Having operated in Val d’Isere for around 20 years now, Le Chardon Mountain Lodges is firmly integrated into the local ski community. However, we thought you may be interested in a few historical facts around the town which is now famous as a one of the best ski resorts in the Alps.
Val-d’Isère is situated in South-eastern France on the boundary of the Vanoise National Park, and is only three miles (five Kilometres) from the Italian border (when you buy a ski pass ask for a Val / Tignes pass as the locals do). Many alpine ski events were held here during the 1992 Winter Olympics including the men’s giant slalom as well as the alpine mixed. Part of the town was restructured especially for these winter games. Val-d’Isère also played host to the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in 2009.
The central and western parts of Val-d’Isère are mostly identifiable by their “chalet” structures, offering holiday ski accommodation, whilst the eastern area of the town houses high buildings that dominate the scenery. Together with nearby Tignes the region makes up part of the “’Espace Killy,” the self-titled “Most Beautiful Ski Area in the World.”
The Pissaillas Glacier provides good summer skiing giving the illusion of typical winter fare but without the harsh winds found on the Glacier during the coldest spell of winter. Snow cannons are put on particular slopes to support heavy skiing during the peak season, so ski conditions are almost always perfect. High capacity lifts offer great accessibility from the valley and there is no shortage of fast chairs higher up. However, there are still several slow chairs as well as draglifts available that suit beginners and children and the Olympic Gondolla is a great way to get to the top of the mountain ski range and into Tranquil. There are brushed slopes to be found and also backcountry (off-piste) skiing, with plenty of powder. The slopes’ difficulty level is especially high. Nevertheless, as in Tignes, there are many good, simple motorway pistes to enjoy.
Val d’Isère skiing first began in the 1930’s after a drag lift was constructed on the slopes of the Solaise. This was then followed by a cable car and is now a a plethora of chair lifts, gondollas and toe-ropes which cover the resort and enable skiers of all ability to to enjoy the mountains from October through to April. We’re all excited about the 2011/12 season and hope you can join us out there.