Ambitious new development breaks ground in Val D'Isere
Work has commenced on the initial stage of an ambitious €16m project to redevelop the top of Solaise in Val d’Isère.
A massive 70,000 cubic metres of earth has already been moved to create the setting for a whole new mid-mountain station at 2500m, which will become the focal point for skiers and snowboarders visiting the expansive Tignes-Val d'Isère ski area.
- The existing Solaise Express chair-lift and cable car will be replaced by a 10-person gondola with 91 cabins, complete with heated seats and wifi.
- The new gondola will increase capacity by 40% and can carry up to 3,600 passengers per hour, bringing an end to any previous peak hour bottlenecks at the base on high season dates.
- The Terrasse button lift to be replaced by a covered magic carpet lift, serving a new secluded beginner area for both adults and children.
- The slope has been regraded from around 16% to 7% to make it a secure learning area.
- Addition of a new tubing area for kids and adults.
- On the far side of Solaise twin, covered magic carpets have replaced the short double chair that brought you to the summit.
- Addition of a new day lodge containing a café, picnic area, sun terrace and toilets.
Every step has been taken to minimise the environmental impact of the project. The redevelopment reduces the number of lift stations from a total of eight with 34 pylons to just two with 16 pylons.
For every tree that has been cut down five others have been planted. Clumps of Sylène de Suède (viscaria alpina), a wild flower with distinctive pink petals that grows naturally in the area of the day lodge, have been carefully dug up and relocated nearby.
The gondola machinery is being buried underground at the base area. This significantly reduces the noise impact both for inhabitants and the fauna living around the front de neige.