became part of the 3 Valleys and they made the gap in the mountain bigger and moved (replaced) the lift on Val Thorens side higher so we could and still can ski over to Orelle’s ski area.
I guess changing the name from 3 Valleys to 4 Valleys would be a lot of work, plus there is already a ski area in the world called the 4 Valleys.
ANYWAY I have got side tracked, this post is about the best way to ski into the Orelle valley.
There are two main ways to get into the valley, often people only know of one, the obvious one as mentioned above. So instead of skiing through the gap in the mountain from the Grand Fond lift head up the Cime de Caron. Take the piste off the other side of the mountain and turn left into the Orelle Valley, you need to ski down a bit of a path (sometimes depending on snow conditions) but the piste opens up. Now a little word of warning about this piste, it can get a little bumpy if skied by a lot of people but if you are skiing early on in the day you should be OK.
Skiing in from this side you should get a great view of the valley too weather permitting.
For the powder skiers/snowboards out there, which is everyone isn’t it?
This piste on a powder day is quite supreme and is a get there first thing piste, big tip!
Hope you enjoy!