Val Thorens Looks Forward to Winter
28th October 2021
Last modified on November 1st, 2021
It is usually the first resort to open its full area in France and often the last one to close. The highest resort in the Alps has a wealth on offer for this coming season in the post-pandemic ski world.
The resort opens on 20th November and closes on May 8th.
“Skiers will be able to put on their gear, jump on a ski lift, enjoy the views on the surrounding peaks and savour the feeling of being the first people out on the slopes,” said a statement from the resort.
“This year will be all about finding each other again on the slopes and in the resort.
“Val Thorens has only one wish: to see holidaymakers again and have them experience staying in the mountains.
“It’s that simple. “
PlanetSKI will be in the resort for its opening next month and we have been looking at what’s on offer.
- Val Thorens is located in a mountain cirque which allows you to ski in the sun all day long.
- There are 150km of pistes on the Val Thorens/Orelle domain.
- Val Thorens is located on the largest linked ski area in the world: the 3 Valleys which links 3 ski resorts and offers 600km of runs.
- All the accommodation in the resort is ski in/ski out.
- The resort benefits from a state of the art lift park which allows a large capacity and no waiting time.
- The resort has a new freeriding area for the 2021/22 season.
There has already been the first snowfalls as we posted earlier in October.
We have asked the Val Thorens tourist office to tell us what’s new for 2021/22 and what the highlights are for the coming winter.
What also wanted to find out about a few of the alternative on-snow and off-snow activities in Val Thorens – there’s more than you could shake a ski pole at.
For full detail of all this is on offer check out the Val Thorens web site.
New lifts for Val Thorens
There will be a new link between Orelle and Val Thorens which creates a new entry point from the Maurienne Valley (and Italy) to the 3 Vallées.
For the first time the summit of Cime Caron at 3,200m will be directly accessible from Orelle thanks to the construction of two new cable cars called “Orelle” and “Orelle-Caron”.
The new €22m La Masse 10-seater gondola in @LesMenuires will open in December 2021 and will become one of the two fastest lifts in France #Les3Vallees #InfiniteMountainExperiences pic.twitter.com/es0uAJNhYZ
— Les 3 Vallées (@3Vallees_france) October 20, 2021
New free ski touring zone
Starting this winter, there will be a new secure and marked zone in the Borgne sector dedicated to ski touring.
Without any ski lifts around and a departure from the “Plein Sud” sector, this ski touring zone is made up of one ascent slope, groomed and prepared, and two slopes to descend, one of which is unpisted.
This new area is a place to discover or practice ski touring safely, in a natural but marked zone, far from the crowds.
This natural space, accessible by the “Pionniers” or “Plein Sud” ski lifts, is for groups to practice avalanche prevention and mountain safety training where they can learn how to use equipment such as avalanche detectors, probes and shovels.
The zone will also be linked to the “Camille” slope, an existing ski touring route for those who want to extend and prolong their ascent.
Spend the weekend with the ‘Bureau des Guides’
This winter, the Bureau des Guides des Belleville is launching “White Evasion” weekends, offering an off-piste ski touring experience.
For two days, skiers looking for a little extra will be able to discover the off-piste descents in the most rugged of valleys.
Accommodation is at the warm and cosy Lac du Lou refuge where Savoyard dishes are served.
The trip takes in the grand tracks of Les 3 Vallées meaning varied paths, ranging from soft and wide, beautiful hillsides to more technical runs, along with glacier skiing, but also slow ascents with skins on.
Required level: good skier on all types of snow
Prices: Guide: €180 for the weekend/person for a group of 6 people (includes the loan of safety equipment such as avalanche transceiver, shovel and probe)
Half board at Refuge du Lac du Lou : €80 per person (includes dinner, bed and breakfast)
The Val Thorens’ snow park is located at 2,600m it claims good snow, both in quality and quantity.
The varied components of the park allow both beginners and professionals to improve and have fun on freestyle features adapted to their level.
The operations team – so-called ‘shapers’ – also create new and different jumps every year to give everyone new ways to get aerial.
Family Snow Park
Normally, this snow park is situated in the Grand Fond sector, close to the professional snow park, but this winter it’s been moved to a place that is more accessible for beginner skiers and boarders.
This family slope will join the Junior Space and Funslope in between the Chalets du Thorens and the slope crossing.
This fun zone offers an exciting place to play for even the smallest of skiers.
Rent an Igloo for a get together with a difference
This icy spot can be rented for meetings or an afterwork get-together in the centre of the slopes.
