Les 3 Vallées, the world’s largest lift linked ski area, have made some major improvements to their lift system and piste network for the 2021/22 ski season.
Two new lifts connecting Orelle with Val Thorens should make Orelle a more practical accommodation base, and also make the ski area above it (often called the ‘4th Valley’) much easier for skiers from Val Thorens, Les Menuires, Meribel, St Martin de Belleville and Courchevel to explore and return from. As the second lift takes visitors from Plan Bouchet to Cime Caron, it should also alleviate some of the infamous queues for the Cime Caron cable car on the Val Thorens side.
Les Menuires also does not miss out on the new infrastructure. A new 10 seater bubble now goes straight from the lift station below the village to the top of La Masse, more than a 1000m above it. La Masse is one of our favourite ski areas in the 3 Valleys. Famous for its excellent black pistes and freeriding for strong skiers, it also has an easy blue run (Bouquetin) that enables much less confident skiers to ski all the way from the top to the bottom, and with this new lift, the restaurant and views at the summit can even be accessed by non-skiers.
Meribel also gets two important lift upgrades. For those staying down the valley in Brides les Baine, where accommodation is much cheaper, the Olympe gondola now has bigger cabins. A new high speed chair also gives quicker access to 3 Marches, a vital crossing point for Meribel-based skiers wishing to explore the slopes above Les Menuires and St Martin de Belleville.
The big news in Courchevel is the new piste and world cup run called Eclipse, which goes from near the top of Col de la Loze above La Tania straight down to Courchevel-le-Praz, nearly 1000m below. It looks well worth a visit, perhaps combining it with the other world cup run in the 3 Valleys – Face – which is in the Meribel valley but is only one long piste and and two lifts away from Col de la Loze.
For more information about all the 3 Valley’s resorts, including how to get there, accommodation, and ski schools and guiding, please see the Ultimate-Ski guides to Val Thorens, Les Menuires, St Martin de Belleville, Meribel, Courchevel and La Tania.