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New Lifts, Pistes & Improvements for Winter 2018 across The 3 Valleys
A quick look at the new developments planned for Winter 2018 across The 3 Valleys in advance of our comprehensive What’s New Guide that we’ve publish every September / October since 2001.
The 3 Valleys is the biggest Ski Area in The World and continued investment give it one of the most modern and efficient lift infrastructures in the world with state of the art piste grooming and unrivalled snow making systems in terms of technology and capacity.
New Ariondaz Gondola, Courchevel 1650 Moriond
The replacement of the Ariondaz Gondola from 1650 with a new 8 seater gondola doubling the current capacity is set to open in December 2017. Basically following the same route (and not a 2 stage gondola as originally planned) up to the Bel Air and a new luge run of 2860m is to be created too!
Stats – Cost €19m, Length 2430m, Vertical 456m, 2400 skiers/hour.
The removal of the Stade, Sainte-Agathe and Marquis drag lifts is also being undertaken this Summer.
New Roc de Tougne 6 Seater Chairlift, Meribel Mottaret
Replacing the 2 parallel drag lifts of the same name this high speed 6 seater detachable chairlift is now under construction and links nicely from the new Combes 2 chair out of Mottaret.
Stats – Cost €6.3m, Length 1083m, Vertical 400m, 2400 skiers/hour.
There is also work to increase the capacity of the snow making reservoir at the base of the new lift and the next phase of development in Mottaret will be the renovation of the Mont Vallon Gondola and replacement of the old Plattières 3 bubble. No news on rumoured upgrades of Côte Brun however – often quite a bottleneck in the rush over to Val Thorens.
New Moraine 10 seater Gondola, Val Thorens
Replacing the long 4 seater chairlift (which is now up for sale if you fancy it) is a new 10 seater Gondola being built this Summer following roughly the same line as the chair. It is not being extended to take in the Col chair too as was previously rumoured.
Stats – Cost €13m, Length 2454, Vertical 466m, 2800 skiers/hour.
Additional work in Val Thorens includes a new piste linking the top of the Plein Sud chair (Val Thorens Folie Douce area) over to the Croissant piste to enable an alternative route back to the resort centre. Work begins on this new piste Retour Sud in mid July and is expected to take around 10 weeks with an estimated cost of half a million euros.
Further developments and future plans / rumours
Preparatory work on the replacement of the Grangettes gondola out of Courchevel Village 1550 have begun – this lift expected to be ready for Winter 2019.
Next stages of development around Courchevel are expected to include a gondola from the Grande Combe (Aquamotion Centre), the extension of the Praz gondola to La Croisette 1850 (and a complete renovation of this area) plus construction of the 6 seater Moretta Blanche chairlift out of La Tania to link with the Bouc Blanc chair and the removal of the Gros Murger drag.
It’s still unclear when the Moretta Village development in the car park area will go ahead and S3V have said that this was a dependency on the new lift being constructed – Environmental Impact and some preparatory work has taken place however – the latest stats are 990 beds, 250 parking spaces, 2 restaurants, a bar/lounge, ski shop, creche and fitness centre. The line of the proposed chair here:
Consultation and initial discussions are taking place around a possible lift from the bottom of the Plan de L’eau lift in Val Thorens towards the Dame Blanche black piste area on La Masse thus linking in with Les Menuires.
No further news on a possible link between the bases of the Caron Cable Car and Grand Fond Funitel in Val Thorens (or anything around development towards the Mont du Borgen area – maybe the new piste below this area is a forerunner to this?).
As usual, a complete roundup with photos and full details in our What’s New at the end of the Summer.