This is the first in a series of posts from Fall-line Skiing, a bunch of witty, tuned-in and inspiring folk responsible for one of the snowsports industry’s best-loved magazines.
The team take a look at that nightmare facing all group leaders of a ski or board trip – just where do I find the best group ski resorts that suit everyone?
Looking for a spot of magic?
One that offers gentle beginners slopes and top-notch tuition, yet will keep the most extreme skiers and boarders of the group, happily hucking their way through the week?
Fear thee not noble ski trip organisers.
There are actually places where you can bring an eclectic gaggle of off-piste gurus, piste bashers and never-even-seen-a-mountain-before beginners and all meet up for lunch in a post ski glee.
One of the French big guns where intermediates can clock up mile upon mile of effortless carving, mixing it up with the occasional black or gentle off-piste.
Meanwhile, beginners can find their ski-legs on the sunny bunny runs and have-a-go-heroes can try their luck on the longest trail in the Alps (which just happens to start with a very gnarly mogul run.)
More about Alpe d’Huez ski and snowboard holidays
Ahh VT, you high-altitude temptress.
Part of the biggest piste network in the world, one of longest snow-sure seasons in the Alps and some truly heroic hills. Novices and powder hounds are equally well catered for.
Val Thorens is a haven for freeride, with long lasting freshies and one of the best terrain parks around. So much so that Crystal have made it home to one of their two Riders’ Lodges right in the town centre (the other’s in Tignes). Think laidback ski pants and Blizzard of Aahhh’s on repeat. Plus access to the powder, park and that all-important après.
More about Val Thorens ski and snowboard holidays
Woodland trails, plenty of vert and some serious cols – you could be forgiven for thinking Les Arcs is experts only.
But factor in the well-groomed cruisers, beginner specific zones and link to La Plagne and it’s clear Les Arcs is an all-round favourite.
More about Les Arcs ski and snowboard holidays
A free nursery run and gentle greens await first-timers, but Tignes still holds its own as one of the greatest off-piste resorts in the world.
And the pistes are never-ending, especially if you make it over to linked Val d’Isere. Crystal is offering free lessons for first timers in Tignes, Val and Les Arcs too.
More about Tignes ski and snowboard holidays
Even if you ignore the neighbouring off-piste mecca of La Grave, Serre Che has a plenty of potential for some serious sidecountry action.
So you can slash powder while your beginner mates eat snow on the nursery slopes (which are excellent, too, by the way).
More about Serre Chevalier ski and snowboard holidays
Linked with Pas de la Casa, Soldeu can rival the French mega resorts when it comes to catering for mixed-ability groups.
It’s not known as a great spot for pros, but you’ll still find powder stashes days after the last snowfall.
Oh, and did we mention it’s tax free?
More about Soldeu ski and snowboard holidays
Like nearby Vail, Breck is amongst the best in North America for have it-all-ski groups, with everything from double diamonds and chutes to the gentlest of nursery slopes.
Then there’s the 25 acres of kickers, rails and tabletops for park rats to play on.
More about Breckenridge ski and snowboard holidays
Find out more about Fall-line skiing by visiting their website.
What’s your experience of these resorts? Do you have any recommendations on great resorts for mixed ability groups of skiers and boarders?
Photos: JP Noisillier / NUTS.FR / Laurent Salino