Thomas Wilkins from Switzerland writes:
Alpine ski/snowboard at La Dole.
Great views, ease of parking, quiet lifts and runs make this a good place to visit for a day or two of skiing/snowboarding. The north facing slopes mean that the snow condition remains good even on sunny days at this altitude. There are a few piste-side cafes offering basic food and drinks, nothing too fancy. Shops, restaurants and banks are available in the town of Les Rousses.
If you are visiting for more than a few days there are other ski-lift areas very nearby to provide some variety, not to mention the numerous cross-country ski trails in this area offering hundreds of kilometres or piste in total. A ski bus system operates locally and connects to the train line to Switzerland, although a car would be very useful to get around.
One chairlift runs from the bottom to the very top and is in excellent condition (c. 2008). This is the best choice for snowboarders.
There are 8 drag (button) lifts, 3 of which are of a decent length and offer a reasonable run length. The rest are fairly short and good for learners. The condition of the drag lifts varies but are generally well maintained. During the week not all lifts will be operated depending on snow conditions and how busy it is likely to be with groups etc.
When snow cover is complete, the runs are well groomed and offer good areas for beginners and a reasonable choice for intermediate level skiers. There is little to offer the advanced skier with the 'black' runs not particularly long or taxing, however, there can be some good off-piste runs in the upper section to about half-way down through the trees.
For snowboarders who prefer not to take the drag lifts there is obviously less on offer but the chairlift still provides uplift for a selection of pleasant runs all starting on the same traverse at the top of the mountain. There are a few opportunities to cross between trails in the forest although a couple of sections require some speed to pass through without having to walk.
School ski groups use this area but tend to stick to the drag lifts at the sides or use the nearby area of Les Tuffes.
There is little or no snow-making here.