This winter and the next one will mark a turning point in the history and development of Val Thorens, which will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2022/2023... with notably the construction of a new innovative and modular sports centre which will be completed at the beginning of next season (to have a glimpse of the new sports centre, it's by here)
But from this winter, Val Thorens and the ski area are full of novelties. Let's go for a tour!
A new cable car connection Orelle - Val Thorens via Cime Caron
The “3 Vallées Express” cable car has been replaced by the new “Orelle” cable car and another new lift to the top of Cime Caron has been built called “TC Orelle-Caron”. This allows a direct link between Orelle and Val Thorens by cable car on skis or by foot.
The new connection, made possible thanks to the support and investment by Région Auvergne Rhône-Alpes, will allow visitors to arrive in resort via the Maurienne Valley and come up to Val Thorens passing by the mythical Cime Caron peak and its 360 degree views of the Alps.
It will be accessible to both skiers or pedestrians who wish to access Val Thorens without using the slopes or roads. Pedestrians can then take the Cime Caron cable car to descend to the centre of Val Thorens which means they can keep their feet dry, with luggage allowed, too. The whole trip takes less than 45 minutes. The new cable car connection undoubtedly adds significant value to the client experience in place both in winter and summer.
By opening up Cime Caron to pedestrians coming from Orelle, and creating a link to Val Thorens, even for people with luggage, both resorts are establishing a new way to access Les 3 Vallées.
Holidaymakers coming from Italy or the rest of Europe will be able to avoid the traffic in the Tarentaise Valley – the normal road route to Val Thorens. Drivers can now continue on the Maurienne Valley motorway - the A43 - exit at Orelle, park in the free car park and then take the new ski lifts.
Thanks to a specific pedestrian pass, non-ski visitors can also have an immediate “high altitude” experience by enjoying the panoramic views from the top of Cime Caron at 3,200m. They will be able to go literally straight from the motorway to Val Thorens and enjoy non-skiing activities such as the Cosmojet toboggan run, the Bee zipline, shopping and so on.
A new free ski touring zone
Starting this winter, there will be a new secure and marked zone in the Borgne sector dedicated to ski touring.
Without any ski lifts around and a departure from the “Plein Sud” sector, this ski touring zone is made up of one ascent slope, groomed and prepared, and two slopes to descend, one of which is unpisted. This new area is a place to discover or practice ski touring safely, in a natural but marked zone, far from the crowds.
This natural space, accessible by the “Pionniers” or “Plein Sud” ski lifts, is perfect for groups to practice avalanche prevention and mountain safety training where they can learn how to use equipment such as avalanche detectors, probes and shovels.
The zone will also be linked to the “Camille” slope, an existing ski touring route for those who want to extend and prolong their ascent.
The Col ski run will be reserved for ski touring
SETAM, the Val Thorens ski lift company, will not be able to operate the COL chairlift during the winter of 2021/2022.
To compensate for this, and to allow the courageous to admire the view from the top, the Col piste will be secured and groomed by the Vallée des Belleville ski slope service for ski touring.
The COL chairlift, put into service in 1994, is the last fixed grip lift in Val Thorens. A project to replace this lift is currently being studied by SETAM, in consultation with the various government departments and the Vanoise National Park.
New ski pass offer
SETAM, the local lift company in Val Thorens together with other operators in Les 3 Vallées, is expanding the range of season lift passes to present perfectly suited options for every type of skier. This means locals and regular clients alike will find a pass ideal for their needs with some super deals to be had.
- Season pass for the under 30s. With a 30% discount now on offer, the “3 Vallées” or the “Val Thorens” season pass for people under 30 is now available (an identify card or passport needs to be presented at time of purchase).
- 2/7 season pass. This provides access to the entire “3 Vallées” ski area at the attractive price of €665 for any two days per week. And they don’t have to be consecutive days either. It’s ideal for people who live close by and want to ski every weekend or as soon as they have a day off.
- Ski Flex season pass. Again for €665, this pass provides 20 entries to the “3 Vallées” lift system per week allowing departure from any resort in the 3 Vallées. It’s the perfect lift pass for those who want to enjoy the whole season, but only a little bit at a time.
