La Tania Summer Opening Weekend and What's New for 2005/6
1st July 2005
Sport on TV, Mountain Biking and bar openings...
Opening weekend saw the big mountain biking competition - A downhill from the top of Saulire at 2700m down to Bride les Bains at around 600m - the winning time was around 26 minutes! Unbelievable speed through thick forest and narrow tracks on the bottom section.
We had a run down on the Sunday (when the Three Valleys "Rando" Tour competition took place) only to find the Brides gondola wasn't working - A massive thanks to Michelle who came down fro La Tania and rescued us! No huge injuries to report Mountain Biking yet - seems full body armour is the fashion this year, but it's only a matter of time...
With the Ski Lodge opening for a special Lions breakfast around the TV, followed by constant changing of channels to Live 8, Wimbledon, The cricket v the Aussies and the start of the Tour de France - far too much time was spent in the pub with glorious weather outside. A brand new terrace outside La Taiga is proving popular though - it gets the sun until right at the end of the day.
The big news regarding work on the ski area is the use of hands free passes for next season. No more photographs and fiddling with passes in freezing temperatures, the pass stays in your pocket and uses radio technology to open the turnstile. The new turnstiles are already in place at the La Tania gondola:
Season passes will need photos however (but when will they be checked?) and the old blag of buying a pass for the next day at 3:30pm and getting an hour and a half "free" skiing looks likely to be ended. On the plus side a morning only pass should be made available (currently only afternoon half day passes are sold) and if you lose a pass it can be replaced - the old one is simply electronically cancelled.
More work is continuing on the new beginners piste running down from the top gondola station down to La Tania: The new green track should end up connecting to the bottom of the red as it approaches the bottom gondola station.
We've heard the very long Signal and Bel Air drag lifts over at 1650 are being replaced by a high speed 6 seater detachable chair - these are the lifts right at the far side of the whole ski area bordering the entrance to Vallee Des Avals with the red Chapelets and Bel Air runs down them. There are also much needed new cabins going on the gondolas from 1550 and Le Praz.
Finally, if you've never been out in the Summer give it a try - it is truly beautiful and there's lot's more to do than in Winter. Just imagine working here in the Summer - watering hanging baskets every day has got to be easier than clearing the terrace of snow in sub zero temperatures...