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Pub Le Ski Lodge in La Tania opens tonight, Friday 2nd December at 17:00 for Winter 2017. The original Alpine Fish ‘n’ Chips is on Special and there’s live music with Al Jones from 22:00. Hear his new single, La Nuit (getting BBC national air play) on SoundCloud. The Album of the same name is out in December and Al will be playing at La Taiga in La Tania every Wednesday evening this season.
The Ski Lodge refurb work includes a new wooden bar with light wood bar surface giving a much cooler, cleaner effect plus recessed floor level bar lighting and all new beer taps. In fact the whole beer system, lines and coolers have all been replaced over the last few weeks along with lots of re-wiring, ventilation, sound proofing and more new lighting.
The dance floor area and surrounds are all a darker wood colour and with the new paintwork it is generally all looking a bit smarter – no shirt & ties required to get in just yet!
Some new guest Beers and select Gins should be ready for lift opening week along with a few tweaks to the food menu too.
And the most important bit – Happy Hour from 16:00 to 18:00 STILL has Amstel at €4.00 a pint at least until 2017.
With the Euro rate climbing up as high as 1.195 yesterday that makes a pint £3.35 – beat that anywhere in The 3 Valleys? Or even London (where the average price for a pint of beer in 2015 was £3.92).
The annual first pint of the season runners & riders (Ski Lodge staff excluded, someone has to test it!) – they’re off at 17:00.
Latest unofficial odds from the Far East underground betting markets as follows:
Lean Machine 4/5 jt fav
The Slippery One 4/5 jt fav
Hairy Bros evens
A Crystal Will 5/4
Taking Flack 5/4 (current champion)
Luke Who’s Here? 5/4
Jim Jams For Hire 6/4
Sha Sha Shazzar 2/1
Michelin Stars 2/1
Minimum Wage 9/4
Daft as a Brush 9/4
Legs Eleven 5/2
The Live Rambler 5/2
Tell No Tales 11/4
Paddy’s Day 3/1
Managing The Elements 7/2
The Free Rider 10/1
15/1 Bar. When the fun stops stop. Bet responsibly.
Some more before and after photos below…
For everything new check out What’s New in La Tania & 3 Valleys for Winter 2017
Insert new beer taps here…
S3V, the lift company that manages the La Tania, Courchevel and Mèribel Mottaret ski areas of The 3 Valleys has re-assured us that they are confident of opening the expected lower runs for the 10 December opening.
While the very early snow has suffered lower down with the milder temperatures very good cover remains above 2200m.
Much lower temperatures this week have allowed snow cannons to resume their work and S3V say they will start linking up these huge mounds of snow to create pistes shortly.
With 30 years of managing the snow cover and one of the most advanced snow making systems in the World (for this Winter they now have doubled the throughput of snow making capacity – the amount they can make in a certain time period) they will have the mountains ready for 10 December.
Lift Pass Fraud
New security measures will be in place this season to help prevent lift pass fraud.
Lift passes are not transferable and a photograph system that takes pictures at the turnstiles is now available that will compare the lift pass photos that are stored electronically for season passes and check that other passes are not being mis-used.
Photographs will be stored for the validity of the pass and up to two more days. They are processed as personal data in accordance with the privacy/freedom law of 6 Jan 1978.
And more mounds of cannoned snow this morning on La Troika below…
The new phone mast disguised as a tree in La Tania can be confirmed as being provided by Free Mobile (free.fr) and will support 4G.
In La Tania we also have the other 3 major mobile service providers with Bouygues, SFR and Orange having building roof masts on top of Le Grand Bois apartment block and there also appear to be an SFR installation on the Christiana building too. Generally service is pretty good across The 3 Valleys – a noticeable “not spot” was The Mèribel Folie Douce but that was resolved last Winter.
In France SFR and Bouygues are now building a joint network so users can roam between their masts and Free Mobile users can currently roam on Orange 2G and 3G services when needed although this is set to end soon.
Looking at the information site www.antennesmobiles.fr it would appear that Free Mobile plus Bouygues/SFR support 4G but Orange is currently only 3G.
As we mentioned in the New Phone Mast post this doesn’t mean you will always get 4G on a UK SIM when roaming – The UK operator Three Mobile for example doesn’t allow 4G on its free “Feel at Home” service in France (and even the 3G is throttled back somewhat and noticeable when streaming radio etc).
As far as we can tell the 4 UK mobile service providers roam on the following services in France (remember GiffGaff & Tesco is O2, Virgin is on EE etc).
Three Mobile – Bouygues, Orange and Free Mobile (No 4G. No coverage in the Channel Tunnel either!).
EE – Bouygues, Orange (4G where available).
O2 – Bouygues, Orange, SFR (No 4G).
Vodafone – Bouygues, SFR (4G where available).
Thanks to Julien (@dji_oul) for help with the above information.
