THE AREA: Région Dents du Midi : Champéry, Champoussin, Les Crosets, Morgins, Troistorrents & Val d’Illiez. / Also forms part of the larger Portes du Soleil ski area.
SEASON START & END: Early December – Mid April
SKI ALTITUDE IN METRES: Local Resort of Champéry: 1,055m – 1,336m / Vertical Drop 290m // Dents du Midi Region 930m – 2,277m / Vertical Drop 1,500m
PISTES: Local Resort of Champéry: 20 (8 Blue / 8 Red / 4 Black) // Région Dents du Midi: 100km / 48 (23 Blue / 17 Red / 6 Black / 2 Ski Routes) // Portes du Soleil – 600km / 316 (34 Green / 119 Blue / 101 Red / 32 Black + Freestyle Zones)
LIFTS: Région Dents du Midi: 37 (Cable cars 1 / Chair lift 13 / Drag Lifts 21 / 2 magic carpets)
SNOW CANONS: 100
LIFT TICKET 2021/22 Ski Pass: Adult Local Resort: 50 Euros – 1 day / 300 Euros – 6 days // Adult Connected Area: 100 Euros – 1 day / 400 Euros – 6 days
CROSS COUNTRY SKIING: 10km of trails
AIRPORT: Geneva 58.9km / Turin 124.8km
TRAIN: Nearest stations are Aigle (17km) / Lausanne (62.9km)
FACTS: The region has 7 tracks specially for ski touring in Morgins / The name ‘Dents du Midi’ means “Teeth of Moon” after the three km long mountain range in the Chablais Alps of Switzerland.
Champery is a gorgeous rustic Swiss village sitting under the mighty peaks of the Dents du Midi and is part of the Région Dents du Midi Ski area and in turn part of the even larger giant skiing area Portes du Soleil. Wandering through the streets of Champery is a true pleasure, with so many gorgeous old traditional timber buildings. Champery has really preserved much of its architecture, this is ‘Alpine’ on steroids; remember to look up as you wander through the village to check out the fine artistic details on the buildings and hunt for the years that they were built in. Many buildings have been renovated but in sympathy with the architectural heritage. With such beauty, this is a place that one could settle down in, I am sure that at Christmas this is the place to spend time with friends and loved ones. The streets have a splattering of stylish shops too, from interior design to fashion and of course the usual ski shops too. Champery seems to have also attracted more than its fair share of culinary talent as we discovered, there are some outstanding restaurants here. From the Italian Alta 1874 with its delicious Italian fare to the charming At Home with its funky bar and cool restaurant; I hear that there is also a recent Michelin star in town so a good reason to return I am sure.
Champery has two options to access the mountain, the main lift is the cable car Croix de Culet from the centre of town, this is the only way up from and down to the town centre; however there is also the Grand Paradis chair from the quiet end of town in Grand Paradis, which one can ski down to as well, the local buses also run to this location as well as the cable car. Once up the mountain the views are wonderful, especially of the Dents du Midi. In my mind there are four areas all quite different in their character, which makes Champery so attractive. The Planachaux chairlift has a great piste which is often a little quieter when the rest of the resort is busy, then one can head over towards the Marcheuson drag.
We love the big mountain red and black pistes which sit under the Grand-Conche and Mossettes chairlifts, check out the views from up here too. One can also access the rest of the Les Portes du Soleil from up here too. For a little quiet blue piste action head over to the Ripaille drag lifts, great for tuning your carving skills. From the top of the drag one can access a whole different area once again, the amazing and very long red itinerary route Ripaille Grand Pararadis which takes you past some ‘Off the beaten track’ restaurants and away from the hustle and bustle, descending into the valley and follows the Vièze River underneath the Dent du Midi, through the woods past old farming cabins all the way down to Grand Paradis, this is one little romantic adventure one should not miss.
The region has a healthy supply of Blue pistes that tend to connect across the skiing area quite well. Champery might be better suited to beginners who have had a little experience already. As there were no ‘Nursery’ slopes to my mind.
With plenty for intermediates to explore, Champery will not disappoint. Head high for the big wide pistes like the red Grande-Conche and then go explore the long red itinerary route Ripaille Grand Pararadis.
The piste Chavanette is reputed to be one of the toughest pistes in the world. Also known as the ‘Swiss wall’ this pistes descends 331 metres on a slope almost hitting 40° at times, un-pisted the moguls can become mountains themselves. Go pit your skills against the Chavanette. The smooth undulating ride of the Black piste Grand-Conche 15 is worth trying out too.
When it comes to eating we love the La Croix de Culet at the top of the cable car of the same name, even when the rest of the mountain restaurants were busy we found a table here because it is not in the centre of the main resort; return here for some Apres Ski too with its outstanding views and cocktails.
ECOLOGY & SUSTAINABILITY FACTS:
-Champery holds the label ‘Valais Excellence’ for Sustainable development and social responsibility.
-Collaboration with POW to promote sustainable travel to Champery preservation of the environment.
– Collaboration with the Summit Foundation running awareness campaigns & eclean up days of the region.
-Collaboration with Slow Food Travel to promote local food and drink