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

 


 

The incredible wild flowers on display in the Mountains above La Tania

Arnica Montana, also known as Wolf’s Bane, Leopard’s Bane & Mountain Tobacco

The flowers are phenomenal this year especially the carpets of Arnica. Too early for the blue Gentians and you need to go higher up for Edelweiss. The mountains looking stunningly beautiful in Summer…

Some lovely wild Strawberries on Folyères too – the flavour difference to the mass production “forced” ones you get in UK Supermarkets is amazing.

Brides Bus Bike Rack Trailers Improved for Summer 2020

Much easier to use and with a capacity of up to 20 bikes the bike rack trailers on the Brides Les Bains free bus service are a welcome improvement.

A couple of cracking routes down to Brides from La Tania – maybe not for the faint hearted when going full tilt mind….


The Brides Les Bains to Méribel Bus Timetable is on the Free Ski Bus page

Out and about above Méribel on Mountain Bikes and more work going on…

An abundance of wild flowers at the moment – a truly spectacular sight when you’re not concentrating on the great dedicated mountain bike tracks in the Méribel Valley.

Les Cretes Restaurant about 400m along from the Tougnette / St Martin 2 summit on the way to Jerusalem has been knocked down and is being rebuilt. Was a good spot for a coffee / beer stop with great views and a very traditional interior – will be interesting if the character is retained…

The new top to bottom gondola for La Masse is now under construction with work on the top station now visible – this is not due to be completed until December 2021 however.

Méribel are really looking after their Mountain Bike tracks with a range of runs from beginners and VEA/Electric bikes through to full on competition downhill stuff. Woodstoked is a great blue track in Méribel and highly recommended.

More info on the lift openings for mountain biking and walkers at La Tania Summer Life

Work on the Ski Area in Courchevel & La Tania

Work on preparations for the 2023 World Cup continue with work now on the Bouc Blanc section of the slope down to Le Praz – looking like one steep and fast run now.

At the top of the La Tania gondola (no sign of new gondolas yet but new cabins are promised) there is lots going on and path diversions / access changes may be required. They are putting a tunnel in for Boulevard des Arolles and for access from the Forêt Chair towards the gondola with Jockeys going over the top. This will allow recreational skiing to continue unhindered when racing is taking place. The Bouc Blanc is open as usual every day – including Saturdays when the lifts are shut! 

Out and about on Mountain Bikes around Courchevel & La Tania

Went up the La Tania gondola and across to 1850 past the works for the 2023 World Cup. Verdons was quite busy so went down to Le Praz and up the gondola. Good hygiene and SD measures in place and masks being worn. 2020 Mountain Bike Map for The 3 Valleys

They aren’t doing the weekend traffic lights thing on the gondola at La Tania but using every second gondola (something to do with balance and monitoring in Summer apparently, but we never really understood it). As in Courchevel, passengers are going in with their own group (social “bubble” rather apt!) which slows the queue too. 2020 Footpath Map

Generally the resort is not very busy however. The La Tania swimming pool is open with additional cleaning in place. There are sales on in the Courchevel 1850 shops and sanitizer on entry with staff wearing masks – most bars and restaurants have staff wearing masks too but a certain degree of normality has returned…

Ski Lodge has on-line ordering, Paninis offered all day and live music Thursday and Friday from 21:00 with Natasha & Ali and Freddie Fingers & Alex plus the Al Jones Band live on the terrace from 19:00 on Sunday. More at La Tania Summer Life

Get Yourselves Out Here!

Safety Measures and Rules in place on Ski Lifts this Summer

Lifties will be wearing masks but still welcoming you with a smile – all have been trained concerning the Pandemic and to minimise the health risks as much as possible.

On Ski Lifts:

  • Maintain social distancing – new dedicated signage is in place.
  • Hand sanitiser gel is available at all list stations.
  • Wearing a mask in the queues and on all ski lifts is compulsory (from 11 years old).
  • A complete cleaning of all the gondola cabins in use is carried out at least once a day.
  • Ride the gondola cabins as a family or as a group of friends.

Remember the La Tania, Praz, Verdons and Saulire lifts are all free this Summer from 5th July until 28 August – More info on lift opening and other valleys prices here.

Full information on Summer activities, events, business openings, Summer free bus service and accommodation on our La Tania Summer Life page.

Via Ferrata around La Tania this Summer

Lac Rosiere Via Ferrata

Via Ferrata (by wire) is a safe rock climbing / scrambling activity where you are permanently attached to a fixed cable via a climbing harness with 2 via ferrata ropes and self locking carabiners (one is always attached to the fixed cable on the mountain) available to hire from the outdoor shops here.

