The Portes Du Soleil Circuit – Hard Ski Route

pristine snow on new piste in the portes du soleil

The Portes Du Soleil is recognised as one of the largest ski areas in the world, if not THE largest, crossing borders between France and Switzerland. This means that there are some incredible routes that can fill up an entire day and cross over the border and back again. One of the most well known of these, and one that everyone should aim to tick off on their holiday, is the Portes Du Soleil Circuit.

Starting from Morzine there are a number of ways to get up to start the circuit. You need to get to Lindarets, so the quickest way is to get the bus to Ardent and head up the bubble. It is also possible to get there via Super Morzine or Prodains.

Once in Lindarets head up the Chaux Fleurie chair lift. This takes you over to the Linga ski area. From Linga take the lifts heading over towards Super Chatel. There are two cahirlifts and a couple of nice, wide pistes to enjoy.

One great new addition to the lift system is the construction of the Gabelou and Portes Du Soleil chair lifts. Previously it had been necessary to ski all the way down from the Combes chairlift and get the bus into Chatel. The new chairlifts link directly between the Super Chatel ski area and the Linga ski area, eliminating the need to take the bus.

On Super Chatel take the Morclan chair going up the mountain on the far side. This takes you over to Torgon. You have now crossed the border into Switzerland. Torgon is usually very quiet and holds onto the snow very well. There are a number of drag lifts here that go around in a circuit. Follow them around until you get to a restaurant called Le Panoramique. The restaurant has unfortunately closed now but the views down to Lake Geneva are spectacular from here. Whilst the restaurant might have shut its doors, this is a good spot to stop for a packed lunch if you are staying in a self catered chalet and have come prepared.

From here follow the signs to Morgins. It is relatively straight forward and well sign posted. Before heading out in the morning make sure that the link to Morgins is open, as the lower slopes can sometimes suffer from a lack of snow. You will ski through the woods and then find yourself above Morgins villlage, skiing down. The ski area you need to get top is a short walk across the town – basically just across the road. After heading up the chairlift follow directions to Champoussin and Les Crosets. There are a number of nice, wide pistes that are usually quiet. The only disadvantage of this area is that some of the chairlifts are quite old and rickety.

Once you get to Les Crosets You can either head up the Mossettes chair lift and ski straight back to Lindarets or alternatively, of you have time and are not too tired, head up the Grand Conches or Crosets chair lifts and head to the Ripaille T bar lifts followed by the Chavanettes chair that takes you over the infamous Swiss Wall. From the top of here you can ski down through Fornet to the bottom of Avoriaz and head back to Prodains, Super Morzine or Ardents.

This itinerary usually takes about six or seven hours, so leave early to make the most of the day!