LES DEAUX ALPES, FRANCE - Twin attractions of snow and fun.

We have a love-hate relationship with Les Deux-Alpes. We quite like the buzz of the town - arriving here is a bit like driving into Las Vegas from the Nevada desert - and we understand the appeal of its vibrant nightlife. We love the high-Alpine feel of its main mountain, and the good snow to be found on the north facing runs in the middle of the mountain, above the icy home slopes and below the giant nursery slope that is the glacier.

But we're very unimpressed by the extent of those slopes, and we hate the slope congestion that results when most of the town's 35,000 visitors are crammed on to them. Crowding apart, keen intermediates spoilt by high-mileage French mega-resorts (and not up to the excellent off-slope) will simply find the usable area of slopes rather small.

What's Great
What's Not-So-Great

+ High, snow sure slopes, including an extensive glacier area

+ Varied high-mountain terrain, from motorway cruising to seriously steep blacks and off-slope slopes

+ Efficient, modern lift system

+ Excellent, sunny nursery slopes

+ Stunning views of the Ecrins peaks

+ Lively, varied nightlife

+ Wide choice of hotels

? Slope network modest by French mega-resort standards - we're skeptical about the claimed 200 km - and badly congested in places

? Only one easy run back to the resort - a busy zigzag path; others are red or black, and often ruined by sun

? Virtually no woodland runs

? Spread-out, traffic-choked resort

? Few appealing mountain restaurants