The La Tania Ski Blog

Latest news, snow, pics, gossip and information from the locals in La Tania – latania.co.uk

 
All the latest news from around the Three Valleys from the La Tania locals. A real blog since 2006, not just endless re-posts for search engine optimisaton! Photos, gossip, snow reports, what's on and all the latest on the Apres Ski scene... Now fully optimised for iPhone, Touch and Android Mobiles - just go to latania.co.uk/blog and view on your phone. Our other past blogs & favourites here

 


 

Ski Job Recruitment Day 01 Sep 2018 – The Snow Centre, Hemel Hempstead

Cool Ski Jobs are hosting a Ski Job Recruitment Day on Saturday 1st September 2018 at The Snow Centre in Hemel Hempstead. This is your chance to live the dream and do a Ski Season…

The event is being held from 10am – 2pm with inspirational speakers discussing all things to do with season life  plus you can meet with potential employers who will be recruiting on the day.

Representatives from ski holiday companies, transfer operators and many more resort businesses will be in attendance to chat about all aspects of “doing a season”  Register here 

In addition all registered attendees will be sent a code the week before entitling them to a half price 2 hour pass for £20. Get a job, have a ski (or board) – what a great day…

The Snow Centre is Britain’s newest Indoor Ski Centre and the closest indoor real snow facility to London with a huge 160m main slope as well as the largest indoor ski lesson slope in the UK. Both ski and snowboarding slopes are over 30m wide and maintained with a perfect snow surface.

Hemel Hempstead is only 26 mins from Euston and The Snow Centre is located just a few minutes off the M25 & M1.

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Saulire Lift Capacity Increased For August

S3V have announced improvements to access the Saulire area for the rest of the Summer after of being busier than expected (due to free lifts no doubt). 

Visitors in Summer will notice traffic light controls and the grouping of gondolas with often a wait to get on the empty lifts. This is for safety when there is limited staff availability so in the event of a breakdown passengers are not spread across the whole length of the lift making a rescue effort much easier. 

Verdons gondola lift will now use all cabins for uphill traffic and have groups of 5 for descents. 

On Saulire a decision to use the Vizelle gondola instead of the Saulire cable car has been made. 

Vizelle gondola has a capacity of 1200 passengers per hour while the single cable car is only 240. 

Vizelle will operate similarly to Verdons with full capacity uphill and groups of 5 for the descent. 

At the end of the day when more people wish to descend (or in the case of a storm coming in and the need to evacuate the mountain) this system can be reversed to provide maximum downhill capacity.

Changes come in to force on 12 August.

Note  Saturday special opening of La Tania, Praz and Foret lifts for the World Cup Summer Ski Jumping and Aerial Displays but Verdons and Saulire remain closed on Saturday as usual.  

Parking for World Cup

Free Shuttle buses for World Cup

Program of events for World Cup

La Saulire Cable Car

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Summer Ski Jumping World Cup & Aerial Displays

The Summer Ski Jumping World Cup 2018 takes place in Le Praz on Friday & Saturday 10/11 August.

The Fly Courchevel Air Show kicks off too and includes La Patrouille de France display team plus a fly past of the 900 km/h Dassault Rafale fighter aircraft (actually capable of 2,130 km/h).

Full Event Program Here (pdf)

From 13:00 to 20:30 there will be continuous free shuttle bus services between Le Praz and La Tania & Courchevel. In addition to the Praz and La Tania Gondolas, the Foret Chairlift will also be open (the chairs stop running between 15:10 and 16:00 on Saturday during La Patrouille de France display for safety reasons). The best viewing area for this will be at the top of the La Tania Gondola on the Praz Juget plateau area.

It’s a great event and always an exciting finish as the best from the first round of jumps go last in the second jumps. There are also fireworks on Saturday night and of course a huge beer tent…

Click on images for full size pics

 

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Respect The Mountain! Free bags & pocket ashtrays available at The Tourist Office

The Clean Mountain campaign has free pocket ashtrays and re-usable bags available from The La Tania Tourist Office so you can take your litter (and even pick some up) with you and not leave it on the mountains.

At the end of every Winter a huge volunteer cleanup Operation Montagne Propre is organised by the Man of the Day Association organisation collecting litter and cigarette butts from underneath lifts once the snow starts to go. Please support this initiative.


On 23 June 2018 during the clean up operation over 1.5kg of cigarette butts were collected (over 5,000). Over 10 tons of litter has been collected over the last 6 years.

