Despite being like a minnow on the alpine circuit, Puy Saint Vincent (PSV) has a lot going for it and it's quite family-friendly. The pistes might be severely restrained in size, but there's plenty of assortment; from green to steep black set amidst beautiful larch forests, and a queue-free lift system and a friendly atmosphere - the lift operators are really polite here.
There are two main areas to stay -the fairly attractive Station 1400 is the site of PSV's only hotels, while the less attractive but more convenient Station 1600 is home to a collection of apartment blocks and themain mountain access lifts. Both areas are linked by road and a rather slow chairlift.
For families with young children, Puy Saint Vincent is an ideal option for a peaceful week's skiing. For anybody else, a couple of days are probably enough unless you bring a car and explore the neighboring resorts.
With just 67km of primarily intermediate piste, PSV can not compete with its neighboring rivals Milky Way and the Serre Chevalier, but the slopes are moderately snowsure for this southerly latitude and can normally be a good bet when snow is in short supply anyplace else.
From Station 1600, one chairlift opens access to the main bulk of the ski lifts that extend up to an impressive 2,750m on La Pendine and lead to some challenging reds from thetop, and also opening access to an adorable long, winding green back to the resort. Another chairlift gets you to a ridge, from where a series of milder blues and reds wind back down across the trees to 1600 and 1400.
The solitary black run, the Rocher Noir, is short and suited to its grading, but this is a place for potters rather than powderhounds. The lift system is a bit antiquated at first, annoyingly archaic as the day goes by, having some museum piece chairlifts. But the six-day Galaxy ski pass likewise give you a day's skiing in Les Deux Alpes, Serre Chevalier, the Milky Way, and Alpe d'Huez, so if you are an amenable day-tripper the options are good.
© 2012 Athena Goodlight
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