The winter season is fast approaching!
It’s almost that time of year again – there’ll be guaranteed snow and people all around the world will be flooding into the mountains.
As with each new season, there are new developments which serve to further everyone’s experience. These can range from the addition of an extra ski lift to a full-blown music festival.
Here’s our guide on what’s new in the Alps this season:
What’s Happening in the French Alps?
The French Alps are known for their tall peaks and varied terrain. They also house some of the best-known ski resorts the Alps have to offer.
This upcoming season sees these resorts add some new ski runs, ski lifts, and even entire ski areas, as well as a large-scale music festival.
It’s only fitting that we start with the most famous of the French ski resorts!
Val Thorens is one of the largest ski areas in the Northern Alps, and yet it’s still looking to expand its scope, with two new runs being added to the resort’s ski area.
The first run extends to a length of 3.2km, leading from La Cime Caron, and is said to cater to all skill levels.
The second is a black run located in the Boismint sector – it’s safe to say we wouldn’t advise this run just yet if you’re a casual skier.
Speaking of high octane thrills and expanding their scope, the resort is implementing a brand-new double zip-line, starting from the Moutiers and landing in the Place Caron area.
The resort already holds the crown when it comes to the height of their zipwire, but now they’re looking to extend the length of the ride too. It will extend to around 1.6km, giving you more time to take in the stunning views at dizzying heights – there’s even room for a companion!
La Rosière is located near the Mont Blanc and Vanoise mountain ranges, and stands at an altitude of 1,850m above sea level. While already impressive, the resort is still looking to expand further.
The expansion of their Espace San Bernardo ski area will include five red pistes, two new 6-seater lifts, and the new Mount-Valaisan peak, raising the altitude up to 2.8km.
More altitude, more snow, more free riding opportunities!
Les Gets forms part of the Port du Soleil, which is also referred to as Europe’s largest ski area and is known for its friendly and welcoming nature.
The resort is well suited to beginners and is hoping to maintain its reputation with a new blue ski run. Its installation is aimed for the upcoming season, with easy access from the entrance of the village through the Perrières Express chairlift.
Considered one of the most popular resorts in France, Courchevel is hoping to make a few updates to its already luxurious resorts.
The current 4-seater cabin lifts are looking at an upgrade for the winter season. Instead of transporting 4 people at a time, the new lifts will be able to take 10.
Overall, they’ll be able to take around 2,400 people an hour, which means less queuing and reaching the slopes sooner!
This will be a first for the festival, having never hosted a winter event in the Alps previously. While the full details are yet to be announced, you can rest assured some of the biggest and best will be taking part.
The details we do know, however, is that it will take place between the 9th-16th of March 2019, so there’s plenty of time to book your tickets!
Les Deux Alpes
Another ski resort renowned for its size, as well as possessing Europe’s largest skiable glacier, Les Deux Alpes is implementing a new detachable chair lift, equipped to seat 8 people.
This new lift will replace the previous 2 and is aimed for completion before the end of the year.
Early next year will also see a surge of investment into the main ski area, with new chair lifts being installed. The area will be rearranged to help clear crowds and provide easier access to other snow sport areas, so visitors can truly get the best experience possible out of the resort.
You may also like: What Should Be On Your Pre-Season Ski Shopping List?
The Winter Season in Austria
Our next stop is the Austrian Alps, which is well renowned for its consistently excellent weather, breath-taking vertical drops and, above all, its hospitality.
Here’s what you can expect this upcoming winter:
This Austrian resort strikes the balance between traditional aesthetics with modern and contemporary facilities.
Pushing their technological prowess further to better accommodate its visitors, the resort is installing a new 10-person gondola. Not only will this free up queue times but will also open access to a further 1.2km of ski pistes.
There will also be new accommodation opportunities to look forward to because of the better access. This may mean more visitors, but the new ski lifts and improved access will ensure less congestion.
Kitzbühel is undoubtedly one of the most popular ski resorts in the world, and for good reason! Its architecture is beautiful, the resort is family friendly, and there’s a variety of activities on offer outside of skiing.
This upcoming season sees the introduction of two new lifts, offering faster travel times in conjunction with better facilities to ensure maximum comfort.
Not only are you spared less time queuing but your journey to the slopes will be more comfortable. The lifts will be equipped with heated seats, covers, mechanical safety bars and special wind stabilisers to reduce wind sensitivity.
The usual travel time of 11 minutes is now reduced to 3.5, and the lift will take up to 10 people, meaning less congestion.
What to Expect from the Swiss Alps this Season
Moving onto the Swiss Alps, the home of high peaks and cool valleys, we see the introduction of a new project to further improve the visitor experience in one of the highest rated resorts in the country.
Which resort has the best combination of Alpine charm, wonderful cuisine and guaranteed snow? There are a few which fit the description, and Zermatt most definitely deserves to be in the conversation.
Putting the visitor at the forefront, Zermatt has initiated the 3S project. The project involves speedy access to the Klein Matterhorn – the cabin itself is far more modernised to ensure the ride is quicker and more comfortable.
The lift will work alongside the existing cableway and take on even more passengers, hoping to increase the number of passengers taken per hour to 2000.
Access to the highest cable car station in Europe will now be quicker, smoother and more comfortable than ever by the beginning of the next winter season.
Now you know everything new that’s happening in the upcoming season, we would recommend booking a trip to your preferred resort as soon as possible to avoid missing out! We offer low cost private transfers to all the resorts mentioned – so, book your transfer and make the most out the upcoming ski season!