Val Thorens - Ski Resort and Snow Summary
Val Thorens - Ski Resort in The Three Valleys, French Alps - 140km of Piste (1850m to 3200m)
Situated at the top of Les 3 Vallées, the largest ski area in the world, in the heart of a natural rock and ice circus, Val Thorens offers a complete range of skiing.
At 2300 metres, Val Thorens, the highest resort in Europe, is situated in the heart of a 360° Alpine Circus, orientated in all four directions, with a grandiose countryside, optimal sun throughout the day and superb quality snow from the end of November through to the beginning of May.
From powder fields to perfectly prepared pistes, the 140km of the wide and varied Val Thorens-Orelle ski area is ideal for everyone: skiing, snowboarding, snow shoes..
With easy skiing around the resort, medium and difficult on the summits, Val Thorens combines “great skiing” and first tracks for the great delight of all skiers whether beginners or more expert.
Key Facts for Val Thorens
|5km||Cross Country Pistes|
The French ski resort of Val Thorens is part of the Three Valleys ski area with access to 600km of downhill skiing, with 497 individual pistes, served by 200 ski lifts. In addition to the skiing in Val Thorens itself (140km of pisted ski runs), the appropriate ski Lift Pass will allow you to ski or snowboard in the other Three Valleys ski resorts of Courchevel, La Tania, Les Menuires, Méribel and Saint Martin de Belleville.
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 :- Val Thorens is able to augment natural snow, with 359 Snow Cannons.
Ski Lift Capacity :- The 29 Ski Lifts of Val Thorens are able to uplift 53,000 skiers / snowboarders per hour.
There is an airport within two hours drive, so ski weekends, snowboard breaks and short ski holidays to Val Thorens are perfectly feasible.
Skiing in Val Thorens
Located at the top off the world's biggest ski area, guests at Val Thorens have doorstep access to up to 600km (375 miles) of piste divided in to nearly 300 ski runs for all standards, served by 200 lifts. Due to the resort's altitude, skiing can be offered for six months of the year, normally from November, if conditions are right, to mid-May. All levels of skiers have a seemingly endless choice of skiing, but it's perhaps advanced and expert winter sports enthusiasts who will feel the benefits of the area the most, simply because such a choice is more of a rarity for them. They will be drawn to the powder fields on the Peclet and Chavière glaciers and the famous mogul slopes of the Cîme de Caron black, and they're just for starters.
Intermediate level skiers have the most choice of all with over 200 runs in the Trois Vallees categorised red or blue. Skier numbers are dispersed throughout the area making queues a rarity. Beginners will find many wide gentle slopes around the resort itself especially for them, with some lifts free for first-timers. Recent investments have resulted in the resort now boasting three six-seater detachable chair lift and a new quad down in to the Maurienne Valley on the Italian border which some claim makes the 3 Valleys now 4 Valleys! The Caron cable car has also been upgraded.
Val Thorens has some of the best ski lifts available and now operates more Funitel style lifts than any other. These are high speed gondola lifts that run on two cables for extra stability (compared to the usual one) and have large cabins for extra capacity. In 2002 a 2km (1.25 mile) long Fond 2 Funitel with a capacity of 3000 skiers per hour was added to create a new ski area at Plan Bouchet, also served by two fixed grip quad chairs and offering three additional slopes The following season another Funitel, the €4.5m Bouquetin, the resort's third, was added to the Plein Sud sector taking up to 2000 users per hour towards the 3 Vallées inter-connect.
In 2009 the resort invested more than 1.5 million euros to create a 40 hectares area for beginners, equipped with no less than four new roof-covered magic carpets. The area has been designed not only to provide first-class facilities for first timers, but also improved access to the Cascades chairlift, getting progressing beginner skiers on to more green and blue slopes.
The two twin magic carpets that have been installed and named “Castor & Pollux” represent a triple innovation say Val Thorens. In both cases a single roof structure covers both magic carpets for more comfort. The carpets are also the fastest so far installed in France, meaning more snow time, and travelling at up to 1.2 metres per second, increasing capacity to 3,000 people per hour. The carpet lifts also run in two directions, providing a ride down when needed, as well as up over the 240m length.
There are two successive magic carpets, Musaraigne (the shrew) and Campagnols (the vole) which are more than 200 m long in the heart of the “grenouillère de Péclet” area. To discover a larger area at your own pace, a special pass for beginners is available to access an area including nine ski lifts serving the easiest slopes at a reduced price of 50% off the full daily pass rate.
The French ski school, with around 200 instructors, offers tuition in all disciplines. More unusual options include the Moguls Course run by Eric and Patrick Berthon, Eric being the first Mogul World Champion. Telemark courses are also offered
Snowboarding in Val Thorens
A new snowpark
A great place for meeting-up providing entertainment for everyone, the new snowpark is strategically installed on the Plateau sector and is thus accessed by several ski lifts. 5 zones (beginners, intermediates, experts, boardercross and Jump Air) make up this 70000m2 area filled with different fun modules: raised bumps, whoops, hand rails, boxes, a table top, wall ride and a big air…
• Boardercross: 800 metre-long fun area with raised bumps, whoops and jumps.
• “Beginners” Snowpark: with 6 jumps and 6 hand rails, this is an easy learning area for everyone.
• “Intermediates” Snowpark: an ideal playground to work on new figures (3 hand rails, 3 boxes and 6 jumps).
• “Experts” Snowpark the resorts’ showcase, this zone is the favourite training ground of the best European “Riders”. On the programme: 6 hand rails, 1 wall ride as well as a link into a big air.
• The originality of this new snow park is the Jump’Air. The aim of this new activity is to do a jump followed by a landing on a “shock absorbing stunt man’s” mattress while trying to do an acrobatic figure or to try and jump as far as possible with no danger.
The Jump’Air is ideal for learning or improving freestyle, whether on skis or on a snow board.
Sports Club: +33 (0)4 79 00 01 08
Val Thorens Aprés Ski
Increasingly highly regarded for its après ski options, Val Thorens has over 130 bars and restaurants to choose from, along with sports centre and swimming pool and a cinema which shows films in English. You can also try the longest toboggan run in France, ice driving, snowmobiling or check out the bowling complex with pool hall (full details in 'Facilities' section below).
About 70% of guests at the resort are non-French, with a good proportion of those being German or Dutch, thus helping to contribute to a lively atmosphere at venues. The Malaysia has a reputation for live music and there are three official discotheques of which the Dicks Tea Bar and the Baramix are most popular.
Val Thorens Snow Reports by e-mail
For a Free 7-Day Snow Forecast for Val Thorens, including a Snow Report with current skiing conditions, just sign-up to our Ski Chat Forum and set Val Thorens as a favourite ski resort in your Profile.
Val Thorens in brief
Val Thorens Ski Resort is:
Excellent for Expert Skiers.
Excellent for Intermediate Skiers.
Very good for Beginners.
Very good for Snowboarding.
Val Thorens Season Dates
Opened : November 23, 2013.
Closes : April 26, 2014.
Usual opening - Late Nov.
Usual closing - Late April.
NOTE:- Opening subject to Snow Conditions in Val Thorens.
Val Thorens Piste Map