Excited for the 2018/19 ski season? There's plenty to look forward to as we bring you the latest updates from the slopes.
Courchevel 1850 - art at the summit
The Grangettes gondola has had a major facelift in time for the 2018/19 season. Open daily from 8.35am to 7.20pm, you can now travel between Courchevel Village and Courchevel 1850 in half the time. With new 10-seater cabins, indoor and outdoor night lighting and increased passenger flow, be prepared to be whisked up the mountain in style.
Ten years ago, Courchevel and Galeries Bartoux embarked on a project designed to bring art to the mountains. “Art at the Summit”, as it was known, saw works by Dali taking over the slopes and the centre of the resort to create an open air gallery. Ten years on, this exciting project is set to be re-created with nine works of art by three contemporary street artists, inspired by Dali’s compositions, being displayed across the ski area and resort. One of the Sauliere cable car’s cabins will be totally redesigned and a “10 Years of Art at the Summit” exhibition will be held at Le Croisette, with guided visits and live apres-ski performances throughout the season.
Meribel - family fun on the slopes
As well as considerable investment into the infrastructure of the resort, including two new high speed chairlifts, Meribel has a couple of new pistes opening for the 2018/19 season. There will also be a focus on expanding enjoyment for families, with a team of entertainers organising events like treasure hunts, ice sculpting and coconut shys on the slopes. The Inuit and Elements Park fun zones have been expanded to feature different themes and race challenges whilst Meribel’s toboggan run, Mission Black Forest, will now be open seven days a week.
Val d'Isere - brand new designer lift
From this December, a brand new 10-person Poma gondola costing €10m will bring skiers from La Daille up to the Folie Douce. The new lift, with 51 cabins and heated seats, replaces the old four-person télécabine that opened in 1966 and which was renovated in 1994. The new lift increases uphill capacity from 933 to 2,800 passengers per hour and halves the journey time to just 4min 30sec. The spacious Symphony 10 cabins, the first of their type in France, were created by an Italian designer who works for Ferrari and Maserati.
Chamonix - legendary apres-ski
The first of La Folie Douce hotels is opening in Chamonix from December 2018. Ski-in/ski-out with 250 bedrooms, the hotel also brings with it the apres-ski experience it is famed for. Under the artistic direction of Kely Starlight, the legendary La Folie Douce Apres-Ski Party offers an energetic mix of funky and energising tunes, singers, big-screen projections and breathtaking light shows. From 4pm-8pm.
Zermatt - the world's highest gondola
After a two and half year wait, the world’s highest 3S gondola has opened. The Matterhorn Glacier Ride comprises of 25 gondolas, each with 28 seats conceived by Pininfarina design studio and can carry up to 2000 passengers per hour, meaning waiting times at Trockener Steg will soon be a distant memory. Four of the gondolas have been transformed into special “Crystal Ride” cabins, featuring thousands of Swarovski crystals and an integrated glass floor through which passengers can observe the 200m drop below their feet.
Alta Badia - a taste for skiing
This year sees the “Taste for Skiing” concept celebrate its 10-year anniversary. The concept, introduced in 2009, assigned ten gourmet chefs to a mountain hut on the slopes of Alta Badia to create a recipe based around a certain theme. This dish would then be offered to skiers throughout the winter season. The 2018/19 edition of the event will celebrate the different themes over the years - from South Tyrol Michelin-star chefs to “South sweet and “Slope Food - aperitifs on the slopes”. Each dish will be paired with a wine from South Tyrol, carefully selected by a sommelier from the same area.