A themed igloo of 80m2 will be built behind Chalets du Thorens, close to the “2 Combes” piste.
It will consist of two spaces and can host around 15-20 people for a cozy moment in a totally original setting.
It’s a good spot for an “aperitif” with colleagues or friends.
The Igloo Village
It’s the perfect opportunity to discover the large ice sculptures decorating the interior walls.
For a unique experience, you can book to sleep in one of the two bedrooms for a night actually on an ice bed protected from the cold by thick blankets and an arctic sleeping bag.
The Igloo also has a bar which serves skiers all day long for those who want a “chill out” moment.
It is positioned next to a green run and close to a path so beginner skiers and pedestrians can easily access it.
New this season: an ice cave of 150m2 has been added, it contains about 20 ice sculptures which have a pirate theme.
€2 for access.
Price: A night for 2 people starts from €350 per room, including snowshoe walk accompanied by a guide, dinner, nightcap, night in the igloo and breakfast.
Buzzing with activity
Val Thorens is not only just about the skiing; the resort has more activities than you’ll have time to try out on a single trip.
Those in need of rest can relax in the open air during a snowshoe hike or a dog sled run.
Adrenaline junkies can fly down one of two ziplines or even take a dive in Lac du Lou to discover the world under water.
COSMOJET TOBOGGAN RUN
Why not try the 6km Cosmojet toboggan run?
Challenge your friends to a race, hit the slope at full speed and send clouds of snow all over the place.
The toboggan run has been entirely redesigned to offer a really immersive experience for kids using a space theme.
It plunges them into a fun cosmic world.
A yurt at the end of the run has an age-appropriate display with loads of information on display about space.
From 5 years old on a sled with an adult.
ESF / OFFICE DE LA MONTAGNE
As it gets closer to the resort’s 50th birthday in the season of 2022/23, the ESF of Val Thorens is constantly evolving and offering lots of new activities, thanks to the expertise of its dedicated instructors.
The program on offer is a ideal new way to discover the mountains, accompanied by experts.
• Ice climbing: a 4h course to teach people how to climb the ice walls of a natural waterfall located in the heart of the ski resort.
€100 per person, equipment and tuition included.
From Monday to Sunday 9h-13h or 13-17h.
• Outdoor escape game: located on the slopes, the escape game is the perfect opportunity to challenge your friends and solve the enigma of the so-called “White Challenge”.
The goal: become special mountain agents, solve riddles, show off your knowledge and take on various mountain challenges.
• Fat Bike: a special bike made for snow, with large tyres for better stability and traction.
And with electrical assistance you don’t even need to slave away up hill – anyone can do it! €65 per person, accompanied by an instructor. From Monday to Friday 15h-17h or 17h-19h.
• Fat Bike & Fondue evening: a 4h trip with a guide for a sporty and tasty experience at nightfall. €100 per person, Thursday night 17h30-21h30.
• First tracks: a hike up in ski touring gear to watch the sun rise and have breakfast higher up.
As the French saying goes: the mountain belongs to he who gets up early.
From €35 per person.
LASER GAME IN THE P1 UNDERGROUND PARKING GARAGE
Dressed from head to toe in protective gear and armed with laser guns, players face each other in a new laser game at 2,300m which opens this season.
In the darkness of an underground parking garage, two teams will face each other in a “real war” in a themed apocalyptic setting.
Since the planet has become unhospitable and 97% of life on earth is lost, the goal is simple: shoot the other team as many times as possible, eliminate them and guarantee your spot in one of the last refuges on earth: the Val Tho Base Camp.
THE FIRST ICE SKATING RINK IN THE RESORT
The staff at La Patinoire welcome young and old in Place Péclet to discover the joy of skating on the 400m2 ice ring made from completely natural ice.
There’s also a music and a light show.
In order to provide guests the best possible experience, La Patinoire also has a small chalet – a spot to enjoy pancakes and hot chocolate with family or friends.
Getting to Val Thorens:
• Geneva (GVA) 199 km – 2h35
• Lyon (LYS) 198 km – 2h20
• Chambéry (CMF) 112 km – 1h40
• TGV station Moûtiers Salins Brides-les-Bains37km – 45 min
• Shuttles link the resort and the bus station in Moûtiers
Altibus runs regular buses between Moûtiers and the airports of Geneva, Lyon and Chambéry.
For full detail of all this is on offer check out the Val Thorens web site.
Not contractually binding. The information and prices in this report are for information purposes only. Neither PlanetSKI, the Tourism Office, nor Val Thorens Reservation can be held responsible for any possible changes.