special Envoy to the Orres

300. This is the magic number to les Orres which does not go unnoticed. “300”, in fact it is the number of days of sunshine this resort of the Alpes-du-Sud. Enough to make some envious, but mostly to define what makes gold to les Orres, a beautiful time quasi-permanent. This is not the only asset available to the station, dominated by the summit of the Aupillon (2,917 m). The view there is wonderful. Of a few tracks, the panorama is grandiose, the grand spectacle provided by a face-to-face with the myriad of mountains, snow-capped peaks of the Ecrins national Park. The summit of the Portette (the 2,658 m), it dominates the alpine landscape, almost extravagant as the harmony is total. At the bottom of the valley, the turquoise waters and emerald green of the lake of Serre-Ponçon, such as a room of water, heavenly, soothe the whole. It is not surprising that the skiers are suitable, here a little more than elsewhere, the game of the selfie. And the first slides are in wonder.

Les Orres 1800 is still the most beautiful site of this destination alpine. Alps Pix

The ski area of les Orres is in the name of an old village, agricultural and rural gathered around its church, a listed historical Monument, a postcard of authenticity. Three stations, one of eleven hamlets, have formed since the 1970s, in successive stages at three levels. Les Orres 1550, base camp, otherwise called Pramouton, Les Orres 1650, says the centre station, les Orres 1800 Bois-Wary. The most beautiful website remains the latter with residences made of wooden chalets, small size, highly integrated in the environment. This contrasts with large sets of les Orres 1650, however, classified as heritage of the Twentieth century. Concrete and wood go well together in a soaring architecture, typical of the seventies. Of the three levels, we have access to 100 km of slopes of the area with the assurance of a return skis to the feet.

Descents great show

What characterises the skiing at les Orres, it is the geography of the slopes marked, deployed in array on a solid half-moon of which the exposure north-east, north-west and guarantee sun for the skier and cold for the snow. The grand art weather. The crosses are many, ranging almost to infinity the path of the tracks. It starts with a, a blow to the left and is found on the small part of a second, before a right turn, to finish his race on a third. It is necessary to approach the ski from les Orres 1650. Here is the brand new chairlift of Pic-Green, opened this year, the first in France of the range of D-Line launched by the manufacturer Doppelmayr. A small jewel of technology and ecology, moulting thanks to photovoltaic panels, and which allowed the removal of 35 pylons compared to the old facilities. It is the heat from the engine is recovered, which ensures the heating of the cabins of departure and arrival of this beautiful mechanical. In ten minutes, we’re going from 1.650 m 2.216 m from The summit, we joined the lift of the Ridges that leads you to the start of the track to the Cairn at 2.660 mr The panorama is breathtaking.

the chairlift ridge offers a panorama of breathtaking to 2.660 metres above sea level. MOCHI FRANCOIS

From there, the tracks are linked together with fluidity without that we truly know the difficulty, all hilly, sometimes bumpy, spinning between the pines and the rocks tanned by the sun, where it is not uncommon to spot a chamois in full watch. To Orres, the slopes are wide and offer variations such as one can easily make fun of it. The most beautiful, from our point of view, the Edelweiss, slides on approximately 5 km, marked trail green, but that it would be well blued. We are hitting it with undisguised pleasure multiplying the halts, facing the sun, for a look grand Another signature track, The Pousterle (1.885 m-2.530 m), a time homologated for international competitions of downhill. This year, a new track, the Night, was open, adding a small variation to the Edelweiss.

Commune with nature

The station likes to define itself as a “family” with a ski that is made accessible to the greatest number, because of the width of the slopes. But that one is not mistaken there, to look more closely at the 36 open runs, 18 red, 4 black, and only 9 green and 5 blue. Long and wooded, often silent because developed away from the ski lifts, downhill, allow you to commune with nature, exploring the massive blank installation with the aromas of good off-piste.

