What’s New in La Tania & The 3 Valleys 2021 – The Definitive Guide (Part 1 of 3)

 

Part 2: Méribel / Mottaret
Part 3: Val Thorens / Orelle / Les Menuire / St Martin

Part 1: 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.

Top section of L’Eclipse running down the Bouc Blanc toward the La Tania gondola

The old Jockeys piste has been hugely reshaped and widened plus a new snow cannon reservoir to feed it has been constructed too.

The new World Cup piste “L’Eclipse” finishes on the roof of the Alpinium complex
The 2021 Piste Map with L’Eclipse

With an overall slope of 30º and a 940m drop it will be an awesome descent to try this Winter. Certainly not for the faint-hearted.

The new reservoir on Col de la Loze
The pipe work connecting the reservoir to the system of lakes and snow cannons
Any lake can be topped up from the others

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 view from La Croisette in 1850 this Summer
View from Hotel Pomme de Pin Terrace this Summer
Model of the new HQ building and the access for underground parking etc.

The idea behind the hundreds of millions of euros spent on these projects 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.

The new tunnel for Arolles piste / Foret lift traffic under the World Cup piste just above the La Tania gondola
Tunnel construction continues
The new tunnel nearly completed

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.

Looking down the new L’Eclipse Piste from near the top of the Bouc Blanc piste
The top of the Jockeys section of L’Eclipse

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 covered beginners magic carpet lift has now been installed and makes a return to the 2021 map with Envolée now marked.

The new covered beginners magic carpet in Le Praz in the centre of the image

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 –

The beginners magic carpet lift in front of the La Tania gondola top station

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.

The FreerideLAB experience where the Creux Noirs chair used to be and is now access via a short hike is to be expanded with an Avalanche Training section included. This gives skiers and boarders the opportunity to try out off piste skiing and test out their Transceivers (and using them) in a controlled environment.

We noticed that the piste was actually groomed last season in preparation of new snow falling so it is actually perfect when powder arrives.

Site of the Creux Noirs chairlift station

The old chairlift station had been removed and most of the pylons have now gone. There’s been no further word on the promised replacement lift – looking increasingly unlikely now.

Route of the Creux Noirs chair
Suisses chair with Pralong above

Quite a bit of earth work around the bottom of Suisses this Summer – could be to better manage the flow of skiers and the queue for this lift.

New Steps near the Tourist Office in La Tania
The area near the bridge (and a few planks replaced) smartened up this Summer
New bar extension at the Chrome Bar (restaurant will be in the old bar area)
The planning permit details…
La Tania gondolas taken out – so rumours of a refurb were rife but no confirmed news on this
A pair of the new snow cannons on L’Eclipse – in the Jockeys section
Pipelines running from the Biollay lake up to Coques chair and then the new Loze reservoir

Some of the roads have been re-tarmaced in La Tania and Le Praz including the chalet road. It’s a never ending task and the road to Méribel is in a right state again (in the usual place where it slides down the mountain).

Betty modelling once again…

The Drop Inn in Le Praz will become Le Jardin with more of a Wine Bar vibe from tonight (23 October) – same crew though – we wish them all well.

Le Jardin, Le Praz

A new building at the Ski Jump in Le Praz quickly sprang up during the Summer.

The new building for the administration and athletes at the Ski Jump in Le Praz

Work on the lake in Le Praz is now complete and was a welcome spot for a dip in the heat this Summer – really clear water after it being drained, lined and new filters fitted last year. Looking fantastic. The chalet type building on the right of the photo is being completely rebuilt with work continuing through the Summer – it will have an amazing view of the lake from it’s terrace and is owned by Hotel Les Peupliers in Le Praz – a new bar / restaurant in the future perhaps? Or maybe another Hotel annex?

Le Praz Lake this Summer
Hotel Les Peupliers new building



And Also…
Over in Courchevel 1650 Moriond there’s a new relaxation and picnic area with giant deckchairs on a plateau with great views.

New garages up near Saboia and a new roof on Les Charmes apartment block in La Tania this Summer.

A new outside bar at Pub Le Ski Lodge went up in November!

Some chalet developments still going on and we expect the start of work on the delayed Moretta Village project (on the gondola car park) to start next year, the building permit has been approved for an additional 500 beds for January 2023 – which is quite a few less than on the original plans.

We hear that the Tourist Offices are to be scaled back and ESF will hold welcome meetings in the individual resorts – although this has not been confirmed.

There will certainly be less catered chalet options this season and many of the transfer companies have reduced their fleets – book early is the advice as always (but probably really true this year, plenty of flexible, cancellable booking options though).

No Crystal in La Tania this Winter as Ski Mania continue to manage the Grand Bois apartments once again. Crystal are selling Christiana apartment holidays for Winter 2022 however.

Further outdoor bar service options should be available in Pub Le Ski Lodge this Winter, watch this space.

No news on progression of the new green run down in to La Tania and the snow front modifications.

La Cave des Lys is offering a Savoyard gourmet takeaway service this Winter and L’Azimut (Michelin star restaurant in Le Praz) is offering cookery classes in chalets & apartments as well as meals prepared by their chefs in your accommodation.

Major Events in the Courchevel Valley are the Ladies Alpine Skiing GS World Cup on 12 & 13 Dec 2020, the Fireworks Festival from 11 Feb to 4 Mar and the Courchevel Legacy on 10th April with top local skier and Olympic medalist Alexis Pinturault. The 3 Valleys Enduro is on 11 Apr 2021.

A few of the big 5 star hotels in 1850 aren’t opening this Winter and there are rumours of Hotel Pomme de Pin being turned into apartments – although there hasn’t been any work started on this – it may not be true.

The snow guarantee continues and free cancellation of ski passes up to the day before is added to the issuing conditions. Safety Measures for lifts were tested this Summer including mask wearing, sanitiser, cleaning of cabins, spaced out queues and access to individual chairs or gondolas exclusively to your bubble of friends or family. Approved snoods will be allowed instead face masks (they’re €11 from Val Thorens and €14 from Courchevel sites at the moment!).

Many La Tania companies are planning for this Winter with Covid-19 security & safety plus flexible booking systems. More here…

Ski Resorts in France are following the procedures in this poster produced by France Montagnes – The French Ski Resorts Association.

Click on the image for the full size poster

Part 1: La Tania / Courchevel

Part 2: Méribel / Mottaret

Part 3: Val Thorens / Orelle / Les Menuire / St Martin