What's New in La Tania and The Three Valleys 2015
5 New Lifts, New Pistes, New Lift Pass Prices, New Businesses etc etc
The 15th edition of our definitive What's New Guide to La Tania and The Three Valleys - some of this has already been posted but this gets everything together in one place. A few more updates to come as we approach Winter. There are 5 new lifts for starters - Enjoy...
The new Foret Chairlift from Le Praz to the top of the La Tania Gondola
General News for Winter 2015
Five New Lifts:
The new Foret Chair from Le Praz to the top of the La Tania gondola.
Aiguille du Fruit Chair on the link back from Courchevel 1650 to 1850 up towards Park City area.
The Loze Chair from Méribel to La Tania is replaced by a hi-speed detachable - Now Loze Express!
Plan de l'Eau has been replaced and lengthened at the bottom end of the Val Thorens area.
Portette chair in Val Thorens has been replaced and starts a little lower down.
The planned new lift in the Borgne area above the Val Thorens Folie Douce did not get environmental permission in time - the old Portette lift was to be used here and is now in storage awaiting installation next Summer hopefully.
More details in resort sections below. 2014 v 2015 Three Valleys Piste Map Differences Animated Here
New flight routes:
easyJet flights went on sale on 9 April 2014 for Winter flights until 31 March and then on 3 September for flights after that. They are at last flying to Lyon from Luton (as well as Gatwick, Manchester, Stansted, Edinburgh and Bristol) and have a new service from Aberdeen to Geneva plus there's a Birmingham - Geneva flight on a Friday night too.
Monarch's re-branding as a low cost carrier scheduled airline rather than a charter operator continues with flights in to Grenoble from Leeds, Manchester, Birmingham and Gatwick for 2015.
Flybe have several changes keeping Saturday flights to Geneva from Inverness and Cardiff (but have dropped Lyon, Chambéry & Grenoble from many smaller airports). Note that the Flybe website does not have a "Direct Flights Only" tick box. Options like Manchester to Geneva may be via Paris or Southampton - they do have a Price Lock-Down service where you can reserve a fare for 24 hours for just £2 though and don't make a charge for Debt Cards.
Jet2.com have reduced some frequencies and are using Edinburgh rather than Glasgow for Geneva & Chambéry. Only Manchester is serving Grenoble now and the Leeds / Bradford to Geneva route is down to 4 days a week.
Ryanair have dropped the Wednesday flights to Grenoble from Stansted (now only Sat/Sun) and Jet2 will start an Edinburgh to Geneva service.
Eurostar direct to Moûtiers went on sale on 31 July with prices from £149 return (half term went on sale at the starting price of £339).
All the flights, all the routes on the La Tania Flight Guide page.
The DUO pass discount introduced last year remains (2 adult passes, min 6 days, same type and duration, bought together). This for example gets a Courchevel Valley 6 day pass for €230 instead of €240. The Tribu discount (for 3 passes bought together) continues too giving around a 6% discount.
A 6 day Adult 3 Valleys is now €283 and Courchevel Valley (includes La Tania) is now €240 with Duo passes €10 cheaper and Tribu passes €15 cheaper.
The New 2015 Three Valleys Piste Map
This is an increase of 2% and 2.9% from last year but with the Euro currently at €1.27 / £1 bank rate this currently makes it cheaper than last season for many! For comparison the prices increases for 3V & Courchevel passes were 9.5% & 7.9% in 2013 and 7.3% & 6.5% in 2014.
Lift Pass Prices and Piste Maps pages now updated with new prices and PDF maps. Rosa Khutor in Russia has been added to the Epic Pass agreements - a free 5-day pass available to 3 Valleys Season Pass holders, more details of the resorts included on the Lift Pass page.
As reported last year - still no "sharing" of speeding points between the UK & France and no timing checks between toll booths on the Autoroutes - There are a lot, lot more mobile speed traps with on the spot fines however (and yes, they do escort you to the cash point if you can't pay or haven't go the right change). Still no enforcement of the carry your own breathalyser law which now seems to have been ditched permanently.
The La Tania to Méribel Village road has been closed since 7 July 2014 and is expected to be closed for around 4 months, re-opening 31 October 2014 in time for the build up to the Winter season. It’s always suffered from land slips as it clings to the side of the mountain and has required many on-going repairs over the years. This work is a major piece of engineering to sort it out properly forever hopefully.
