There are downsides to driving through the French Alps, not least the French themselves: beret-wearing tailgaters who pass on corners and cause twice as many fatalities per mile as we have in the States. Highway tolls are expensive, gas is worse ($5 a gallon), and wintertime pass closures make for a lot of back-and-forth instead of aesthetically pleasing loops. But in these mountains, more wrinkled, ragged, and filled with ski resorts than any others on the planet, the flexibility of car travel is key. The geography means that one resort can be dry while its neighbor gets dumped on. So do as the French do and look at mountain driving as just another adventure sport. Each of our main pit stops-Les Trois Vallées, Sainte-Foy Tarentaise, and La Grave-is strategically situated near other major resorts should a snow-chasing day trip be necessary.