I'm Michael Suodenjoki - a software engineer living in Kgs. Lyngby, north of Copenhagen, Denmark. This is my personal site containing my blog, photos, articles and main interests.

Skiing 2002 - Avoriaz (France)

Updated 2011.01.23 16:00 +0100

Ikke tilgængelig på Dansk

In week 6 from the 2nd to 9th of February 2002 I went to Avoriaz in France for a skiing holiday together with 3 friends (Søren, Mads and Mio). Søren which have been my skiing companion since the first ski vacation in 1997 to Alpe d'Huez had this year the possibility of arranging the trip along with his fellow working colleagues from Navision (now Microsoft Business Solutions). Together with 58 other persons - mostly employees from Navision Denmark - we flew to Geneva in Switzerland and were driven by bus the about 60 kilometers to the city of Avoriaz in the French Alps.

Panorama view from the black slope Coupe de Monde towards the Morzine valley. The slope ends in Morzine. To the right on the city of Avoriaz can be seen - located above the cliffs. The view is quite spectacular.


Avoriaz Center in the sunset. Click for larger photo.

Avoriaz is placed about 1800 meters above sea level close to the border to Switzerland. The skiing area of Avoriaz and its four sister massifs are named »Portes du Soleil« - the gates of sun. The city itself is quite large and is placed in a spectacularly area with steep cliffs. The town is free for cars - only horse sledges or caterpillars are allowed. If you're driving yourself you must park in the large parking area outside the town and be transported to your hotel/apartment. The inner part of the town is very cozy with its illuminated wide main street were most of the restaurants, shops, banks, tourist information etc are located. It's also possible to ski through the town, ice skating, sledging or for the children to play in a special children's area.


The skiing area around Avoriaz is excellent - if there is enough snow. The slopes are mixed with a focus on the blue and red ones (second easy and second difficult). While we were there the whether were mixed - from sun in the start of the week, over snowing 1½ day and to a rainy day. All in all the conditions were good and the skiing acceptable. There are some challenging black slopes like the Wall on the Swiss of Paternaille (2217m) or the set of black slopes Hauts Forts - especially the Coupe de Monde (number 39, see also panorama photo above). In total the area is more than 650 km in length and it is impossible to try all the slopes in one week.

Together with the tour guides we joined 2 days of guided tours were they showed us the different slopes in the area. Especially the second day were good, because we used most of the day on a round trip from Avoriaz over Switzerland to Les Crosets and Champoussin and back towards Avoriaz over the Châtel area.

The cabin lift from the parking area at Morzine towards Avoriaz.

We used one day to see Morzine and the Let Gets area. The slopes and the snow were wet and rainy, however I suspect that this particularly area is excellent on sunny days with lots of snow on the slopes. We went back to Avoriaz via a bus trip from Morzine city and the cable car up along the cliffs to Avoriaz.

After skiing

After a long day of skiing its nice to enjoy a cold beer in some of the after ski bars in downtown Avoriaz. Our guides used the bar named Le Choucas that had live music, dancing and lots of beers. If you want to enjoy a beer at your room - or even better at the balcony of your apartment - that's also possible. Most apartments in the city are located so they get the sun and the sunset.

Our apartment were located in the hotel Miranda in the new part of town - called La Falaise. We had an excellent view towards the horizon and the mountains. Actually a lot happened when we sat and enjoyed a beer at the balcony. We saw snowboarders rehearsing the basic stunts, a paraglider utilizing the winds of the cliffs, a helicopter transporting goods and big machines handling the snow. After the beer and a hot shower - which by the way could be quite cold (not funny) - we dinned at the restaurants in the city (not the best food though - and expensive too) or prepared our own dinner in the apartment after shopping in the local supermarket.

Paraglider hanging on the winds of the cliffs. View from apartment balcony.

View from apartment balcony. A lot to see.


To summarize Avoriaz is one of my best skiing experiences. The mix between good skiing, excellent atmosphere, after skiing and night life is my second best after St. Anton in Austria. With more sun and better snow Avoriaz would be able to compete with most places in the Alps.

For more information see www.avoriaz.com

Other Photos

See my Avoriaz photo gallery.