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What's New for the 2016/17 Ski Season?

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The first snow has fallen across the Alps, which means winter is on its way. And we don’t know about you, but we’re pretty excited about it!

So, what can we look forward to on our school ski trips this season, we hear you say? Well, there’s been a fair bit of investment across the mountains, both here in Europe and in the North American ski resorts, so you can look forward to even better skiing experiences!

Here’s a quick round-up of some of the biggest news for this coming season:

America

New Hampshire Skirama

Waterville Valley in New Hampshire is currently undertaking its largest expansion project in 30 years. The Green Peak expansion will provide 45 acres of extra skiing, across 10 trails. There will be suitable terrain for all levels of skiers and the extended area will be serviced by a chairlift. The project is currently schedule to open for this coming season.

With the option to ski in two resorts during the week, a school ski trip to New Hampshire is a great option for groups looking for a taste of the American skiing experience.

Austria

Saalbach

A new 10-seater gondola will replace the old one at the Schönleitenbahn lift at the end of the Jausern piste. Capacity will now be increased by over 50% which, it is hoped, should eliminate the long queues at the end of the piste. Another 10-seater gondola has been installed to connect the Zwölferkogel and the Westgipfel lifts.

Diverse skiing for all levels, great snow conditions and a 'traditional' Austrian setting make a school ski trip to Saalbach a great option for any group.

St. Anton

St. Anton is part of the Arlberg ski area, which is now Austria’s largest lift-linked area, thanks to four 10-person gondolas that have been installed. The gondolas are the result of a massive €45 million investment in the area that covers St. Anton, Stuben Zürs, Lech, Warth and Shröcken.

As well as enlarging the lift-linked area (which now has 305km of piste connected by 87 lifts), the installation of these gondolas make it easier to travel between St. Anton and Lech-Zürs (previously only possible by bus).

Choose a school ski trip to St. Anton for your chance to ski an internationally famous, high-altitude ski resort.

Stubai Glacier

One thing that used to let the Stubai Glacier down was the queues to use the Eisgrat gondola, which took skiers from the valley station to the main ski area at 2900m. However, all this should change with the opening in October of the 3S-Eisgratbahn lift. The new cabins boast free WiFi and panoramic windows.

They’ll accommodate 24 seated passengers and 8 standing, doubling the capacity to 3,000 skiers per hour. Plus, a journey that once took over 20 minutes will now take just 11.

Plus, there were cases when the previous lift was unable to be opened due to weather conditions – even though the glacier itself was skiable. It’s hoped this new gondola will minimise such unnecessary disruption.

This lovely Austrian glacier resort has a great reputation for being child-friendly, so you can relax and enjoy your school ski trip to the Stubai Glacier with your group.

Zell am See

This season, you’ll be able to use the new 10-person gondola which takes skiers up the back of the Schmittenhőhe mountain. The gondola will take you from the base of a new red run to the top of the mountain in comfort – as it benefits from heated seats and free WiFi. Next season, the route will be extended down to the village of Viehhofen.

A school ski trip to Zell am See offers a spectacular setting and plenty of après-ski activities to keep your young charges entertained!

Ziller Valley

The resort of Gerlos, part of the Zillertal Arena ski area, now has a new lift – the Dorfbahn. The base station is centrally located in the village and boasts ski storage facilities, a sports shop, and ski rental shop – there’s even a covered car park! Opening in December, the new lift will double the amount of people moved per hour to over 4,000.

If you're looking for really diverse skiing, including plenty of options for beginners, a school ski trip to the Ziller Valley really won't disappoint.

France

La Plagne

It used to be pretty slow trying to get out of Plagne Montalbert, but all that’s set to change with the installation of a new high-speed 6-seater chairlift. The ‘Envers’ lift replaces the ‘Coqs’ chairlift near Aime 2000. Designed to be more comfortable and safer to use, the lift should be able to carry around 2,400 skiers per hour.

In Plagne Bellecote a new ‘fun slope’ has been created with children and families in mind. Features include tunnels, jumps and bridges.

The Paradiski area’s app, Yuge, has also been updated for the new season with some exciting features including interactive resort maps and timetables for public transport. Plus, there’s now a desktop version too, so you can have a look around before you go!

Got a mixed-ability group? A school ski trip to La Plagne offers huge diversity for intermediates and some great options for beginners too!

Still not sure where to go for your next school ski trip? Contact our experienced team of specialists today for more advice and information, or to request a tailor-made quote.

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