Further disruption is expected for the next two Summers as a separate road (in effect a bridge) is created higher up and actually away from the side of the mountain where the land slide area is.
Meanwhile work continues around Geneva Airport but hopefully a better flow of traffic by Winter and the work at the Southern end of Annecy will be completed.
Work on the road at the entrance to La Tania - new parking perhaps ? Will be needed during the
Moretta Village construction. On the right, more chalet construction at the back of the Ski Lodge.
This pic is from 10 September of the Saulire summit but really the first snow arrived on 10 July! (Any time after 21 June is next season once the nights start drawing in).
Val Thorens and Dou des Lanches above La Tania on 10 July 2014
Key Events 2014:
The Ladies World Cup Slalom event returns to Courchevel on 13 and 14 Dec 2014 and of course Méribel host the Alpine Skiing World Championships from 18-22 March 2015.
3 Valleys Charity Day is confirmed as Wednesday 8 April 2015 in Méribel Village and a new Family Charity Day will be held in La Tania on Easter Monday 6 April 2015.
London Ski & Snowboard Show:
The show returns to Earls Court 2 (possibly for the last time at this venue as the whole area is being redeveloped) from 30 October to 02 November. The 2014 Show will host a range of tour operators and chalet companies plus live freestyle ski demos, insider tips from snow sports experts in the Mountain Talks Theatre, Après bars, live music and the chance to receive a free lift pass to a variety of resorts. More here
Gigz Management are supplying several bands for the Drop Inn area of the show (no, not our neighbours in Le Praz!) that are well known in La Tania including The Dominos, Hobo Chic, Daisy B & Tom plus Twin Peaks with Albert Jones from Albenaza fame.
Les 3 Vallées are putting on another big Après party on Thursday 30 October at Fulham Broadway at The Broadway House Bar & Grill (what was The Slug & Lettuce next to the old Tube station entrance) expect the Méribel Folie Douce team there at the "God Save The Snow" Party!
Not happening this year but they promise to be back bigger than ever in 2015.
The new Fôret hi-speed detachable 6 seater (with hoods) chairlift starts near the lake in Le Praz and rises up 643m to just above the top La Tania gondola station.
The old La Fôret bubble gondola was installed in 1970 with a capacity of 1000 skiers per hour and a speed of 4 metres per second. With a vertical rise of over 800m it was the highest rising lift in the Courchevel Valley and third highest in the 3 Valleys – only Caron in Val Thorens and the access gondola from Orelle beating it.
The new chair cost 9 million Euros and was largely completed last season but work could not start during the Black Grouse breeding season with certain parts of the ski area are fenced off to protect these gorgeous birds - more here. Fôret will have a capacity of 2,700 skiers per hour at 5.5 m/s with a journey time of around 5 and a half minutes.
Total Length 1750m. Vertical Rise 643m. Starting Altitude 1259m Ending 1902m. Number of Pylons 15.
The old Foret gondolas and the route of the new chair
The new route of Fôret mean there is no direct access to 1850 like before with the old bubble. There is a preference for chairlifts on new builds and this one has a hood fitted to it for bad weather - this also means it's more susceptible to high winds so keeping it off the top of the ridge should mean it operates most of the time - so maybe this was some of the reasoning behind it.
Also, we'll be looking at 2 fairly quick chair lift rides without taking skis off (and a quick ski between lifts) - Time wise there won't much difference plus the future developments will have the other gondola (Praz) going right up to La Croisette in 1850 eventually.
Race to the Top - Expected times
Centre of La Tania
Gros Murger Drag / Bouc Blanc - 11 mins
Gondola / Dou Des Lanches - 12.5 mins
Gondola / Bouc Blanc - 14 mins
Centre of Le Praz
Fôret / Doe Des Lanches - 12 mins
Fôret / Bouc Blanc - 13.5 mins
Centre of Courchevel 1850
Chenus - 8.5 mins
Plantrey - 6.5 mins
Loze Drag - 6 mins
New 2015 La Tania Brochure
The new La Tania brochure for 2014 is now available. PDF Version Here
New 2015 Piste Maps - showing the new lifts here (some still to arrive)
Our Charity Day (now 3 Valleys Charity Day) will take place in Méribel Village once again next season - the event raised around €23,000 last year for Charities in the UK and France and certainly the biggest yet. Next seasons event will take place on Wednesday 8 April 2015. More here...
