For centuries, trapped in a dead-end valley, Val d’Isère, was a long forgotten hunting hamlet for French royals, fringing the tree line surrounded by steep mountains. The snowfilled forever-winters forced subsistence-level living on the poor local farmers. Then in 1929 came Jacques Mouflier, their first skier. He strongly urged the development of tourism – the rest is skiing history. Much of the rambling town was re-designed and rebuilt for the ‘92 Olympics so Val d’Isère’s now an appealing, harmonious and better organized resort. The early Romanesque tower and its baroque church long forgotten in the midst of mid-twentieth century modernity are once more an integral part of the town’s heart – silent antidotes to our fast-paced twenty-first century lives. The resort’s Oxygen is a vast sports center with an Olympic size pool, Jacuzzi, saunas, climbing wall, squash courts, and extensive spa facilities.
Val d’Isère’s natives nurture their babies into champions: Henri Oreiller, the Goitschel sisters, and, of course, Jean-Claude Killy. Their Olympic golds evolved from the incredibly extensive terrain in that dead-end valley. The area, almost six times the size of Vail, covers more than 25,000 acres and averages over 40’ of snow a year. This winter there’s a new eco-friendly Solaise lift complex. Back in 1938 it was the resort’s first lift. Their new gondola is a 7-minute ride with heated seats, wifi and increases capacity by 40%. The engineers literally moved the mountain, actually flattened it, built a lodge with a restaurant, picnic and children’s games areas, and great views of the ‘Face de Bellevarde’ downhill and Solaise runs. Today Val d’Isère has 84 up-to-the-minute lifts linking 135 runs totaling 190 miles of trails. The terrain and facilities are so impressive the resort hosted the’92 Olympics and ’09 World Championships. You too can test your knees on Donna Weinbrecht’s ’92 gold-giving moguls. There’s enough choice from débutant to expert that no one has to do the same run twice!
Special rates on ski passes throughout the season