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News, views, interesting stories and gossip from all over the Alps and from around the ski world!


Lift & Piste improvements in French resorts
7th Sep 12
Val Thorens has spent another €4.3m on the Péclet Funitel, installing new automatic functions in the Funitel stations, as well as new and more spacious cabins.

The artificial snow cover network at Val Thorens is also being extended, with 15 new silent snow cannons installed at the foot of the resort.

Méribel’s ski area is undergoing several major improvements this summer, including the building of two new gondola lifts and re-shaping of their two main access pistes.

In Méribel-Mottaret, a new Plattières lift is being erected, replacing the existing 28-year-old Plattières 1 and 2 gondolas. This single lift will be completed by December 2012 and will be the first ten-seat gondola in the 3 Vallées. The replacement lift will carry up to 40% more passengers, transporting up to 2,800 people per hour.

In Méribel, the Saulire Express gondola is being completed (the top section opened last December, replacing the old eight-seat Saulire gondola). This summer, the lower section is being replaced, with a radically redesigned lift station and new entrance ramp to the front. The completed Saulire Express will reach the top of the Saulire in just 12 minutes, compared with a previous journey time of over 20 minutes. This new lift will have eight-seat cabins, and will carry 2,400 people per hour – a carrying capacity which could be increased to 2,800 in future if required. The investment by lift company Méribel Alpina is 20 million Euros.

The main Méribel access piste to the Chaudanne area, the Traversée bourbon, is being made easier. This narrow blue run will be broader and gentler at the bottom, a much-needed change make possible by the removal of the old Saulire pylons.

Other major piste works in the Méribel valley include a re-shaping of the Grand Duc blue run, which is being upgraded for the 2015 Finals of the Ski World Cup Finals. A tunnel will be added where the piste crosses the Gelinotte run, and two sections have been re-shaped.

Vail Resorts Inc have announced a new partnership with Verbier which will entitle season pass holders in both resorts to 3 free days skiing in their transatlantic partner resort. The partnership between these two premier ski destinations is the first of its kind and is great news for both European and North American skiers planning to ski on both sides of the Atlantic this winter.
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