The new mobile phone mast we mentioned in the What’s New article is now in place in La Tania. Disguised as a tree so as not to be an eyesore.
Situated near the top of the free Troika drag lift it’s now in place (it did take out a street light on the way apparently).
We hear that the service provider for this mast is Free Mobile – And UK Operator Three Mobile roam on this service in France.
Generally the Three UK deal is great for Saisonnaires and regular visitors when use abroad comes out of your UK plan so in effect free to use in loads of countries including France, Switzerland, Greece, Spain and even the USA, Australia & New Zealand.
Although this new mast may give us 4G, currently when you roam in France on Three you will never get 4G and the 3G is throttled back too, still a great deal of course but maybe a bit too good to be true!
However, on the plus side, no one we know has ever had their service stopped because they’ve used it in France all season long when Ts & Cs state you won’t be allowed to do this.
Thanks to Sarah B for the pics – Some more information on Mobiles in La Tania here
Courchevel and La Tania scheduled lifts for 10 – 16 December 2016. S3V hope to have the whole ski area open from 17 December with a return to colder temperatures following the recent milder weather.
While a base is already established higher up there should be some snow down to resort level this weekend and preparation / snow making around lower slopes will continue in time for opening weekend (it is still November!).
Meanwhile Val Thorens is already open with the official opening Grand Premiere this weekend having already been open a week. Around 70% of the ski area is open including the main central lifts, the Funitel, up to the Folie, Moraine & Portette (but not access higher), Grand Fond (but not 4th valley).
New Lift Pass Option
A new transferable lift pass between users has been launched for €5,600
Usually lift passes are strictly none transferable but this one can be shared (one person at a time!).
The cost is €5,600 which seems huge but may appeal to some who are in a position to share within a group (and not ski together). A 3 Valleys season pass is “only” €1,260 – you do the maths…
Really can’t see them selling many or would a company doing all inclusive holidays use them? €294 for a 6 day pass for 18 weeks is €5,292. Then again 20 weeks of single 3V day passes (€60) is €7,560.
La Tania locals celebrating the Beaujolais Nouveau down at The Drop Inn in Le Praz tonight.
Another marker for the start of the season trying out the new wine in what has become yet another excuse for an inter-season night out. This usually starts out at the Cave des Lys but it’s not open this year yet (and to be fair Claire’s selection of Beaujolais has been better and cheaper the last few years anyway).
Thanks to Ralph at The Freeride Republic for the pics
Beaujolais nouveau is a red wine made from Gamay grapes produced in the Beaujolais region of France. It is the most popular vin de primeur, fermented for just a few weeks before being released for sale on the third Thursday of November. This “Beaujolais Nouveau Day” used to see heavy marketing, with races to get the first bottles to different markets around the globe. The current release practice is to ship the wine ahead of the third Thursday of November, and release it to the local markets at 12:01 a.m. local time.
Virtual Reality, the latest photo booth style technology, plenty of Champagne, some Michelin Star Chefs and La Folie Douce Crew – what else would you expect from Les 3 Vallees….
Just two weeks until opening and plenty of work still to do but we’re assured that the Ski Lodge in La Tania will open on Friday 2nd December 2016.
A bit of new furniture and upgrades to the heated 3 level terrace that was new last season at the Ski Lodge plus new lighting, the usual lick of paint and smarten up in preparation for opening was the original plan…
Now a new beer installation and coolers with new pumps going in plus a couple of spare pumps for guest beers, lots of re-wiring work, and replacement ventilation and sound proofing.
Meanwhile the terrace has already been cleared of snow twice (and looking likely some more snow should make it down to resort level this weekend).
On the Après Ski news it looks like Thursday après with Bring Your Sisters is back and they’ll be hosting the Opening Party, New Years Eve and St Patrick’s Night.
We’re also looking forward to the return of Livewire and welcoming some new bands such as The Leggomen.
Pub Le Ski Lodge opens on 2nd December.
The Opening Party is on 9th December.
latania.co.uk Saisonnaire Welcome Night 19th December.
And did we mention the Gin? …..
The main La Tania blue run to resort, La Folyères, has already been groomed by the S3V Piste Bashers and has mounds of cannoned snow stored up waiting to be bashed down to further increase the base snow depth.
La Tania lifts opening date is scheduled for 10 December and the pistes, snow making, existing cannoned snow & grooming schedules will be expertly managed according to the weather conditions until then.
Plenty of people have already hiked up to the Bouc Blanc (or higher) and tore back down, as Mini and Daphne did today – an hour hike up for a 4 minute ride back down (which would surely be much quicker if they hadn’t have to wait for their dog Burleigh – one of the fastest couples on the mountain these two).
Burleigh on Folyères – this piste is mine!
Piste grooming has also started on the red Bouc Blanc & Moretta Blanche runs as well as the green run to resort Plan Fontaine. Further signs that S3V expect to hold on to this snow and have as many slopes as possible open for 10 December.