Ski Lifts in Serre Chevalier

Serre Chevalier’s ski lift system is varied and predominantly quite old, but the sheer size of the ski area means that once past the base stations skiers spread out in all directions and queuing times at ski lifts are generally acceptable except at peak periods.

Serre Chevalier Ski Lifts 

Compagnie des Alpes plan to open one new chairlift every year, which suggests that it will take another 11 years to replace slow fixed-grip chairlifts and that’s too slow! During the long French holidays in February, Serre Chevalier lift queues can be frustrating due to the vast number of visitors, but at other times during the ski season, the ski lifts operate quite quickly without too much queuing.

The base areas in Chantelmerle and Villeneuve have newer lifts alongside older gondolas. From Villeneuve, the fastest way up the mountain is to ride the Case du Beouf chairlift which transports skiers to 2,273m in under 10 minutes. The Aravet gondola at Place de Aravet is an old gondola that allows up to four riders at a time and provides access to La Aravet mid-station (1,972m) which is popular for beginners and children. The Frejus gondola near the bottom of the Case du Beouf chairlift leads to Frejus 2,065m. Serre Chevalier’s newest chairlift, the high-speed 8-person Les Vallons Express, opened in 2011 and can transport 2,800 skiers per hour to the base of La Cucumelle 2,221m, dramatically improving access to Monetier.

The Chantemerle base station offers skiers a choice of a gondola, a cable car or a chairlift, up to the Serre Ratier mid-mountain station at 1,900m. The Grand Alpe gondola is old and slow and the Troncon cable car is also pretty slow, and the quickest lift to mid-station is the Bletonet chairlift. From Serre Raiter, two efficient chairlifts, the Oree du Bois and the Combes, provide easy access to the ski area at Villeneuve. 

Monetier’s lift system is the oldest in the Serre Chevalier Valley and rides can be slow, but it’s also the quietest of the four ski areas and hence queues are generally not too long. The Bancas lift provides access to Le Bancas mid-station at 2,176m and the Yret chairlift climbs to 2,280m in around 14 minutes, but can be closed in high wind conditions which limits access to Villeneuve. The faster Echayada chairlift starting from lower down in the valley is a good alternative as it is normally open when the Yret is not.

Briancon’s ski area is reached by the Prorel cable car, which is the newest cable car in Serre Chevalier and reasonably efficient, but fairly slow. The climb from 1,200m to 2,360m takes around 20 minutes meaning most people skiing in Serre Chevalier who are not staying in Briançon will not bother skiing all of the way down to the base station and instead join the cable car at the Plateau de Pralong mid-station (1,600m) where the ride back up to the top is reduced to around 12 minutes. 

Serre Chevalier Lift Passes

A six-day ski lift pass in Serre Chevalier includes one ski away day in Montgenevre, Les Deux Alpes or Alpe D’Huez. Montgenevre is a 30-minute drive from Serre Chevalier and ski transfers are available weekly with the Alpine Transfer Company (Tel: +33 685 687 131), arriving in Montgenevre at 9:00 am and returning at 4.30 pm, which allows a full day skiing in Montgenevre and enough time ski to the Italian side of the mountain for lunch. 


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