Home » Beginner’s Guide to Skiing in Val Thorens: Tips and Tricks

Beginner’s Guide to Skiing in Val Thorens: Tips and Tricks

by Atlus

Val Thorens, part of the Three Valleys ski area in the French Alps, is not only a paradise for experienced skiers but also a fantastic destination for beginners. With its high altitude ensuring good snow and a variety of gentle slopes perfect for learning, it’s an ideal setting for those new to skiing. Here are some essential tips and tricks to help beginners make the most of their best skiing holidays in Val Thorens.

Choosing the Right Ski Equipment

For beginners, it’s crucial to have the right equipment that fits well and is suited to your skill level. Renting ski gear in Val Thorens is a practical choice, as local shops offer a wide range of quality equipment tailored to beginners. They also provide expert advice to ensure that your boots are comfortable, and your skis are the right length. Typically, shorter skis are easier to control, making them a better option for those just starting out.

Taking Professional Lessons

One of the best investments a beginner can make is signing up for ski lessons. Val Thorens has several ski schools with English-speaking instructors who specialize in teaching beginners. Group lessons can be a fun and cost-effective way to learn, providing an opportunity to meet fellow novices. For a more personalized approach, consider private lessons where the focus is entirely on improving your technique.

Starting on the Right Slopes

Val Thorens offers a variety of beginner-friendly slopes where new skiers can practice safely. These areas are specifically designed for learning, providing a gentle gradient and spacious environment to build confidence. Start on these easier slopes before attempting more challenging runs. The resort map marks these beginner areas clearly, so plan your route accordingly.

Understanding the Ski Pass Options

Val Thorens provides different ski pass options, tailored to different levels of skiers. Beginners may not need access to the entire Three Valleys area. Opt for a local Val Thorens pass initially, which gives you access to beginner and intermediate slopes and is more cost-effective.

Dressing Appropriately

The right clothing can make or break your skiing experience. Layering is key to staying warm and comfortable on the slopes. Start with a moisture-wicking base layer, add an insulating layer, and finish with a waterproof outer layer. Don’t forget a hat, gloves, and UV protection sunglasses or goggles. Conditions can change quickly in the mountains, so be prepared for all weather possibilities.

Practicing Snowplow Technique

For beginners, mastering the snowplow (or “pizza” technique) is crucial. This technique involves pointing the tips of your skis together and the tails apart, forming a triangle or ‘pizza slice’ shape to control speed and stop. Practice this on a gentle slope until you feel confident in your ability to stop and control your speed.

Staying Hydrated and Taking Breaks

The physical exertion of skiing, combined with the altitude, can lead to dehydration and fatigue. Drink plenty of water throughout the day and take regular breaks to rest. This is especially important in the high altitudes of Val Thorens, where the air is thinner.

Enjoy the Après-Ski

After a day on the slopes, take the time to enjoy Val Thorens’ vibrant après-ski culture. Whether it’s relaxing in a cozy bar, enjoying some local cuisine, or participating in one of the many après-ski activities, it’s a perfect way to unwind and reflect on your progress.


Val Thorens is an excellent choice for beginners due to its reliable snow, extensive range of beginner slopes, and high-quality ski schools. By following these tips and embracing the learning process, beginners can have a rewarding and enjoyable first ski experience in one of the world’s most beautiful luxury lifestyle ski resorts.

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