A new Family Charity Day event in La Tania with an Easter Egg hunt for the kids will take place on Easter Monday 6 April 2015.
Bring Your Sisters still haven't gone home yet and played some great gigs out here this Summer including the Summer Ski Jumping World Cup in Le Praz. Expect there usual mayhem again this Winter. new babies permitting... Plenty of bands returning - an update and schedule up soon.
Great new from Sunset Sons (aka The Cheerleaders from nights in La Tania ) have just released the video of "Remember" from their new "No Bad Days" EP today. Rory, Jed, Rob & Pete played the Leeds & Reading festivals this Summer and are currently in Nashville recording the new album. They are signed to Polydor Records, Radio One play listed and the UK Tour starts 23 Oct2014.
The next Folie Douce operation (and last in France for at least a while) will be opening in Saint Gervais, Mègeve this Winter. This follows on from Val d'Isere, Val Thorens, Méribel and Alpe d'Huez. There's rumours of Verbier, Crans Montana and even Aspen in the USA for the next branch.
Lodge du Village over in Méribel Village will be under new owners this Winter - but live music and a lively atmosphere are still expected to be on the menu.
Hotel Courcheneige above 1850, a favourite spot for reasonable priced beer, champagne and afternoon tea has long been rumoured to be closing down and to be replaced by (yet another) 5-star hotel - by the Four Seasons group apparently. Certainly no work has started on this, and they are advertising holidays for 2015 so we expect it to still be there this Winter at least.
Meanwhile the Ibiza Rocks The Snow are heading to Les Deux Alpes this year with The Rise Festival.
Other La Tania Stuff...
Snow Retreat have a new chalet (and a new baby!) this year in La Tania - Chalet Chevalier sleeps 10.
Come-Ski are operating a new ski to the door chalet in Méribel this season - Chalet Griottes.
Ski Power have added 2 new chalets to their portfolio in La Tania for 2014/2015.
Alpine Elements who manage The Hotel Montana will also have self-catering apartments for rental in Le Britania and Le Christiana building this Winter.
Joey's Savoieire pop-up BBQs with his famous hand cut speciality sausages have been a popular feature this Summer - expect some more of them next year.
Look out for Cherry Bites - a new meal delivery service this Winter in and around La Tania.
A new wooden deck, heaters and sofas around Pub Le Ski Lodge are planned and may be completed in time for Winter. A decent, reliable WiFi service is promised too along with a bit of refurb / refresh work going on inside during the Autumn.
Gordon Ramsey Kitchen Nightmares - Costa Del Nightmares - Great TV from down the South West of
France in Capbreton where many La Tania faces were on view. Watch on 4OD here
No further news on the Moretta Village development in La Tania and when the definite timescales for this are - there's a presentation of the development here and the new Moretta chairlift is in the S3V plans below. There's an interview with more on the future developments with the new President of S3V, Pascal de Thiersant here (in French but worth a google translate!).
Future Lifts - Completion by 2019
This shows all the future developments due by 2019 (Bouc Blanc , Foret, Aiguille all completed)
CLICK ON THE IMAGE FOR LARGER PIC
The Ski Club of Great Britain Industry Report and Survey saw France maintain its number one skiing destination spot and also first place in retaining visitors. La Tania coming 4th "Most Recommended Resort"in the World (and 2nd in Europe).
Weather to Ski voted us 4th in Weather-Proof Ski Resorts. We may be relatively low but those shadowy North facing slopes and all that forest makes a massive difference to keeping snow and allowing decent bad weather skiing conditions. Aspect > Altitude
La Tania Key Events
Nov 01 - La Tania Ski Show Re-Union, Drop Inn Area, Earls Court 2, London
Nov 28 - Pub Le Ski Lodge opens for the Winter Season 2014/2015
Dec 05 - Pub Le Ski Lodge Opening Night Party for Winter 2015
Dec 13 - La Tania and 3 Valleys links open for Winter 2015
Dec 13 to 14 - Ladies FIS Alpine World Cup Slalom / Giant Slalom - Courchevel
Dec 16 - www.latania.co.uk locals 2015 photo shoot in the Ski Lodge
Jan 30 - Toss the Boss, T. Wall's 51st Birthday Bash at Pub Le Ski Lodge
Feb 07 to 14 - Kids Week in La Tania
Feb 17 - Mardi Gras - The big Fat Tuesday carnival celebrations...
