There’s been plenty of new development and replacement work to the ski lifts in the Portes du Soleil again this summer, here’s a run down of the shiny new ski-lift facilities you’ll be able to find for winter 2015.

Firstly here’s a link to the newly issued Portes du Soleil piste map for 2015, which has been updated to show the new lifts and pistes for the coming season. Check out the pink “NEW” stars showing the recent upgrades!

Chatel & Pre-la-Joux Area

Starting with the local ski area.New Chatel Ski Piste

New Ski-Lifts & Pistes between Linga and Super-Chatel

As mentioned in my earlier post the long talked about and anticipated link between the Chatel’s two ski areas is finally being built.

The latest updates to this are:

  • Both lifts will be the high speed detachable type, the initial plan was for one of the lifts to be a refurbished older style slow lift but there will now be a brand new 6 person detachable up to Super-Chatel called “Portes du Soleil” and a refurbished 4 person detachable going to Linga called “Gabelou”.
  • The blue piste from Linga to Gabelou has been totally reshaped from the old windy track into a broad and fairly straight piste, making it easy for beginners to return to Chatel.
  • The project is reportedly currently running a little behind schedule and is reported looking at a January opening. There has been an official announcement saying it will definitely be open this winter but the opening date has not been confirmed yet.

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New Aquatic Centre for Chatel   September 2nd, 2014

forme-do-night-outsideThis summer saw the opening of new aquatic centre in Chatel, which has been a big investment and an upgrade of the old existing outdoor summer-only pool.

The new centre called Forme d’O is a combination of pools / gym and spa areas, all finished to a very high standard.

During Summer and Winter seasons the centre will be open 7 days a week.

Inside it’s divided into 3 separate areas; the indoor & outdoor “Aquatic” swimming pools / “Oceane” adults only pool and spa area / “Fitness” gym area.

Aquatic Area

Features an indoor pool which goes from 40cm to 120cm complete with bubbles, perfect for children to play and enjoy. Plus an area marked out with 25 metre swimming lanes for those wishing to practise some serious swimming.

The outdoor 200m² swimming area is accessed by a connecting water tunnel, here you will have magnificent views across the valley even in the winter because the pool is heated year round. There are hydro-massage jets and bubble beds around the pool, with hot tub areas to relax in too, plus a swim against the current area.

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It’s been talked about for almost 20 years but work is finally under way to link up the Super-Chatel and Linga pistes. There will be two new chairlifts located at the top of the village just passed Lac Vonnes, one heading up to Super-Chatel and the other heading over to link up with the Linga pistes.

Super-Chatel to Lac Vonnes

Vonne Linga ski linkAs you can see from this image there will be a new 1500 meter blue piste coming from Super-Chatel down to Lac Vonnes which will be fitting with snow cannons.
The chairlift will be the 4-person high speed detachable type, and some of you may even have ridden this exact same chair before because it is coming from the Proclou in Avoriaz which is being upgraded to a 6-person lift this summer.

Lac Vonnes to Linga

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The Perfect Ski Season ?   February 22nd, 2013

So we are past the half way mark now and well into the February school holidays, and it’s all good here in the snowy and cold ski resort of Chatel.

This season has produced great conditions pretty much every week, and for a period at the start of February I’d say conditions were as good as they ever get.

We started on high at the beginning of December with deep powder covering the mountain and resort, our first lucky clients staying the week before Christmas had a great time on very quiet and very snowy pistes.

A little bit of rain just before Christmas did flatten down the waist deep powder a little but the festival spirit was definitely not dampened down. It was a very busy Christmas and New Year in the resort with the holidays falling mid week again after a couple of slightly quieter year when they fell on the weekend, but with the great snow cover and massive expanse of the Portes du Soleil to discover lift queues are never too bad here.
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Certificate of Excellence 2012   October 16th, 2012

TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence 2012

We received a surprise parcel in the post the other day, inside was a small plaque from TripAdvisor to display in our chalet commemorating our achievement of winning a Certificate of Excellence for 2012.

I’m sure they’ve already sent me a certificate, although I’m not sure where I put it !

But it’s good to see the gifts are getting bigger, first a paper certificate, second a small plaque, I wonder what could be next ?  Maybe a giant banner to hang outside the chalet ?

Anyway thanks again to all our guests from last ski season who took the time to write all the fantastic comments we received.

Looking forward to another great season and to welcoming more guests to Chalet Les Trois Canards.

We had a little snow falling in Chatel a couple of days ago and the mountains are currently all white, winter is definitely just round the corner now.

I’m busy working my way through my to-do list of everything that needs doing before the winter.

