A (these days) rare expansion of a French ski area will open this winter in the Tarentaise Valley, as  La Rosière plans to open its new Mont-Valaisan sector this December.

La Rosière is a popular resort sitting on the border and linked by ski lifts and runs to the slopes above La Thuile in Italy.  The shared ski region is called Espace San Bernardo and is well known for its above average snowfall (it received more than 10m of total snowfall last season 2017-18).

The Mont Valaisan expansion means not only new terrain but also a new higher lift, up to 2800m.  This is one of two new six-person detachable chairlifts which are being installed to make the expansion, which will also bring five new ski runs to the resort.

La Rosière has a strong family-friendly reputation but the new runs will be more challenging and there seems to be an attempt to toughen up the area’s image a little.

“The French sector of the international Espace San Bernardo ski area (France-Italy) will be everything the most demanding skiers could wish for, offering more technical and more committing skiing and more freeride opportunities,” a statement from the area reads.

For those who know the ski area the Mont Valaisan slopes will be located to the right of the Redoute Ruinée Fort.  The five new pistes will be graded ‘red’ and served by the two new chairlifts, christened the Moulins and the Mont-Valaisan. The expansion has cost 15 million euros.

In resort, following the opening last winter of a new Hyatt Centric 69 room hotel with spa and restaurant, a new four-star, the Alparena, with 58 rooms, suites and apartment suites, a wellness area and aquafun area with a swimming pool, a paddling pool, spas, steam rooms, saunas, fitness room and 4 beauty treatment rooms and a restaurant with a panoramic terrace will open for the coming season.

The resort will open on 15 December 2018 with its season due to last until 26 April 2019.