Smoother, Wider, Steeper

The whole Fornet secteur has undergone a facelift – not the actual lifts or pistes but the lift signs and the new-look cable-car station itself.

The tricky boulder-strewn bottleneck on the Table d’Orientation piste at the top of the Laisinant Express chairlift has had some of the nastier bits smoothed off, which should make it less treacherous though no less steep.

Speaking of steep, the Joseray piste on the Face de Bellevarde has also been widened in its mid-section, mostly for the safety of downhill racers, but also for the appreciation of everyday skiers. It gives an extra choice of routes down the Face, having opened up a swooping new corridor past the bottom of the Loyes Express chair and on down the Face.

Until recently, the plan was to take away the Loyes Express, the upper rapid detachable on the Face. This would have meant that you couldn’t just ski the upper half of the Face (which is the nicer half, especially at the beginning and end of the season). More annoyingly, it would have made the Olympique mega-bubble the only way up Bellevarde from the village centre, which would have been a shame in high season.

Knowing that YSE brings a lot of regular customers to Val d’Isère, various locals said that we should try to influence the lift company to leave the Loyes Express in place. So we told everyone who would listen (the mayor, the head of the STVI, the head of the tourist office, the priest etc), and quite a few people who wouldn’t, that this lift was essential to our continued existence! We don’t know whether anyone took any notice, but the Loyes Express is still there.. though probably only for one more winter.