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What's new in Les Deux Alpes winter 2019/20

Two big new lifts, new accommodation & new activities

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| Ian Huyton, Les 2 Alpes Reporter | Published
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With fresh snow dusting the peaks and winter approaching fast, we take a look at what is new in the resort for the coming season.

Investment continues apace with over half a billion euros due to be spent by 2023. Big works are in progress both on the mountain and in the town but, alongside these, we take a look at the new activities on offer in the resort this year.

New lifts

There have been some big works taking place in the ski area with new lifts and improved snowmaking in place. The biggest development is the Pierre Grosse eight-seater gondola which offers a new route to the glacier from the La Fée sector. The new lift will be able to transport 2400 skiers per hour. The current main route to the glacier area, the Jandri Express, has a capacity of 1800 people per hour. The positioning of the lift through the Chalance bowl will allow skiers and snowboarders to use the challenging blues, reds and blacks that descend into La Fée while avoiding the long flat exit on the Fée 1 piste.

Further down in the Crêtes area, the four-seater chairlift has been replaced with a high-speed eight-seater chairlift. The old chairlift was a bit of a bottleneck in high-season weeks so the new lift will be a welcome improvement. It will allow beginners and intermediates to do more laps of the easy runs on the Crêtes pistes while also providing a faster route up the mountain from the three lifts that feed into this sector – the Belle Etoile, Village and White Eggs.

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Elsewhere in the ski area

With the new Pierre Grosse lift carrying skiers above the Chalance bowl, this excellent freeride area is likely to see some more traffic. A new DVA park above the Chalance entrance will give off-piste skiers and snowboarders the chance to hone their avalanche rescue skills. As with the Bellecombes DVA park near the Rachas off-piste area, the aim is to improve awareness of the risks and safety techniques associated with off-piste terrain.

Meanwhile, the snowmaking system is being improved, extending the area of snow-sure pistes. The planned Mura reservoir will eventually allow high-altitude snowmaking to be put back in place on the glacier. At mid-mountain, the pistes will benefit from an expanding network of snow cannons between Les Crêtes at 2100m and Le Grand Nord at 2600m, working towards a goal of 30% coverage of the pisted area.

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New accommodation & restaurants in town

The wave of new development is not limited to the ski area. The town is also seeing an injection of investment in accommodation, with the aim of adding an extra 3500 tourist beds by 2023. The brand-new Chalet du Soleil residence will offer 221 beds in 32 apartments at the foot of the pistes. The accommodation will range from compact studios to spacious five-bedroom properties.

The expansion of La Residence is also due to be finished, adding new apartments and a new look to the building. Along the Vallée Blanche side of the town, the Terres de Venosc development will eventually add 30 new luxury chalets to the resort, many of which will be leased to tour operators as chalet holiday accommodation. Several of these will already be up and running by this winter.

Alongside new accommodation projects, changes to infrastructure are also in progress alongside the appearance of new barsshops and restaurants. On the Rue des Vikings, for example, Les Deux Saisons will tempt visitors with a menu of local dishes leaning heavily towards beef and fondue.

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New ski hire options

One of the most widely spread ski hire franchises in the Alps, Skiset, have just launched their Netski app, a fast and easy way to rent your skis or snowboard this season. Choose between two packages – the Netski.comfort for the best prices or the Netski.plus for the latest gear (Netski.kids and Netski.teens bundles also available) – and confirm your booking in only two clicks. You’ll get a QR code to collect your equipment at your local shop. For a small fee, Netski clients can also benefit from priority assistance in shops, ski lockers with boot dryers and direct delivery to your accommodation.

Also available in Les 2 Alpes’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 après), and they can be combined with GripWalk bindings for perfect performance on the slopes.

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New activities

One of the newest and most exciting aerial sports, speedriding, is available in a tandem format for the first time in Les Deux Alpes. Similar to paragliding but with a smaller canopy, tandem speedriding will give you the thrills of higher speeds closer to the ground. Unlike tandem paragliding which can be enjoyed by complete beginner skiers, tandem speedriding demands a good level of skiing to participate. Speedride flights are offered by the paragliding school Air 2 Alpes.

After a few successful trial dates last winter, St. Christophe ski school will be offering biathlon lessons every evening during the coming winter. Biathlon is an elite Nordic sport combing cross-country skiing with target shooting. Lessons with be offered on a course at the base of the pistes from 17:30 daily.

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New food & drink

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 ways to pamper 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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More inspiration...

A handful of improvements set to make life even better in and around the vibrant little town that is Les Deux Alpes. See you on the slopes very soon!

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