PAS DE LA CASA & GRAU ROIG SKI AREA
On the Slopes
There are two distinct sectors to the local ski area: the Pas de la Casa sector immediately above the town, and the Grau Roig sector on the other side of the dividing Envalira ridge.
Pas de la Casa Sector Characterised by huge motorway-wide cruising pistes and high snow-sure terrain, Pas de la Casa resembles some of the purpose-built ski stations common to the French Alps. Its major advantage is that it facilitates riding on-piste right down into the town centre of the resort.
Because the town sits right on the French border at the eastern edge of Andorra, all lifts rising away from the central base area head west, facilitating easy links towards Grau Roig and the other Grandvalira sectors and adding to the sense of big mileage offered by the ski area.
Grau Roig Sector Much more extensive than the Pas de la Casa sector, and with a lot more variety, but again principally characterised by long cruises on parallel-running motorway-wide superpistes.
Because Grau Roig sits at the head of the Valira Valley, its ski lifts radiate out up the northern, eastern and western flanks of the cirques surrounding the ski area; with links east towards Pas de la Casa, and west towards Soldeu-El Tarter.
There are three distinct zones:
1. The extensive Cubil area to the west, linking towards Soldeu-El Tarter & Encamp
2. The quiet, wooded, Piolet & Montmalús slopes, rising into the impressive Circ del Colells to the south
3. The principal runway-wide pistes on the slopes of the Pic Blanc/Envalira ridge to the east, linked with the Pas de la Casa sector.
Green & Blue Pistes
Absolute beginners and still-nervous novices will find both sectors' well-groomed wide pistes a boon to confidence building, and flattering to their style. The resort attracts many first-timers and second-weekers, which helps dispel any elitist attitude common in some Alpine resorts, helping debutants to relax and enjoy the learning experience. The standard of tuition provided is high, for all ability levels, and the Andorran snowsports authorities have developed one of the best snowsports teaching systems in the world.
Intermediates can make the most out of the big mileage and variety offered by the full Grandvalira domain and, since all standard lift passes of more than one day's duration are automatically full area passes, there is no need to upgrade or pay a supplement to range out over all linked sectors.
Black Pistes & Freeride/Freestyle Areas
Advanced ability visitors may find the terrain a little tame, but there is more than enough ground to cover here to keep a week's holiday interesting.
There are a handful of short yet worthwhile black runs, a couple of well-maintained snowparks (slopestyle, no halfpipe), plus a secured in-bounds Freeride Zone, all directly accessible within one chairlift ride from the town; and, since it all depends on the prevailing snow conditions on the day, Andorra's respectable snowfall record helps keep the chance of powder days high.
There is just the one [classic + skating-style] Nordic ski circuit, at Grau Roig.
NB: Nordic/Langlauf enthusiasts are better catered for at Andorra's separate dedicated cross-country ski station of La Rabassa
, which is located in the Principality's southern parish of Sant Julià de Lòria.
A huge domain comprised of the linked ski sectors of Pas de la Casa & Grau Roig together with the neighbouring ski areas of Soldeu, El Tarter & Canillo
LIVE RESORT LINKS
Ski Area Factsheet
SKI AREA DATA
Statistics given are for the entire Grandvalira domain:
930 m (3051 ft)
1 cable car
(15 fast, detachable)
18 button tows
8 rope tows
7 conveyor belts
1 Nordic circuit
1 bumps stadium
5 children's zones
2 in-bounds freeride zones
covering 43 per cent of pistes
40 in total, at 19 sites