As you may have heard, the legendary French resort opened two days earlier than planned this year, meaning eager skiers and boarders could take to the slopes from Thursday 22nd November. The few lucky ones who arrived in time for this preview ski were able to test out the revamped Funitel Péclet and take the Cascades Chairlift up to a small but perfectly formed 12 kilometres of piste that they had all to themselves.

On Saturday though, the resort expanded its open runs to 25 kilometres, and with the extra space to ski came a flurry of excited snow sports enthusiasts from all over France, Belgium and the UK, ready to get on the mountain and make the most of the first days of the season. The celebration continued well into the icy night with a successful open air party, complete with DJ set and dancing in the snow!

We were part of this impatient crowd, and lucky enough to stumble across the cosy Petite Ferme on the Rue du Soleil on the way to our apartment; scrumptious pizzas in a little wooden house laden with saddles, sledges, lanterns and a mixture of other conventional and less conventional decorations - a lovely way to finish the day.

On Sunday we got to try the wide, open pistes for ourselves. Snow conditions were amazing, with a solid base thanks to weeks of preparation in addition to a heavy covering of fresh – and we had a good few hours of sunshine and clear blue skies to top it off. Despite the rush to the slopes and the limited number of open lifts, the runs were uncrowded, and it was only in the overflowing Café de la Marine - the traditional slopeside alpine restuarant where we stopped for lunch - that we struggled to find space. Luckily, we did - a sunny spot on the terrace perfect for admiring the scenery with a croque monsieur.

The Ski Force Winter Tour was also on the mountain all weekend offering skiers the chance to test out the new models from top ski manufacturers like Blizzard, Dynastar, Head, Rossignol, Salomon and White Doctor - and benefit from professional advice.

The weekend was certainly a success, with nearly 6000 skiers and boarders on the pistes over the two days, and the Val Thorens lift pass office selling a record 5957 ski passes on Saturday. The opening of Val Thorens undoubtedly marks the launch of the snow sports season - and let’s hope it’s incredible!






Posted on Friday 30 Nov 2012

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