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Les Deux Alpes 2020/2021 (inc useful info)

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
A bit dull today and I need a rest after 2 days trecking up. Sunshine due to return tomorrow/Monday. A reasonable amount of snow due the 2nd half of the week.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Not jealous at all. Great pics as always.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Perhaps they know more than they are letting on... Puzzled Or have a 'hotline' to Monsier Macron?

Great photos in any event, thanks for sharing your mountain
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A fairly short trip on the touring skis. Didn't choose my route very well tbh. Looking over town, can see the clouds below at the Venosc end, in fact they were below at the Mont de Lans end too.

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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
I remember that view well and going down through the cloud to Venosc , I stayed down there one year and was hoping to go again this year ...maybe March ... snowHead
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As the weather is due to change I skinned up Vallée Blanche again. Did it all off piste though rather than cheating on hiking paths, etc. Starting to get icy and crusty in places. Good exercise though, 9km and 500m of vertical.



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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
As the weather was due to change this afternoon I thought I'd make the most of the sunshine this morning. Decided on snowshoes today. 10km and 500m of elevation so a good workout. On Vallée Blanche then down below towards La Moliére before heading back up.



This guy was trying to get up quicker, wasn't working well.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Snowshoeing again yesterday afternoon. Really good workout in deep snow. Similar route to Tuesday.



We've had a huge dump overnight and it's still falling. However they've stopped pisting and controls here. Mairie have sent out warnings and pisteurs are issuing informal reports, they're mostly not working. Avi L4 too. I'll do something tomorrow when the forecast is better.

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Beautiful cold sunny day so I got on the touring skis. Skinned up to Crêtes. In fact the blue piste down to town had been pisted. On the up I did half on that and half on deepish chopped up stuff. About 600m of vertical. It was a lot quicker coming down.

Crêtes


On the way up
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Ski the Net with snowHeads
Snowshoes today, wished I'd have gone on skis, lots of lovely snow, alone though so being very cautious.



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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
@Claude B, Where are you looking towards in that first photo ?
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@skitow, Your place snowHead If you blow it up you can see the lifts. Better still in this.

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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
@Claude B, Ah yes, can see Pic Blanc. Sarenne must be in perfect condition, what a waste Sad
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
I snowshoed with a couple of mates yesterday. 12km and 550m of vertical. We didn't take the easy routes either. One is 20 years younger than me, the other 30. But they couldn't keep up with me although tbf they both had snowboards strapped to their rucksacks, I walked down too. Beautiful snow and quite a lot of people heading up. Will do something tomorrow, looks like we'll be in lockdown by the weekend.

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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
More snowshoeing today. You actually see more of the mountain tbh. But I bumped into loads of friends. One had just skinned up Vallée Blanche for the 2nd time and was planning a third. An instructor friend had a client and I saw several led snowshoe groups too. It was suggested I'd taken the deckchair up. Quite how it hasn't blown away I've no idea. Beautiful sunshine but about -9°C when I set out.



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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Looks fantastic!
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
I know it's unlikely anyone will be here but plans for February holidays have been published. Fairly similar to Christmas/New Year with touring routes, a piste down, cross country track, hiking/snowshoeing tracks, kids activities, etc. Obviously predicated on not being confined.

A few people around and there is loads of snow. Avi level has been high with lots of blasting going on. Went for a really big snowshoe yesterday.



But came across this too, way of piste though.


Woke up to this earlier this morning. Due to continue all day.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@Claude B, Came across this piece in https://www.skieur.com/actu-alpe-huez-les-2-alpes-union-fait-force

Google translated!

Alpe d'Huez / Les 2 Alpes: unity is strength!
Since December 1, 2020, Sata (Société d'Aménagement Touristique de l'Alpe d'Huez) has been the new manager of the 2 Alpes ski area. It succeeds the Compagnie des Alpes (CDA), whose public service delegation (DSP) initially ran until 2023. It should be remembered that since June 2017 it has also been the operator of the Meije cable cars.

