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
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
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 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!
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!
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 (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
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
La Tania and Courchevel lifts now all FREE for Summer 2020
The Summer lift opening for The 3 Valleys from the 4th July 2020 has been announced. Great to see some Saturday opening in Meribel and St Martin / Les Menuires for weekenders (Courchevel & Val Thorens still believing that Saturday is a changeover day only unfortunately).
There will be certain protection measures, social distancing and restrictions put in place on the lifts – a rehearsal for what may apply in Winter.
La Tania and Courchevel lifts now all FREE for Summer 2020
Winter Season passes from 2019/2020 are valid for the same areas.
No Plantrey lift this Summer so no access to the tracks that have been built down to the Bouc Blanc – a real shame this as it’s a good link back to La Tania and even access to Méribel via Col de la Loze is not too difficult up the tarmac cycle track on a Mountain Bike.
Looking like no lift opening for Le Tour de France finishing above La Tania on 16 September – a missed opportunity surely? Or to keep the crowds away?
The only new chairlift this Winter in the 3 Valleys is the Bouquetin 6 seater high speed detachable replacing the old Plattières “eggs” gondola. The cabins were sold off this Summer – they were €500 each and sold out in minutes.
From the top of Plan des Mains & Chatelet chairlifts and the newish Plattières gondola this new chair will rise from 2400m to 2700m allowing fast access to Les Menuires via Roc des 3 Marches. There are also 30 new snow cannons being installed in the Méribel Valley guaranteeing access to Les Menuires and Val Thorens areas bringing the total to 887 and covering 64% of the valley’s ski area.
Meanwhile in Courchevel work continues on the 2023 World Championship piste (used to be Jockeys but becoming unrecognisable now) , a further 76 new snow cannons are being installed (now 806 in total covering 56% of the ski area) and a new reservoir of 170,000m³ is being constructed at the top of Col de la Loze with a gravity feed for cannons requiring no electricity.
The renovation of the La Tania gondola is due to take place with ultimately higher capacity and speed improvements taking place. The gondola cabins are being taken away – this lorry load spotted outside The Drop Inn in Le Praz – we’re unsure if this is for a refurb or for a replacement like the ones on Mont Vallon which was rumoured a while back. They’re certainly not for sale anyway!
Further investments in signage and the renovation of toilets across the ski area is also being made plus further work and promotion on the Freeride Lab area where the Creux Noirs lift used to give access – no news on the promised drag lift replacement though.
Over in the “4th Valley” the gondola from Orelle is being replaced and is expected to open for December 2020. The brand new gondola linking to this and going right up to the summit of Cime Caron is under construction but with Covid-19 related delays the focus may be on the Orelle replacement and the Caron link may be delayed.
Work on the new La Masse gondola (going direct from base to summit, replacing the current 2 separate gondolas) is underway with a planned opening for December 2021 still on track.
Winter 2020/2021 Opening Dates and Prices for The 3 Valleys are here