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
It’s the time of year to be thinking of new gear for the coming Winter and we’ve been looking at some ski goggles from Outdoormaster.
A decent set of goggles is often overlooked but makes a massive difference as soon as the perfect weather changes and sunnies aren’t an option. When snow, rain, fog, wind, hail or flat light come in the use of quality goggles is essential (and anyway the sunnies and a helmet isn’t really a good look is it?).
Outdoormaster believe in highly affordable yet functional outdoor products – these reasonably priced goggles has seen them sell over 200,000 pairs in the USA.
First up are their OTG Goggle (Over The Glasses) allowing glasses to be worn with the goggles. There’s a triple layer of soft foam, a practically unbreakable, flexible lens and large strap to fit over any helmet. 100% UV400 protection obviously and an anti-fog lens coating layer too.
Secondly we have their Meander Snow Goggles. Magnets and a buckle lock system provide a secure and easy to use lens system – change lens in less than a minute! There’s a dual layer lens with revo and anti-fog layer to help prevent misting and they provide excellent optical clarity with a wide field of view in a great looking frameless design.
Finally the Pro Model with instantly interchangeable lenses using a clever magnetic catch only – see the video below showing the lens being removed and fitted again in under 10 seconds!
- 100% UV400 Protection
- Large spherical frameless lens for a very wide angle , unobstructed view
- Over 20 different lenses available and instantly changeable
- OTG Design for use with glasses if needed
- Anti-Fog coated lenses
- Universal helmet compatibility with large strap
- Protective case & carrying pouch supplied
We can’t wait to use these in anger on a powder day in La Tania this Winter – we’ll feed back our further opinions of course too.
Get a further 10% off these pro model goggles with code LATANIA10 – they can’t really be less than 30 quid shipped can they? But like the £20 Aldi ski jackets with a similar spec to £400 Spyder ones this is not impossible!
The Outdoormaster Story
Outdoormaster are a group of outdoor enthusiasts from New York, Paris, and Hong Kong. In January of 2010, they met each other while skiing in Les Deux Alpes, France… Read More
Outdoormaster gear is available on-line here and get a further 10% off using code LATANIA10
We think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at their pricing…
Cheap enough to carry around for the Seasonaires “goggles with beanie” look that’s popular at The Folie Douce and Ronnie at Après too!
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.
Les 3 Valleys
Blake from SkivoAcademy trains people to become ski instructors to the highest levels. He runs his ski instructor training programme in Courchevel and most of the instructors in this area that come through the system have done at least some of their training with Skivo Academy. We caught up with Blake and got his thoughts on why you should consider getting instruction as an advanced skier.
Why get Ski Instruction as an Advanced Skier?
Honestly you can probably continue doing what you’re doing, probably not what you were expecting me to say, you can make your way around the mountain already, you can ski where you want to ski, you may even have aspirations to become a ski instructor, why bother getting any more lessons? Seems stupid…but it’s not… I can think of lots of reasons, but here are the first three that come into my head.
It is likely that despite being able to “ski anywhere you want” you have not even scratched the surface. Ever fancied going where no lifts can take you to? Ski off-piste and not see anyone for miles. It doesn’t have to be the couloirs at the top of Saulire, it could be adventures in Les Avals or Itinerary routes in Orelle or if you want to get more serious you can put skins on your skis and walk off into the mountains.
You can do all of these and it’s perfectly feasible but before you can do this you will need to be able to ski off-piste. But what does that actually mean? Most people think off-piste is just powder but actually it’s anywhere not on the piste, sounds obvious! But what this means is that it’s not just lovely light powder that you are going to be skiing, it’s likely going to be a variety of snow conditions.
So do you want to go on some adventures a little further afield? We don’t necessarily mean hiking for miles, we could mean popping into hidden valleys and using the whole mountain as our playground rather than just the piste. If you want to, you’ll need to be comfortable skiing all conditions because it can’t always be the hero powder that you see the magazine photos of, you may need to learn to also ski some crud, breakable crust, ice, frozen slush, spring snow etc. Perhaps you need to use a retraction turn, feather the turn, pick the ski up in the snowpack… All of these different conditions require adjustments in your technique but how on earth would you know how to ski them effectively and enjoy them unless someone is there to give you a few nudges in the right direction.
Pistes probably cover about 20% of the mountain (that’s a complete guess, I don’t know the actually % for Courchevel) but the point is that there is much more of the mountain to explore. This isn’t something to be done on your own as this can be dangerous if you don’t know where are going or if snow conditions are unstable. Get yourself some advanced lessons, explore the mountains, take some adventures.