“We had to relaunch the rehabilitation, renovation and development of the ski area, which required heavy investments, which would have been difficult to achieve in the last years of the initial DSP. This is why it was denounced in advance by the previous municipal team, and a call for tenders was launched for a new DSP ” , explains Christophe Aubert, the new mayor of 2 Alpes. Two operators applied: CDA and SATA. The latter won the bet,“Because its offer was more rewarding, both in terms of the development of the ski area and the ski lifts as well as in the activities offered, in particular for mountain biking, which we must rethink. La Sata offers the best prospects for moving Les 2 Alpes from a ski resort to a true all-season mountain destination, ” explains Christophe Aubert.

At the end of the day, 290 million euros of investments for the modernization of ski lifts, the maintenance of the slopes, the securing of the ski area or even new all-season activities such as a zip line or a toboggan on rails, redevelopment mountain biking, etc. One of the flagship projects is the replacement of the Jandri Express, which connects the station (1600 m) to the glacier (3200 m), via an intermediate stop at La Toura (2600 m).“We should initially have started work in 2021, but there will be delays due to the health crisis. We will already take care of all the administrative part from December 2020, and we hope to have this new device for 2023 (instead of 2022 initially planned). We would move towards a 3S type cable car (triple cable, with increased resistance to the wind, as it exists today in particular in Val d'Isère and Avoriaz, note), which would have a journey time of around 17 minutes, which is almost half as much as it is now. But we are still studying the best route, ” explains Fabrice Boutet, general manager of Sata.



Go from "generalists" to "multi-specialists"
Changes at the head of the two entities concerned - Fabrice Boutet took up his post at Sata on April 4, 2020, while the signing of the DSP was not yet finalized, which was the case at the beginning of June, after the 2nd municipal round, with the election of Christophe Aubert as the new mayor of Les 2 Alpes - had no consequences for the future of Les 2 Alpes. "The new municipal team has largely taken over the projects imagined by our predecessors, such as the hill reservoir at the level of Lake Mura, a project that should be spread over two and a half years", says the new mayor. The revitalization of the area of ​​Pied-Moutet (the opposite slope to that of Jandri), the creation of a medical center (with mountain doctors, dentists, nurses, child-psychologists and specialists linked to childhood, psychologist, etc.), that of a Children's House (a sort of sports "super-nursery" for children but also pre-teens), or even urban development work (creation of large car parks with lockers and changing rooms at the entrance to the station, so as to allow pedestrianization - in stages - of avenue de la Muzelle, that is to say the main road that crosses the station) are also part of the priority projects of the new municipality, even if all do not fall within the competence of the Sata and do not all directly concern skiers.

Before starting major projects in the ski area, it is already necessary to establish a common corporate culture, “in order to make concrete what is written in the DSP. We must also work on a common strategic vision, with a Sata Groupe management committee, and no longer Sata (alone), continues Fabrice Boutet. It is an integration of the 2 Alps into the Sata, and not an absorption, because we want to keep the identity of each site, play on our differences in order to become a unique mountain area in the world, so that everyone can find what they are looking for. It is not necessarily a question of becoming the largest domain, but rather of responding to the aspirations of our various clienteles. In other words, go from generalists to multi-specialists.

A link for everyone, not just skiers
This change of operator - "Sata is the second largest in France, behind CDA",reminds Christophe Aubert - also inevitably raises the question of the link with Alpe d'Huez. This one is necessarily relaunched, even if this project will be carried by the community of communes of Oisans (it did not appear in the call for tenders of the DSP won by Sata). “While at the start, it was more a peak to peak project - from Auris-en-Oisans to the Crêtes des 2 Alpes - which was mentioned, we are now moving towards a link from station to station, of the Shepherds ( Alpe d'Huez side) at the town hall of Les 2 Alpes, ”explains the new general manager of Sata. Even if no timetable has yet been formally established (this should be the case in spring 2021), Fabrice Boutet mentions a deadline of "three to five years", with here also a priori a 3 S type cable car and a journey included between 17 and 20 minutes.“We have taken steps to ensure that the use of this cable transport - we will choose the device most suited to the route - corresponds to urban type transport (rather than a simple ski lift for skiers). This will make it possible to go from Vaujany to Les 2 Alpes, whether by ski, mountain bike or in pedestrian mode with carbon-free cable transport , ” says Christophe Aubert.

