Ski & Snowboard
Getting to the Piste
From your hotel you need to get up the mountain to ski (unless staying in one of the mountain hotels). All of the lifts going out of the village are served by a circular bus service so you really don’t have to walk far at all. There are three lifts that go up from the town:
- Clotes lift is within a couple of hundred metres from the centre of Sauze.
- The Prariond lift (also known as Sportinia lift) is about 500m from the town centre.
- The Jovenceux lift.
Lessons normally start in Sportinia where there are also a couple of baby slopes served by a magic carpet – so the Sportinia lift is the place to go up the mountain first thing – if you are a complete beginner you can carry your kit on this lift. For ski schools view our page here.
Sportinia is the mid station (about 2150m) and all the runs below this level go through the woods giving a great feeling of speed through the trees with views down the pistes and across the valley. It’s a great place to be on days of poor visibility or when it’s windy. From Sportinia you go up to the top of the mountain using the Rocce Nere lift – when the sun is lower (beginning and end of the day) you can admire the rolling snow fields between Sportinia and the top. At the top you are above the tree line and there are magnificent views across the Alps and over the pistes in all directions.
From the top of the Rocce Nere lift there is a choice of three directions:
- Over the top and down into Vallone “the bowl”. It contains a collection of wide and mainly treeless runs that are great for intermediates. At the bottom there is also a connection to two of the other resorts in the Via Lattea (Milky Way); Sestriere and San Sicario. This lift also opens up a number of black runs, two of which return into the bowl and one drops down onto the Olympic run into San Sicario.
- Back down the mountain towards Sauze and Jovenceux there are 8/9 pistes that end up at one of the three lifts out of the village and from the top of all of these lifts you can ski into Sportinia. This set of runs give the option of shorter or longer runs and the change of scenery from open and treeless through to wide tree lined pistes and a couple of narrower tree lined pistes.
- From the top heading back towards the village keep as far right as you can and you will eventually reach either the Moncrons drag lift or the new Faure lift that takes you near the top of Monte Moncrons and from here an area of three or four mainly treeless runs opens up that have a different feeling to the other runs in Sauze – many experienced skiers like this part of the mountain as it offers a good on-piste experience and when the conditions are right it offers an extensive area of off-piste. The downside is that this area is normally only opened at weekends and holidays.
Giro della Via Lattea
If you are an enthusiastic skier you can ski the tour of the Via Lattea (Milky Way). More information on our Ski Area page.
Starting at the top of Fraiteve (top of lift 12 from the bowl) take in the pistes; Cresta, 27bis or 27 bassa, Boursailles, 12 bis into Sportinia, 11 bassa as far as left turn (400m) onto Gran Pista alta, Gran Pista bassa to Jovenceaux (from 2700m down to 1400m a 1300m vertical drop).
This route has everything that Sauze has to offer; fabulous views over the Alps, fast steep runs, above the tree line, below the tree line, gentle cruising admiring snow filled valleys around Sauze and even a little bit of skating to keep you fit (not a route for boarders – you’d need to walk part of the Boursailles piste).
Freestyle, off-piste, ski mountaineering, Nordic ski
Lessons and guiding are available for anyone wanting Freestyle and off-piste lessons, Nordic skiing and ski mountaineering. Please view our Ski & Snowboard schools and independent instructors and Off Piste pages.