A-Z of Skiing: L IS FOR LINKED AREAS

BRITISH SKIERS have quite simple tastes. They like huge, linked ski areas - the bigger the better. But the slopes are no use without snow, so size isn't everything: the ski areas must be high, too.

There's nothing surprising about this. Since we don't have the Continentals' luxury of popping up to the local slopes when there's a big snowfall, we want the guarantee of being able to cover as much ground as possible on a trip abroad.

It's no surprise, then, that the most popular Alpine destinations for British skiers are L'Espace Killy - linking Val-d'Isere with Tignes, it provides 300km of pistes and a vast amount of off-piste skiing in an area which climbs from 1,550m to 3,500m - and the Trois Vallees, whose 600km of snow-sure pistes are linked to the resorts of Courchevel, St Martin- de-Belleville, Les Menuires, Meribel, La Tania and Val Thorens.

Across the Atlantic it's the same story: the big attraction for Britons is Canada's Whistler/Blackcomb, with the highest piste-mileage of any ski area in North America and a great snow record.

With more reliable snow cover and better connections (lifts and pistes) the Italian/French Milky Way (400km of pistes), and particularly the French/Swiss Portes du Soleil (650km,) could rank with the most popular linked ski areas.

But the conjunction of two high-altitude French resorts for the 2001/2 season is guaranteed to create a major draw for high-mileage British skiers.

Les Arcs and La Plagne (with, respectively, 200km and 210km of pistes) have won permission to build a cable car between Vallandry and Montchavin; and with the extra runs associated with the cable car, the linked ski area will easily be the third biggest in France - and the world.

What will the new ski area be called? That is now the subject of what promises to be a long discussion between the two resorts. Send any suggestions on a postcard to me, Stephen Wood, Travel Desk, The Independent, Canary Wharf, London, E14 5DL - and I'll pass them on.

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Spanish Speaking

    £17000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - German Speaking

    £17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Japanese Speaking

    £17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: If you are fluent in Japanese a...

    Recruitment Genius: Graphic Designer - Immediate Start

    £16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

    Day In a Page

    Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

    Is this the future of flying?

    Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
    Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

    Isis are barbarians

    but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
    The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

    Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

    Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
    Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

    'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

    Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
    Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

    Call of the wild

    How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
    Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

    'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

    If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
    The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

    The science of swearing

    What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

    Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
    Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

    Africa on the menu

    Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
    Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

    Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

    The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
    10 best statement lightbulbs

    10 best statement lightbulbs

    Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
    Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

    Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

    Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
    Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

    Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

    It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
    Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

    Dustin Brown

    Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
    Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

    Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

    Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test