On the 36 open runs, 18 red, 4 black, only 9 green and 5 blue. Les Orres

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the image of the track (red) of the Grand Hut, which of the chairlift of la Pousterle back to Orres 1800 in a casting white of rare beauty. Here, where rural life is still very present, as well as the pastoral life in the summer, the instructors of the ESF or ESI, the two ski schools are the children of the country, craftsmen, carpenters or farmers. They share their territory with passion and simplicity on the chair lifts… adding a human element to the snow industry. Bars altitude, constructions treated in larch wood in the country, provide breaks more demanding. Since last season, one of them is doubled of a real restaurant, the Zenith, (arrival of the chairlift of La Pousterle) with a map of seafood that reminds us of the close proximity of Marseille… (less than 2 h 30). Taste of the sea urchins of the Mediterranean nearby to 2.530 m altitude, it makes a change from the squeegee.

The after-ski youth

Among the 270,000 skiers who practice each season les Orres, a lot of young people, attracted by the variety of landscapes and an offer of après-ski is quite attractive. The Airboard, sledge inflatable to the edge of the snow, Yooner (other luge but at about 20 cm from the ground) and the Wingjump (cross with wings) have made their appearance and add to the sled on rails, hiking, snowmobiling, paragliding, ice-skating rink and the Snake-Gliss, cars-sleds launched from the top of the slopes. Animations that are practised often in a tribe and end up at the first light of day to the Cave of the Yeti, a night club well known noceurs.

Les Orres 1650 is a ski resort to be listed as a heritage of the Twentieth century. Alice Simonard

with its growing success, under the leadership of a new mayor and a new director of the station, Les Orres are experiencing a growth in attendance at two figures. More than 8 million euros should be invested in two years in different rearrangements, in the lifts, as well as in a large project home family at the foot of the pistes (les Orres 1800). By then, it will be necessary to compensate for the lack of a quality accommodation which is sorely lacking. The tourist residences are getting older and on the four hotels, only one shows three stars. Aware of this shortcoming, the real estate operator in Infinite Mountain bikes will open from next winter 13 rooms self contained to form a geodesic, “Coccons” that we will be able to reserve as early as may 2019, and that will complete offers spa and well-being. This is an early (modest) and the promise of a new age of Orres…



The easiest way is to take the night train Paris-Briançon, and stop at Embrun, at the foot of les Orres (30 min, shuttle bus to the station). Another possibility, Marseille and Aix-en-Provence, www.oui.sncf Shuttle departing from Aix-TGV, gare Saint Charles and Marseille airport (around 30 €). www.neigeexpress.com and www.info-Ier.fr By car, 2 h 30 from Marseille, 2: 15 pm-Aix-en-Provence, 2 hours from Grenoble.


The Escale Blanche (Les Orres 1650), the only 3-star hotel of the resort, whose rooms open on to the front of snow. Ask for the renovated rooms, 86 € 169 € per night. Tel.: 04 92 44 07 00 and www.escaleblanche.fr Otherwise, aim for the tourist residences skis to the feet of the Combe d’or (apartment for 4 persons 350 € 1 125 € per week) or the Setting of Orres (apartment for 4 people 459 € 1 449 €), www.logevac.com and www.infini-moutain.com


At altitude for the breakfast, the Zenith and its gorgeous solarium, breath taking view, seafood and specialty of the mountain (around 30 €), pedestrian access by the chairlift of La Pousterle. Tel.: 06 70 33 51 50. At the heart of the les Orres 1650, Mittens, for a superb burger (around 20 €). Tel.: 07 82 19 20 80. To Orres 1800, the Bouscatière, one of the best tables of the station house taken by a family of farmers, who serves, in particular, the meat of the animals that she raises (around 30 €). Tel.: 04 92 24 70 99.


Until April 22, 2019, day pass (36 € adult, 30,50 € student, 30 € child (5-11 years) ; 6 days 186 € adult and 150,50 € a child.


tourist Office, phone: 04 92 44 01 61 and www.lesorres.com


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