It can be tempting when you are gaining confidence to ski faster and faster and this is natural and completely fine, but there is only so fast that the basic parallel skiing technique can safely go and it’s not that fast!
If you want to ski at higher speeds it is essential that you learn to carve. Skis turn in a similar way to a bike. At lower speeds you will turn the handlebars of a bike the direction that you want to go, at higher speeds you will tilt the whole bike over to turn. There are similarities with skiing, at the lower speeds we turn our skis the direction we want to go but at higher speeds we need to tilt our skis over.
Simplistically that is it, however doing it and staying in balance at speed requires a little more thought and practise. Skiing to many people is counter intuitive, if you want to carve well you will need someone to tell you how to do it effectively and I guarantee you that carving better equals more fun.
Learn to be able to improve yourself
As you become better and better you start to be able to listen to what the skis are telling you. Sounds spiritual! Perhaps they feel like they aren’t gripping so well, or they keep diving down in the snowpack. These feelings should start to trigger responses, but it will only happen if you can really understand what the skis are doing and you know how to manipulate the ski.
These are things that can be explained by experienced ski instructors and they can give you the toolkit to solve any problems that you may have. The more advanced you get the less it is about pure technique and the more we need to think adjustments, tactics or the psychology of our performance.
There we go, 3 little snippets, but I think that the better you become at skiing the more you enjoy it! There are plenty of expert ski instructors that will be able to help you with advanced ski lessons, the instructors love to do this sort of work!
If you have any questions please feel free to email me at email@example.com
Please be patient with a response as most of the day I’ll be out coaching but equally if you never hear back feel free to give me another nudge.
All the best, Blake
Update: Crowd Restrictions – A limit of 500 people from Courchevel side (walking or cycling and arriving before 13:00). A limit of 1000 people walking or cycling from the Méribel side. Access will be controlled in the final 500m before the summit. of 500 people from Courchevel side (walking or cycling and arriving before 13:00). A limit of 1000 people walking or cycling from the Méribel side. Access will be controlled in the final 500m before the summit.
The La Tania Col de la Loze finish is on Wednesday 16 September 2020.
Le Tour has been moved due to the pandemic from it’s normal June/July slot to take place from Sat 29 August 2020 to Sun 20 September 2020.
Day 17 is the 168km mountain stage from Grenoble to Méribel on 16 Sep 2020. This not only includes the famous Col de la Madeleine but it then finishes at the top of Col de la Loze above La Tania on the brand new cycling track that goes up there. The Stage 18 start the following day is from Méribel Altiport to La Roche-sur-Foron.
The 2020 Le Tour Route Map
The last time Le Tour was in La Tania was 2005 and was a huge occasion – well worth a trip out to see it.
See our ride down from Col de Loze to Méribel last Summer – it’s actually almost easy to hit 80km/h on the straight bit of Boulevard du Loze even on a Mountain Bike!
The arrival of the peleton at the Col de la Loze is scheduled between 16:45 and 17:45 (estimated times) on Wednesday.
Access via cycle is available from Verdons on the tarmac track to Col de la Loze and the walking route is from 1850 to Verdons and then via the Lac Bleu path. Covid-19 restrictions are in place with limited viewing areas at the finish – will be unlike other finishes we’ve seen on TV then!
Many teams are staying in Courchevel and the altiport will be used by Le Tour on 16 September. Road closures and diversions will be in place – see the dedicated page on www.savoie.gouv.fr
Bars open are The Drop Inn in Le Praz, Funky Fox, La Boulotte, & La Cabane in 1650 and Bar de la Luge in 1850. Restaurant 1928 (Roc Tania) is open at the Loze summit if you fancy the climb up.
Covered car parks in Courchevel are free but no ski lifts are open in the Courchevel Valley.
Don’t forget to check-in at Col de la Loze 2304m – La Tania
In Méribel bars open include La Tsaretta, Jacks, The Tav, LdV (open from 7am), Barometer, Le Blanchot, La Fromagerie, Le Refuge, Le Spot, Petits Oignons, La Terasse du Mottaret and Les Rhododendrons on the track up to the Col de la Loze.
The Saulire Express 1 Gondola will be open (free) from La Chaudanne in Méribel on Wed 16 September to give access to the Cold de la Loze track viewing points.
Golf Chairlift from Méribel Village will open on Thursday 17 September to view the start (“grand depart”) from the Méribel Altiport.
