Baregès/La Mongie Ski Resort
Baregès and La Mongie are two complementary villages which make up the biggest ski area in the French Pyrenees - Le Grand Tourmalet. In total there are 100km of pistes available with 29 lifts serving them. Baregès is set at 1250m and La Mongie is situated at 1800m.
The slopes span widely across four major sectors, with contrasting treelined runs above Barèges and open bowl skiing towards La Mongie. The whole area is best suited to intermediates, but there are some gentle greens for novices and decent unexploited off-piste. For beginners there is 11 km of green and blue slopes connecting the two ends of Le Grand Tourmalet. Most of these slopes are situated just above La Mongie. For more advanced skiers, there are 5 black and 16 red runs and access to the freestyle area “the Park des Étoiles”. A highlight for freeriders is the well-known Pic du Midi de Bigorre (2877 m) which can be accessed by cable car from La Mongie. There are no official ski slopes leading from the Pic du Midi - it is exclusively freeride territory.
Baregès is a small, authentic mountain village, with one main street, a newish chalet and a few basic hotels. The lift base is at Tournaboup, 4km up the valley and served by ski bus, though with good conditions you can ski back to the village. La Mongie on the other hand is a 1970s purpose-built resort which whilst still quiet, is slightly livelier than Baregès. The bar at Le Schuss in the centre of town is always busy and L'Igloo bar is another good option which is popular with locals. While Le Grand Tourmalet can't compete in terms of size of ski area with the mega-resorts of the Three Valleys or Paradiski, it has considerable attractions - price, Gallic charm and fewer crowds to name three.
For further information visit the Le Grand Tourmalet website.