La Motte d'Aveillans - Domaine des Signaraux

Ski-Areas > Northern Alps > Isère (38) > Matheysine > La Motte D'Aveillans - Domaine des Signaraux


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


The ski area of les Signaraux is located in the Matheysine area of the Isère department in the Northern Alps region. It is part of the old mining community of la Motte d'Aveillans close to la Mure. The ski area comprised one lift and a mountain - a concept anyone who has skied la Grave would be familiar with. However this lift covers just 200 vertical meters from 1240 to 1440 meters altitude. The resort claims one blue and three red runs but the skiing is surprisingly extensive with little trails criss-crossing the mountain. The reds are proper reds and only the blue run is easy enough for learners.

The resort is very confidential. We were probably the first English speakers to buy lift passes in a long time, a bit like Livingstone in Africa. The resort is particular because it is run by volunteers who have set up an association to manage the ski area (AGASAS - Association de Gestion et d'Animation du Ski Alpin aux Signaraux). The resort is suprising well laid out, better than a lot of professional ski areas. Check for opening dates and times, usually these are Wednesday and Saturday afternoons but all day on Sunday. During the local school holiday period the lift opens every day in the afternoon.

les signaraux

Downhill skiing is just one of the activities offered by the area. When we visited there were perhaps as many snowshoers as skiers and the area also has 28km of cross country ski trails and a sledge piste. From the car park you can sledge (or ski) back to the hamlet of les Signaraux about 500m from the slopes. There area great views from the top of the ski domain.


The first lift was installed in 1971 by a private operator. The resort went bust in 1974 before being restarted by a small team in 1977, the area was taken over by the community of la Motte d'Aveillans in 1982 and has been run by the AGASAS since 1998. We believe that the electric drag lift was given to the ski area by les Sept Laux.

Off Piste Routes

Les Signaraux offers some interesting off piste and touring possibilities. Within the ski area there is a lot of between the pistes although this is the age of fat skis so don't think the locals won't ski it. However even a week after the last snow we managed to find fresh powder on some more obscure alternatives such as to the left of the teleski (looking down the mountain).

Given that the resort is closed most mornings you have pently of time to make first tracks after fresh snowfall if you are prepared to fix climbing skins.

La Pierre Plantee

La Pierre Plantee
La Pierre Plantee

From either the top of the ski pistes or les Signaraux head south west towards the col de Brame Farine before turning north-east to climb gentle slopes to the 1559 meter summit. Ski north then north-west to les Signaraux. A good plan for the last run of the day.

Le Senepy

Le Senepy
Le Senepy

From the top of the domain follow the ridge line south to the Sommet de la Serre de l'Horizon (1617 m) then the Col de Senepy (1525 m) then le Senepy (1769 m) from the summit ski either the south ridge to les Blaches (danger avalanches on the slopes off the ridge), the south-east slopes to the Serre de Chat Pendu (Hanging Cat Ridge) or along the Manchette ridge. This tour is possible on nordic skis or snow shoes. To the north a bowl (danger avalanche) gives over 500 vertical metes of skiing to les Sagnes.


Nearest Airport(s): Grenoble-St-Geoirs 80km (1h15), Lyon-Saint-Exupery 130km (1h30) via Vif/St George de Commieres

Road: Grenoble (A480) direction Sisteron/Gap -> Vif -> St George de Commieres -> pass thru' la Motte D'Aveillans and right to les Signaraux. You will need chains/snow tires.

Rail: The nearest mainline railway station is St George de Commieres, 18km from the Motte d'Aveillans



La Motte d'Aveillans was a rootin-tooting hard drinking old mining town and these days is pretty delapidated with boarded up housing. La Mure is bound to have some hotels and you are not far from the ski areas of Super Devoluy, Orcieres Merlette and l'Alpe du Grand Serre. We were fascinated by the nearby village of Puteville (whore-town), maybe a reference to some of the out of work activities?

Gites / Bed and Breakfast

You can stay in the charming hamlet of les Signaraux just 500m from the ski area

Martinasso Cathy
Les Signaraux 38770 La Motte d'Aveillans
tel : /

Restaurants and Bars

The single bar also sells lift passes. You can even eat your own sandwiches in the bar, that's how nice they are.

Guides and Instructors

There is no ski school.

Useful Information -

Category: Ski Areas

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