Gondola upgrades Tignes connection

19th September 2010, by Chris Gill



Tignes plans to open a new gondola in time for the coming season, replacing a 24-year-old double chairlift out of Les Boisses.

The satellite village of Tignes-les-Boisses was in need of a modern replacement for its two-seat chair, which has provided the link to the main Tignes slopes since the mid 1970’s. Together with old lifts above it, the way into the rest of the area was a slow affair; but improvements are happening. The new lift is part of a wider investment project for Les Boisses, to make the village a more viable place to stay in the area.

Billed as ‘faster, bigger and more eco-friendly’, the new eight-person gondola follows the same line as the old chair, up to the Marais plateau (2180m) above Le Lac, and with a passenger flow of 3000 skiers per hour – as opposed to the 900 carried by the old system (which wasn’t exactly busy though anyway).

Timewise, the new lift will get you up the mountain in under four minutes; by contrast, a ride on the chair used to take a leisurely 10 minutes. It follows a similar upgrade for Tignes-les-Brévières, lower down the mountain, a few seasons back. Although from the top of both gondolas the slow Marais chair remains the weak point in the connection.

Tignes-les-Boisses (1850m) is the higher of the two satellite villages and has a choice of quiet accommodation; Mountainsun, for example, has a chalet hotel here, beside the slopes. You can ski back on a long blue run. And there are plans for a small nursery area and draglift at the top of the gondola, on the plateau area.

The gondola is expected to open when the Espace Killy officially kicks off the new season on 27 November 2010. It is the main development for Tignes in the coming season, but watch out for terrain park enhancements. The Swatch park is in line for new features, prompted by its role as host to the first European Winter X Games last season.

Nearly complete: top station Marais

And if you want a reminder of the old chair …. here’s a nerdy video clip!

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