Resorts in Europe are continuing to expand their pistes maps. Take a look at this guide about new pistes in Europe this season.

The first snow has fallen and the new season is rapidly approaching, but what’s new on the slopes of Europe? Chris Madoc-Jones rounds up the headlines. 

France

From La Rosiere to Les Arcs, here are the latest new pistes in the French ski resorts this season.

La Rosiere

marthallgustafsson
New runs: 5 reds
New freeride zone
Vertical: 865m
A whole new sector has been opened up high on the slopes above La Rosiere, deep in the French Alps and nestled on the Italian border. The new Mont Valaisan sector promises to be a firm favourite, as not only are there five new snowsure runs to choose from, but two new speedy lifts installed over the summer will make laps of the new reds extremely fast and very comfortable.

Val Thorens

New runs: 2 (1 blue, 1 black)
Length: 4km combined
Two new runs will grace Val Thorens piste maps this winter. The headline is undoubtedly a 3.2km blue that snakes its way down from Cime Caron – one of the highest points in the resort. However for those looking for more of a challenge, why not try the new black in the Boismint sector – an area previously home to only blues and reds.

The new runs will certainly prove popular on the two Freshtracks instructions holidays heading out to the resort this winter 

Meribel

Meribel.net

New runs: 2 red
Length: 2km
As part of a major investment into the Cherferie sector above Méribel, a new red (Gypaete) has been carved into the mountainside. Keen to capitalise on the two new lifts built over the summer and to add variety to this popular sector, the new run should shift skiers and boarders away from busy through-routes and offer some great early-morning turns in its own right. A new red has also been marked under the Olympic Express chairlift – look out for signs to Daguet when you’re halfway down the Face run.

There’s no better way to check these improvements out than with the Ski Club’s Instructor Led Guiding service. 

Val d'Isere

New off piste zone
Steepness: Up to 76%
Although the runs are not strictly “new”, access is once again possible to the steep descents off the Leissières ridge in the heart of the Val d’Isère ski area. Head straight there on a powder day to grab fresh tracks and dodge the crowds – but watch out if you’re a snowboarder, the recently reinstalled draglift is steep and the track up can get tricky.

Explore the powder off the new lift via the Ski Cub’s Instructor Led Guiding Service.

Les Arcs

New runs: 1 red
Length: 2.1km
Vertical: 487m
Below Les Arcs 1950 lies the bumpy, ungroomed black run, Comborcière, long a favourite for advanced skiers looking for a backdoor from Les Arcs 1600 to 1950. Thanks to some remodelling and hours of shifting around mud, the quiet zone now contains a new groomed red starting and ending in the same place as the tricky black, aptly named The Secret. Yes, it is still a challenge, but compared to the bumpy, steep black that runs parallel, The Secret will seem achievable for intermediates hoping to explore this secluded corner of the resort.

Why not explore this new run on the two Freshtracks Peak Experience trips heading out to Les Arcs this winter?

Austria 

A couple of new piste updates from the Austrian Alps this season. 

Maria Alm

New runs: 1
State of the art snowmaking
6 linked summits
Links to 35km Königstour
A crucial new run, equipped with the latest snowmaking technology has added to the already impressive Königstour route the runs through the resort of Maria Alm in Austria. The new runs means the entire 120km of slopes can be accessed over snow – previously a lift download was required – making the family-favourite an even more attractive proposition this winter.

Obergurgl

Christoph Schoech Photography
New runs: 1 blue, 1 red
Length: 2.5km combined
Two new runs are ready and waiting ahead of the 2018/19 ski season in Obergurgl. After a two-year wait, the top section of the Kirchenkar gondola was finally built and two new runs – 43 and 44 – snake down the mountain from its top station. Starting at almost 3000m, these pistes are about as snowsure as it can get – which is saying something in a resort famed for its long season, reliable snow and state-of-the-art snowmaking system.

Switzerland

Find out about the new off piste area in one of the best freeride resorts in Europe

Andermatt

Toni Birrer

New off piste itinerary
Length: 2.2km
Over the summer, the link between Andermatt and Sedrun was finally completed, meaning both sides of the Oberalppass are now connected. The final piece in the puzzle also led to the creation of what promises to be a seriously popular run – ski route 30. Yes it will remain ungroomed and many skiers and riders will download the new gondola, but on a powder day – the area’s unique microclimate means that these are frequent – the new trail promises to be an epic descent.

There are no fewer than seven Freshtracks holidays, all geared towards off piste skiing, heading to Andermatt this season. 

Italy

A couple of resorts in the Italian Alps have expanded their piste maps this season. 

Dolomiti Superski

New runs: 3
100% snowmaking coverage
Across the Dolomites in Italy, three new runs are marked on the piste maps in time for the 2018/19 season. At the small resort of Jochtal look out for the new Wastl Huber slope (marked 23A), accessed by their powerful new Ski Express gondola. In Val di Fiemme on the Alpe Cermis mountain, the new Busarella piste will certainly add variety – especially on bad-weather days in this tree-lined sector. Finally, look out for the new Signaue II trail, winding its way down towards the village of Sexten in the Drei Zinnen region. As always in this region, comprehensive snowmaking will ensure a deep covering of the white stuff all season.

Haideralm and Schöneben

Vinschgau MarketingAlex Filz

New runs: 2 reds
Length: 6km
The main headline from the newly-linked Italian Südtirol resorts of Haideralm and Schöneben was the new gondola – a monster constructed by lift manufacturer Leitner. Quite rightly so as it’s the longest lift they’ve ever built. But it is easy to overlook the new runs built into the hillside to complete this major project. Two long, windy reds make it almost the whole way to the lift base, making for an amazing cruise through the woods overlooking the Reschensee, but sadly the final descent into the town requires a short download on the gondola.

Spain 

The interest in Spanish wintersports has taken off in recent years. Here is a piste update from Spain this season. 

Baqueira-Beret

New Runs: 3
Length: 8km
Large off piste area
As in La Rosiere, new lifts have opened up previously untouched slopes at the Spanish resort of Baqueira-Beret in the Pyrenees. Not only are there a clutch of new beginner runs beneath a new three-seater chair, but perhaps more excitingly, three long runs have been opened up in the Lacs du Baciver sector. Not only are the runs set to be a hit with skiers and boarders, but a significant area of off piste has also been opened up – let’s hope for another good winter! 

Check out this awesome new zone on the Freshtracks’ Baqueira Discovery Weekend this January.

Georgia

Skiing in Georgia is a relatively unknown to most in Europe but they have grown their top ski resort this season. 

Gudauri

New Runs: 5+
Length: Unsure 
Many of you may not have heard of the Georgian ski resort of Gudauri, but a huge new project to open up a whole new mountainside has firmly put this hidden freeride-mecca on the map. New runs snake their way down off the back of the summit towards the tiny village of Kobi, buried deep in the wild Caucasus mountains, and new trails have been added to the front of the mountain too. This winter might well be the one to take the plunge and explore this remote resort – the secret won’t last for long!

Read more about skiing in Georgia in the October edition of Ski+board magazine