There are 3 Via Ferrata courses in the Courchevel Valley

Lac Rosiere
Set in a beautiful location around the lake near Courchevel 1650 this is ideal for beginners with a 600m circuit that takes about 2 hours. There are a couple of “escape points” too if you don’t fancy continuing or crossing the 65m suspension foot bridge.

“Escape Point” on the Lac Rosiere Via Ferrata route

Mini Via Ferrata du Panoramic
Located beneath the top station of the Saulire Cable Car this short route takes around 20 minutes and again suitable for beginners but it is quite exposed.

Verdons via Ferrata
This is one of the highest via Ferratas in France and is very sheer & exposed as you climb near the summit of Croix des Verdons – it’s rated at D+ and special equipment and a guide is required for those not experienced, certainly not for those with any fear of heights!

It’s a near 1km route with a 225m climb and takes around 4 hours including access from the Saulire Cable Car and return down to Verdons.

9 year old Tom above Lac Rosiere
Via Ferrata Locations in red above
Download this Courchevel Summer Footpath with Mountain Bike Routes (2020 version soon)

Snowboarding Tips and Hacks That Will Have You Ripping the Slopes

Anyone not lucky enough to have gone skiing or snowboarding when they were younger will tell you that picking up a snow sport from scratch later in life is a tough ask.

Skiers find themselves knocking their knees together in a rigid snowplow position and snowboarders risk snapping their wrists every time they catch their front edge.

But for those who fight through the pain and persevere there is a whole world of fun to be had on either one plank or two. Here are some tips and hacks for budding snowboarders who want to get off the beginner slopes as soon as possible.

Buy Your Own Gear

Although La Tania has plenty of great rental shops for you to pick up a snowboard and boots from, there really is nothing quite like having your own boots, board and bindings, which will be infinitely more comfortable and responsive than rentals.

Take Your Mobile Phone with You

It sounds obvious but getting lost out on the hill is easy to do, especially in an area as huge as the Three Valleys.

Therefore you need to make sure you have a fully charged mobile phone with you, whether it’s just to check where the hell you are, call in an emergency helicopter for your mate who’s broken himself or just because you want to lump a free bet on your favourite team. If you do make it down safely, you can then follow the game in question at the Ski Lodge. Ask T-Wall for a free drink!

Train Before You Go

Many folk wonder why they get injured when they go snowboarding, but often the reason is because they haven’t prepared physically before setting off.

Make sure you do some snowboarding specific exercise routines in the weeks leading up to your trip. There are plenty of video tutorials online to check out.

Pistes Are Best in the Morning

La Tania and nearby Meribel and Meribel Village are places renowned for their après ski, but beginners should keep in mind that pistes, especially late in the season, are always at their best early in the morning.

When it comes to snowboarding, the early bird certainly catches the worm, even if you feel a bit the worse for wear.

Be Nice to Chalet Staff

Many chalet and hotel staff work in the alps purely for the pleasure of being in the mountains rather than financial incentives and keeping them onside can lead to all sorts of perks. Annoy them with ridiculous demands and you will receive zilch.

Befriend your chalet staff or buy them a few drinks while watching the footy, and before you know it they could be showing you the best off-piste areas in the resort or sorting you out with a free wax and edge service on your board.

More work taking place in and around La Tania

Work continues on Jockeys piste for the 2023 World Cup.

The road to the chalet area in La Tania is being resurfaced.

More resurfacing and building work in Le Praz going on too – quite a mess at the moment, hopefully it improves before the Summer season opens.

Work on an extension to the Chrome Bar has started (they never open for Summer anyway).

The current bar will be the restaurant area and the new area the kitchen and bar.

New flowers near the bridge and some tidying up of the terracing through the village.

New steps near the Cinema / Sherpa Supermarket have been built.

Thanks to Betty for posing for the pics!

Work continues on the 2023 World Cup Piste

The top of the (old) original Jockeys piste that joined the Bouc Blanc above the La Tania gondola is now being reshaped with more earthworks taking place. The start of Jockeys was moved down towards the Bouc Blanc and a beginners area built there.

Jockeys is now much wider, straighter and the rollers / flatter spots taken out for racing – spoilt for recreational skiers in many people’s opinion but the hope is it could become an iconic race piste in the future to help improve Courchevel’s image and brand.

The beginners magic carpet lift is being removed and we guess will be relocated plus a tunnel is being created so skiers from the Fôret chairlift and Arolles blue piste can access the La Tania area with crossing the black race piste.

Further work at the top of Folyères is taking place too – could be connected to the new snow cannon reservoir on Col de la Loze above or just more drainage, anti-corrosion, reshaping / landscaping work.

 

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