La Forêt Blanche ski area

La Forêt Blanche ski area : great skiing with a hint of the South

Risoul and Vars, two sister resorts with a hint of the South, share a vast larch forest with a backdrop of entwined peaks. Their combined ski areas satisfy the demands of skiers avid for wide open spaces and ready to do battle with the mountains.
Risoul and Vars created La Forêt Blanche area in 1990 by linking their respective slopes. The area gets its name from the larch trees that cover the mountainsides up to a height of 2200 m. From this spectacular setting you get a magnificent vista of the surrounding
mountain ranges from the Alpes Maritimes to Haute-Savoie, from the Massif des Ecrins to the Queyras, from Mont Viso to Mont-Blanc. Located right in the heart of the Guillestre region, this ski area is above all true mountain country with loads of potential for winter sports enthusiasts. Still not convinced – read on 

La Forêt Blanche ski area –a promising name that perfectly illustrates one of the most beautiful ski areas in the Alpes du Sud. Have a look on the map – you won’t find better! And cue the violins to the rhythm of skis swooping through deep and forgiving snow. Idle talk? No, it’s a fact. The cold, dry climate preserves the quality of the snow and the pure blue Guillestre sky soon reappears after heavy but short lived snowfalls.
“Since global warming,” explains Roland Bernaudon , director of operations at Sermont ski lift company, “although it’s a contradiction, we are less affected by lack of snow. South-facing slopes are certainly not as snowy as before but, on the other hand, north-facing slopes have more snow. There are fewer big snowfalls but lots of shorter, light snowfalls. Risoul is one of the Southern resorts with the best snow records in the region”.

Maximum 5 minutes wait !

Up-to-date facilities have greatly reduced waiting time for the ski lifts.
Even in peak times in February, skiers will not have to wait in line for more than 10 minutes. A system of queue management, straight from the States, has been introduced to stop unruly queues from forming and to ensure that all the chairs are filled by checking numbers for each chair in the line-up. Funnily enough, our Latin skiers just love it!
Mountain stats
Enjoy 185 km of pisted ski runs in the best conditions. 52 ski lifts - 31 draglifts,19 chairlifts, 1 “télénacelle” bucket lift and 1 gondola - access the whole Forêt Blanche ski area, a total of 116 pistes (21 greens, 45 blues, 40 reds and 10 blacks) .

La Forêt Blanche ski area is also
Uplift capacity: 57 000 skiers per hour
15 km of snowshoeing and cross country trails
7 terrain parks
2 boardercross
1 slalom run
1 flying kilometre run
2 natural sledging slopes
1 free beginners’ area
1 toboggan run on tracks, the “luge dévale”
83% of the slopes are above 2000m
55% artificial snow making

The Ski Area

Ski La Forêt Blanche all season long

At Risoul, snow and sun go hand in hand, the extremely dry climate and north-facing slopes delay the transformation of snow into water, therefore guaranteeing good quality snow even in full sunshine. This dry climate also means that artificial snow can be made at temperatures close to 0°C which is practically impossible in a damp climate.

Snow cannons if needed
La Forêt Blanche is equipped with snow cannons to augment natural snow cover over almost one third of the ski area. The top of the area is always kept covered in snow to ensure the link between Risoul and Vars.

Preserved natural resources
Water needed to produce artificial snow is now extracted from an underground river linked to the Durance and not from the ground water. Extraction from this underground river represents 0.5% of its low flow, a figure which is well below the authorized limit. Our water consumption for making artificial snow is currently lower than that of a small farm over a one year period.

72% uplift capacity of ski lifts guaranteed 
To keep our clients happy, we are able to provide 72% of the hourly uplift capacity of ski lifts with artificial snow cover.

The variety of the runs may be limited at times but waiting time is never a problem!