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Skiing at Baqueira-Beret
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Baqueira-Beret - Ski Resort and Snow Summary
Skiing in Baqueira-Beret
Baqueira-Beret - Ski Resort in Spanish Pyrenees - 120km of Piste (1500m to 2500m)
Founded in 1964, Baqueira has grown to become Spain's largest single resort. Its latitude gives an hour more daylight for skiing than in the Alps, and it's warmer too. Well laid out, modern lift infrastructure and a lively and varied après ski scene.
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Baqueira-Beret Ski Facts
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The Spanish ski resort of Baqueira-Beret is one of the larger Ski Resorts in Spain and has direct access to 120km of downhill skiing, with 78 individual pistes, served by 33 ski lifts.
With skiing above 2000 metres, snow cover is generally reliable.
Snowmaking :- Baqueira-Beret is able to augment natural snow, on 35km of ski runs, with 546 Snow Cannons.
Ski Lift Capacity :- The 33 Ski Lifts of Baqueira-Beret are able to uplift 58,000 skiers / snowboarders per hour.
There are two Airports within two hours drive, so ski weekends, snowboard breaks and short ski holidays to Baqueira-Beret are perfectly feasible.
Skiing in Baqueira-Beret
Baqueira's skiing is as extensive as it is varied, offering a wide range of different runs for every level. There are easy greens, difficult black runs, superb off-piste powder, near vertical couloirs and mogul runs to test even the best. Everything is very easily accessible - no need to hike for ages to find good off-piste. Queues, if any, are kept to a minimum thanks to the ultra modern and efficient lift system which can carry over 30,000 people per hour. Even early morning weekend skier and snowboarder traffic is moved quickly and efficiently thanks to the installation of the quad chair up from the village.
Baqueira likes to look after its skiers - there's even a tractor, pulling seats to transport you if you don't feel like making the short walk from the village to the lifts. The three green runs are in Baqueira and Beret areas - many prefer the Pla de Beret for starting off because its so wide and usually crowd free. The other two greens, Pastores and Rabada are at the top of the main chairlift up from Baqueira 1500. The ski school with over 200 instructors is famed as one of the best in Spain, they have English and French speaking instructors and it is worth joining a class so you can find your way around the resort as it does cover a huge area.
Intermediates will enjoy the long winding blue runs here and should be ready for the challenge of one of the 22 reds in no time. The Pla de Baqueira, one of the blues in the main Baqueira bowl is a gentle one to progress to and from there intermediates can access the Argulls area and the newest red run the Bonaigua. Due to the height of these runs the snow always seems to be in good condition.
Plenty of mountain restaurants for refreshment stops and international visitors will appreciate the relatively low prices. The efficient lift system serves terrain generally regarded as some of the most challenging in the Pyrenees and includes 5 tough blacks including the renowned 'Escornacrabes' - that translates as 'the place where the goats die'! The Louis Arias and Tubo Nere runs are famed as steep mogul trails. There are 2 slalom stadiums so its not surprising that the Spanish National Team are often seen training here.
The 7km (4 mile) cross-country circuit is located at Orri 1850 just between Baqueira and Beret. Baqueira's southerly latitude gives an hour more daylight for skiing than in the Alps, and it's warmer too. Adequate snow cover is ensured with over 350 snow guns covering the north and north west facing slopes . Experts seeking untouched snow should try the heli-sking which is relatively cheap in a resort which is easily on a par with some of the better known alpine resorts.
Snowboarding in Baqueira-Beret
With its wide expanse of varied terrain Baqueira is a great choice for boarders and the International Snowboard Federation have held both slalom and half pipe events here. Its very easy to get around with more chairs than draglifts - 17 out of a total of 26 are chairlifts. One draglift to avoid would be the Luis Arias which goes up to the Cap de Baqueira, its very fast and can be tricky for boarders.
Beginners should try starting off in the Beret area where the green run is wide and relatively quiet with a chairlift. As a mainly intermediate resort theres lots of free riding terrain with long cruising blue runs and adjacent off piste. You can ride the chair all the way to the top of the Cap de Baqueira then theres a choice of blue or red all the way back down to the village.
With snowboarding's growing popularity Baqueira installed a fun park and permanent half pipe in the Beret area.
Bonaigua Argulls area has substantial off-piste as well as natural gullies formed by the river - this is probably the best freeriding area while for rocks, jumps and extreme riding check out the left side of the Chozas chairlift.
Baqueira-Beret Aprés Ski
Baqueira has a lively nightlife especially at weekends when regular Spanish skiers make the trip from Barcelona and Madrid, many of them have their own apartments in the village.
Don't expect the nightlife to start early - the Spanish like to eat late and party 'til late! The resort has a disco - Pacha, usually the busiest , and Tuc Nere - as well as a host of busy pubs and bars, many of them showing ski videos.
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