The beginning of the 2017/2018 season will be here before we know it and the money that you all spend on those lift passes has been put to great use across the 3 Vallées over the spring and summer.
For example, S3V, the company that operates the lifts and looks after the pistes, have been installing 115 new snow cannons this Summer in La Tania and Courchevel alone, to make the resorts even more snow-sure. But what else have they been up to?
On the pistes we have two new lifts, a significant piste re-shaping and a new lift pass will be available.
New Roc de Tougne Chairlift/Le Mont de la Challe
The steep, twin draglifts above Mottaret have been replaced by a new, fast-loading 6-seat chairlift that will whisk you to the summit in a little more than 3 minutes. As well as giving faster and easier access to some great pistes such as Lagopède and Bartavelle, (north-facing so reliable, quality snow), they will supplement Tougnette 2 as another route to St Martin de Belleville, Les Menuires and Val Thorens. The lift has been designed to operate in high winds, keeping this 3 Vallées link open even in bad weather conditions.
New beginners’ facilities at Le Rond-Point
Beginners get a new lift too, with a new covered magic carpet lift at Le Rond-Point. A new “Easy Rider” beginner zone has also been created next to it giving much needed extra beginner practice area.
Lac de la Chambre piste reshaping
The Lac de La Chambre red run has now been reshaped and re-graded to a blue piste. This is the main route from Val Thorens to the Méribel Valley so will be easier now that two difficult sections have been bypassed. Not only will this make returning from Val Thorens much easier, but it also opens up a spectacular part of Méribel’s ski area to a wider range of skiers.
Four-hour lift pass
A brand new flexible lift pass, the 3 Vallées 4 hours pass, will be introduced this winter. The four-hour period starts at whatever time you wish and replaces the previous morning and afternoon passes, giving skiers more freedom to ski when they want.
Méribel’s Moon Park has now be renamed the Elements Park, a family freestyle area where you can enjoy small and medium-sized boarder-cross, whoops, fun cross and tables that will allow beginners to try jumps and tricks in safety.
Mottaret’s DC Area 43 also now has a separate zone for beginners called the Turn & Run. Whilst both these areas opened during last season, this winter you will see more jumps and elements so there should be more fun for everyone.
The popular Yeti Park in Mottaret has expanded and now has even more fun elements for junior skiers. Méribel’s Inuit Village has been redesigned and moved, but retains all its special treats for children.
Meanwhile, Méribel’s sled run, the themed Black Forest Mission which opened last season, has been enhanced along its 3.4 km route. Click here to see what it was like last year!
It’s probably the child in me but I can’t help but start with the fun bits!
Brand new 3,000M toboggan run
Starting at the Bel Air, this run sounds incredible with a 450m vertical descent, 4 tunnels, Monaco-style turns and Le Mans straights! The ‘Luge XXL’ will run from the top of the new Courchevel Moriond bubble lift (see below) all the way down into the village and will also run in the evenings with floodlighting. It should be great fun and is scheduled to be open on Tuesdays and Thursdays (afternoons and evenings).
Brand new 1650 Moriond Gondola
The original Courchevel 1650 Ariondaz bubble lift was over 30 years old and took over 10 minutes. The new gondola, that has cost €13million, has 8-person bubbles and will take less than 7 minutes. The lift has a capacity of 2,400 skiers/snowboarders per hour. The bubbles will be extra comfortable and use tubular pylons instead of electricity-pylon style supports as previously.
Western Ski Park
Find a Cowboys and Indians area that is separate and easy to access with wide, gentle pistes, perfect for beginners. Meet ‘Loup Gris’ (Grey Wolf) in his tipi encampment for archery, face-painting, toasted marshmallows and stories of brave adventurers.
In Val Thorens
New Moraine 10 seater Gondola
Replacing the long 4 seater chairlift is a new 10 seater Gondola following roughly the same line as the chair. The new €14million lift will serve the Moraine and Genepi slopes above Val Thorens which are ideal for beginners. It runs from Chalet du Thorens, where you can take another chair up to the top of Glacier de Thorens.
New linking piste
There is also a new piste linking the top of the Plein Sud chair (Val Thorens Folie Douce area) over to the Croissant piste giving an alternative route back to the resort centre. The piste will be called Retour Sud.
Fourth blue run in Plein Sud
The resort is also adding a fourth blue run to the Plein Sud sector, to ease congestion among skiers returning to the other valleys at the end of the day. The run goes to the top of Val Thorens via a picturesque balcony route overlooking the village.
New locations for your 3 Vallées Selfie!
Introduced last winter, there’s a change of scene for your 3 Vallées Selfie this coming season: a new backdrop for the popular XXL Selfies is to be found at:
- Plattieres junction (at the top of Plan des Mains chairlift, the Plattieres gondola and the Chatelet chairlift) in Meribel/Mottaret
- Top of Biollay and Pralong in Courchevel area.
Simply activate the system on your smartphone, look into the camera located 200m away in the mountainside, smile and ‘snap’! A few moments later, you’ll receive your XXL Selfie straight to your device: you and your friends in front of a stunning mountain panorama!
So wherever you find yourself this season, and you can see the latest piste map here, there are so many new spots to explore and better ways of getting there, that you should book your ski holiday now, whilst we still have some availability.
See you on the slopes!