Get in touch if you’re thinking about your next ski trip, we’ve still got several weeks available and would love to show you why we won our Certificate of Excellence.

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I’ve been skiing the Portes du Soleil for over 10 years now and thought I should share a few of my favourite mountain side restaurants. What is better than a little local knowledge when looking for somewhere to stop for lunch.

Fantaski – Chatel / Pre-la-Joux

Location – First restaurant at the top of the first lift (Pierre Longue)

This restaurant is often a favourite with guests staying at our ski chalet, it’s easy to find and a great rendezvous place for a big group, loads of seating outside for sunny days and a wood burning stove inside for chilly days. Great value food with cheese burger and chips (Surfer et frites) for under €10. It can be a little slow to serve food during busy weeks of the season so a good idea to avoid the 12:30 – 13:30 rush hour.
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IXS Downhill Cup in Chatel   September 10th, 2012

This last weekend saw the final big summer event in Chatel for 2012, the 6th stage of the IXS European Mountain Bike Downhill Cup was held in the Chatel BikePark on the 8th / 9th September.

24 year old Brit Brendan Fairclough won the event on a fairly wet and slippery course, check out this awesome video of the route he made the day before the event. Love the way he calmly chats his way down the mountain as if he’s taking a walk in the park.

Best of luck Brendan with the final stage which will be on held on 22nd / 23rd September in Todtnau, Germany.

Great to see another British mountain biker leading the pack after last year when Danny Hart won the UCI MTB DHI World Championship held just over the border from Chatel in Champery. Check out the video of his awesome winning run in some of the wettest and muddiest conditions I’ve ever seen anyone ride a bike.

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2012 – A Great Summer in Chatel   August 28th, 2012

The summer rush is just starting to calm down in Chatel now, and it’s been a very busy one this year. After a pretty slow start weather wise in spring time, it really pulled one out of the bag from the start of June onwards. We’ve been spoilt with blue skies and high temperatures all summer, with just a few thunderstorms thrown in to clear the air every now and then.

Bradley Wiggins continued his winning ways through the summer with an amazing Tour du France win, and then less than 2 weeks later collecting an Olympic gold medal.

The first big summer event on the mountain is always the Red Bull Chatel Mountain Style, which run on 6/7/8 July this year, with Canadian mountain biker Brandon Semenuk winning this year event.

Chatel’s annual village festival, Fete La Saint Laurent  was another great success this year, possibly made even more fun because it somehow managed to defy the weather forecasts and we were treated to hot sunny weather in between morning and evening thunder storms.

A couple of weeks ago the temperatures were touching over 40°C everyday, which was possibly a little too hot.

The French schools start back next week, so most of the chalets and apartments will be closed up for the autumn soon. With everyone attention soon turning to planning their winter 2012/13 ski holiday.

Get in touch with us here at Absolute Alps Holidays to see what we have to offer, Early Booking Discounts currently available.

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Bradley Wiggins Wins   June 10th, 2012

Team Sky Procycling Chatel

Bradley Wiggins claimed his third major road cycling title of the year with a yellow jersey winning finish in Chatel today.

A great day for Bradley and fellow team mate and Brit Christopher Froome who finished fourth, plus the Sky Procycling team who won the team category.

The weather even played along with the rain holding off until after the event was finished and the clean-up was almost complete.

Most of the competitors will now be keeping their heads down for the rest of the month to ensure they are in peak condition for the start of the Tour de France next month.

Despite Bradley claiming in the post race interview he would not be THE favourite to win Le Tour he is certainly one of the favourites, and will have lots of a  Brits looking forward to the big race next month.

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The Criterium du Dauphine will be arriving in Chatel next weekend for the 8th and final stage.

This is one of Europe’s big annual road cycling races, and many of the Tour de France teams use it as a warm-up for the big event. Being in a mountainous area the race is usually won by a climbing specialist, and often features several of the most famous climbing stage from Le Tour.

This year the Dauphine is made up of a 1 short prologue stage around the town of Grenoble followed by 7 full stages, and covers a total distance of 1,052 kilometres. Starting Sunday 3rd June in Grenoble and finishing on Sunday 10th June in Chatel.

There are 22 teams and 175 riders running this year, with some big names including Brady Wiggins, Cadel Evans & Andy Schleck to name a few. Obviously I’ll be cheering on team Sky and Brady Wiggins (one of only 3 riders from GB), hopefully he should be in the running for winning the race.

Hopefully the weather will be fine, last year in April Chatel hosted a stage from the Tour de Romandie and after 3 weeks of glorious weather it rained all day when the tour arrived. This year Brady Wiggins won the 2012 66th Tour de Romandie, hope that is a good sign for next weekend!

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