Oh my god! I think I got a bit excited about the title this week, but it’s the Valentine effect. I do not know about you but in Paris, the most romantic city in the world, everything seems to be possible! Heart-shaped cakes at Cyril Lignac, crockery stamped “love” at the Monop ‘and baskets of velib’ laden with flowers that pass under my nose every 8 minutes since Monday … In short, on the occasion of this Week of love and winter holidays, I decided to declare my flame to Val Thorens (“Valto” for the intimates), my pampered destination for winter sports … The opportunity to make you discover this Ski resort. What is the relationship with French How-know?
Located at 2300m of altitude, it is the highest European station ! With the largest ski area in the world (600km of tracks). And to become so attractive, it was necessary to deploy the great means!
So I took advantange of a snow storm to put my skis in the closet and go to meet a lover of Val-Thorens : Denis Chapuis (i’m sure you already know his son, Jean-Frederic Chapuis, the first French ski-cross World champion and Olympic medalist in Soch in 2014 !
Arrived in 70′ for the building of the longest telecabin in the world (Oh, yes! in France in the middle of Alps !) Denis never left. He received me with sympathy to tell me about the valley’s assets which today attracts skiers from all over the world, and has delivered me some of his good addresses … Follow us
# Why build the world’s largest cable car ?
Val Thorens is a young resort! At the time it was necessary to find something to give it a name and revitalize the Cime de Caron. It was a good way to make the buzz and attract tourists! 3 minutes 40 to take people from 2300m to 3200m – 150 people per cabin – 900 meters of uneven. At the time it was a real feat ! It was the French company Pomagalski that won the tender. I followed it up for the first year and then was offered to stay. It’s an interesting job. We never do the same thing from year to year.
# Is Val Thorens now an exceptional ski resort for your ?
Yes ! With its 150 km of slopes, there is plenty to do !
Val-Thoresn has been elected 3 times the best world station.
There is real dynamism. Did you see our slogan? (He shows me his jacket) « Live united ! » (laughs) All the services are in solidarity to make this station work and to welcome the tourists.
In 40 years we have gone from 6,000 beds to 25,000 beds ! And then we have a very long season. This year the station opened its doors on November 19th, we are among the first !
# Can you advise some good adresses in the resort ?
Il faut essayer le restaurant du nouvel hôtel Fahrenheit Seven (It means -13,89° degrés Celsius, the perfect temperature to get perfect snowflake). We also have a starred chef, Jean Sulpice who makes a very goog cuisine. Another novelty, Alpen Art in the center of the resort, a concept store tea room restaurant that exhibits the works of the artists of the valley (You will also find free gluten and takeaway soups!). And for skiers who like to party, a stop to la Folie Douce on the ski tracks sur les pistes is unmissable ! (Fully agree, the mood is insame from 03:00pm!)
# Your Favorite ski tracks ?
I ski mainly on the north face, Cime Caron, Peclet … The snow is a little better because it is colder! But you can also enjoy the whole area of the 3 valleys here and go skiing to Meribel and Courchevel if you wish.
# Tell me, Would you leave yours montains one day ?
Yes ! But for short time…
Decisively, this Denis is a true mountain man! Like many resorts, Val Thorens has also extended all activities for after-ski or non-skiers. It offers, among other things, an introduction to ice diving, ice climbing, a driving trail and, of course, sledging … Version altitude! That’s for the blow you will never see me test it. Courageous but not reckless ? On the other hand ! I’ll meet you next to talk about my experience with the night snow groomer operators !