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What's new in Avoriaz winter 2019/20

New lifts, ski touring pistes, bars and much more

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| George Treble, Avoriaz Reporter | Published
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Well into the season of beautiful autumn colours in the mountains, we're already experiencing the increasingly regular waves of excitement as we realise the season of snow sliding is almost upon us.

The first snow has already fallen in Avoriaz and, within weeks, we'll all be accelerating headlong into the upcoming chapter – the 2019/2020 winter season. And we’ve already decided it’s going to be a particularly good one!

Thousands of vibrant humans are set to participate in five months of good-time antics based around the beauty of the mountains and the art of snowsports. Soon, the meteorological magic will commence layering bazillions of snowflakes all over the horizontals, verticals and diagonals of the mountain playground, preparing a winter wonderland for us all to slide around on. The scene is prepped for all, from memorable family holidays to outrageous student festivals and everything in between – it’s time to talk about winter!

Two new lifts

This year, Serma, the Avoriaz lift company, has brought in two new lifts to strengthen the link between Les Lindarets and Switzerland. The old three-seat Léchère chairlift has been replaced with a new six-seat lift which can operate at 2600 people per hour. From the top of the lift, there will be another brand new six-seat lift named TSD Cases – working at an uplift of up to 2700 per hour. The top of the lift sits on the ridge which acts as the border between France and Switzerland – lucky skiers and snowboarders will have a choice to drop south, into the sunny Swiss slopes, or north, on the new red run back into France. Previously, the Mossettes chairlift was the go-to option to get from this area into Switzerland but, due to its exposure to the wind, it was not uncommon for it to close on bad weather days. 

These lifts will be well received by skiers of all levels. Intermediate and advanced riders will have a far quicker and more regular route between the magical forests of Les Lindarets and the sunny and scenic slopes of the Swiss side of Les Portes du Soleil towards Champéry and Les Crosets. Beginners will also get much quicker and easier access to the long and gentle green La Lécherette run, which will be perfect for those improving their snow plough and beginning to link turns on skis.

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New ski touring pistes

Avoriaz has also developed a new ski touring piste from the base of the Prodains lift all the way up to the top of the Arare, with an option to start in town and join for the upper half of the trail. The blue runs between Prodains and Avoriaz would often have ski tourers ascending up the sides of the slopes but this new trail should offer them safety, peace and quiet away from the downhill traffic. The touring piste has an ascent-only lane and is a fantastic option for those wishing to get involved in the awesome activities of ski touring and split boarding.  Elsewhere, the resort has prepared two more ski touring pistes with either a 2km or 6km option, depending on how much of that fresh mountain air you want to breathe in.

Not only is ski touring an excellent option to improve fitness but it also opens the door to explore the mountains away from the sometimes theme-park-like nature of the ski resorts, with far greater chances of finding untouched snow in untouched environments. The Avoriaz Alpine Ski School offers introductory lessons to ski touring for those looking to get involved.

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New bowling & gaming bar

This year, we are also looking forward to Le Strike Roc, a new bowling and gaming bar in central Avoriaz. Next door to last season’s addition,  the Lounge Roc which is a hot spot for cocktails and tapas, the Strike Roc bar presents a newly renovated space with a stylish bar, four bowling lanes (two of them with graphic projections), pool tables, pinball, air hockey and table football. It will also be screening major sports fixtures on their multiple screens as well as some exciting Virtual Reality games – yes, the future is already here! Opening from mid-afternoon until late throughout the winter season, this new sports bar is set to be an awful lot of fun for those looking to pack even more variety into their winter holiday. If last year at the Lounge Roc is anything to go by, expect regular karaoke sessions too.

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New live music

Not completely new but this year’s Snowboxx lineup is something to behold, with DJs such as Annie Mac, Andy C and the High Contrast Band knocking the socks off thousands of fancy dress clad party hunters. On March 21st to 28th 2020, the impressive open-air arena on the Avoriaz Plateau stages the headline acts before the party heads into the bars and clubs to welcome in the early hours of the morning. Factor in the legendary après parties and the day time skiing and snowboarding, this really is round-the-clock antics for those with the energy for it. Don’t expect to return home with your candle because you’ll have been burning it from all angles on this winter holiday experience to rule them all.

