Serre Chevalier Continues Lift Renovation Programme.

Serre Chevalier ski resort is continuing its ski lift renovation programme. This programme is part of their strategy to adapt to climate change – integrating the Compagnie des Alpes Net Zero Carbon action – to develop the mountain domain with tourist attractiveness other than skiing.

The new Pontillas gondola will link La Salle les Alpes village to the Méa sector (Villeneuve) in just eight minutes. This important new structural lift will replace two obsolete lifts dating from 1984 and 1968, to bring extra comfort and speed

  • Transportation of 2 800 passengers/hour with just one new piece of equipment, versus 2 350 with the two old ones.
  • The bottom station is located in place of the double monocable (DMC) lift and the top station is at 2 255m. in altitude, on the Méa plateau, near two existing draglifts.
  • Close to the top station, 1.9 hectares of beginner slopes will be developed.

This 26 million euro investment will lead directly or indirectly to reducing the ski area's carbon footprint and help adapt to global warming, It will replace two lifts in a more economical way, using less energy to arrive higher, where restructuring the high-altitude slope to include a new beginners' zone is possible. This development of a wide high-altitude slope is part of a larger climate-change adaptation project. Effectively it will reduce the need for man-made snow, especially early and late in the season:

  • By making it unnecessary to guarantee snow-cover low down for the beginners' area.
  • By making it unnecessary to maintain a ski run to return to the resort up to the end of the season, as the new lift will serve as an « urban elevator ».
  • As a natural extension of the ski area's trajectory, which has already diminished its man-made snow production by 20% in 2 years.

Initially contractual requirements provided for actions to minimise impact

  • Dismantling of the DMC (old Pontillas gondola) and the Fréjus gondola (6 pylons for the DMC and 25 pylons for the Fréjus gondola), to be replaced by only 18 pylons for the new Pontillas gondola, a reduction of 13 pylons.
  • 3,4 hectares of reforestation in the zone, a surface area superior to the deforestation necessary for the new installation (2,2 hectares).
  • Replacement of the old bottom station with a new station of higher architectural quality.

This « Made in Alpes » installation built by POMA is part of a major pledge to invest 200 million euros, as recently announced by the Compagnie des Alpes.

Recycling and re-use of materials, upcycling of recycled steel in collaboration with EcoCline company It is the first construction project where circular economy is promoted

  • In partnership with EcoCline as agent for valorising a maximum of elements from dismantling the lift and the building.
  • Recovering materials from deconstruction of the Pontillas DMC by the village, the « matériauthèque » (stock of selected materials), and for internal re-use in projects to improve and renovate buildings or other works on the ski area.
  • Recovering components (electrical and mechanical) from the old lift for other ski companies currently using a DMC, for spare parts or maintenance.
  • Revalorising telecabins by an enterprise in Haute-Savoie
  • The sale of 375 tons of scrap metal to a contractor.

In other News Serre Chevalier has annoiunced

  • A second Sugar Cabin accessible on foot. In view of the success of the first Sugar Cabin which was built in 2021 in the Prorel sector, a second Sugar Cabin will open in the Villeneuve sector, just below the top station of the new Pontillas gondola. Ecofriendly and autonomous too, it will be accessible to foot-passengers with snow-shoes after a ten-minute walk from the top of the new gondola. For total immersion in the world of Canadian trappers - Serre Che version - make sugar lollies in the snow using local honey or caramel or enjoy a hot drink, for a fun, friendly family break !
  • The new Arthur Bauchet Piste. As ambassador of Serre Chevalier Vallée Briançon, Arthur Bauchet is the pride of the valley: he learnt to ski in Serre Chevalier and now has won 8 Paralympic medals of which three are gold, 16 World Championship medals (10 gold) and 16 Cristal Globes! His smile and sense of fun are so well-loved. This winter, the ex-Cabane du Berger black run (from the top of the Prorel towards the Chantemerle sector) will be renamed The Arthur Bauchet Piste.
  • « Chalets du Grand Hôtel » in Chantemerle – opening winter 23/24 This historic hotel - the first hotel to open in the resort - is expanding ! Four chalets divided into 21 fully-equipped apartments, designed by the famous architect Jean-Michel Wilmotte, will complete the range of the Grand Hotel****, at the foot of Chantemerle runs. They have a capacity of 97 guests overall, in apartments ranging from 44 sq m. to 192 sq m., some with up to 12 beds, almost all with balconies.
  •  Remodelling of the « Place du Téléphérique » in Chantemerle – opening on 31st December 2023 The « Place du Téléphérique » at the base of the ski-runs has a new look, a face-lift with a purpose: to pedestrianise and green up the site, with wider pavements, less space for cars, planting schemes, new street fittings which can be adapted according to the season, and lighting to permit colourful lightshows to make the heart of the resort much livelier.
  • New boulder climbing hall « Bloc 027 »Bloc 027 opens its doors in the old army quarters of the 15/9 in Briançon in autumn 2023, at the heart of a building dedicated to health-care and climbing. There will be 630 sq m. of climbing surfaces for all levels, from beginner to professional, plus a bar-restaurant and an equipment shop. It will be a « must » in all seasons for climbers in Briançon, as the base camp and climbing training-centre for the 2024 Olympics.
  •  A new Ambassador programme for lovers of the valley! At the beginning of the winter, the Tourist Office is launching a brand new programme to give lovers of the valley privileged access to experiences, and also to take part in a community of enthusiasts who are interested in making a contribution to the future of the resort and its preservation.

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