Complementarity rather than rivalry
If it may be surprising from the outside, this integration of 2 Alpes into “Sata Groupe” is natural in the eyes of the main stakeholders. “There is no rivalry between the two stations. That Sata becomes the operator of Les 2 Alpes does not take away our identity. The fact that it is a locally anchored operator, demonstrating great expertise, makes it possible to be agile, social and responsible, with faster decisions, ”notes the mayor of Les 2 Alpes. This local anchoring is also highlighted by Fabrice Boutet: “We are not there only to create a dividend. All money earned will be reinvested. We are not a parachuted company here. We really want to develop this area of ​​Oisans, with local people. And with an equal call for tenders, we will always favor the local actor. "

The experience of La Grave, which Sata has taken over since June 2017, tends to prove that the arrival of the historic operator of Alpe d'Huez at the head of the cable cars is not synonymous with a distortion of the site and the spirit of the Vallons de la Meije. Thus, on the third section project - which will replace the current ski lift, normally from next winter - it was decided to opt for "a fairly minimalist cable car, with two cabins of 35 places, or a flow of 400 people per hour ”, explains David Le Guen, sales and communication manager at the Société d'Aménagement Touristique de la Grave (SATG, a subsidiary of Sata). Why such a low flow?“We are already adapting to the capacities of the first two sections, each cabin train being able to carry a maximum of 30 skiers. Second, we don't want to become a big lambda ski resort. With 900 skiers per day on the heaviest days of winter, we are at the limit of our capacity. We have no ambition to receive even more skiers on these days. We would rather attract skiers to the slower periods, such as January, when we have barely 100 skiers per day on average. "We also want to be reassuring on the side of Alpe d'Huez: “When I see the number of socio-pros who have shops, restaurants, or work as ski instructors in the two resorts, I can assure you that the competition between Alpe d'Huez and Les 2 Alpes was shallow. It was more of a pleasant room than a real rivalry, ”confirms Fabrice Boutet. In short, the marriage of the two mastodons of Oisans starts off on excellent bases!
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@Alpinebear, thanks for that, interesting read. I believe the view of those people I know in LDA is that the lift infrastructure operation moving from CDA to SATA is a positive step.
Possibly something lost in the Google translation, but what does "Second, we don't want to become a big lambda ski resort" mean? Puzzled

Edit: I see the phrase "station de ski lambda" is also used in the French original . Puzzled
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@Alpinebear, Thanks, the timing of them taking over couldn't have been worse for them Crying or Very sad I think I'll believe there us going to be a link once they actually start work on it. It seems to be resurrected every 2 years with the target slipped 2 years too, we'll see. Hopefully the link to La Grave will be back next winter.


Last edited by Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do. on Sun 7-02-21 9:49; edited 1 time in total
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We had our share of Saharan sand yesterday as did most of the alps. Weird light all day. Snowing this morning so it should be covered up. I didn't go out much yesterday but there seemed to be several people arriving for the start if the holidays.

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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Alastair Pink wrote:
@Alpinebear, thanks for that, interesting read. I believe the view of those people I know in LDA is that the lift infrastructure operation moving from CDA to SATA is a positive step.
Possibly something lost in the Google translation, but what does "Second, we don't want to become a big lambda ski resort" mean? Puzzled

Edit: I see the phrase "station de ski lambda" is also used in the French original . Puzzled


It means average, ordinary, unremarkable
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Could also be O2 Very Happy
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Claud B -thanks for all your posts it’s a difficult year not being able to come down there .
On the subject of a jandri replacement ,400 people an hour doesn’t sound like much . Do you know how many the current jandri does?
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Honeybadgerversion2 wrote:
Claud B -thanks for all your posts it’s a difficult year not being able to come down there .
On the subject of a jandri replacement ,400 people an hour doesn’t sound like much . Do you know how many the current jandri does?


I read as being to do with a third lift section for La Grave. I'm sure Claude B will confirm or refute this shortly
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Yes @stevew, is correct. No need or desire for a huge capacity lift there.

@Honeybadgerversion2, it's still tough being here Laughing A few regulars managed to get here just before things closed down after Christmas. A couple because they want to make it a permanent move.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
KenX wrote:
Could also be O2 Very Happy


Laughing , yep, lambda measurement on car exhaust control sensors.

