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The New 2021 3 Valleys Piste Maps Analysed…
Always an exciting time when the new piste maps become available – we’re still trying to get hold of the Les Menuires / St Martin individual valley map for 2021 but the rest are now available for download on out piste maps page at: latania.co.uk/skiing/pistemaps.htm
La Tania / Courchevel
The most obvious work this Summer has been the continued development of the new World Cup 2023 piste – now named L’Eclipse and running from near the top of the Bouc Blanc chairlift down to Le Praz. The old Jockeys piste has been hugely reshaped and widened plus a new snow cannon reservoir to feed it has been constructed too. Meanwhile in 1850 the work on the new Stade and Racing HQ (thanks to the UK’s richest man, Jim Ratcliffe of the INEOS Chemical / Fracking Corporation) has seen huge works continue this Summer too.
The idea behind the hundreds of millions of euros spent on this project is to create a famous, iconic downhill piste like the Hahnenkamm in Kitzbühel and try to make Courchevel more about skiing rather than the designer shops, ridiculously expensive 5 star luxury hotels, Russian Oligarchs and Michelin Star restaurants.
Critics say the money could be better spent and as the World Cup takes place right in the middle of the Winter Half Term between 9th and 23rd of February 2023 it won’t bring much additional revenue to resort anyway. The stature of the resort will of course improve with the huge publicity but the next generation of skiers are more interested in Freeride Competitions and Boarder/Skier Cross these days it would seem.
The new Le Praz beginners magic carpet lift has now been installed and makes a return to the 2021 map with Envolée now marked.
We noticed the beginners magic carpet lift that was removed due to the World Cup piste looks to be relocated next to the La Tania top gondola station up from the Bouc Blanc restaurant with a new plateau created. Below shows the work going on here –
Also new on the piste map for La Tania and Courchevel are the protected areas for The Black Grouse. These are well marked and fenced off for a reason – please respect these areas.
Protected areas are under the Aiguile du Fruit chairlift returning from 1650 to 1850, near Rochers piste in 1650, the area below Dou des Lanches / Gasex above La Tania and near to Jean Blanc piste & below Arolles. This last one may be new and interfere with the (very) bottom of the “La Tania Trees” run that brought you out on to Jockeys – needs further investigation.
Méribel / Mottaret
There are two “New” entries on the piste map for 2021. One of course is the new Bouquetin chairlift above Mottaret – a high speed detachable 6-seater replacing the old Plattières bubble with a bottom to top time of only 2½ minutes giving access to Les Menuires / St Martin.
The other “New” is on the Piste des Animaux which was part of the Disney Frozen II promotion last year.
We walked around this during the summer – great fun identifying the animals from the signs with footprints, colours and sounds as clues, it does get quite competitive!
The World Cup 2023 piste in Méribel is now marked. The Roc de Fer will host the Women’s races in 2023. A new tunnel to allow access across the ski area while competitions are taking place has been constructed for Winter 2021.
We note that the fonts (with arrows added) have been changed to make things a bit clearer when crossing valleys. Les Cretes Restaurant about 400m along from the Tougnette / St Martin 2 summit near the Cherferie crossover on the way to Jerusalem has been knocked down and is no longer on the map – it is however being rebuilt but we suspect it won’t be ready for this Winter.
Val Thorens / Orelle
The only significant changes we could spot was the naming of the new 1800m double zip line on the map. La BEE will be open every day from 10:00 until 16:15 for €35 a go (the Tyrolienne wire at a height of 3000m between Orelle & Val Thorens costs €55).
Les Menuire / St Martin
We’re still waiting for the 2021 piste map but have had confirmation the the new La Masse bottom to top gondola is on track for December 2021 opening. We also understand that the La Masse 1 gondola will stay in place with Masse 2 being removed along with the old Lac Noir chairlift.
There are rumours of the removal or replacement of the old Tortollet & Rocher Noir chairs but both will be operating this Winter.