© Val Thorens
Following the huge popularity of Europe’s highest zipline in 2014, the ski resort of Val Thorens in the popular French ski area of Les 3 Vallées is set to present a second zipline for the 2018/19 ski season. The new zipline, while not as high as La Tyrolienne, offers a long ride through the very heart of the ski area itself. It’s definitely not for the faint of heart or those who are afraid of heights! While there’s no need to buy tickets in advance, the ziplines can only accommodate several dozen people a day so it’s a good idea to get there early.
In 2014 Val Thorens brought us La Tyrolienne, Europe’s highest zipline at an altitude of 3230m and 250m above the ground. The zipline is 1300m long and the ride lasts 1 minute and 45 seconds, running from Bouchet lift mountain station in Orelle down to the Val Thorens crest at the Thorens Funitel (3000m). Along the way, you’ll hit speeds of over 100km/h. You must be a skeir to ride this zipline, as it’s accessed via the Bouchet chairlift in Orelle. The ride costs 52 € and is availabe for people ages 8 to 88. There’s no need to reserve tickets in advance but there are a limited number of places sold.
The new zipline’s course will take you right through the heart of the ski area. Measuring an impressive 1600m over three sections and reaching a height of 65m above the slopes, the zipline takes you from the top of the La Moutière lift and ends at the Place Caron. The zipline will be open daily and anyone can enjoy this one – you don’t need to be a skier. Adrenaline junkies will be pleased to know the average speed attained on the zipline is 75km/hr, so non-skiers can also get their thrills in. As with all ziplines, the Tyrolienne and the new zipline are weather-dependent and may be closed due to high winds or otherwise poor weather. This new zipline will be able to accommodate two people at once.
Val Thorens plans to open its ski area starting from November 17, 2018 and will also be unveiling a blue run from La Cime Caron, which allows skiers of all abilities to ascend to the peak of the 3 Vallées; a black run in the Boismint sector; and 4 new ski touring routes. At the Grande Première on the weekend of November 24-25th, skiers and snowboarders will have the opportunity to test out equipment for free.
One of France’s best-known ski resorts, Val Thorens is situated in the enormous linked ski area of Les Trois Vallées and boasts access to 600km of slopes, with something for every level of skier and snowboarder. The classy, car-free village centre claims the title of the highest ski resort in Europe, at 2300km above sea level. Snow quality is guaranteed thanks to the altitude and the après-ski scene is one of the best in France, with legendary establishments such as La Folie Douce right on the slopes. The only drawback to Val Thorens is the somewhat inflated prices but hey, you get what you pay for!
Born and raised in the ski paradise of Vancouver, Canada, I learned to ski before I can remember, balancing precariously on my parents’ skis as they sailed down the hill. I started snowboarding in my teens and am now delighted to be exploring everything Europe’s ski scene has to offer!
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