Les Trois Vallées

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Les Trois Vallées
Thorens.jpg
A ski track in Val Thorens, part of Les Trois Vallées
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Les Trois Vallées
Location within Alps
Location Savoie, France
Nearest major city Chambéry
Coordinates Coordinates: 45°21′N6°36′E / 45.350°N 6.600°E / 45.350; 6.600
Top elevation3,230 m (10,600 ft)
Base elevation600 m (2,000 ft)
Skiable area600 km (370 mi) of runs
Runs
  • 335 total
  • 48 (14%) beginner
  • 135 (40%) easy
  • 119 (36%) intermediate
  • 33 (10%) difficult
Longest run12 km (7.5 mi) Cîme de Caron
Lift system
Snowmaking 2,300 cannons
Website www.les3vallees.com

Les Trois Vallées (French pronunciation:  [le tʀwɑ vale] ; The Three Valleys) is a ski region in the Tarentaise Valley, Savoie département of France, to the south of the town of Moûtiers, partly in the Vanoise National Park.

Contents

Since 1971, [1] it has been possible to ski the interlinked valleys using a single ski pass. Thus, Les Trois Vallées is the largest ski area in the world [2] which is connected solely by ski lifts and slopes. It claims to have about 600 km (370 mi) of ski slopes, resulting in 18.5 km² of groomed runs, while an independent expert measured about 493 km. [3] In addition, there are 120 km for cross-country skiing. Les Trois Vallées has 183 ski lifts, which can transport 260,000 skiers per hour. Other equipment owned by the operating companies include 2,300 snow cannons [4] and 73 snow grooming machines operated by 160 snow groomers who work in shifts during the night. [5] Other employees in the area include 424 ski patrollers and 3,000 ski instructors. [6]

As implied by its name, the area originally consisted of three valleys: Saint-Bon, Allues, and Belleville. The skiing area has since been extended into a 'fourth' valley, the Maurienne valley. It is adjacent to Val Thorens, but can also be accessed using a long gondola lift from Orelle. The following ski resorts are in Les Trois Vallées:

ValleyResortEstablishedSkiable range (m)Sub-resorts
Saint-Bon Courchevel 19461300 - 2738Courchevel-Le Praz, Courchevel-Village (1550), Courchevel-Moriond (1650), Courchevel 1850
Saint-Bon la Tania 19901400–2305-
Allues Méribel 19391400–2952Meribel-Village, Meribel, Meribel-Mottaret
Allues Brides-les-Bains 1992600–1450Les Allues
Belleville Val Thorens 19722300–3200-
Belleville Les Menuires 19641850–2850Les Menuires, Reberty, La Masse
Belleville Saint-Martin-de-Belleville 19831400–2434-
Maurienne Orelle 1997900–3230-

Tarentaise Valley Skiing

Within the Tarentaise Valley, there are various other resorts such as Paradiski (Les Arcs, La Plagne) and Espace Killy (Val d'Isère and Tignes). A weekly lift ticket in Les Trois Vallées allows one to ski one day in each of the other two systems mentioned. There were once plans to interlink all systems and resorts to create the – by far – largest ski area in the world. However that vision was ended with the creation of the Vanoise National Park.

See also

Related Research Articles

Savoie Department of France in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes

Savoie is a department in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region of Southeastern France. Located in the French Alps, its prefecture is Chambéry. In 2017, Savoie had a population of 431,174.

Val-dIsère Commune in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, France

Val d'Isère is a commune of the Tarentaise Valley, in the Savoie department in southeastern France. It lies 5 km (3 mi) from the border with Italy. It is on the border of the Vanoise National Park created in 1963. During the Albertville 1992 Winter Olympics, the Face de Bellevarde was the site of the men's downhill race. Other alpine skiing events held during those games included men's giant slalom and alpine combined. Val d'Isère regularly hosts World Cup alpine events, usually for the men in early December, and hosted the World Championships in 2009. It is located in the Savoie région with good transport links in and out of Lyon, Geneva and Chambéry. The ski area of Val d'Isère and Tignes forms the Espace Killy, named after the triple Olympic champion Jean-Claude Killy who grew up in Val d'Isère. There are two mountain huts owned by the Vanoise National Park on the territory of Val d’Isère: le Refuge du Prariond and le Refuge du Fond des Fours.

Val Thorens

Val Thorens ([val tɔʁɑ̃], located in the Tarentaise Valley, Savoie, French Alps, located at an altitude of 2300m, is the highest ski town in Europe,. It is located in the commune of Saint-Martin-de-Belleville in the Savoie département. The resort forms part of the 3 vallées linked ski area which, with over 600 km of piste, is one of the largest linked ski areas in the world.

Portes du Soleil

Les Portes du Soleil is a major skisports destination in the Alps, encompassing thirteen resorts between Mont Blanc in France and Lake Geneva in Switzerland. With more than 650 km of marked pistes and about 200 lifts in total, spread over 14 valleys and about 1,036 square kilometres (400 sq mi), Portes du Soleil ranks among the two largest ski areas in the world. Almost all of the pistes are connected by lifts – a few marginal towns can be reached only by the free bus services in the area. The highest altitude accessible on skis is 2260m and the lowest is 930m. As with many other Alpine ski resorts, the lower slopes of the Portes du Soleil have snow-making facilities to extend the ski season by keeping the lower slopes open during the warmer months.

