Major changes begin in Val d’Isère

6th August 2015, by Abi Butcher

Val d’Isère is getting new ski lifts, a mid station and beginner area on Solaise

Val d’Isère is getting new ski lifts, a mid station and beginner area on Solaise

The French ski resort of Val d’Isère is undergoing some major changes over the next two years. Work this summer has begun on a €16 (£11.1m) million two-year project to entirely redevelop the top of Solaise.

The entire summit of one of the two iconic mountains reached from the front de neige base area is being reshaped. Some 70,000 cubic meters of earth has been bulldozed to create a brand new mid-mountain station at 2,500m, that will be open for this season.

While the Solaise Express four-man chair and cable car will still remain in use this winter, next summer they will be replaced by a 10-person gondola with heated seats and wifi that will increase current capacity by 40%. The 91 cabins will carry up to 3,600 skiers and snowboarders per hour, with a journey time of seven minutes, so reducing previous bottlenecks. 

A giant, magic carpet has replaced the old Terrasse button lift on the Val side of Solaise, serving a new secluded beginner area — with a slope re-graded from 16% to 7%, as well as a tubing area for adults and children. On the far side of Solaise twin, covered magic carpets have replaced the short double chair that brought you to the summit.

Top stations for all three ski lifts are on one level beside the new day lodge containing a café, a picnic area, a sun terrace and toilets. It’s a place where you can relax and enjoy spectacular views from the floor-to-ceiling windows.

For every tree that has been cut down for the work in Val d’Isère five others have been planted. Clumps of Sylène de Suède (viscaria alpina), a wild flower with distinctive pink petals that grows naturally in the area of the day lodge, have been carefully dug up and relocated nearby.

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