The summer of 2017 was once again a busy one for resort crews and lift builders across the French Alps.
Chris Madoc-Jones' full round up of new lifts can be found in Issue 2 of this season's Ski+board
Most of the major ski areas will have a new chairlift or gondola spinning by Christmas, so keep a look out for some shiny new chairs, cabins, pylons and lift stations this season. Alpe d’Huez, Courchevel and Val Thorens have built important new gondolas and a swathe of new six-seater chairlifts have been installed across the country, at resorts such as La Plagne, La Clusaz and Les Arcs.
This article was originally published in the November 2017 issue of Ski+board, read the full magazine online here.
We start in the Three Valleys where the sound of diggers, concrete mixers and helicopters dominated the mountains over the summer. All three of the main resorts have seen a major lift built this summer, further improving one of the world’s best lift systems. So after two new lifts last winter, Val Thorens invested heavily again through building the Moraine gondola. The Doppelmayr D-Line gondola will have ten-seat cabins and should markedly improve access to two of the most popular blue runs in the resort, Moraine and Génépi.
Over the ridge at Méribel, one of the links back to Val Thorens has been transformed over the summer. The Roc de Tougne six-seater chair has replaced two ageing draglifts, drastically improving access to the Belleville Valley from year-old Combes chairlift, taking pressure off the busy Tougnète and 3 Marches links.
Over at the far eastern end of this vast ski area, perhaps the biggest project of the French summer took place at Courchevel 1650. A huge €18.6 million has been invested by the lift company. The new eight-seat Ariondaz gondola has doubled the uphill capacity and the removal of two draglifts has reduced the environmental footprint of the Moriond area’s lifts.