Ski in Châtel
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Châtel - Ski Resort and Snow Summary
Skiing in Châtel
Châtel - Ski Resort in Portes du Soleil, French Alps - 85km of Piste (1100m to 2200m)
An old Savoyard village with a long farming tradition and today a strong tourism infrastructure. Well placed on the Portes du Soleil circuit, arguably the world's biggest lift-linked ski area offering 650km of piste.
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Châtel Ski Facts
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The French ski resort of Châtel is part of the Portes du Soleil ski area with access to 423 individual pistes, served by 209 ski lifts. In addition to the skiing in Châtel itself (85km of pisted ski runs), the appropriate ski Lift Pass will allow you to ski or snowboard in the other Portes du Soleil ski resorts of Abondance, Avoriaz, La Chapelle d'Abondance, La Grande Terche, Les Gets, Montriond, Morzine, Saint Jean d'Aulps, Champoussin, Champéry, Les Crosets, Morgins and Torgon.
With skiing above 2000 metres, snow cover is generally reliable.
Snowmaking :- Châtel is able to augment natural snow, on 3km of ski runs, with 30 Snow Cannons.
Ski Lift Capacity :- The 41 Ski Lifts of Châtel are able to uplift 41,630 skiers / snowboarders per hour.
There are three Airports within two hours drive, so ski weekends, snowboard breaks and short ski holidays to Châtel are perfectly feasible. Sion Airport is just one hours drive away, in good driving conditions, so you can be on the piste quickly.
Skiing in Châtel
Châtel's skiing effectively breaks in to two huge sectors of the Portes du Soleil circuit, with the Linga gondola at one end of town heading off towards Avoriaz, and on the other from Super Châtel side gondola going towards the Swiss resort of Torgon. In addition, there are individual and unlinked drag lifts dotted around the valley floor, serving very easy or easy runs and used for beginners. The main beginner area is, however, at the top of the gondola above Super Châtel where a snowy open bowl contains a further dozen or so short drags radiating out in all directions and serving generally easy or very easy terrain.
Indeed, with so many lifts dotted around, and Châtel's two gondolas linking in to two sections of the vast Portes du Soleil, it's a bit difficult to work out exactly where the extensive skiing the village claims as it own comes to an end and the next resort's territory begins. Rather than trying to work that out, most skiers and 'boarders will be admiring the picturesque scenery for which the area is renowned, with thickly forested slopes above the valley floor giving way to open snow fields and then the rocky pinnacles above and beyond.
Intermediates will enjoy Châtel's skiing and the vast range of opportunities in the Portes du Soleil beyond. For advanced skiers the Linga sector is the place to go initially where you'll find challenging runs beneath the gondola.
There are now six ski schools operating in the resort, including some small specialist snowboard and off-piste operations which will be able to locate more advanced terrain away from the crowds.
Snowboarding in Châtel
Châtel has a fun park with half pipe up at its Super Châtel off-shoot, and with most of the key lifts in the area chairs or gondolas it's not a bad base for the Portes du Soleil, home to still more famous snowboarding centres like Avoriaz.
There's a good choice of 'boarding hire and sales shops and schools for tuition including Ski Surf Ecole International and l'Ecole de Ski Snow Ride.
Châtel Aprés Ski
Whilst many of the major French areas have become dominated by one international group or another, often the British, Chatel retains a very French feel which appeals to many (especially the British!). That being said Châtel is livelier than most French dominated resorts with several dozen bars and night spots open to 4am.
The Tunnel Bar, owned by Scots, and the Pelican Bar, both have a vibrant feel and frequently stage live music. Another popular spot is l'avalanche, in the village centre on the road to Linga. L'isba is the local action video bar. Evening alternatives are the bowling alley and a cinema showing English and French films on various nights.
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