What’s New in La Tania & The 3 Valleys 2022 – The Definitive Guide (Part 3 of 3)

Val Thorens / Orelle / Les Menuires / St Martin

The 20th edition of What’s New in La Tana & The 3 Valleys – The Definitive Guide

Part 1: La Tania / Courchevel

Part 2: Méribel / Mottaret

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

2022 Lift Pass Prices (new under 30 and flexible season passes, but no workers or residents discounts)

2022 Piste Maps (still waiting for some individual valley maps)

2022 Lift Opening Dates

Accommodation, Self-Catering / Apartments, Special Offers, Travel, Transfers, Flying

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

New Last Season (but new for most people this season)

With most people not skiing last season all the developments from last year will be new to most. In Val Thorens that included the Deux Lacs Reservoir (a new 10 seater gondola will replace the chairlift next Winter), the naming of the new parallel zip wire “La BEE“, a new outdoor ice rink, the ice racing / kart racing circuit became 100% electric and VT embraced new technology with the use of drones. In Orelle work started on the too new gondolas and in Les Menuire the new La Masse gondola work started (more below).

All Last Season’s What’s New Here

Deux Lacs Reservoir

New for Winter 2022

Lifts & Pistes

Pointe de le Masse Gondola

The Pointe de la Masse top to bottom gondola on the 2022 Les Menuires Piste Map
The base station this Summer

Opening in December the 3km long Pointe de la Masse 10 seater gondola takes you direct from base to summit of La Masse in 8 minutes. The Masse 2 Gondola,  Lac Noir and Rocher Noir chairlifts were removed this summer but all the pistes they served are still accessible.

View of the Pointe de la Masse pylon run next to the Reberty lift

The Masse 1 gondola remains for beginners to access the blue runs here and the drag remains to access the black piste “Dame Blanche“. There were some plans ages ago for a lift and piste in this area to connect with Plan de L’eau but all has gone silent on this.

The old cabins leaving Les Menuires
New Pointe de la Masse top station
Photo courtesy of Ski Fan
Old Masse 2 Top Station
Photo courtesy of Ski Fan

Orelle and Orelle – Caron Gondolas

The new gondolas on the 2022 Three Valleys Piste Map – they’re longer than they look, see below

Over in the “4th Valley” are 2 new gondolas.

The new links were made possible thanks to the support and investment by the Région Auvergne Rhône-Alpes and will allow visitors to arrive in the resort via the Maurienne Valley and come up to Val Thorens via the Cime Caron peak and its 360 degree views of the Alps.

The new lifts will be accessible to both skiers or pedestrians who wish to access Val Thorens without using the slopes or roads. Pedestrians can then take the Cime Caron cable car to descend to the centre of Val Thorens which means they can keep their feet dry and luggage is allowed too. The whole trip takes less than 45 minutes.

The new gondolas on the 2022 Orelle Piste Map

From the base station up to the Plan Bouchet area, the brand new 10 seater gondola, Orelle, one of the longest gondolas in Europe nearly 5km in length with a 1462m vertical climb in 13 minutes opens on 4 December 2021. The 7 metres per second is almost as fast as it gets currently for gondola technology.

Plan Bouchet with the top Orelle station and bottom Orelle – Caron station plus the 2 chairlifts
Photo courtesy of Ski Fan

From Plan Bouchet to the Cime Caron summit there is another 10 seater gondola, Orelle-Caron, covering the 2235m length and 820m vertical in just 7 minutes. From the Cime Caron summit at 3200m there are wonderful runs down to Val Thorens at 2300m (and a great black down to Plan Bouchet too!).

Orelle – Caron Top Station
Photo courtesy of Ski Fan

Cycle Track – Tougnete to Les Menuires

The new tarmacked cycled track from Tougnete to Les Menuires
Photo courtesy of Ski Fan

The 3 Valleys cycle track continues to be constructed. With a route from near the Altiport in Courchevel 1850 over Col de Loze to the Rond Point in Méribel completed a couple of Summers ago (and already featured in the Tour de France), the section from Tougnete summit down to Les Menuires has been completed. Next Summer will see the section up from Méribel completed. It will be some challenge to ride the whole track when it’s complete!

View of the cycle track from Tougnete
Photo courtesy of Ski Fan

Val Thorens Sports Centre

New Sports Centre under construction in Val Thorens
Photo courtesy of Ski Fan

The brand new Val Thorens Sports Centre opens in December 2022 consisting of a sports and leisure complex, an aquatic and wellness area, a conference centre plus smaller seminar rooms, a rooftop entertainment centre and terraces with panoramic views.

Aerial view of the new Sports Centre
Photo courtesy of Ski Fan

Friendly Natural Park

The ‘Friendly Natural Park” has been created on La Masse, near Les Menuires in partnership with the Vanoise National Park. There are animal-themed activities plus a parallel slalom, a frog tunnel and hazards to avoid on the piste. On the sunny terrace you can discover all sorts of fascinating facts on the protected wildlife living in France’s first national park.

Ski Touring Area Expanded

The Borgne area will host a new secure and marked area, dedicated to ski touring. Located in an area untouched by all lifts, at the start of the Plein Sud area the area will consist of a groomed path for the ascent and two secure downhill runs, one of which is ungroomed. Avalanche awareness and training in search and rescue in the use of transceivers and probes will also take place in this area.

The touring area will be accessible via the Pionniers and Plein Sud chairlifts

Other Stuff…

Next to Chalets du Thorens an 80m² themed igloo has been created to accommodate between 15 and 20 people in two areas for groups to meet. A new outdoor Escape Game and Laser Quest game are launched this Winter too.

A new 4 star Hotel Marielle opens this Winter and one of the original 5 star hotel The Fitz Roy has had a refurb, now with 2 restaurants and a new area that opens directly on to the slopes.

Another older hotel Le Val Thorens has also been completely refurbed and now has a new indoor and outdoor bar. Also, the Hotel Le Pashmina has a new self-heating glass covered terrace using a new nanotechnology glass systems.

The Vallée des Belleville has been awarded a Flocon Verte for their commitment to sustainable mountain tourism.

Call and collect services will be available this Winter at the Hameaux des Eaux in Orelle and the Chalet Chinal Donat at Plan Bouchet. Both of these premises will stock Orelle Caron Brewery organic beers including:

  • Or’Ale: A 100% Savoyard Blonde beer.
  • Kirovska: A slightly lemony white beer that bears the name of a small Russian village on the edge of the Arctic Circle.
  • Wanaka: An Amber beer in the colors of the South Island of New Zealand.

Winter 2022/2023 will see a new 10 seater gondola from Doppelmayr replacing the Deux Lacs chairlift.

The Covid Travel Blog is always up to date with the latest travel restrictions & regulations – not a lot at the moment, let’s hope it stays that way.

The What’s On Dairy will be fully up to date by mid-November and we should have some gig schedules too.

As always, thanks for all the contributions and photos including from Freeride RepublicSnow Retreat, Tim Wall, Snowbound Transfers, Charlie Gorman, Pub Le Ski LodgeMH2Ski, Jason Baker, S3V, Nick & Joey, Le Jardin, Harriet Graham and Ski Fan

Part 1: La Tania / Courchevel

Part 2: Méribel / Mottaret

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