I DON'T normally do selfies, but I had to quickly move out of the way when taking one because a massive piste basher was rolling down the slope straight towards me.

So I pocketed my phone, jabbed my hands in my gloves and set off down the immaculate slope, for the first run of the day.

We were up early to open the slopes with a pisteur, taking the first lift of the day up the mountain in Les 2 Alpes. We saw the piste bashers, or snow groomers, up close as they toiled away, smoothing bumps and preparing the runs for the day ahead.

The public can join pisteurs, learn about their job and then share a breakfast on the glacier at the 3200 café every Wednesday morning for €15. An interesting experience well worth getting up early for, with the added bonus of being able to enjoy tackling a few runs with virtually no other skiers around you.

Les 2 Alpes resort sits at 1,650m and lifts run to 3,600m, boasting a large skiable glacier that is open year-round.

We flew to Geneva, but Lyon and Grenoble are the closest airports. If using the latter, about 45 miles away, there are shuttle buses to Grenoble coach station, then buses to Les 2 Alpes.

As well as getting up close to the piste bashers, the resort offers a behind the scenes tour every Wednesday afternoon, new for this winter.

Les 2 Alpes' snow engineer and his team reveal how they check the snow levels, decide when and how to use the cannons, and explain how water is pumped out of a nearby lake to help make the white stuff.

It's an incredible process. In the midst of this beautiful natural landscape is expensive kit and technology that helps keep the resort open to skiers and snowboarders whatever the weather.

In a world where temperatures are rising - 2016 was the hottest year on record, setting a new high for the third year in a row - resorts have to do something to offer visitors reliable conditions.

Our guide told us that it had been a slow start to the winter season in terms of natural snow, but with tourists expecting snow and hundreds of jobs reliant on the industry, man must step in, especially on the lower slopes.

We also went behind the scenes at the funicular at 3,000m, where we learnt more about the fascinating mechanics of transporting skiers and boarders to the top of the slopes.

The tour costs €8 for skiers who already have a lift pass, or €32 for pedestrians.

Also new in the resort is the Belvedere des Ecrins, a skywalk at 3,400m. It has been created at the top of the glacier, Soreiller summit, where you’ll be greeted by stunning 360-degree views.

The skywalk is seven metres long, overlooking the Vallée de la Selle, which is 1,400m down, and facing the magnificent Ecrins mountain range. Sensational.

Away from the organised tours, Les 2 Alpes offers much to an intermediate like me, with a nice mix of red and blue runs, while €10million has been spent on a new blue taking skiers back into the resort.

Said to have taken 20 years of planning, it's a big boost for the area, which has an unusual slope orientation meaning easier runs are mostly high up with more difficult terrain at resort level. With the help of a fluent English-speaking instructor from the European Ski & Snowboard School, we navigated both with panache.

Our accommodation was the three-star Hotel Cote Brune, a traditional-looking Alpine hotel which boasts a lovely little spa in its basement.

Food and drink prices were respectable compared to many rival resorts in the Alps, and the village benefits from most of the bars and restaurants lining one main road. Some definitely have more of a local feel while others are geared towards tourists, but we found bars such as Polar Bear and Motown Café had a great atmosphere.

With sophisticated technology and engineering doing its thing in the background, there's plenty of snow-based fun to have in Les 2 Alpes - whether that be man-made powder or the real thing.


For more information about the resort visit www.les2alpes.com Prices at the three-star Hotel Cote Brune start from €85 per person half-board. Visit www.hotel-cotebrune.fr

A one-day lift pass costs €49 for an adult and €39.20 for children. Ski school with the European Ski & Snowboard School costs €178 for five mornings in an adult group lesson, or €45 per hour for a private lesson.

Visit www.europeanskischool.eu