As winter begins to take hold in Alpe d'Huez we take a look at all that's new in town and on the slopes.
Early signs of snowfall here in The Alps are creating much excitement for the upcoming winter season. The ski industry here is raring to go and this winter looks like being an exceptionally busy one. Alpe d'Huez ski area opens on the 3rd December and ski passes are already on sale.
Having moved on from COVID, the good news is that the ski resorts are all going to be operating normally this winter, however the thing that may be on most peoples minds is the current energy crisis. We have been following news from the ski resorts and whilst they are awaiting an update and directive from the government, the resorts, in the main, assure us that ski lifts will be running and the ski pass prices that have been published will remain in place. This current energy crisis is offering the resorts an opportunity to fast track many of their eco/environmental sustainable initiatives for example LED lighting, optimising the speed of ski lifts, the addition of GPS systems in the snow groomers for added efficiency.
Currently there are no COVID restrictions or regulations in place anywhere in France. Take a look at our COVID information page for the latest updates. (no longer being updated regularly)
A reminder that it is now mandatory from 1st November to 31st March to have winter tyres (M&S marking, or all weather (4 season) tyres), OR at least two snow chains/socks in the vehicle when driving in the mountain regions in France, following a law introduced from November 2021.
On the slopes
The “Huez Express” a new gondola lift is scheduled to open on 17th December 2022 offering direct and quick access in comfort from the village of Huez and the Vieil district arriving at Place Paganon Station. This high speed 5 minute ride will have the capacity to whizz 2400 people per hour up the mountain!
New Telemix lift
The Sures chairlift in Auris-en-Oisans is being replaced by a Telemix - this is a fast, high-performance and comfortable lift with a mix of gondolas and chairs aimed primarily at beginners to reach the lower, easier slopes - primarily the Jack le Bucheron slope.
Two new covered 200 metre long ‘magic carpets’ have been installed, one after the other giving easy access to the Rif Nel beginners learning area on 2 distinct zones.
Legendary tunnel run refurbished
This winter, the legendary Alpe d’Huez tunnel has had a total refurbishment of the lighting and a refit of the tunnel giving a whole new experience on this exhilarating run.
The theme this year for the sculptures in the high altitude art gallery situated in the ice cave at 2700m is the colours of Ancient Egypt.
Alpe d’Huez has ordered 5 hydrogen-powered piste groomers, the first will be tested in resort this winter. Following approval they will be put into production and ready to roll for winter 2023-2024. Right now the piste grooming machine operators are all being trained in eco-driving to help reduce diesel consumption and carbon emissions. The current piste groomers are equipped with GPS enabling the optimisation of grooming to prevent grooming the same area twice.
Chalets & Apartments
A new 4 and 5 star residence ideally situated in the Eclose area near the Alpe Express lift is open this winter. Managed by Odalys, this new residence has 1444 beds and parking for 560 cars!
Highlights of the winter events in Alpe d’Huez include The Mogul World Cup in December, The ski marathon, International Comedy Film Festival and Sea Mountain Trophy all in January and in March the Derby du Loup and the electronic music festival Tomorrowland. Full details of these events and more can be found in our Events Calendar.
In addition to the on-piste hydrogen power, Resalp the bus operator has ordered 3 hydrogen retro-fitted buses the first of which will arrive in the resort at the end of 2022. This is a prototype for testing and approval. The 3 new vehicles will be fully operational by the beginning of 2024.
This year's ski passes are now on sale, so if you've not started planning your trip to Alpe d'Huez, now's the time.