New lifts, legal disputes and very cheap cat skiing…
HIGH AND MIGHTY
Europe’s highest mountain, the almighty Mount Elbrus is soon to boast Europe’s highest gondola as well. Opening this winter, the new gondola will take skiers to 3,850m, beating the Aiguille du Midi in Chamonix by 8 metres. Altitude sickness pills recommended.
In Chamonix are busy replacing the oft bottle-necked Plan Joran chair lift from Argentiere to Les Grand Montets. This season, an 84 cabin gondola will whisk riders up to 2,130m in seven minutes, carrying up to 3200 people an hour. Impressive!
Les Arcs is launching a new night ski area, complete with dedicated 8-seater gondola. Due to open 13 December, the area above Arcs 1800 will offer more than just standard night-skiing, with a terrain park, tobogganing, beginners area and a new 3,800m water park. It will stay open until 9.30pm, which is way past our bedtime, even on a powder day.
Resort managers have discovered a glacier in the mountains above Glencoe… Okay, no, that won’t be happening until the next ice age. But they are planning a £250,000 dry slope at its base, which will open in the summer, as well on bad weather days during the winter.
CAT SKI FOR A FIVER
Cult Canadian resort Red Mountain just got better. They’re adding another 200 acres of in-bound skiing, with a 1,600ft vertical drop, on the south side of Mt Kirkup. The clincher? It’s accessed by snowcat, and tickets only cost $10 (£5.50). Brilliant!
TURNING OLD GRACEFULLY
And on a more cheery note, 3 Valleys resort Les Menuires is turning 50 this winter. Cake all round!