Ask any rider and they’ll put their home resort as their No. 1 mountain. The main reason for this is that when you spend a lot of time in one place, you get to know all the possibilities that the place has to offer. The actual Les Crosets resort is quite small but it’s the basecamp to all the other resorts that are part of Les Portes du Soleil which is Europe’s biggest ski domain. It includes about ten Swiss resorts along with another ten French resorts. There are rumours that if you want to start riding around through all the resorts, you better have a credit card and a passport with you as you might not have time to make it back and might get stuck across the border. It happens all the time.
A lot of photos you see are labelled Les Crosets but they’re actually shot in another resort that we just take a couple of lifts to. All that Romain, JP Solberg, Droz and Absinthe stuff is actually shot in Champery, or on the way to Avoriaz, not Les Crosets. But they’re all tied and due to the fact that we always park the car in Les Crosets, voila, there ends the mystery. There are some really good spots in Les Crosets though. They’re just played out and we try to move on and do new stuff every time. You’re more than welcome to come and ride the kickers that we’ve already shot.
Kickers can be built everywhere in Les Crosets, depending on snow conditions, and when some spot might not work in January, it will be sick due to storms and windlip creations. If you don’t want to hike too far, there’s a spot right next to the car park where we’ve built three or four different kickers and shot some cliffs. People don’t even think of going there because it’s just so close. It’s not the steepest terrain in Les Crosets but if that’s what you’re looking for, just ride to the French side, Avoriaz or Chatel. There’s every kind of terrain there including steeps, bumps, chutes and forests – the list goes on.
There’s a nice kicker terrain in Les Crosets at the lift called Pointe de l’Au on the other side of les Mossettes. Then there’s the secret spot called La Zone but if I tell you where that is the Absinthe crew will hang me as that’s their little goldmine (Sad that localism seems to be creeping into the European mountains – Ed). I’m sure that if you look hard enough, though, you’ll find it and recognise the spots from the movies.
Les Crosets has a park that has the reputation of being one of the best in Europe. It’s groomed everyday and it has everything to offer except a pipe (they did have one two years ago and may have one next year again) although they do have a Dragon there. There are a bunch of fun lines for beginners to pros.
As for the slopes, like I said before, they’re all very different but all really fun. It’s really cool to take the full Portes du Soleil pass and try to go through as many resorts as you can. A day isn’t enough though to do them all: you’ll need at least two or three.
Les Crosets is a really small place and only has like two hotels and no shops. The only restaurants are the ones in the hotels so it’s not really a going-out place. Most off the people that come to stay for a while prefer to live in Morgins, which has a lot more to offer, with plenty of hotels, restaurants and shops.
As for local pros that ride here, there aren’t that many. People think that Romain’s a local but he doesn’t spend more than a week here each season. Darius and Joelle Strecker spent their season here, as did Jul Reymond last season. But as for pros passing through, the list is endless.
One more thing about Les Crosets which makes it my favourite place is that there’re endless possibilities but at the same time, it’s still a tiny resort and always seems to be uncrowded except maybe for a bluebird Sunday. But still then it’s not half as bad as Verbier and all those circuses.