WE’RE IN THE THICK OF IT
23rd November 2019 | James Cove, Val Thorens
PlanetSKI is in Val Thorens in France for its opening weekend. On Saturday high winds closed the lifts, but on Sunday skiing began.
SUNDAY 24th NOVEMBER
After the near total closure of the resort on Saturday things looked promising first thing:
Most of the runs were open and we will be bringing you a full report on the Opening Day and what’s new in Val Thorens for this winter so do check later…
Here’s a few photos to whet your appetite….
SATURDAY 23rd NOVEMBER
Val Thorens was due to start its season today.
However this was the news on Friday evening as PlanetSKI arrived in resort:
And on Saturday morning:
Some hardy souls are braving the elements and making a few turns using one of the pedestrian covered magic carpets.
The lifts though remain motionless.
Up to 15,000 skiers and snowboarders can come to the resort for its opening weekend.
PlanetSKI has been here more times than we care to remember – we’ve had powder snow, blue skies but this time round it hasn’t been quite so good.
There are events around the resort including ski testing and numerous parties, plus bar openings.
Later today we will be sampling the latter.
For research purposes only of course.
But in the meantime it’s a stroll round town and the weather even looks to be cheering up a little.
Val Thorens is not resting on its laurels and has a whole range of new initiatives for this season and we’ll be reporting on them shortly so do check back.
Here is one – Les3Vallees is teaming up with Disney:
And as the afternoon progressed a couple of lifts opened and the forecast improved.
It was down to the local Intersport shop for me to get kitted out so I can get on first lifts on Sunday.
In the corner were the latest top of the range GS ski from Atomic – The Redster G9.
Now I love the ski, but they are stiff and need to be driven.
You can’t really sit back and cruise – they needed to be worked hard to get the most out of them.
This is my first day of a long season ahead and there is no need to prove any points.
So, instead I opted for the T1 – a sightly softer and more forgiving weapon.
Something tells me I will be back tomorrow to swap them for the G9.
The beauty of Intersport is they are happy for you to chop and change at will.
And outside things were beginning to cheer up a bit and some braver than me had been up the slopes.
I’m beginning to get excited – my winter starts tomorrow.
Elsewhere other resorts in the Alps have had more luck so far this weekend.
In Austria Kitzbuhel has opened more lifts and 16 are now in operation.
While in Switzerland Saas-Fee now has top to bottom skiing from 3,600m down to 1,850m with 45kms of slopes on offer.
“Thanks to a lot of fresh snow, the piste conditions are excellent – there are currently almost two metres of snow on the Mittelallalin,” said a statement from the resort.
“The longest downhill run offers 9km of snowy fun on the slopes.”
Our first detailed snow report of the season is out as we look at conditions country by country.
It was posted on Friday 22nd November.
Sadly things are set to warm up with a warm Foehn wind coming in over the next few days which will melt much of the snow at lower levels, but the storms continue over the weekend.<
Predictions vary but over the weekend anything from 30cm to 80cm is falling in parts of Italy, France and Switzerland.
Prato Nevoso in Italy, which has already had several big dumps and has managed to open will get some more.
As will the Italian resort of Cervinia where the lifts at Valtournenche are due to open on Saturday.
The French resort of Montgenevre, which sits on the Italian border, will also open tomorrow.
In the meantime, here are some of the latest images from the snowy Alps.
And here is Val Thorens earlier in the week before the latest storm hit.
It should have passed by Sunday and the powers that be in the resort have assured me some lifts will be running.
Intersport’s 2020 range of skis includes the award-winning Rossignol Sky 7s, Black Crows Daemons, Atomic Punx twin-tipped park skis, a full backcountry touring package and the amazing Nitro Q Snowboard series (for those who want to try the latest snowboard shapes).
Customers are free to swap and change the skis as many times as they like during the hire period so as to take advantage of any changing snow conditions during their holiday.
Prices vary but average at around €8 per day, with Intersport bi-weekly discount codes being released via facebook where the current offer is WHITE19UK for 10% off (expires 29 November).
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