A new ski season means new lifts to discover across European ski resorts. Find out what's new this winter!
Here is a round-up of the latest lifts from around Europe:
All of the major French resorts seem to have invested heavily over the summer, but the prize for most impressive project has to go to La Rosière, where two new fast six-seat chairs open up a whole new sector of the mountain after two years of construction. A whole new sector of the mountain has been opened up by two new fast six-seat chairs – Moulins and Mont Valaisan. Five new snowsure runs have been added to the piste map, topping out at almost 2,800m, significantly higher than the resort’s other lifts. The two combine to produce over 800m of vertical drop and promise to open out some great off-piste – this area will undoubtedly become a firm favourite for visitors to the resort. If this wasn’t enough, a new draglift has also been built over the summer, making the Clarines drag the third new lift of year.
Not content with the new Solaise lift last season, another ten-seat gondola has been built in Val d’Isère. This time, attention has turned to La Daille – home of the OK racetrack. The new lift will serve the lower part of the course and for those keen on après ski, the top station is right next to the world-famous Folie Douce – perfect if you’re not looking to ski down at the end of the day. Also in the resort, the Leissières ridge – renowned for its hair-raising up-and-over chairlift – is to be served by the rebuilt 3000 draglift which has been out of use for many years. Steep off-piste runs drop off either side of the ridge, holding great snow throughout the year, so the drag will no doubt prove popular.
At the other end of the Espace Killy, access from Tignes 1550 has been significantly improved through the construction of the new Géant eight-seat gondola. The new lift links to Tignes 1800 and the Boisses gondola, which then whisks skiers up to the Marais plateau and the rest of the vast ski area.
Over in the Three Valleys. major work has been carried out above the resort of Méribel. The Plan de L’Homme chair has been replaced by the luxury Legends lift – kitted out with bubbles and padded seats. Keen to recycle the old lift, it will be refurbished and installed further up the mountain to replace the Cherferie draglift. Capacity in this sector will quadruple and to reflect this, a new red run has been marked out for the winter ahead and additional snowmaking has been installed. Look out for brand new cabins on the Mont Vallon gondola too.
After access was transformed above 1650 last winter, attention over the summer transferred to Courchevel 1550, where the Gragnettes gondola was replaced. The new queue-busting ten-seater is certain to cut peak time queues, both heading up the mountain in the morning and down the hill at the end of the day.
Although nothing new has been built, three lifts out of Les Menuires have been upgraded ahead of the winter. The Bruyères gondola will see upgraded, faster eight-seat cabins this season, making the ride to the Col de la Chambre more comfortable than ever. More chairs have been added to the Granges chairlift to increase capacity by almost 50 per cent and the station of the Roc 1 gondola has been extended to allow for more cabins to be added to the lift, upping its capacity from 2,800 skiers per hour to 3,200.
A lift removed from the Three Valleys has made its way to Les Arcs 1950, where the old Portette quad from Val Thorens' – taken out last winter – has replaced the Comborcière chair below the new village. As with last year’s Datcha chair in Val d’Isère, the old lift has been refurbished and reinstalled to significantly speed up the return towards Les Arcs 1600. An additional red run has been created by the lift too, giving people the option of a red or black run, rather than a single black run previously.