More information on this stage of the Tour at www.letour.fr/fr/etape-17
Nearly mid-way through September and traditionally the busiest booking period for Ski Holidays. The local businesses in and around La Tania are doing their best at offering flexible, protected booking policies and making plans for Covid Secure Ski Holidays.
Far too much negativity about, could be the best season ever if the slopes are quiet! So book now – #TheSnowMustGoOn
Extreme Ski Services offer a state of the art cleaning service using the latest disinfectant technology for spraying/fogging and protecting against viruses for 30 days.
Alpine Escape – All guests booking one of our chalets for winter 2020/2021 will benefit from our Covid-19 money safe guarantee. Of course, standards in the chalets will be higher than ever, and we are ready to adapt our service to be flexible to your needs.
The Freeride Republic – Book with confidence using our new COVID19 refunds policy. Our ski holidays for 2021 are available with a full refund for COVID19 cancellations up until 7 days prior to your travel date with refundable deposits of just £50.00
Snow Retreat – New booking conditions are now available allowing a full refund up to a week before arrival in the case of travel restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Ski-Dazzle – Book with confidence – no quibble cancellation policy due to covid. Chalets available on a Self Catered Basis only this winter (catering and drinks delivery options available).
Ski Magic – We have put together a clear policy to provide protection should COVID-19 related government restrictions mean that you are unable to travel. This guarantee applies to all new and existing bookings for holidays between 1st December 2020 and 30th April 2021.
Ski Amis – Ensuring the safety of our guests is very important to us following the pandemic. Although it is very early to tell exactly what measures will be required for holidays coming up next season, we will be ensuring that all of our staff and chalets are taking the utmost precations and sticking to all measures required of them.
The Alpine Generation – Book with peace of mind for Winter 20/21. For more details please see our updated Ts&Cs.
Alpine Action – We have now created a new-and-enhanced cancellation policy to give you greater peace of mind. We will also be Covid-19 Ready, so please take a look at precautions & protocols that will be in our chalets.
Two thirds of Les Trois Têtes (where’s Kate?) , plus Rambling Roots Emma and their old man Rich at Pub Le Ski Lodge last night – they’ve still got it!
With massive amounts of work going on creating the 2023 World Cup piste and the associated snow cannon system and reservoir it feels like some of the “normal” work at the end of the season was forgotten.
Yesterday the magic carpets in La Tania finally got covered up. There’s still plenty of netting, fencing and crash mats that usually get removed in place too.
Meanwhile in 1850 there’s some huge construction work in front of La Croisette. A big hole and retaining wall – possibly access to the underground car park for the new Stade construction? Anyone know?
The La Tania swimming pool is open every day except Saturday with 2 sessions in operation this Summer for additional Covid cleaning operations and a maximum of 30 people.
Sessions from 14:00 to 16:10 and 16:40 to 18:50 cost €4 each. A bit 1980s but tight swimming costumes (budgie smugglers) are compulsory – no boardies/swimming shorts. Showers are compulsory and you mustn’t move the sun beds or umbrellas. Not widely advertised Aqua exercise classes take place at 11:15 on Tue & Thu, ask in the Tourist Office.
Aquamotion in Courchevel 1550/1650 has slides, gym, swimming lanes, lazy river, indoor & outdoor pools plus “Wellness” Areas. Costs €20 for adults for an afternoon session (you may be moved around when the additional cleaning takes place but you don’t have to pay again).
Free car parking and lockers, showers compulsory. Book on-line at aquamotion-courchevel.com
This €60m complex does allow shorts / boardies however!
The Courchevel Valley Ski Pass (including La Tania) prices for 2021 have been released – there is now no Aquamotion entrance included and the duo / tribu discounts (for 2 or 3 people with the same passes for 6 or more days) have been withdrawn.
The difference between a Courchevel Valley 6 day adult pass in main season (€286) and a 3 Valleys pass (€321) is less (€35) than a 3 Valleys extension which will cost €39 for Winter 2020/2021. So as it was last season, if you’re going to ski just once over in to Méribel (and beyond) it’s cheaper to buy a 3 Valleys Pass.
Family Pass discounts for children over 5 and under 18 (kids are under 13 on normal passes) remain with a 6 day 3 Valleys pass costing €256.80 and a Courchevel pass €229. All passes must be bought together for a family and be the same type and duration – all pay the same amount but you don’t have to ski together!
With Tribu discount the 3 Valleys Pass difference is only €20 so the 3 Valleys pass is definitely the way to go next Winter!
There are rumours that the Workers and Resident Season Pass discounts may be altered for Winter 2021 – we’ll update as soon as we hear anything.