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Biggest ski area without gondolas / cable cars

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Just for fun...

Up until this summer, the biggest resort (edit: ski area!) in the world without gondolas or cable cars was the Espace Diamant in the NW Alps, with 200km of slopes. However, they're finally getting a gondola for this season, at Les Saisies.

Les Sybelles in the Maurienne would be another contender... except that they too are building a new gondola, from St Sorlin d'Arves.

So where's the next biggest?


Last edited by Poster: A snowHead on Fri 6-08-21 8:32; edited 1 time in total
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Glenshee. Eh oh!
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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?
@denfinella, just to be a pedant, and technically, Espace Diamant is not a resort. Les Saisies is. /pedantry
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I'll toss out one of my home hills, Mt.Bachelor in Central Oregon. 4,300 acres/1,740 hectares. I believe 5th largest in USA. 8 high speed chairs and 2 slow ones. Also the most organized/easiest to navigate.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Would Perisher in Australia be a contender? 47 lifts in total including an 8 seat express chairlift, but no gondolas or cable cars.
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 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
@Scooter in Seattle, must say, I'd quite like to visit.

the question was "in the world" @haggishunter, so presumably wink
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
The whole South Island Nz Happy

North island only recently got one.
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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!
hang11 wrote:
The whole South Island Nz Happy

North island only recently got one.


Christchurch? Wanaka? - ok they are not in ski areas but they are gondolas
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 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
hang11 wrote:
The whole South Island Nz Happy

North island only recently got one.


I was wondering whether to say the Southern Alps Very Happy
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Ski the Net with snowHeads
under a new name wrote:
@denfinella, just to be a pedant, and technically, Espace Diamant is not a resort. Les Saisies is. /pedantry


Whoops. It was correct in the title, just not in the text below!
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Scooter in Seattle wrote:
I'll toss out one of my home hills, Mt.Bachelor in Central Oregon. 4,300 acres/1,740 hectares. I believe 5th largest in USA. 8 high speed chairs and 2 slow ones. Also the most organized/easiest to navigate.


Toofy Grin Toofy Grin

Ty Pow Mtn - 8,400 acres 5 slow, 1 highspeed, 1 drag and a couple of surface tows - oh and a shuttle bus 'lift' too Madeye-Smiley
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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.
With a bit of planning, much of Serre Chevalier can be skied without using a gondola/cable car. Easiest when based in Chantemerle or Monetier.
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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
There's a difference between "has no gondolas / cables cars" and "can get around without using them", I've been looking into this as part of my idea of planning a covid safe trip - avoiding being in tightly packed enclosed spaces with tens of other people, especially given the role that resoprts such as Ischgl played in the original spread

Anyway, Ste Foy has no enclosed lifts but it's tiny.

Montgenevre has a Chondola, but you can get the chair on that one. I'm not sure about the Italian side of the Milky Way

Espace Diamant was on the list, but as above is getting an "upgrade": Les Sybelles likewise.

The only other option I found in France / Andorra was Soldeu but thinking about it I KNOW that's not right, they had a Gondola when I last went almst 20 years ago - perhaps I had them down as it's possible to get to the same location using a chair?
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
The Les Saisies gondola is off the back of Mont Bisanne and will only serve 2 "dead-end" runs which probably account for only a few percent of LS users.

Vars/Risoul only has one gondola in 185km and that's a Telemix
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Val Cenis can be used without gondola.

There's one going up from the area between Llansvillard and Lanselbourg direct from that localised accommodation, but you can just ski along to Lanselbourg from there and take the 6 pax chair instead.

Also another (specific to an accommodation area) short one from the far end of Llansvillard to just lift those staying there into main lift served area.

Other than those the whole area is just chair and a couple of drag over in Termignon section, again accessible by chair. Plus on the pass is Bonneval Sur Arc which has no gondola too.

Quite extensive skiing with no cabins in total.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Also, all of Les Arcs 1600 & 1800 can by used without cabin.

There's really only one, Transarc Express and that can be worked round entirely, even over to 2000. Then much of that bowl too apart from top lift cable car area.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
nbt wrote:
...Montgenevre has a Chondola, but you can get the chair on that one. I'm not sure about the Italian side of the Milky Way...


I think there's only the the cabins out of Sestriere over to Sauze and across the valley bottom between SanSicario/Claviere. Last time I was there both were pretty quiet and we had the cabins to ourselves (particularly the later). It was a few years ago though.
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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?
Sure, many, many ski area can be fully or largely accessed without using a gondola, but I was really just wondering what was the biggest remaining ski area without any gondolas / chondolas / cables cars at all. Not for Covid-19 reasons or anything in particular.

Espace Diamant had 195km; Les Sybelles had 163km - neither now qualify.

Anyway, I've done some research, and the results are in:

If chondolas (horrible name - telemix is much nicer!) we're permitted then I think Risoul / Vars (139km) would be the biggest.

Excluding telemix lifts, the largest is indeed Mount Bachelor, with an estimated 135km. But this figure is problematic, because the measurer must have used an estimate for the black bowls.

Excluding telemix lifts AND North America, the best I can come up with are:

1. Formigal, Spain, 118km
2. Obersaxen, Switzerland, 105km

(Figures are the ones measured by the piste length specialist Christophe Schrahe, rather than the usually inaccurate figures claimed by the individual ski areas.)
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