La Massana - Ski Resort and Snow Summary
La Massana - Ski Resort in Andorran Pyrenees - 89km of Piste (1600m to 2600m)
Arinsal was established in the early 1970s when the Western end of the La Massana Valley was developed. It is an attractive Catalan village, but rather spread out. It is very lively and rapidly expanding (expect building work!). The resort operates a ski bus service between Arinsal and La Massana
Key Facts for La Massana
|5km||Cross Country Pistes|
The Andorran ski resort of La Massana is one of the larger Ski Resorts in Andorra and has direct access to 89km of downhill skiing, with 41 individual pistes, served by 26 ski lifts. La Massana is directly linked by Ski Lift to the ski areas of Pal-Arinsal.
The ski resort itself is above 1500m, so skiing or boarding back to the resort is usually possible. With pistes above 2500 metres, skiing and snowboarding is assured throughout the season.
Snowmaking :- La Massana is able to augment natural snow, on 25km of ski runs, with 350 Snow Cannons.
Ski Lift Capacity :- The 26 Ski Lifts of La Massana are able to uplift 30,000 skiers / snowboarders per hour.
Skiing in La Massana
The skiing area was dramatically extended for the 2000-1 season with the new cable car opening up access to the Pal area which with its picturesque tree lined slopes is the perfect compliment to Arinsal. From Arinsal itself it now takes only four minutes in another new lift, the six-seater gondola up to Comallempla. This point can still be accessed by car if you prefer.
For Beginners the Prat de la Coma Area has been extended and much improved in recent years. Off to the right of the mid station there are three beginners tows with large nursery area for first timers. Probably more a resort for intermediates and progressing beginners there are some excellent long blue runs - one of the longest runs in Andorra is La Solana which starts at the top of the Pic Negre and takes you all the way down to Cota at the base of the mountain.
Many people believe its best for beginners to start off in Arinsal and then progress on to the slopes at Pal. There are three slopeside cafes; the Obelix and the Iglu make good refreshment stops, whilst the Panoramix boasts one of the best and biggest sun terraces in Andorra. Off to the other side there are more challenging red runs and experts will find three blacks at the top of the mountain. The longest, steepest black run in Andorra, La Devesa, plunges under the chairlift which runs from the base station. Snow cover is being made ever more reliable with the addition of more snow cannons each season.
Skiing at Pal can be accessed from four different points, after a drive up the winding road from the village. La Caubella at 1950m is the main base with ticket sales, ski hire and restaurant. All four green runs are located in this area with the beginner area much improved in recent years. Beginners are probably best advised to start in the Arinsal sector and then progress on to the slopes at Pal when their confidence has increased. This is best known as an intermediate resort and there are 4 fairly lengthy blue runs . Better choice of reds so its the perfect place for intermediates to improve. La Serra is worth trying, starts of at the top of the Pic de Cubil at 2358m then gets into a more gentle blue and takes you all the way back down to La Caubella.
There's only one black run at Pal which, depending on the snow conditions, can be a challenge even for the experts - that's La Comellada which leads onto a blue back to Els Fontanals. Also for the experts are the 4 approved FIS slalom slopes. An extra three kilometres of slopes were added for 1999/2000 when the Seturia area was opened up in preparation for the new cable car link to Arinsal. An impressive quad chairlift gives uplift to the one blue and two red slopes. There is some excellent off piste and tree skiing at Pal though it is best to go with a guide or instructor if you're not familiar with the area. Now that the cable car is up and running with a 6 minute ride up to the Font Negre and the Arinsal bowl this can only serve to improve what has to be Andorra's most picturesque resort.
Snowboarding in La Massana
There is a definite preference for snowboarders in the Arinsal sector where the investments here have included a new, modern snow park for boarders with extension of the big air half-pipe and jumps. As yet there is no area specifically for snowboarders in Pal itself. There are plenty of long cruising blues and reds though.
La Massana Aprés Ski
Arinsal has virtually all of the off slope activity and is indeed renowned for its nightlife with many discos, bars and pubs offering distinctively different atmospheres and music. The Red Rock is one of the busiest bars, famous for its large measures, videos and burgers or there's Quo Vadis, the Surf Bar, Cisco's and Bar el Derbi. The Rocky Mountain Bar is full of atmosphere at night with games, music, movies, snacks and great meals for good prices. Good for daytime too with breakfasts from 9am . The Viking in the nearby village of Massana is also worth a visit.
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La Massana in brief
La Massana Ski Resort is:
Ok for Expert Skiers.
Ok for Intermediate Skiers.
Ok for Beginners.
Ok for Snowboarding.
La Massana Season Dates
Opened : November 30, 2013.
Closes : April 21, 2014.
NOTE:- Opening subject to Snow Conditions in La Massana.