Ski Areas > Southern Alps > Queyras

The Queyras area is situated in the Hautes-Alpes deparment in the Southern Alps region. The area groups eight stations bounded by the mythic Tour de France climb of the Col d'Izoard to the North and the 3,000 meter peaks of the Italian border to the South and East which culminate with Mt Viso (3841 meters). These ranges serve as a natural fortress from which it is said the Gauls may have attacked Hannibal's army and offered a refuge to brigands who preyed on travellers in the Durance valley. The area is home to chamois and golden-eagles as well as smaller game birds such as the ptarmigan (perderix).

Access is via Guillestre which has a train station and regular bus services. The villages are divided into four valleys. At the entrance is Cristillan, a relatively high north-west facing valley with the station of Ceillac. Further up to the left, at the crossroads of the maison du Roy is the start of the climb to the Izoard and the station of Arvieux. Higher up towards Italy the valley of Haut Guil is home to three ski stations, Aiguilles, Abriès - Ristolas and the little station of Ristolas and finally the Aigues valley has Molines, Saint-Véran and Chateau-Ville-Vieille.

It is said that the Queyras is to ski touring and cross-country skiing what Chamonix is to free-ride. The Haute Trace des Escartons is a cross country skiing route that allows skiers to link St Véran with Névache over 100 km and four days. Skiers cross over the high passes of the Izoard (2361 meters) and Bousson (2154 meters). The route is pisted from January to March and is practical on either cross-country ski gear of Nordic type metal edged skis.

Ski Touring in the Queyras

It is also possible to traverse the valleys with ski touring equipment and using gites. A possible route from Ceillac is the Tête de Favière (2866 m). Cime du Mélezet (1822 m). Col de Beaubarnon (2608 m), Le Bois Noir (2086 m), Tête de Jacquette (2757 m), St-Véran (2040 m), Pic de Châteaurenard (2990 m), Col de Chamoussière (2880 m), Refuge Agnel (2580 m), Col Vieux (2806 m), Abriès (1540 m).

There are 120 km of downhill pistes and 200 km of cross-country skiing. A very reasonably priced single 6 day lift pass can be used in all the stations.

If you are looking for a snowboard or ski touring guide contact Jean-Pat Comba.

Ski Resorts