Feb 28 to 07 Mar - Environment Week in La Tania
Mar 18 to 22 - The 2015 Alpine Skiing World Championships - Méribel
Apr 06 - The La Tania Family Charity Day
Apr 06 - The La Tania 2014 End of Season Charity Ball at La Taiga TBC
Apr 07 - The 16th Annual La Tania Saisonnaires Awards 2015 at Pub Le Ski Lodge TBC
Apr 08 - 3 Valleys Charity Day 2015 for Charities in the UK & France. Now in Méribel Village
Apr 12 - The 3 Valleys Enduro Rally
Apr 24 - La Tania, Courchevel and Méribel lifts scheduled to close
More in the complete 3 Valleys What's On Dairy
More New Lifts
As well as the new La Forêt chair going up to the Bouc Blanc area above there is another new lift in the Courchevel ski area.
The replacement of the 3-man Aiguille du Fruit and the fixed 4-man Gravelles chair has taken place this Summer the with a 6-seater hi-speed detachable new Aiguille du Fruit chair. This is a slightly different route and shorter in length, so not giving access to the Suisses black piste but high enough to access Marmottes and Chanrossa. Improvements to the runs to get back towards 1850 have been made (the Altiport Piste is now all blue along with Creux and the bottom section of Park City) .
The new Aiguille du Fruit lift opening December 2014
Length 1262m, Start 1828m, Finish 2240m, Vertical 412m.
Speed 5.5m/s, Pylons 12, Chairs 79, Capacity 3300 skier per hour.
New route of the Aiguille du Fruit
The old 3 man Aiguille du Fruit
New Pistes / Free Ride Area
2014 and 2015 Piste Maps - The new Liberty Ride area and Carabosse green piste
Additional snow cannons have been installed on the Altiport piste and beginners area plus the usual maintenance to prevent corrosion, improve drainage etc has taken place all Summer long.
Apart from the new lifts there are a couple of minor new pistes and freeride areas plus the Escapade icons have been removed. We're not sure if The 3 Valleys Escapade is being discontinued or not as yet (and we hope it wasn’t our fault for starting the doing it in a day craze!).
Courchevel - Other Stuff
Plenty of building work going on around 1850 as usual with hotels and chalets being modernised along with a few new builds. Reports of a few more local shops going - we'll have to wait until the Winter season for confirmation.
The Aqua Centre below 1550 is certainly the biggest work going on with a lot of the outside construction finished now and on target for opening in December 2015. There have been a few open days to inspect the work and it certainly is looking impressive. Once the new piste and lift goes in around here it will be a great enhancement to 1550 and Courchevel area in general.
Is it really going to have a grass roof?
The Courchevel 1650 Re-Development of the Snow Front Area - Animated Video
The World Cup!
After a fantastic Mountain Biking World Cup Finals this Summer, Méribel has the prestige of hosting the FIS Alpine Skiing World Cup Finals from 18 to 22 March 2015 - a major coo for Méribel. The Roc de Fer piste has been completely redesigned for the event according to the organisers (although no evidence of this on the new Méribel piste map) - Best try it out before the pros to find out properly!
New Lift - The Loze Express
The bottom station before the "detachable" rails section is installed
The slow 4-man fixed chairlift Loze that runs up from above the Altiport area in Méribel is now replaced by a hi-speed detachable quad chair giving a fast trip back towards La Tania via the Col de la Loze in under 6 minutes (instead of 10 and half minutes).
The top station of the new Loze Express
Ski Area Improvements
The area under the Tougnete 1 gondola was officially designated a "fun area" with massive moguls to practice on down what was once a black run. This has been removed from the 2015 piste map.
The Inuits Piste fun area for kids is being extended with 2 new runs and The Moon Park has been re-designed, re-shaped and enlarged for those who like their jumps... The sledge run around the Chaudanne area has been moved to the other side of the Rhodos gondola and a new one at the Altiport has been created along with enhancements to the Moon Wild fun area making this excellent beginners spot great for kids and families.
