Les Grangettes Courchevel
It’s the largest ski area in the world and one of the most beloved ski areas in the Alps, but that’s no reason to sit back on your laurels! Les Trois Vallées has invested heavily in renovations for the upcoming 2018/19 ski season, and skiers and snowboarders are likely to be pleased with the results. From new lifts, to new pistes, to improved snowmaking and even a new zipine, the Les Trois Vallées ski resorts of Courchevel, Méribel, Les Menuires and Val Thorens are putting their glad rags on for the start of winter this year. In this article we’ll discuss everything you know to know about the improvements to Les Trois Vallées for the 2018/19 winter season.
Méribel is slated to invest €15 million in improvements over the next two years, starting with the inauguration of two new chairlifts for the upcoming ski season. The Cherferie lift has been replaced with a high-speed 6-person chairlift that whisks skiers and snowboarders to the top in just 4 minutes. Over in La Chaudanne, the Plan de l’Homme and Roc de Fer lifts will be replaced by the 6-person Legends chairlift with an hourly capacity of 3600 people – no more queues!
Les Menuires has renovated the Bruyères lift, which now sports 8-person cabins and boasts a faster trip time. The Roc 1 gondola has also been updated, with renovations to the valley station and an increased capacity, from 2800 to 3200 people per hour. Meanwhile, the Grange chairlift has increased its hourly capacity from 1800 to 2600 people. Not too shabby!
Courchevel has revolutionised the way skiers and snowboarders travel from Courchevel Village to Courchevel 1850. Instead of relying on the old Les Grangettes gondola, you can now journey in a fast, modern 10-person cabin which runs through the day and into the evening. Courchevel will also unveil a new chairlift between Aquamotion and Courchevel 1850, slated for inauguration in the 2019/20 ski season.
Val Thorens has added a blue piste so intermediate and confident beginners skiers can enjoy the view from the top of the Cime Caron without killing themselves on the way down. The blue piste starts at an altitude of 3195m and winds its way down over a length of 3.2km. The black Triton piste at Plein Sud will be closed starting from next season, but experts will be relieved to know there is a new black piste being prepared in the Boismint section.
In Les Menuires, the snow park has enjoyed a facelift, with new kickers, rails and tables having been added in the beginner, intermediate and expert areas.
Despite the high altitudes, Les Trois Vallées is investing heavily in artificial snow, like many other alpine ski resorts in recent years. The Val Thorens ski area will open on November 17 thanks to the artificial snow, in which it has invested €450 000 this year to upgrade the snowmaking equipment. Meanwhile, Courchevel is investing €1 million in 26 new snow cannons to maintain the slopes of Lac des Creux and Fama in pristine condition. Les Menuires has a new artificial lake that can hold a volume of water equivalent to that of 26 Olympic-sized swimming, destined to be used in the snow cannons. The linked ski area of Les Trois Vallées has 2300 snow cannons, which provide coverage for about 50% of the slopes.
Val Thorens is adding a new zipline to its offer, and this time it delivers you straight into the heart of the resort. Apt for both pedestrians and skiers or snowboarders, the zipline runs from the top station of the Moutière lift to the Place Caron.
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!
|27 July||DIY ideas: what to do with your old skis or snowboard|
|26 July||7 must-see ski circuits in the Alps|
|13 July||Looking back: skiing in Åre, Sweden|