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

 


 

 

More Snow Pics around La Tania… (sorry!)

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Thanks to Freeride Republic Catered Chalets and Tourist Offices for the Pics – Stunning!

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Snow cannons blowing hard on the Bouc Blanc above La Tania – S3V have DOUBLED their snow making capacity throughput for this Winter. This is the amount of snow that can be produced in a particular time period – very important as temperatures may only dip low enough for a short time. World class engineering, even their snow reservoirs are connected by underground pipes (that don’t freeze) to help manage water supplies.

 

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11am on Saturday – already getting busy with those who skinned up to the top of Saulire and plenty of tracks put down…

 

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La Tania Troika looking magnificent

 

The webcams around La Tania & Courchevel on Saturday

 

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Snow Pics Around La Tania 10 November 2016

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Lots of snow today to the valley floor and a little more forecast for tomorrow too.
Will we see the Bouc Blanc terrace central rail buried overnight? That’s about 90cm!

 

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6pm getting closer to the top of the rail…

 

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Snow Pics, First Tracks & Info on Courchevel OPENING Preview Day Fri 11 Nov 2016

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The first tracks of the season on Saulire today and S3V have announced Courchevel will be OPENING this Friday 11 November 2016 for a FREE preview day 09:30 – 15:00 with the Biollay, Verdons & hopefully Saulire lifts planned. Lifts and piste opening will depend on conditions on Friday as more snow is expected on Wednesday & Thursday this week and safety is of course of paramount importance. Temperatures are remaining really cold throughout this week too.

There will be free parking, free instruction tips from the ESF Ski School and free snacks served on the piste in the afternoon from 3pm – great news, time to get booking that early trip or Christmas… Lifts open on 10 December Book Now!

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First Tracks for Winter 2017 on Saulire from those hiking up this morning – Good Work!

 

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Looking down Saulire and grooming has already started plus the snow cannons are blasting away today too

 

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The Ski Lodge Terrace in La Tania today

 

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Looking down towards La Tania

 

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La Tania and the forest – looking magnificent

 

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The Bouc Blanc Terrace above La Tania

 


Fantastic views from the webcams this morning of La Tania, Courchevel and Meribel courtesy of the Tourist Offices, S3V and Merinet

 

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Weather Update – Some snow coming in…

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The tabloid type ski web sites may be getting a a little carried away with the snow coming in on Saturday, definitely some and certainly the temperatures are really plummeting, it could be lower than -10C in resort by mid-week. Not convinced we’re going to be buried in the 3 Valleys though…

The above spaghetti ensembles are Global Forecast Systems showing different forecasts (each line equivalent of UK, US, German, Euro Met Offices) with the upper line predicting temperature and the below line precipitation. This image is focused pretty close to La Tania. Closes the line are together the more likely the forecast being correct really.

Sites that predict 147cm of snow and the like are never going to be correct as snow depths vary so much even in a local area and are affected by wind, humidity, altitude, aspect and of course temperature. The density of flakes makes a huge difference too – heavy snow can compress softer snow below it for example! And it can still be cloudy and not snow…

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The weekend system rolling in this weekend in a swirl from the Atlantic shown above while Northerly Winds come straight down from the arctic – perfect for Snow but still early days although maybe some base will consolidate with cannoned snows on a few main runs. Grooming and compressing essential for that.

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S3V announced yesterday that snow making has started for real – the testing and pressurisation is complete so this is it – they must expect it to stay cold! The above pic showing the run down from Saulire and on the top extreme left Biollay being prep’d.

 

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London Ski Show Review

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Another Start To Winter, Another London Ski Show…

Now in its second year at Battersea Park and at least it kept dry this year with quite a bit of the show being outside.

This year the mezzanine floor was a bar and lounge so there was somewhere inside to get food and drink as well as the other end of the hall (last year this was more stands and through to an extension piece as well so overall there must have been less floor space by exhibitors than previous years).

No Ellis Brigham for the first year I can remember (I’ll have to go to a shop to continue my collection of White Book catalogues) and as they normally have a big retailing operation quite a surprise. Snow and Rock were there with a “Show Case” stand – not actually flogging gear, just promoting themselves and look to have been a late addition to the show. Just as well they were there as they won the “World” Snow Award for best retailer!!! Hmmm… Finches Emporium was one of the few places for gear geeks to check out new kit and seemed to be doing a decent amount of business when we looked in. – No Tesco, Aldi, Sports Direct etc this year and Decathlon only had a small presence really.

