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Portes du Soleil

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Source: MistyHora

Les Portes du Soleil is a major skisports destination in the Alps, encompassing thirteen resorts between Mont Blanc in France and Lake Geneva in Switzerland. With more than 650 km of marked pistes and about 200 lifts in total, spread over 14 valleys and about 1,036 square kilometres , Portes du Soleil ranks among the two largest ski areas in the world . Almost all of the pistes are connected by lifts – a few marginal towns can be reached only by the free bus services in the area. The highest point of skiing is 2400 m and the lowest is 900 m. As with many other Alpine ski resorts, the lower slopes of the Portes du Soleil have snow-making facilities to extend the skiable season by keeping the lower slopes open during the warmer months.
Portes du Soleil is among the largest ski areas in the world and it takes some time to get hold of the main pistemap. All resorts have detailed maps of their respective parts of the system. There is a main circuit through most of the Swiss and some of the French resorts that can be skied in both clockwise and counterclockwise directions. The average skier or boarder will spend most of a day doing the circuit. Apart from a short walk in Morgins, the circuit can be skied without removing one's skis or board. There are places on the circuit where one might experience sparse snow or even have to go down by chairlift late in the season. Finally it should be noted that skiing the ciruit counterclockwise means having to either ski the famous La Chavanette also known as "Le Mur" or suffer the humiliation of taking the chairlift down. If you're not up to the wall, there is an alternative route to Les Crosets via Les Lindarets and Point de Mossette. Doing the circuit means that one will have to leave out numerous tempting and testing options and bypass the two major areas not on the main circuit. One is the Torgon/Abondance area which is connected by lift to Chatel and the other is the Morzine/Les Gets area which is linked by lift to Avoriaz. Both are large and testing areas in themselves - the Morzine/Les Gets area in itself having around 150 km of marked runs.


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