Andorran resorts start their season

2nd December 2005, by Chris Gill

December’s arrival marked the start of the 2005/06 winter season in Andorra’s two major ski areas, Grandvalira and the Pal-Arinsal sector.

The Grandvalira ski arena opened to the public yesterday, Thursday 1 December; although locals had a taste of the Pyrenean white stuff for free last week when decent snowfalls tempted the resort into action.  Ninety percent of the ski area is expected to function this weekend as good snowfalls continue, although the new lift into France has yet to open.

Pal-Arinsal starts up its lifts today, and is following the trend set by other European ski resorts to introduce the ‘hands free’ lift pass system. The resorts, including the linked base at La Massana, share a lift pass (the Vallnord) with the neighbouring, but unlinked, Ordino-Arcalis ski area.  Arcalis, a quiet village-free area twenty minutes away by road, offers an additional 26km runs and is rated locally as having some of the best snow in the region.

Arinsal has been busy improving its lift system this year, with a quad chair replacing the La Tossa drag-lift and a fast six-seat chair replacing the Les Fonts lift. An improved learning zone should help beginners make those tentative first turns on the slopes.

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