Ski-Areas > Southern Alps > Hautes-Alpes (05) > Guillestrois > Risoul


  1. Risoul History
  2. Risoul Off Piste
  3. Travel
  4. Accomodation
  5. Restaurants and Bars
  6. Shopping
  7. Guides and Instructors
  8. Useful Information


Risoul is located between the Queyras and Ecrins national parks in the Guillestrois area of the Hautes-Alpes department. The resort has 55 lifts ski lifts including 1 cable car and 14 chairs. These give it an uplift capacity 57,000 skiers per hour. The resort is linked to Vars through the Forêt Blanche ski area giving a total of 180 km of ski runs situated between 1650 and 2750 meters. Risoul has a capacity of 18,600 beds in a mix of 2, 3 and 4 star apartments and chalets. SARA which is owned by SFVA runs 6,000 beds. The resort is not the most attractive but has had refurbishment program since 2003 and there are also a number of wood chalets.

Risoul should be well placed to pick up weather systems from Italy or the Atlantic but has suffered from a lack of snow over the last couple of seasons with skiing on artificial snow at the bottom of the ski domain. 30% of the resort runs are covered by snowmaking. Risoul is looking to increase snow making capacity but there are limits to water resources in the dry Southern Alps.

The Olympique red just over the Vars side of the Forêt Blanche is great early in the day before other skiers are out of bed with a challenging passage at mid-distance. You can stop for a chocolat chaud at the Chamois hotel at the bottom of the piste. Also ski the runs from the Homme de Pierre and Peynier as well as the links with Vars. There is plenty of tree lined skiing when conditions turn bad and the sign posting is excellent so you should not get lost. The lift system has a lot of capacity and the Forêt Blanche can be a good bet durng the peak February holiday period (but avoid the Marseille holiday fortnight) however the lifts do get busy at the bottom of the domain. The links with Vars also suffer from queing at peak times. It is a good idea to head high early on and stay put. A new six man chair will be ready for the 2006/7 season which will whisk skiers to the top of resort for superb views of the Guillestre area and the man-made lac de Serre Ponçon.

The resort has earned the ‘’Petit Montagnard’’ label and its tree-lined lower slopes are ideal for family holidays. The ski school has a capacity for 60 children. The area is famed for its southern sunshine with 300 days of sun per year. High-factor sun cream is essential! SARA has come up with a concept “low cost” for the 2005-6 season with its own bus service leaving Paris International Train station (Gare du Nord) for the resort and offering an all inclusive package sold directly to reduce costs.


Nearest Airport(s): Turin (150km), Grenoble St Geoirs (195km), Marseille? (240km).


If you are driving down and the Col du Lauteret road pass is open think about driving via Bourg d'Oisans and Briançon for its fantastic and wild mountain scenery and a glimpse at la Grave and future plans.





Restaurants and Bars

Babao Rhum Café


Shopping is limited, especially if you have to buy food for self-catering. If you are driving consider stopping at one of the big hypermarkets at Grenoble. There is only 1 cashpoint in the whole resort so make sure you bring some cash.

Guides and Instructors

Only include guides and instructors who cater for off-piste or backcountry. Please specify whether they take snowboarders.

Useful Information


email: o.t.risoul@wanadoo.fr

Category: Ski Areas

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