What’s New in les Portes du Soleil this Winter?

Portes du soleil Sascha Bittel
Image: Sascha Bittel

We love les Portes du Soleil. Being part of this massive ski area is what makes our little corner of the Alps so special; you can ski between two countries, ski for a whole day without skiing the same run twice and get in plenty of kilometres under your skis. It’s great! There’s lots of exciting stuff going on in the PDS this winter, read on to find out!


Rock the Pistes Avoriaz

Last year’s Rock the Pistes – what a crowd! Photo: Matheiu Vitré

Rock the Pistes 8th Edition

Since its conception in 2011, Rock the Pistes has marked the official start to springtime in the Portes du Soleil. Since then we’ve enjoyed Klaxons, Babyshambles, Rag’N Bone Man, Lee Scratch Perry, Two Door Cinema Club and many more great French and international acts on pop-up piste-side stages across the ski area. All events take place during the day and are free to attend – all you need is your lift pass!

This winter Rock the Pistes takes place between 18th and 24th March and although the line-up hasn’t been completely confirmed, we have heard rumours of the headline acts and they’re enormous! Keep your eyes on the Source website for line-up announcements very soon.

Chatel Snowmaking Factory

Chatel’s brand new snowmaking facility is going to be a lifesaver towards the end of the winter.

France’s first Snowfactory in Châtel

Italian company TechnoAlpin is revolutionising the way ski resorts manufacture snow and Châtel is leading the charge. Those traditional snow cannons that you’ll spot across the Portes du Soleil require the air temperature to be -2°C or lower to produce artificial snow. Whilst temperatures are usually cold enough mid-season, things get tricky at the beginning and end of each winter. TechnoAlpin’s Snowfactory can make snow regardless of air temperature, operating at up to 32°C.

Snowfactory produces snow inside a temperature-regulated sea container, which has been modified to include refrigerated cylinders. Despite the eye-watering costs involved (around €390,000 per container versus around €30,000 for a traditional snow cannon) Snowfactory uses less water and there’s no complicated building work required during installation. The snowmaking system is delivered ready for operation and can produce snow around the clock.

Look out for Snowfactory as you ski into Châtel this winter!

Portes du soleil

Thanks to Portes du Soleil Suisse we can keep on doing the PDS circuit! Image: Mathieu Vitré

Interconnectivity is Saved!

Nowhere else on earth will you find 12 different ski resorts connected to offer skiers and snowboarders one enormous playground of pistes to explore. Yet the very essence of Les Portes du Soleil came into question last summer, when the Foilleuse lift in Morgins was deemed unsafe to operate. The local lift operating company didn’t have the funds to repair or replace the lift; consequently it didn’t open for the summer season. An entirely new lift operating company named Portes du Soleil Suisse has now formed to solve the problem and construction of a new Foilleuse lift has taken place ahead of this winter season. Foilleuse is a key lift as it forms a vital link between Chatel on the French side of Les Portes du Soleil and Champoussin on the Swiss side, making ‘Le Tour’ possible. Portes du Soleil Suisse have promised the coordinated development of investments and the concerted exploration of the ski areas in years to come.


Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

To Top