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What's new in Val Thorens winter 2019/20

Exciting developments for the upcoming ski season

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| Ana Hernández, Val Thorens Editor | Published
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Winter is coming and the first snowfalls of the season have fallen on the mountains of Val Thorens. Lifts will open in a few days, on Saturday, November 23rd 2019... not long now!

There have been plenty of new developments throughout Val Thorens. Here are a few of the changes, both on the pistes and in the villages, for the upcoming season.

New lifts & pistes

The Saint Martin 1 gondola in St Martin de Belleville has been swapped for a faster lift that will transport 2400 people per hour up the mountain while the cabins have also been modernised. Minor renovation works have affected other lifts in Val Thorens such as the Cime Caron cable car, with the replacement of its cables and the installation of Gazex avalanche control systems that will allow for quicker openings after snowfalls.

On the pistes, there are new snow cannons on the upper section of the Plateaux blue run. Snowmaking facilities have also been improved with the enlargement of the Lac 2 water reservoir. Finally, there's a new family-friendly fun slope in Les Menuires, the Friendly Natural Park, featuring a parallel slalom and picnic area decorated with images of the animals that live in the Vanoise National Park.

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New adventures

Young children will be able to learn to snowboard from an early age at ESF Val Thorens' Mini Riders lessons. From four to six years old, they'll receive instruction inside their kindergarten in small groups of five kids. Available during the high season from Monday to Friday from 14:30 to 16:30, these courses will cost €198 including equipment (snowboard and boots).

At the top of the Moutière chairlift, there's a new zip line that will attract adrenaline junkies from all over the Three Valleys. 'La Bee' is a double zip line accessible for pedestrians and skiers with a length of 1800m and a maximum height of 65m. Anyone over 14 years old (or at least 1.40m tall) will be able to give it a try as it'll be open every day from 09:45 to 16:30. Get your tickets at the ski pass offices (€35 per person) or by emailing forfaitinternet@valthorens.com.

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New mountain hot spot

The new Village Igloo in Val Thorens combines ice bar, restaurant and accommodation under the same snow roof. Opening on December 14th and accessible on foot or on skis from the top of the Cascades lift (30-minute walk to reach the igloo), this will become the hottest spot on the mountain this winter. The 50m2 ice bar is decorated with ice and snow sculptures and boasts a terrace with panoramic views, while the restaurant opens for evening aperitif and fondue dinner by reservation only. You can also spend an unforgettable night deep in the mountains, starting with a walk under the stars with an instructor, followed by a Savoyard fondue and sleeping on a cosy ice bed covered in animal skins and thick duvets. You'll be the first one on the slopes!

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New green projects

Les Menuires are the first French ski area to be a part of the Protect Our Winters (POW) Resort Alliance. This organisation, lead by legendary snowboarder Jeremy Jones, is committed to stopping global warming by collaborating with pro mountain athletes and institutions. Les Menuires have set up a climate-change observatory on the slopes which will host scientists working on this issue and they will also be educating their staff, as well as visitors, on how they can help protect the environment.

In Val Thorens, the world's first self-driven, electric, four-wheel drive shuttle will start operating this winter. Tested in March 2019, this minibus seating up to 15 passengers will be part of the regular free shuttle routes connecting the different areas of Val Thorens. See if you can spot Berto on the resort's streets this season!

Ski Areas in Val Thorens

New for foodies

The Belleville Diner is a new American-style, family-friendly diner open for all-day breakfast, lunch and dinner. Their selection of books and board games will make it a perfect place to take shelter on bad weather days. Val Thorens will also have a new pancake house inside the Galerie Péclet serving delicious brunch. Those looking for healthier food alternatives will be pleased to know that a new bio shop, Red Square, is opening in Val Thorens and selling organic, local produce and delicatessen, including ready-to-eat meals and sushi.

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New ski hire options

Local ski hire shop Goitschel Sports are stocking the Phantom Wax, a brand new ski waxing concept that will transform the way we treat our equipment. Created by DPS, the Phantom wax is a permanent base treatment for skis and snowboards, which means that, once applied to your planks, you'll never have to wax them again. Its environmentally friendly composition makes this a great alternative to the way we've been getting our gear ready. Visit Goitschel Sports and step into the future of skiing and snowboarding.

Available in four of Val Thorens’s Skiset shops this winter is Scanfeet, a state-of-the-art foot scan that takes a full 3D image of the skier’s feet in under 20 seconds and then pulls up the best-suited boots available in store. Enjoy rental boots that fit like a glove in record time! Even better, scans are shared among Skiset shops so you won’t need to scan your feet again if you rent your equipment with them.

Worried about slipping on those icy pavements when walking to the slopes? Fear not, Intersport is now offering GripWalk across their whole rental range. These innovative boot soles offer a non-slip surface as well as a more natural profile for walking (or dancing at La Folie Douce!), and they can be combined with GripWalk bindings for perfect performance on the slopes.

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New catering alternatives

Huski revolutionised self-catering four winters ago when they launched their meal delivery service. Since then, for a fraction of the price of a catered holiday, you can enjoy delicious breakfast, lunch, three-course dinners, canapes, fine wines and even cheese boards at your apartment or chalet completely hassle-free. Huski delivers everything to your door and the only thing you need to do is pop your food in the oven to heat it up. This year, they’re offering a new, locally made, Savoyard-inspired range of meals called “Gourmet 73” cooked daily by chef Nick Casey at their headquarters in Bourg Saint Maurice. Think creamy tartiflette and moreish Beef Mondeuse! Also new this season is their very own beer, the Huski Mountain Pilsner created in collaboration with the Brasserie du Petit St Bernard.

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New properties for sale

Real estate agents Cimalpes are opening a new office in Saint Martin de Belleville. They'll soon be offering high-quality chalets and apartments for sale in this peaceful, quiet village just a lift away from Les Menuires and Meribel. With great restaurants and stunning hiking routes, this picture-perfect alpine town is great for those looking to stay away from the hustle and bustle of the main ski resorts while staying close to the pistes.

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New ways to take care of your body

Mobile Alpine massage company Massage Me is offering two brand new therapies this winter. First of all is their 100% bespoke MY Massage service where you’ll be able to select every single step of your wellbeing journey, from the massage style and pressure preference (including Swedish, sports, holistic and even a combination of all of them), to the part of your body that needs more attention, the massage oil and even the music. This winter, they’re also adding Physiotherapy, Pilates and Yoga to their mobile services menu in partnership with Alpine Therapies. Not only that, but they’ve embarked on a green journey to be more eco-friendly, from reducing single plastic use and carbon emissions to assessing the materials they use. So it’s not only your muscles that will feel much better by booking a massage with Massage Me but also the environment.

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New transfer options

Simply Transfers are making it much easier for customers to find their representatives at Geneva airport this year. They've set up a brand new meeting desk in the arrival hall, just opposite the baggage-retrieval area and near the visitor's centre. With a rotating wall and screens displaying the Simply Transfers and Loyet logos, it'll be hard to miss! Not only will it be super simple to spot the meeting desk but also their representatives, as they'll be wearing a bright red polo shirt with their logo.

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More inspiration...

The start of the season couldn't have been any better, with impressive snow depths on the slopes of Val Thorens. Ready to start booking your holiday in the mountains?

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