Fleece or flip-flops? Gloves or cap? I remained doubtful for a long time in front of my empty suitcase while preparing to come to Val Thorens this summer… When in doubt, I almost took my entire wardrobe! After having already spent two months Val Thorens, I decided to help vacationers in distress, who, like me before, don't know what to wear.

The most important thing to know when it comes to Val Thorens summer is that, like everywhere at altitude, the weather varies very quickly and is difficult to predict. We can therefore find ourselves under small snowflakes the day before and under a big, hot sun the next day! All weathers come together here, so you have to prepare your suitcase accordingly.

Very important : at altitude, we are closer to the sun, whether it is uncovered or hidden behind the clouds, it is treacherous, don't forget sunscreen whatever the weather and whatever your activity!

THE HIKER'S SUITCASE, according to Séverine from the Belleville Guides office:

  • Good hiking shoes for a full day outing, preferably with a high upper (ensures better comfort, especially when going downhill) and necessarily with notched soles.     
  • Trail shoes, which hold the foot less well, may be sufficient for a half-day outing; beyond that, they will not be suitable.
  • A windbreaker (waterproof) and a fleece, to always have in your hiking bag,
  • Un can or bottle of water,
  • A picnic for a day outing and a in case for small snacks (cereal bars, cakes, dried fruits, etc.),
  • A backpack,
  • A hat and gloves to have in your suitcase, they could be useful if you are planning a glacier hike with the guides office or an eternal snowball fight towards the peaks,
  • Sun glasses,
  • A cap or hat: believe me, getting a sunburn on your head is not very pleasant and it can ruin a day of vacation…,
  • Comfortable clothes: the ideal is to have technical, light, sometimes waterproof clothing; they will dry faster if you sweat,
  • Sticks are recommended but not obligatory (depending on preferences).
  • A phone in case of a problem,
  • A headlamp or flashlight, if night falls and you are still outside,
  • And finally... A camera, to bring back pretty photos, souvenirs of this beautiful walk to remember later!

THE MOUNTAIN BIKER'S SUITCASE, on the advice of Ludo, manager of the Zénith, sports store and mountain bike rental:

  • Shoes : running-type sports shoes for mountain biking (mountain biking) are sufficient, while high-top shoes for downhill mountain biking will be more appreciated,
  • Protections for downhill mountain biking: leg guards, back protectors, etc. For those who have them (possibility of renting them on site),
  • A bicycle helmet with visor for mountain biking hiking helmets and a full-face helmet for downhill mountain biking,
  • A camelback,
  • Sunglasses or a ski mask,
  • Jogging or shorts depending on time,
  • Windbreaker to always have in your bag (it's cool on the ski lifts),
  • Comfortable clothes, technical clothing ideally,
  • A phone, in the event of a mechanical problem, injury or storm,
  • A headlamp if you left a little late and night falls,
  • A case with what you need in case of a puncture,
  • And obviously, a bike for those who have one!

THE TRAILER'S SUITCASE, according to Julien Chorier, Ultra-trails champion and trail ambassador of Val Thorens :

☀ When the weather is nice and warm ☀

  • T-shirt
  • Shorts
  • Cap

☁ When the weather is cloudy and cold ☁

  • Gloves and hat to have in your suitcase for cooler days and if you venture to altitude. It's better to have it than to run out in due time!
  • Tights
  • A warm jacket
  • A waterproof windbreaker

The timeless ones to have on every outing:

  • A water bottle (or camelback) and something to hydrate during the outing (water or exercise drink if you are doing a long outing),
  • A snack (gels, bars, dried fruits, etc.),
  • Sunscreen !
  • Trail shoes,
  • Trail poles (recommended),
  • A GPS watch with optional cardio belt, to monitor your performance and progress,
  • A windbreaker to always have in your bag,
  • A small note to put in your pocket in case you run out of provisions and feel a little hungry or thirsty when passing a shelter...
  • A headlamp if you get lost and are surprised by the night,
  • A telephone if we encounter a problem.

And in the station, how do we dress?

As you would dress normally, but favoring mid-season clothing over very light clothing, the sun can be very hot in the mountains, pushing the thermometer up to a felt 30°C, but as soon as a cloud hides it, temperatures are getting cooler... In the suitcase, t-shirts, shorts, pants, vests/fleeces and a raincoat are therefore appropriate! And if you want to go out in the resort in the evening, take a little warm jacket with you, it quickly gets cool in the evening (between 5°C and 15°C depending on the weather), the opportunity to warm up by sharing a herbal tea or a hot chocolate with family, or even a génep with friends. This is also the conviviality of the mountains!
Obviously, these tips are intended to prepare you for any situation so that you have a good vacation, but we hope that the weather is nice and warm during your stay in our mountains. Val Thorens ! ☀


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