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New food & drink

Huski revolutionised self-catering four winters ago when they launched their meal delivery service. Since then, for a fraction of the price of a catered holiday, you can enjoy delicious breakfast, lunch, three-course dinners, canapes, fine wines and even cheese boards at your apartment or chalet completely hassle-free. Huski delivers everything to your door and the only thing you need to do is pop your food in the oven to heat it up. This year, they’re offering a new, locally made, Savoyard-inspired range of meals called “Gourmet 73” cooked daily by chef Nick Casey at their headquarters in Bourg Saint Maurice. Think creamy tartiflette and moreish Beef Mondeuse! Also new this season is their very own beer, the Huski Mountain Pilsner created in collaboration with the Brasserie du Petit St Bernard.

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New ski hire options

Worried about slipping on those icy pavements when walking to the slopes? Fear not, Intersport is now offering GripWalk across their whole rental range. These innovative boot soles offer a non-slip surface as well as a more natural profile for walking (or dancing at La Folie Douce!), and they can be combined with GripWalk bindings for perfect performance on the slopes.

One of the most widely spread ski hire franchises in the Alps, Skiset, have just launched their Netski app, a fast and easy way to rent your skis or snowboard this season. Choose between two packages – the Netski.comfort for the best prices or the Netski.plus for the latest gear (Netski.kids and Netski.teens bundles also available) – and confirm your booking in only two clicks. You’ll get a QR code to collect your equipment at your local shop. For a small fee, Netski clients can also benefit from priority assistance in shops, ski lockers with boot dryers and direct delivery to your accommodation.

Also available in Avoriaz’s Skiset shops this winter is Scanfeet, a state-of-the-art foot scan that takes a full 3D image of the skier’s feet in under 20 seconds and then pulls up the best-suited boots available in store. Enjoy rental boots that fit like a glove in record time! Even better, scans are shared among Skiset shops so you won’t need to scan your feet again if you rent your equipment with them.

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New ways to pamper your body

Mobile Alpine massage company Massage Me is offering two brand new therapies this winter. First of all is their 100% bespoke MY Massage service where you’ll be able to select every single step of your wellbeing journey, from the massage style and pressure preference (including Swedish, sports, holistic and even a combination of all of them), to the part of your body that needs more attention, the massage oil and even the music. This winter, they’re also adding Physiotherapy, Pilates and Yoga to their mobile services menu in partnership with Alpine Therapies. Not only that, but they’ve embarked on a green journey to be more eco-friendly, from reducing single plastic use and carbon emissions to assessing the materials they use. So it’s not only your muscles that will feel much better by booking a massage with Massage Me but also the environment.

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New luxury hotel

Opening its doors on December 14th, the four-star MiL8 is Avoriaz's second hotel in its 50 years of history. Named after the altitude of the iconic resort, MiL8 will offer 42 spacious rooms and suites with bespoke decor and furnishings in a contemporary mountain style. Its gourmet restaurant will be open to non-guests and offer direct access to the slopes, serving Alpine cuisine with locally sourced produce, while the bar will feature an extensive list of hot drinks and innovative cocktails, as well as creative tapas to share. With a family-friendly attitude at heart, children will have a dedicated play area boasting a mini climbing wall while the adults unwind at the extensive wellness area with an infinity pool overlooking the surrounding peaks. The ultimate luxury in Avoriaz!

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New properties for sale

Alpine Property is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. Based in neighbouring Morzine, this 100% online real estate agency is at the forefront of technology. Their 14 agents now cover all the ski areas in the Haute Savoie including, of course, Avoriaz. Here they currently have some stunning properties for sale like this modern 40m2, two-bedroom apartment with ski-in/ski-out access and panoramic views of the Morzine valley. 

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More inspiration...

So, there we have a handful of improvements set to make life even better in and around the vibrant little town that is Avoriaz. Nestled in the heart of Les Portes du Soleil, this area can become an absolute paradise when the weather systems align – something we'll all be paying an increasing amount of attention to over the coming weeks. See you soon!

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