Seemed to be a good atmosphere outside in the many places selling food and drink, plus the outdoor ice rink added to it and the kids throwing themselves off the Mount Battersea jump were impressive as ever (although seeing what was created in Annecy in September it’s not really that big anymore). Plenty of activities for kids on half term and lots of specialist stands too – at least 4 Action Camera stands including GoPro & Kodak – and our friends over at Snow Shepherd have started manufacturing their own “workers” ski gloves, they look really decent quality, bet I wish I’d bought a pair come January.

The EIS HAUS ice bar was fun, a couple of freezer storage containers with ice carvings and an ice bar with ice glasses – just the place for a Jäger… It’s going on tour, with a spot at the Tower of London pop up Ice Rink from 16 Nov to 03 Jan and then off to The Alps – we hear Snowbombing is one of the first places confirmed so far. Not sure how it will work in The Alps (you could just drink outside?). The ice sculpting with a chain saw was so clever though.

No doubt the conversations around on-line bookings, on-line information, on-line shopping etc will beg the question if these type of events will carry on for ever – seemed less Tourist Offices there this year and the France Montagnes Tourist Organisation had only a few resort representatives there with Norway by far the biggest presence. Still plenty of information available, talks and holiday discussions to have with many smaller independent and specialist operators as well as the likes of Alpine Elements, Ski Olympic, Inghams, Crystal and Ski Total (interestingly airports Lyon and EuroAirport Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg had stands). No fashion show this year or much live music about – although Will was enjoyable up on the Mezz floor. Comedy still going strong with Altitude Festival being promoted by various comics, the bar inside was probably not the best place for it later on Saturday though.

For a lot of people it’s just a chance to catch up with friends, make plans for next season, get a skiing fix, remind yourself of après ski & how good skiing holidays really are so you can look forward to Winter and enjoy a drink or two of course – Long may that tradition continue…

PS. Top marks to Pig in the Middle – just the best sausage rolls ever…

 

Click on the images for the full size pics

 

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2017 Piste Map Examined and Animated Differences

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For all the piste map geeks out there – the differences on the 2017 maps we’ve seen so far, the new 3 Valleys Escape checkpoints and links to the map downloads.

There is good news on the Jerusalem “dumbing down” to a blue, as we suspected, it’s an alternative way in – the main run is untouched. The new selfie machine logos have been added and the escapade logos now appear in the Courchevel Valley part of the map too, they were missing last year!

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The differences animated – see also 1024 resolution and 2k resolution

 

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The St Martin / Les Menuires map shows the new blue entrance to the Jerusalem piste. As we hoped when we reported here, the piste levels off after the initial steeper section so the run can be categorised as blue (with the red option at the top). Good work and sighs of relief all round…

We also noticed that at the bottom of Jerusalem it looks like a piste will be maintained straight down toward St Martin and hook up with the Biollay piste down to the village. An obvious short cut but in recent years this area has been fenced off and you had to loop around to skiers left following the track where the old 3 seater chair arrived to come out near to the gondola top station.

 

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Also marked on the St Martin map is a [New} logo in the village – we believe this is the new “low pressure” snow cannons that have been installed to maintain the skiing down to village level throughout the season.

 

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The 2017 Val Thorens map shows of the new Stade chair lift (replacing the old drag) and a new red piste running down the side is being maintained named Croissant.

 

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Also on the Val Thorens map is the new replacement Boismint Chair.

 

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The new 3 Valleys Selfie logo can be seen near the top of the 2 Lacs Chair – 6 of these across the Three Valleys at:
* Col de la Loze – Top of Dou des Lanches / Loze Express above La Tania
* Top of the Signal Chair above 1650
* Bottom of Mont Vallon / Plan des Mains, top of Meribel Valley
* Top of Sunny Express above Les Menuires
* Top of Deux Lacs chair in Val Thorens
* Pointe de la Masse – Top of Masse 2

More 3 Valleys Selfie information here

 

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We haven’t got hold of the individual 2017 Courchevel and Méribel Valley maps yet but we did notice a few changes to the 3 Valleys Escapade and are pleased to report that La Tania is included again – (we thought we’d got ourselves banned) ! This year the Bouc Blanc Chairlift is one of the 18 checkpoints across the 3 Valleys that make up the Escapade and the new green globe like logo can be seen (plus another selfie machine – we’ve got one at the top of Lanches chair).

The Escapade in a Day
The 3 Valleys Escapade idea is you ski these points across your week holiday and really experience the whole of the 3 Valleys and get a certificate to prove it (back when this started in 2006 you had a hole punch card but now it’s recorded electronically with your hands free lift pass).

