It might seem like an ordinary chairlift when you get on, but the Lessieres Express packs a stomach-churning punch. It's not called the "up and oh-ver" for nothing.
When the two-way chair crests the sharp ridge between Solaise and Le Fornet and then plunges down the other side, your stomach tends to end up in your chest. Somehow the sense of exposure is much worse going downhill. Plus, often one side is in the lee of the wind -- popping over the top gives you a face-full of spindrift-laden alpine air.
Ski bums have been known to jump off the chair halfway down the Le Fornet side to access fresh powder but it's a highly dangerous maneuver and likely to result in serious sanctions.
Did you know? Val d'Isere can trace its early human habitation back to Roman times, while the old church in the center of town was built in 1664.
Because of the narrow entrance gorge and high snowfall, it remained cut off for much of the year until the access road was improved in the late 1880s. www.valdisere.com