 

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Winter 2018 / 2019 Early Lift Openings Confirmed For Courchevel & La Tania

As the temperature again hovered above 30ºC in La Tania yesterday… Winter may seem a long way off but the lift openings for the early weeks of the season have now been confirmed (all subject to weather, maintenance, snow cover, staff resources etc).

Courchevel Opening Week: Sat 08 – Fri 14 December 2018

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La Tania Opening Week: Sat 15 – Fri 21 December 2018

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S3V have also announced the lifts they expect to open on the final week of the season (La Tania is included in this with the La Tania Gondola and Bouc Blanc chair open for access across to Courchevel).
Lifts for Closing Week: Sat 13 – Mon 22 April 2019 (Easter Monday)

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Triumph Cruisers Bikers in La Tania this weekend

The Triumph Cruisers Bikers hold their annual Mountain Meet event in La Tania this weekend. Some great bikes on display and your chance to vote for Best Bike on Saturday when they’ll all be on display in the village centre from about 16:00.

There’s a ride out on Saturday morning departing the Sherpa car park at 10:00 (other makes welcome too) heading over for lunch to the Ski Resort of La Rosière straddling the Italian border.

Live Music with The Hillbillys and LiveWire’s Fernando on Saturday evening at the Ski Lodge – All Welcome!

It’s also the Notre Dame Des Neiges Fête in Courchevel Moriond 1650 on Saturday & Sunday too.
Summer Bus Timetable here

Some of the bikes in previous years below…

 

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Geneva Airport Car Hire – Huge price difference on the French Side this Summer

The last couple of Winters have often seen advance car hire bookings cheaper on the Swiss side than the French side of Geneva Airport (it used to be always the case that the Swiss side was more expensive except during major currency fluctuations with the Swiss Franc being pegged and un-pegged to the Dollar or Euro over the years).

However this Summer has seen some huge differences with France being a lot cheaper, purely due to supply and demand we guess. See below for a basic, budget car for a long weekend in August 2018:

French Side: £61.88
Swiss Side: £214.15

A quick check on a 7 day car hire (basic/budget car booked now) Sat to Sat in Winter 2019 shows:
Swiss Side Jan 12-19: £139. French Side Jan 12-19: £149
Swiss Side Mar 23-30: £172. French Side Mar 23-30: £124

Lots more info here on whether to hire a car from the French or Swiss side of Geneva Airport

French or Swiss Side – Pros & Cons

    Swiss side has a mandatory requirement to have snow tyres or chains in Winter from 1st November until 15th April (usually additional to “all-in-costs” from around £40 per week, but sometimes included, it does vary with supplier) on the French side you have a choice to pay or not – but you might get them anyway!

    A Shuttle Bus is provided for access on the Swiss side to the hire car parking, although it is just over a 5 minute walk from the shuttle bus stop – easy with hand luggage or wheelie bags. Note that the luggage trolleys provided in Geneva Airport take UK 2p coins – you may consider not returning the trolley to its rightful place… A very selfish act of course. French side cars are next to the terminal and it’s all under cover plus the queues for the desk are usually shorter.

    A Vignette is usually always included with a Swiss hire car (the Swiss motorway tax disc / sticker required for motorway driving). Motorways can be avoided however – French side of GVA driving directions. For the first time ever in 2017 we had a Swiss plated car without a Vignette and heard of a least one other. Note that you’re only likely to be stopped without a Vignette on the Motorway border on the way in, not the way out.

    Directions back to the Swiss side are well signposted and much easier. For the French side follow the signs to Ferney Voltaire and you should make it ok, once you’ve done it you’ll think it’s easy.

    Nearest Swiss side fuel station is immediately before entrance to car rental parking. Although in Swiss Francs, not cheap and 24/7 automated – not all UK Cards always work. Fuel is available 100m from the entrance road to the French side of the airport which is manned during weekday hours. If you fill to the brim in Annecy you’d probably get away with returning a “full tank”.

    (Expensive) McDonald’s, Starbucks, Thai, Chinese, Street Food, The Montreux Jazz Café and other options in the food court before security on the Swiss side. Only one, but arguably a better and cheaper restaurant on the French side. Your one hour GVA free WiFi doesn’t extend to the French side.

    If using the French side you can pick up or drop off your hire car at different French airports such as Grenoble, Lyon or Chambéry for free or without excessive charges. Dropping off in another “country” from pickup is not usually allowed or has a very high excess charge.

We always find Carrentals.co.uk is the best comparison site for the best deals on both sides…

Of course if you can’t be bothered with any of this take a Private Transfer, relax, switch off and have a few drinks on the plane…

 

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Latest Pic of Plan de l’Homme lift & Le Praz Building Work

The replacement Plan de l’Homme chair lift in Meribel – more on the new lifts this Summer here


The new underground car park and lift station building work in Le Praz is progressing fast. We hear they’re working from 7am to 9pm!

