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A New Cable Car for La Grave?

With the lease to expire on the current telepherique, could the next investment be to install a lift up to Dome de la Lauze?

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Alison Shayler | Les 2 Alpes Reporter | Published: 30 Sep 2015

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A New Cable Car for La Grave?

The small mountain community of La Grave is considering the prospect of a new telepherique up to the Dome de la Lauze at 3560m that would encourage more tourists during summer as well as winter.

The lease on the current technique is up for renewal in 2017 and, so far, no one has shown an interest in taking it over. This means that either the telepherique could cease to operate altogether, or that someone could come along and develop it to become more of a tourist attraction. La Grave would be a tricky investment, that's for sure, but it has a lot of potential if someone is willing to develop the infrastructure of the village.

Both options have their supporters and their critics...

Fans of the idea of having a swanky new cable car hope that the lift could be "the Aiguille du Midi of the Southern Alps", bringing more tourist trade to the area and developing the town along the lines of a more year-round resort, like Chamonix. The views from the Dome extend as far as the Ecrins au Mont Blanc, so the new lift would attract sightseers as well as mountaineers. It is not thought that the development would swamp the town with heavy traffic and coach parties, as it does not have a major access road.

There is opposition to the plan, as many argue that part of the charm of La Grave is that it is underdeveloped and unmodernised. The ski area is unpatrolled, ungroomed and unmarked - meaning that is does not attract your average skier who comes on holiday once a year for a week on the slopes. La Grave devotées are more likely to be mountain guides, ski tourers, powder hounds and back country enthusiast - the kind of self-sufficient mountaineers who prefer a bit of isolation and wilderness to a packed piste. Locals are concerned that a new cable car would instigate other developments that would turn the quiet little village into an identikit of modern busy ski towns.

With the tender for the telepherique being up for grabs from 2016, what does the future hold for La Grave? That'll depend on if an investor steps forward during the next two years...

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