After a late night, alcohol fuelled conversation we had the idea of doing this in a day – it’s now around 100km distance with 34 lifts and 17000m of vertical (that’s twice Everest). All the attempts and Hall of Fame here

The toughest day skiing ever for most people, no coffee stops, no lunch, no chatting – maybe a sandwich on one of the longer lifts…

2017 Escapade – Suggested Route with checkpoint lifts in bold

La Tania Gondola
Bouc Blanc
Rocher De L’Ombre drag
Saulire
Dent de Burgin
Golf
Mini rope tow
Plan de l’homme
Olympic
St Martin 1
St Martin Express
Roc de Tougne drag
Masse 1
Masse 2
Plan De L’Eau
Cime Caron
Peyron
Bouchet
Rosael
Moraine
Col
Funitel Peclet
Pionniers
3 Vallees Funitel
Montaulever drag
Sunny Express
Becca (not currently on the 3V Smart Phone App)
Mont Vallon
Pas Du Lac 1
Pas Du Lac 2
Roc Mugnier
Petite Boss
Aiguille du Fruit
Foret

Differences for 2017 are Chapelets chair being replaced by Petite Boss drag in 1650 and La Tania’s Bouc Blanc chair replacing Tovets in 1550.

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The 2016 Route Above

 

All the Piste Map Downloads are at:
www.latania.co.uk/skiing/pistemaps.htm

We’ll have the 2017 Courchevel and Méribel focused maps up soon.

 

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Confirmation of Jerusalem Piste being downgraded to Blue

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As La Tania locals Joey & Nick reported on back at the beginning of July after spotting earth moving machinery at the top of the Jerusalem piste above St Martin – the Jerusalem piste has been re-graded as a blue piste, this confirmed by the 2017 3 Valleys piste map for Winter 2017.

While not welcomed by all this “dumbing down” of pistes down does make it more accessible and it is usually a very quiet run (it’s not the most direct route to St Martin from the ridge above Méribel so has to be sought out). It looks like it may be just the top section that has changed so the steeper “red” part remains coming in from the Tougnete end.

Often in the top 10 of people’s favourite pistes in The 3 Valleys it will be interesting if the roller coaster ride for decent skiers has been affected too much and spoilt this classic…

Piste map from 2016 below.

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3 Valleys take Selfies to the next level…

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This has got to be better than the loathsome Selfie Sticks anyway…

While the various Picture Frames at view points across The 3 Valleys give plenty of opportunities for “postcard” like pics plus there are the animal “statues” for photo opportunities too, this really ups the game…

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New 3 Vallées Selfie Spots are being introduced with 6 Systems across The 3 Valleys. Simply access the system on your Smart Phone and the system takes your photo then sends it your phone. There’s a close up and a panoramic shot apparently from a camera 200m up from where you are!

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The 6 Three Vallées Selfie locations are:
* Col de la Loze – Top of Dou des Lanches / Loze Express above La Tania
* Top of the Signal Chair above 1650
* Bottom of Mont Vallon / Plan des Mains, top of Meribel Valley
* Top of Sunny Express above Les Menuires
* Top of Deux Lacs chair in Val Thorens
* Pointe de la Masse – Top of Masse 2

Additional free WiFi areas to share all these photos are promised next season too. WiFi access now being available at the top of Vizelle, Signal, Plan des Mains, Plattieres, The DC Area 43 park, Mont Vallon, the Piknic n Relax area in Mottaret and numerous places in the Val Thorens Valley.

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Example of the new Selfie Machines Imagery below…

 

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Getting Colder – Possibility of first snow to resort at the Weekend

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First frosty mornings evident in La Tania now and weather station just about scraping freezing point in resort.

Clear skies to continue this week with cold night time temperatures but a chance of the first few snow flakes falling down to resort (very) briefly at the weekend

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However as usual, too far out to call at the moment. The ensembles below not giving it much attention. That’s precipitation at the bottom and temperature in the middle.

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Full La Tania Weather and Forecasts at www.latania.co.uk/weather

 

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Inter-Season Work and Traffic Jams…

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October tomorrow, and inter-season work & preparations for the Winter continue to increase…

Chalets are being varnished Via Ferrata style, a new roof on the Folyeres apartment block is going on, Ski Lodge terrace maintenance continues (should be some painting work going on there too soon) and the roads are being re-surfaced in La Tania and Le Praz (leading to M25 scale traffic jams in the workers lunch hour(s) rush).

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Cheers to Ralph at The Free Ride Republic for the pics.

 

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