Saint-Nizier du Moucherotte

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Ski-Areas > Northern Alps > Isère (38) > Vercors > Saint-Nizier du Moucherotte


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


The ski resort of Saint-Nizier du Moucherotte is situated in the Vercors area of the Isère department in the Northern Alps region. The lift served area extends from 1010 metres to 1050 metres. There are two green runs covering 1 km served by two drag lifts, the Hote 1 et 2. The lifts date from 1962 and 1968.. There are 45 km of cross country trails.

The combe de l’Ours drag lift and pistes are still visible just outside the village on the road to Lans en Vercors. The area was in operation until around 1990. It offered 90 vertical meters of skiing. It was possible to ski back to the village from the top of the lift by a path, this joined the other long drag of “la Roche” and in turn the two baby drags in the village center. The Ours drag also served a summer bob run. The Moucherotte cable cabin covered 700 vertical meters. It was one of the first cable cars built by Pomagalski. A single 3km run linked the summit and hotel with the combe de l’Ours. This piste is used today by ski tourers and snow shoers to reach the Moucherotte.


The glory days when Saint Nizier du Moucherotte was a prime winter sports destination for the beautiful people a long past. Today it is more of a dormitory town for Grenoble some 800 meters lower down.

Grenoble makes much of its oh so fashionable tramway but up until 1950 there was a tram line all the way to Villard de Lans in the Vercors. This line passed via Saint Nizier and contributed much to the village’s early success. Today its many tunnels and bridges form a footpath. In the mid 1950s planning got underway to build a hotel on the summit of the Moucherotte to be served by a cable car. The lift opened on the 3rd of March 1956 and the hotel “l’Ermitage” three years later.

In the early 1960s Laurent Chappis, who had done much to plan and develop Courchevel, was “exiled” to the Isère deparment and suggested that Chamrousse host the Olympic games. His idea was an integrated site hosting all the events rather than the extended games we have become used to. He didn’t figure on the local politicians all of whom wanted a slice of the Olympic action. A 90 meter ski jump was built in Saint-Nizier for the 1968 Grenoble games at the bottom of the Trois Pucelles (Three Virgins) summit. The ramp dominated Grenoble and gave jumpers the impression they would land somewhere in the town centre.

moucherotte ermitage hotel

Hotel l'Ermitage

The 68 Olympics didn’t leave much of a legacy. A village in Grenoble that became a symbol for urban decay and infrastructure, the ski jump and bob run at l’Alpe d’Huez, that was left to rot. The hotel went bust in 1974, the cable car link couldn’t operate in winds above 60km/h. In 1990 the ski jump closed, too expensive for the little community to maintain. Climate change in the 1980s did for the skiing, the piste from the Moucherotte shut with the cable car and the lower drag lift followed. Nowadays the resort boasts just two green runs aimed at learners.

By the end of the 1990s the village was looking dilapidated. The hotel l’Ermitage had been heavily vandalized (they are nothing if not fit and motivated these Vercors Vandals). Its carcass was clearly visible from Grenoble, a reminder of the Trente Glorius and better, simpler times such as when Brigitte Bardot had filmed Please Not Now in 1961. After a quarter of a century of the ruins of the hotel were finally demolished along with the cable car station in the summer of 2001. Today just a radio relay remains.

Off Piste Routes

Undertandably the ski touring is centered around the Moucherotte summit some 700 meters higher up. The area is very popular, especially at weekends, due to its proximity with Grenoble. There are a number of routes to suit all tastes, from the easy to the extreme.


Nearest Airport(s): Grenoble, Lyon St-Exupery


Rail: Grenoble TGV then VFD buses or hire car



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Restaurants and Bars

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Guides and Instructors

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Useful Information

Resort partially closed for downhill skiing. The Tourist Office of Saint-Nizier has more information on this historic ski station.

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Category: Ski Areas

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