Thanks to Joey and Ferg for the pics.

 

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The Red Bull 400 – La Tania Invented This Sport!

The Red Bull 400 is one of the toughest races in the world…

Although at first sight it appears straightforward, the aim of the Red Bull 400 is to run 400 metres as fast as possible… over a steep climb with a gradient of up to 36°!

The races take place individually or in teams of 4 (4×100 metres) and the Courchevel event takes place this Saturday 21st July up the Le Praz Ski Jump. Official Event Info

However not many people know that La Tania invented this sport way back in 2004. Following the Summer Ski Jumping World Cup Competiton we held a race up the slope – Sensible Si from South Africa winning (not sure where bro Ollie was that night – the race did start at 1am after security had drifted away!).

It’s also the big Fête de la Madelon in Le Praz this weekend and this year’s Summer Ski Jumping World Cup & Patrouille de France Aerial Show takes place on 10/11 August 2018.

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Winter 2019 Lift Pass Prices & Dates. Aquamotion Access Included in Courchevel Passes!

Confirmation of the opening dates and the main news on lift passes for Winter 2019 is the inclusion of Aquamotion access.

Confirmation of the opening dates of Courchevel and La Tania (and more importantly the closing date which was subject to some discussion). La Tania opens as expected on Saturday 15 December 2018 and now closes on Easter Monday 22 April 2019. Quite a late Easter next year!

All the dates and prices at www.latania.co.uk/skiing/passes.htm

Also interesting to note is that Courchevel Village 1550 will not open until 15 December – normally it’s a week earlier for access to 1850 but the new Grangettes Gondola is not scheduled to be ready until the 15th apparently.

 

Aquamotion access is included in Courchevel Valley Lift Passes for Winter 2019
The Courchevel Valley Lift Pass (includes La Tania) of 2 days or over will include a trip to Aquamotion for Winter 2019. This doesn’t include Season Passes which seems a bit tight!

The €63m Aquamotion Centre opened in December 2015 and is situated between Courchevel 1550 and 1650 (with a scheduled bus stop direct from La Tania). There’s a whole host of activities available with a leisure pool area including rapids, slides, indoor/outdoor pool & a 25m training pool, a wellness centre with Spa and treatments, a climbing wall, surf wave pool and aqua fitness with underwater exercise bikes, mini trampolines, aqua boxing etc etc.

Aquamotion may be included but it does come at a cost with a bigger increase seen this year… (main season prices)
Courchevel 6-Day Adult 2018: €256
Courchevel 6-Day Adult 2019: €272 (+6.3%)
Meribel 6-Day Adult 2018: €249
Meribel 6-Day Adult 2019: €255 (+2.4%)
3 Valleys 6-Day Adult 2018: €300
3 Valleys 6-Day Adult 2019: €306 (+2%)
3 Valleys one-day extension for single valley pass of 2 days or more 2019: €37

So for the first time a Courchevel Valley 6-day pass plus one 3V day extension (272+37=€309) is more than a standard 3 Valleys 6-day pass (with no Aquamotion access €306). It used to be the case that visiting other valleys had to be done at least twice on a single valley 6-day pass to make it better value than a 3 Valleys pass.

A 3 Valley “Wellness Pass” of 6 days or more is available with 2 trips to Aquamotion starting at €369 for 6-days.

Due, Tribu and Famille discounts are all available on these passes as well – for example in 2019 two adults with four kids who are aged 13 to 17 (buying 6 x 6 day Wellness 3 Valleys passes pay €1794 with a family pass rather than €2214 – a saving of €420.

Normal start and end of season discounts also apply.

Key Prices Winter 2019
1 Day Courchevel €54.50
6 Day Courchevel €272 = €45.33/day
1 Day 3 Valleys €62
6 Day 3 Valleys €306 = €51/day
3 Valleys Extension €37
Courchevel Season €1110 = €8.22/day
3 Valleys Season €1310 = €8.03/day
(Courchevel open 135 days, VT 163 days)

All the passes, prices, options, discounts, pedestrian passes, opening and closing dates etc here:
www.latania.co.uk/skiing/passes.htm

Lift pass prices may look a lot but it is the biggest ski area in the world and pence per km of skiing the 3 Valleys is still the cheapest in the world. Another 3 lifts going in this Summer too and another €50m or so invested in ski area infrastructure.

 

Click on images for full size

 

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