Les Sept Laux

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


The Sept Laux is the third largest ski resort in the Dauphiné region with 120km of runs ranging from 1350 to 2400 meters altitude and equipped with 43 hectares of snow making. The lifts are open from early December to April giving some 120 days of skiing and again in the summer for mountain biking. There are also 20km of cross country trails. Local writer Henri Beyle (Stendhal) attributed the name to the seven lakes situated on a plateau behind the resort but the origins more likely from the word Ceylau - which means the high country.

Les Sept Laux

Prapoutel and the Sept Laux Bowls

In the last few years the resort has become something of a freeride mecca for the residents of nearby Grenoble and its 100,000+ students who seem to have a lot of free time, money and motivation [you are only jealous!!! - Ed.]. The second there is fresh powder tracks start to appear on spots such as the Pouta and Vallons and these can be skied out within a day or two. The slopes are situated in a series of bowls and on two sides of the mountain with the highest point at 2400 meters, this gives some interesting itineraries under every exposition including the south so there is always some good snow somewhere. The whole domain can be considered a vast freeride school and there are instructors who specialize in nothing but off-piste in the resort.

The station has been earmarked as one of the key Isère ski resorts by the regional government and it has invested heavily in new fast chair lifts over the last couple of years. Since we first skied here in 1991 the resort has replaced many surface Poma lifts with high speed chairs. This has reducing the overall number of pylons and cables in the resort for a higher skier capacity. However for 2005/2006 three new drag lifts have been constructed to reduce overcrowding but this seems to be something of a retrograde step, especially considering some of the terrain remodelling that has taken place.

There is also an experimental telemix ski lift, one of the first in Europe. This mixes chairs and cabins on the same cable. Ideal to enable beginners and walkers to access the top of the domain. After the restructuring of the Vallons de la Jasse as a black piste and the extension of the domain into the Pra back bowl the resort has apparently finished expanding. The aim is to offer something for everyone, from hardcore freeriders and freestylers through to families and even people interested in snowshoeing and cross-country.

Grand Serf Telemix Lift

Grand Serf Telecombi Lift

The Sept Laux has an American style snowpark shaped by the HO5park crew, an association of specialist Pyrénean riders. This has a wide variety of modules and is reputed to be one of the best in the Alps - it was voted third park in the Alps by the specialist press. The freestyle park has three levels: very difficult with 2 pyramids and 10 rails, difficult with 5 tables and a hip and easy with 8 tables. The Olympic standard pipe measures 100 by 20 meters and is 6 meters high and the boardercross zone has 6 curves. No wonder that les Sept Laux has a junior World halfpipe champion in the shape of Sophie Rodriguez. The resort boasts a couple of pro-riders: Xavier Marcou who works for HO5park and Nicolas Wattier, a French freestyle champion.

The Sept Laux is well known for its bump runs. Any aspiring off-piste skier should learn to ski bumps. They give you the discipline of making short radius turns where the slope dictates. There are all levels of bumps. The easiest slope is the bottom of the Plan du Pra which can be reached by the Oursière red. The top of the Plan du Pra often has huge bumps although these can be avoided by skiing a bit off-piste. The Bedina black, reached from the Ardoisière drag lift (not always in operation) also develops into a large mogul field. The Faucons black also evolves bumps very quickly.

Due to the restrictions in the number of beds (9000 in total but many in private apartments) there are few non-French visitors, perhaps around 5% and largely German and with some Russian. This at least keeps prices down and a beer on the front neige is just a couple of Euros, a long way from Courchevel price. We particuarly like the Café de la Jasse. The resort offers snowshoeing and dog sledding. In the summer the many tracks are a big draw for mountain bikers.


The resort was started in the early 1960s and was the project of Aimé Pacquet, a local politician who served in the early 1970s at a national level (incidentally he was a close personal friend of my father-in-law). Laurent Chappis, who had built Courchevel, did the original study for the resort and proposed a new concept with the main accomodation located lower down and the resort served by a high speed lift. Chappis's ideas were heavily influenced with conservation but he was way ahead of his time and the development opted for the status-quo of ski-in ski-out convenience.


Nearest Airport(s): Chambéry Aix-les-Bains (70km), Grenoble St Geoirs (80km), Lyon St Exupery (125km)

Grenoble airport undewent a major refit in 2004 and is now an important destination for a number of low cost airlines as well as charter operators from around Europe.

Road: Brignoud Exit A41, then Brignoud bypass direction Pontcharra.

Rail: Grenoble TGV then bus transfer by VFD to resort. Direct Trains from Lille (change for London) and Paris. The nearest station is Brignoud just below the resort but this requires another change on train.



Two new chalet style buildings accommodating 40 apartments were completed in January 2008 in Prapoutel. The new development offers accommodation a class apart from anything else available in the resort and is sure to increase the popularity of the resort with overseas visitors in the coming seasons.

A second phase of the development is due to complete in January 2009, bringing another 2 buildings and a further 40 apartments.

Holiday bookings in these fantastic new apartments - literally a few metres from the main ski lifts - are available through Mountain Heaven http://www.mountainheaven.co.uk or call +44 (0)151 625 1921.

A small number of these apartments are also available for sale through Maison Individuelle from €179,000 - http://www.maisonindividuelle.co.uk/content.php?nID=1;propID=28 or call on +44 (0)1707 376 255. With the development of the resort these apartments will make a fantastic investment as well as being ideally positioned to enjoy the resort.

Restaurants and Bars

Café de la Jasse at Prapoutel is the spot for the resorts freeriders.

La Grange du Bois de Loups just down the mountain from Prapoutel offers excellent food and service- http://www.lagrangeduboisdesloups.fr.

La Sierra in the shopping centre in Prapoutel is also excellent.


We don't all ski 24/7, if there are shops: ski, fashion or bookstores you think people should know about mention them here.

Guides and Instructors

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

Useful Information

The website has an excellent forum where the piste patrol post the conditions each morning. They even question the weather forecasts if they seem too optimistic. http://www.les7laux.com/


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