Still mystified as to how the French manage to make lambda mean "average, ordinary, unremarkable" as per @Claude B's explanation....
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So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Because lambda Λ/λ is the 11th letter of the greek alphabet it is not important, nothing distinguished. A 16th century slang term from posh french schools of the time.

https://www.dictionnaire-academie.fr/article/A9L0163
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@Claude B, blimey. I had no clue, despite having studied both French and Ancient Greek. Thank you.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Hurtle wrote:
@Claude B, blimey. I had no clue, despite having studied both French and Ancient Greek. Thank you.


It wasn't something I knew Shocked Thought it was worthwhile researching Very Happy
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hurtle wrote:
@Claude B, blimey. I had no clue, despite having studied both French and Ancient Greek. Thank you.


Indeed, there are some unusual nuggets of knowledge amongst the sHs collective. Madeye-Smiley
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
The 290,000,000€ - that is over what timespan?

That's a huge amount of money for a mid size resort with some brilliant upsides but a lot of major downsides as well.


Last edited by Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person on Sun 7-02-21 23:16; edited 1 time in total
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Tristero wrote:
The 290,000,000,000€ - that is over what timespan?

That's a huge amount of money for a mid size resort with some brilliant upsides but a lot of major downsides as well.


That is a huge amount of money, but you've overstated the amount by a factor of a thousand, SATA are (only) spending €290 million, not €290 billion! Wink


Last edited by Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see? on Sun 7-02-21 23:22; edited 1 time in total
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Alastair Pink wrote:
Tristero wrote:
The 290,000,000,000€ - that is over what timespan?

That's a huge amount of money for a mid size resort with some brilliant upsides but a lot of major downsides as well.


That is a huge amount of money, but you've overstated the amount by a factor of a thousand, SAT are (only) spending €290 million, not €290 billion! Wink


Good point! Corrected.

But still. How do you draw a return of an investment of €290 million in L2A? That is very hard to see. For me at least.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
I think for SATA it is a great opportunity, running 3 very different but complementary areas nearby. Alpe d'huez, Les Deux Alpes and La Grave. A link gives the possibility of getting to ski in La Grave from Vaujany just by taking ski lifts or skiing on the more snow sure slopes here in April when Alpe d'huez can suffer. From here a day in Alpe d'huez gives a very different experience with a greater sense of travel plus the Sarenne, etc. A lot of obstacles to overcome to make that a reality though.

I'm sure they've done the maths. Compagnie des Alpes had really fallen out of favour here, with a perceived lack of investment, bad choices, lack of customer service, etc. So much so that the contract was torn up early.
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Anyway it's a great morning here after days of snow, sand, etc. A more normal red sky looking up at the non turning lifts earlier.

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Great photo!
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
There are more people around but not that many. I've neighbours this week which keeps my place warmer Laughing Fair bit of snow last night, today has been better than forecast but cloud swirling about. Forecast is better for the rest of the week so I'll get out although I did manage 14km/600m climbing on the snowshoes Monday.

Just now, Tête de Lauranoure briefly emerges through the clouds.
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Beautiful day, snowshoeing again. Quite a lot of people around on the lower, easier routes. A couple of restos are doing a good trade in takeaway stuff. Quieter higher and out of the way. Quite a few people skinning up too.

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Claude B wrote:
I think for SATA it is a great opportunity, running 3 very different but complementary areas nearby. Alpe d'huez, Les Deux Alpes and La Grave. A link gives the possibility of getting to ski in La Grave from Vaujany just by taking ski lifts or skiing on the more snow sure slopes here in April when Alpe d'huez can suffer. From here a day in Alpe d'huez gives a very different experience with a greater sense of travel plus the Sarenne, etc. A lot of obstacles to overcome to make that a reality though.

I'm sure they've done the maths. Compagnie des Alpes had really fallen out of favour here, with a perceived lack of investment, bad choices, lack of customer service, etc. So much so that the contract was torn up early.


What about the "bad choices"? As far as I understand it, it's still the municipalites which make all the major calls? Imho Grosse Pierre was a mistake as it banalises the Clot de Chalence. But I can't imagine that the CdA decided that on it's own?

For SATA it's great, that's for sure. Especially if they don't plan to live up to their promise to build the connection in the foreseeable future. That's actually what I think will happen. The connection costs tons of money and adds little value. One of the main problems is that L2A is already too expensive.
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