Ski passes available online at ski.valthorens.com
Take the best picture in Val Thorens - Photo Spots
Discover this winter the Art & Memories Tour in the 3 Vallées ski area, created by the Savoyard illustrator, Lauriane Miara.
6 large photo frames are spread out all over the 3 Vallées with an illustration per ski resort, all the while keeping a mountain theme and the unique style of the illustrator.
In Val Thorens, it’s a Cosmos theme at the summit of the “Funitel des 3 Vallées”. And a little extra - Mont Blanc is in the background making it the perfect holiday photo-opp souvenir!
Pow Surf, a new way to ride
Innovative, versatile and motivated instructors at Ski Cool are bringing back old ski styles such as monoski or telemark with fun courses on offer.
But that’s not all! This season they’ve added a new activity to their programme: “Pow Surf”.
Don’t know what this is? It’s snowboarding without bindings where riders move and glide on the snow just as if they were surfing on water! Technique and balance is everything!
Rent an Antarctica Igloo for a meeting with a difference
This icy spot can be rented for meetings or an afterwork get-together in the centre of the slopes.
A themed igloo of 80m2 will be built behind Chalets du Thorens, close to the “2 Combes” piste. It will consist of two spaces and can host around 15-20 people for a cozy moment in a totally original setting. It’s an ideal spot for an “aperitif” with colleagues or friends!
An outdoor Escape Game
Located on the slopes, the escape game is the perfect opportunity to challenge your friends and solve the enigma of the so-called “White Challenge”. The goal: become special mountain agents, solve riddles, show off your knowledge and take on various mountain challenges.
The activity will be proposed by the ESF of Val Thorens
Laser Game in the P1 underground parking garage
Dressed from head to toe in protective gear and armed with laser guns, players face each other in a new laser game at 2,300m which opens this season.
In the darkness of an underground parking garage, two teams will face each other in a "real war" in a themed apocalyptic setting.
Since the planet has become unhospitable and 97% of life on earth is lost, the goal is simple: shoot the other team as many times as possible, eliminate them and guarantee your spot in one of the last refuges on earth: the Val Tho Base Camp!
10 people maximum (2 teams of 5 people) - 15€ / person for 2 sessions of 10 min
What's new in accommodation
- Opening of the Marielle Hotel****: this winter, a new 4-star hotel will welcome holidaymakers seeking a change of scenery and relaxation in an elegant sporting chic setting. The hotel’s name “Marielle” refers to Marielle Goitschel, a French champion skier with numerous international medals to her name – including Olympic titles – and a famous face associated with the resort. hotelmarielle.com/en/
- Le Fitz Roy***** gets a make-over: one of the flagship 5-star hotels in the resort has also taken the time last summer to undertake a make-over. A large part of the building has been rebuilt: the reception area, ski room, fitness area, wine cellar and underground levels. There are now two restaurants and a new living room that gives access directly to the slopes. www.beaumier.com/en/properties/le-fitz-roy-hotel
- Le Val Thorens**** time for a change: last summer was the ideal time to renovate the historic hotel Le Val Thorens****. The 83 rooms have been completely remodeled, as have the communal spaces, the reception area and atrium. But the biggest change to this hotel is the bar area. It has been entirely redesigned as an IN/OUT concept, with bars inside and out allowing holidaymakers to savour their cocktails cozying up to the fireplace inside when it’s snowing or outside on the terrace when the weather is sunny. www.beaumier.com/en/properties/le-val-thorens-hotel
- Hôtel-Refuge Le Pashmina***** a new self-heating glass terrace: The Coronavirus crisis inspired the Gorini family - founders and owners of the hotel - to think of new ways to enlarge the main living space so it’s more comfortable and respects social distancing rules. Thanks to European glass experts - Grolla Verre and Serrurerie Tissot - they have used glass with integrated nanotechnology to create a new 70m2 retractable veranda on the terrace with bay windows offering clear views of the surrounding mountains and slopes of Val Thorens. www.hotelpashmina.com/en/
So, are you ready for a crazy 2021-2022 season?