There’s plenty to get excited about this season. Whether it’ll be your first or fiftieth time visiting a ski resort, there’s bound to be something new in store for you this winter.
We’ve done some digging and put together a list of the most exciting new features and events coming to the ski resorts this season. Get excited – winter’s just around the corner. You’ll be amid the action before you know it.
A new black run comes to Méribel
Feeling brave? The IBEX black run is ideal for those seeking a challenge this winter. Still a relatively new addition to the resort, Méribel’s IBEX black run made its debut only last year. Accessible via the 2,700 metre Bouquetin chairlift, challengers can get a sense of what awaits them as they journey to the top, their fellow thrill-seekers taking on the black run below them.
The IBEX black run features a 600-metre-long couloir, as well as a 300-metre vertical drop. It’s the ideal run for keen skiers to sink their teeth into – though we’d recommend tackling it in the morning when your legs are still fresh!
Gondola replacement and new Climate Interpretation Centre, Chamonix
Development has been underway on the gondola between Montenverse and Mer de Glace. Spurred on by the diminishing glacier, the replacement gondola is set to be situated further up the glacier than its predecessor.
The gondola is on course to open for the 2023/24 season and will run from December 2023. Alongside this new gondola, construction is underway on an International Glacier and Climate Interpretation Centre – an important climate-focused initiative from the Chamonix resort. The Centre is expected to open next winter.
New season, new lifts in the Three Valleys
Two new gondolas have been introduced to the Three Valleys ski area this season, increasing lift capacity and reducing wait times. The gondolas will connect Orelle to Plan Bouchet, and Plan Bouchet to Cime Caron, enabling easy travel between Orelle and Val Thorens.
Beginners’ Carpet and sledging run, Morzine
First time skiing? There’s no need to worry. The new beginners’ carpet magic carpet ski lift in Morzine is the latest edition to the resort’s beginners’ area, making skiing more accessible – and a little less nerve-wracking - for newcomers. The 147-metre magic carpet lift is to be installed near the Pleney cable car.
A new slope-side hangout in Courchevel
Courchevel has introduced a new spot for skiers to kick back, relax, and take in the stunning alpine vistas. The Nid de la Saulire is a quaint wooden chalet located between two slopes, housing giant deckchairs and providing skiers with breathtaking panoramic views of the slopes. The Nid de la Saulire can be found between La Vizelle and La Saulire.
Watch the Alpine Skiing World Cup
The winter season in Val d’Isere gets underway with a hearty dose of speed and adrenaline. The popular French ski resort will play host to the FIS Alpine Skiing World Cup tour this December, welcoming the world’s finest alpine skiing talent.
The action is set to take place across two weekends. From the 9th – 10th December, the men’s Giant Slalom and Slalom will take place. The women will take to the slopes of Val d’Isere a week later, with the Downhill skiing event taking place on the 16th December and the Super-G on 17th December.
The events are open to spectators – making it the perfect way to kickstart your holiday in Val d’Isere.
Attend the Winter Film Festival in Val d’Isere
There’s something for everyone at Val d’Isere this winter. Film buffs and keen skiers can meet in the middle at the Winter Film Festival, scheduled to take place in January 2024. The festival will showcase a series of films centred around winter sports and the beauty of the alpine environment, directed and filmed by exciting filmmaking talent.
Classicaval, 30th Anniversary event, Val d’Isere
If you’re seeking a dose of the arts in your skiing, then Classicaval is just the event for you. Val d’Isere’s classical music festival returns for its thirtieth year, celebrating the beauty and mystique of music. Presented in two opuses, Classicaval is hosted in the beautiful old baroque church of Saint Bernard de Menthon.
Opus 1 will be held from the 15th – 18th January, whilst Opus 2 will take place from the 11th – 14th March, providing multiple opportunities for guests at the resort to attend the festival.
Mountain Shaker: The Board Culture Event, Tignes
Adrenaline junkies, rejoice – and get ready for a week packed with sporting festivities. Taking place from the 9th – 16th of March 2024, Mountain Shaker is an exciting celebration of board culture.
The week centres around four key events: the French Freeride Series, the FISE Xperience Series, the Big Air World Cup, and the Ski Slopestyle World Cup. The French Freeride Series and the FISE Xperience Series are open to amateurs and professionals alike, allowing budding keen skiers and skaters to demonstrate their skills to the resort crowd.
The Big Air World Cup and the Ski Slopestyle World Cup - held towards the end of the week - will see professional riders from around the world perform in competition. Alongside the main roster of events, there will be a variety of other festivities taking place. From concerts to film screenings, conferences to competitions, there’ll be an abundance of activities to get stuck into.
La Grande Odyssée
Back for its 20th year, La Grande Odyssée is a sled dog race that traverses 900km across the Swiss and French Alps. It’s a mighty feat tackled annually by around 65 mushers and over 600 sled-pulling dogs. At times climbing more than 25,000m in elevation, La Grande Odysee consists of 11 stages – making it one of the longest and most challenging races of its kind.
The 20th running of La Grande Odyssée will be held from 13 – 25 January 2024, with Megeve serving as the jumping-off point. Join the thousands of spectators that watch the event every year as it passes through numerous alpine resorts, towns, and villages, including Chatel, La Toussuire, Le Corbier, Aussois, Val Cenis, Valmorel, Doucy and Villard de Lans.
Les Lumières de la Muzelle, Les 2 Alpes
This is an event not to be missed. Taking place on Saturday 20th January, Les Lumières de la Muzelle is unique white trail race, held against the backdrop of a winter evening. As the sun sets and dusk arrives, follow the trail into the night with the stars as your guide.
There are trails of varying lengths – a 10km, a 21km, and a 42km - ensuring runners of different backgrounds and abilities can all take part in the one-off event. For those who favour a sprint over long distance, you can choose instead to participate in the slalom races held in the village centre.
New trains come to the Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn
The Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn has just introduced brand new multi-unit rail coaches, ushering in greater comfort, speed and efficiency to this stunning alpine railway line.
It’s anticipated that all twelve of the trains will be in service by the end of 2023 – just in time for the winter season. Whilst ORION will greatly enhance the passenger experience – making it more accessible for people of all ages and abilities – it’s also a greener mode of transportation than the trains used previously. It’s a major initiative for the railway, with over 400 million Swiss Francs having been invested.
The Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn easily puts all other railway commutes to shame. It’s a 144km journey through the Swiss Alps, leading from the popular ski resort of Zermatt. If you’re interested in venturing outside the resort, and fancy paying a visit to Switzerland’s myriad of beauty spots, then the Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn is a great way to go about doing so.