Alpe d'Huez is located in the French Alps in the Rhone Alpes Department, close to the Italian border. The town of Grenoble is a 90 minute drive down the mountain. Grenoble also has the closest airport in the region.
The town of Alpe d'Huez is a smaller sized resort town and is charming and quaint. It doesn't have a huge nightlife compared to other French resorts.
Alpe d'Huez resort and village sit at the top of a long, windy climb, while Huez village is a bit lower down the hill but is mostly residential. Village Reculas is another small village which accessed from another road leading up the mountain and is also small and mostly residential.
The climb up the Alpe d'Huez hill is, in fact, a favorite stage of the Tour de France, and it is quite a cool drive winding your way up the same route as the riders take in the summer.
The village is located at 1,860m
British and French are the two main groups of people. English is fairly widely spoken.
Alpe d'Huez has a fairly good diversity of terrain, from a nice beginner area up to serious steeps at Pic Blanc. There are a lot of longer red runs and a series of steep, but short black runs. It is a fairly massive resort and is the fifth largest by skiable terrain in France.
From end to end the resort is quite large and, because it is so big, you can easily escape the crowds if you head out to one of the more remote lifts. In fact, you need to be careful not to get stuck too far away at the end of the day as the lifts can close on you, and you may find yourself stuck in one of the other little villages around the resort.
While the vertical of the mountain is not huge compared to other resorts in the Alps, there is plenty at Alpe d'Huez to keep you discovering new terrain for a season. To ride from the top of Pic Blanc to the base without stopping requires some serious stamina. This run is known as The Sarenne and it is a 16km leg-burner, which is the longest single piste in the Alps.
The cable car that takes you up to Pic Blanc gives a view over the whole resort, and all the way to Mont Blanc on a clear day, and reveals the rugged nature of the Alpe d'Huez resort. This also provides access to the Sarenne glacier.
From Pic Blanc you can drop off the back and work your way around to Vaujany. Around this area you are better off with a guide and definitely need avalanche equipment. There is often very few crowds in this area.
The base is quite high at around 2000m and the Pic Blanc is around 3300m. The snow is generally good at Alpe d'Huez compared to other Alps resorts due to its height, and you can find quite good powder often near the top of the mountain. White outs can occur from time to time.
The terrain park has a few nice rails and jumps and a smaller park next to it. Vaujany also has another small park.
See Jobs Available at Ski Resorts for a description of ski resort jobs
Tour operators are a common way to obtain a job if you hold an EU passport. These provide full service holiday packages fr tourists. A few of the tour companies operating in Alpe d'Huez include:
La Maison des Services Publics et des Saisonniers (Seasonal Worker Office)
This office is run by the Rhone-Alps municipality and offers a number of services for seasonal workers. They have a list of jobs available in the region and at the resort and they are a very good way to find a job. They are open Monday to Thursday and in the mornings on Friday.
In addition L'Espace Saisonnier des 2 Alpes at Les Deux Alpes might have a few jobs posted in the region. This is a seasonal worker's office like the one in Bourg d'Oisans. It is annexed to the local mayor Mont de Lans at 48, avenue de la Muzelle. Les 2 Alpes - Tel. 04 76 79 50 94 - ZAC Les Bergers - Alpe d’Huez - Tel. 04 76 80 69 07
The Rhone-Alps region has a list of guides available for seasonal workers for each of the Rhone-Alps districts that have ski resorts (see www.questionsaison.fr). Alpe d'Huez is located in Oisans. The Osians guide (in French) is available at Bien Réussir ma Saison en Oisans
Pole Emploi sometimes has jobs listed for Alpe d'Huez. It is government operated. www.pole-emploi.fr/
Speaking French is generally necessary for jobs outside the tour operator jobs given that much of the clientele at Alpe d'Huez is French.
If you are working as a guide or with guests then Plage des Neiges, Bergerie and Combe Haute sometimes offer a free lunch.
Most of the operators offer the same conditions. Tour operators will generally offer accommodation, food, season pass and gear rental on top of around 100 euros per week.
Most tour operators offer staff housing and this is generally a good option as it saves the hassle of trying to find a place.
If you are looking for a place yourself, you could try La Maison des Services Publics et des Saisonniers first as they often have rental listings. You could also try L'Espace Saisonnier des 2 Alpes at Les Deux Alpes.
You might be able to find rentals at seasonalaccommodation.com/france/alpe-dhuez
Accommodation is in short supply around Alpe d'Huez, due to the smaller size of the village. While Huez is cheaper, it is more difficult to get up to the village base each day. It is recommended to spend a little bit extra and stay in the Alpe d'Huez village.
The Igloo and Le Caves are the two clubs in town which you will inevitably find yourself at several times during the season. The nightlife in Alpe d'Huez is a more relaxed bar scene and the village is not noted for its huge apres-ski.
For apres-ski, the Underground offers the most fun. For a beer in the sun, the Melting Pot has a nice terrace which offers a great view on sunny days.
Les Deux Alpes and Serre Chevalier are about an hour away and good for a day trip to another hill.