Ski Lifts in Val d'Isere
Val d’Isere’s modern ski lift system is one of the best in the Alps and it makes it easy for strong skiers to work their way along the entire length of the Espace Killy area and back before lunch. There are still a few draglifts, some of them extremely fast, so beginners and boarders beware!
Val d’isere Ski Lifts
Each winter more than a million visitors use the lift network to access the 154 ski runs in the Espace Killy ski area.
Val d’Isere’s half of the Espace Killy divides into three sectors: Isere (sometimes called Le Fornet), Solaise and Bellevarde.
Looking at the piste map from left to right (which in reality is East to West):
The Isere/Le Fornet section includes the high glacier skiing on Pissailas and the Grand Vallon and Col Pers itineraries. It can be accessed in three different ways: from the Le Fornet cable car; from the Laisinant Express, a detachable six-person chairlift out of the hamlet/suburb of Le Laisinant; or from the Lessieres Express, a six-person ‘up and down’ chairlift which connects Le Fornet with Solaise. Once upon a time there was a run called Tunnel which also connected the two valleys but this and the lift that serviced it have now disappeared. As it was always closed anyway, it’s not mourned by many.
The Solaise sector, which includes Cunai and Manchet, can be accessed by the Telecabine de Solaise which leaves the Rond Point des Pistes in the centre of Val D’Isere, or from the Laisinant Express plus the new Datcha lift, or from the Lessieres Express, the two way, ‘up and down’, chairlift which connects Isere with Solaise.
The Solaise and Bellevarde are only linked at valley level so you have to come back into town, or at least onto the Rond Point des Pistes next to the cente of the resort to cross between them.
Bellevarde includes Charvet and the two routes into Tignes – Toviere and Col de Fresse/Borsat. The area can be accessed from the either the centre of Val D’Isere or from La Daille. If accessing from the centre you have a choice of either going up two chair lifts or the Olympique bubble. This features 30-person cabins and whisks you up to 2827 metres at Rocher de Bellevarde. It is often queue-free but it is a favourite of ski school instructors (who get priority) so it can be crowded between 9.15am and 9.9.40am.
La Daille boasts the James Bond-esque Funival, a funicular railway that climbs over 1000 metres to Rocher de Bellevarde. Alternatively La Daille’s residents an take a bubble or chair lift but these don’t go so high so another lift is required unless you want to descend straight back to La Daille.
Together with other modern lifts, including the Glacier Express at Pointe de l’Ouillette, it is now perfectly feasible for strong skiers to work their way along the entire length of the ski area from Val d’Isere’s furthest outpost at Le Fornet all the way to Tignes and back before lunch.
Val d’Isere Lift Passes
Much like most of the French Alps, Val d’Isere and Tignes employ a hand-free plastic card system, and have done since the 2006-2007 season.
Lift passes are becoming more versatile, too. Val d’Isere offers a half-day option but by mindful that this start from12.45pm. There is no morning option. Lift passes range from this half-day option, right through to a 15-day pass and a full season passes.
There are also discounts for five to 13-year-olds, for skiers aged between 65 and 74 and for families of four or more.
Beginners don’t need any pass for the nursery slope then can get cheaper passes restricting them to just one valley.
For those looking to ski Val d’Isere regularly, or seasonnaires, you may wish to explore the a la carte option whereby you pay at the end of the month and for only the days you have skied.
Purchase of the plastic card is free, and if you are buying online your will receive the postage on initial order for free.
Val d’Isere Lift Company
73150 Val d’Isere
Tel: +33 4 79 06 00 35 | +33 4 79 06 32 32
Email: [email protected]