La Plagne Ski resort in Savoie, France

La Plagne is a French ski area in the alpine valley of the Tarentaise (Savoie). Since 2003, La Plagne and the neighbouring resort of Les Arcs form Paradiski's ski area. It is currently owned by Compagnie des Alpes.

Méribel

Méribel is a ski resort in the Tarentaise Valley in the French Alps, situated near the town of Moûtiers. Méribel refers to three neighbouring villages in the Les Allues commune of the Savoie département of France, near the town of Moûtiers, called Méribel Centre, Méribel-Mottaret and Méribel Village. The villages are within the Vanoise National Park and a part of the Les Trois Vallées interlinked ski system.

French Alps Portion of the Alps mountain range within France

The French Alps are the portions of the Alps mountain range that stand within France, located in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes and Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur regions. While some of the ranges of the French Alps are entirely in France, others, such as the Mont Blanc massif, are shared with Switzerland and Italy.

Courchevel Ski resort in France

Courchevel is a French Alps ski resort. It is a part of Les Trois Vallées, the largest linked ski areas in the world. Courchevel also refers to the towns of Courchevel 1300, Courchevel 1550, Courchevel 1650 (Moriond), and Courchevel 1850, which are named for their altitudes in metres. The resort centre of Courchevel is at 1,747 metres. The name Courchevel 1850 was chosen for marketing reasons to compete with rival ski resort Val d'Isère. It is the Jardin Alpin area of Courchevel 1850 rather than the centre which is located at 1,850 metres.

Tignes Commune in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, France

Tignes is a commune in the Tarentaise Valley, in the Savoie department in the Rhône-Alpes region in south-eastern France, known for the highest skiable area in Europe and the longest ski season in Europe. It is located in the Savoie region with good transport links in and out of Lyon, Geneva and Chambery.

Les Arcs

Les Arcs is a ski resort located in Savoie, France, in the Tarentaise Valley town of Bourg-Saint-Maurice. Initially created by Robert Blanc and Roger Godino, it is a part of the huge Paradiski system which is under ownership by Compagnie des Alpes, a French-listed company owning several other ski resorts as well as theme parks.

Saint-Martin-de-Belleville Part of Les Belleville in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, France

Saint-Martin-de-Belleville is a former commune in the Savoie department in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region in south-eastern France. On 1 January 2016, it was merged into the new commune of Les Belleville.

Les Menuires

Les Menuires is a ski resort in the Belleville valley of Les Trois Vallées between Saint-Martin-de-Belleville and Val Thorens. Owned and operated by Compagnie des Alpes, it is in the Savoie département of France.

Paradiski is a ski-area in the Tarentaise Valley of France that offers uninterrupted skiing in between the areas of Les Arcs, Peisey-Vallandry and La Plagne. The area is linked, since December 2003, by the Vanoise Express lift. In total over the three resorts there are 160 lifts and 425 km (264 mi) of pistes, with 152 green/blue (beginner) runs, 79 red (intermediate) runs, and 22 black (expert) runs.

Tarentaise Valley

The Tarentaise Valley is a valley of the Isère River in the heart of the French Alps, located in the Savoy region of France. The valley is named for the ancient town of Darantasia, the capital of the pre-Roman Centrones tribe.

Maurienne Former Savoy province

Maurienne is one of the provinces of Savoy, corresponding to the arrondissement of Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne in France. It is also the original name of the capital of the province, now Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne.

Vanoise National Park French national park in Savoie

Vanoise National Park is a French national park between the Tarentaise and Maurienne valleys in the French Alps, containing the Vanoise massif. It was created in 1963 as the first national park in France.

Col de lIseran

Col de l'Iseran is a mountain pass in France, the highest paved pass in the Alps. A part of the Graian Alps, it is situated in the department of Savoie, near the border with Italy, and is crossed by the D902 roadway.

Tignes – Val dIsère

Tignes – Val d'Isère is the combined ski resort area of Val d'Isère and Tignes in the Tarentaise Valley, Savoie in the French Alps. Formerly known as Espace Killy, in honour of the spectacularly successful skier Jean-Claude Killy who was raised here.
There are claimed to be 300 km of pistes:

La Tania

La Tania is a ski resort in the Courchevel area of Les Trois Vallees at 1400m above sea level. It was developed for the Albertville Olympics of 1992 and can be reached by road, being about 25 minutes drive from Moûtiers.

Cime de Caron

Cime de Caron is a mountain of Savoie, France. It lies in the Massif de la Vanoise range. It has an elevation of 3,195 metres (10,482 ft) above sea level. It is a mountain in the Three Valleys a popular ski resort, in the valley of Les Belleville, in the resort of Val Thorens. It has four ski slopes: three black, and one red. One of the blacks goes into the secret fourth valley, in the three valleys, Orelle. Cime de Caron is the second-highest skiing point in the Three Valleys.

References

  1. "History of les 3 Vallées, ski area in the french alps - creation of the skipass". Les 3 vallées. Retrieved 2020-04-10.
  2. The world's biggest ski resorts
  3. Ski resorts 'exaggerate piste lengths'
  4. Ski Guarantee
  5. Velvety Ski Slopes
  6. Safety is Paramount for Carefree Skiing