A new information area and picnic spot with free WiFi and TV screens has been created at the start of the Saulire Express in the Chaudanne area - The Chaudanne Lounge.
Lodge du Village over in Méribel Village will be under new owners this Winter - but live music and a lively atmosphere are still expected to be on the menu.
The Future Lift & Piste Plans up to 2022
S3V plans for new lifts by 2022
S3V Animation of the new Combes lift, green run and proposed floodlit Sledge Run
Work on the new Vertical Xperience "Couloir du Bouquetin is unclear at the moment - it's not marked on the new Méribel-Mottaret piste map - it will be a secured and patrolled un-groomed steep black run basically.
There are improvements in to the run down in to Mottaret centre too we hear - often icy in the early season in the late afternoon shade.
Les Menuires is 50!
Celebrations are planned in February 2015 as Les Menuires turns 50. A massive fireworks display is planned on 12 February - the main anniversary party day. They've a competition to win a 50 year ski pass too!
A new Aqua Centre opens on 6 December with spa, jacuzzi, sauna, massages, kids slides etc and there's a new blue piste Bouquetin from the top of La Masse allowing blue run skiers to ski La Masse top to bottom. New snow cannons have been installed on the Stade and Menuires pistes.
The Bouquetin piste from La Masse summit
The Roc n Bike Mountain Biking on Snow introduction takes place from Saturday 20 of December 2014 to Friday 24 of April 2015 - Mondays to Fridays.
For children looking for entertainment other than skiing, the Fun Park in the Sports Centre will be a great place to go. Made up of a number of interconnected zones, this new play area, with a 500m² tubular structure, is made up of 3 zones: one for the under 3’s, one for 3-6 year and one for 6-12 year olds. There's mini multi-sports terrain, ball pool, slides, pyramid, rope bridge etc.
New Lift - Plan de l'Eau
Plan de l'Eau at the bottom of the Val Thorens ski area is a useful lift after skiing off the back of La Masse around the Lac de Lou route but always was a slow ride on the 4-man fixed chairlift. A new hi-speed detachable 6-pack going quite a bit loner up the mountain is now in place for Winter 2015.
This is another POMA construction - starts at 1822m and finishes at 2513m.
Length 1985m, Vertical 690m, Pylons 17, Capacity 2600 skiers per hour.
A new run will link up with the sector of Caron and the Cime Caron cable car - this run, the Boulevard du Téléphérique has been re-graded from red to blue. The Boismint sector been redesigned to improve skier flow in the area.
New Lift - Portette
The Portette lift gets upgraded to hi-speed detachable 6-pack with a slightly lower starting position
This lift is a Doppelmayr starting 2354m and finishing at 2769m.
Length 1819, Vertical 419m, Pylons 20, Capacity 3300 skiers per hour.
The new Borgne Lift - Hopefully next Season
Permission for a new lift up towards the Borgne Glacier from the Folie Douce area was refused. Certain environmental issues had to be resolved we believe. This lift was going to be the old Portette 4-man detachable and this is now in storage and being refurbished for installation next year hopefully.
No more news on any new piste developments regarding a further link to Les Menuires at the lower end of the area for the moment.
Finally the chairs from the Pioniers lift have been replaced with new white ones with the old ones (only a year old) being installed on the new Plan de l'Eau lift. A cool €20m spent this year on infrastructure in Val Thorens.
Val Thorens - other stuff
As reported last year at this time, the the new Club Med has been under construction and is set to open this Winter. Val Thorens Sensations is a full on resort complex with 384 bedrooms, spa, fitness centre, bars and restaurants. It opens it's doors on 14 December 2014.
Val Thorens now boasts a second of the latest environmentally friendly hybrid-electric piste basher machines - the Kässbohrer PistenBully 600 E+ piste groomer.
Val Thorens hosts a round of the Ski Cross World Cup from 11 to 13 December 2014 and the French National Snowboard Championships on 5 April 2015.
Think that's about it for now, if there's anything that should be included here please let us know. Have a great Winter 2015, and remember "The best skier on the mountain is the one having the most fun..."