At 04:59 PM 10/24/03 -0400, Jerm wrote:

>What did the terrain on the Champagny side of La Plagne look like? There
>are hardly any pistes going down to the valley but the picture makes the
>terrain under and around the gondola look pretty enticing. of course it's
>lower elevation and faces south so that could explain it. There's a good
>chunk of vertical there. If the ski map has any bit of truth to it, it
>looks like there must be some good off-piste from the Bellecote  area down
>to  the village of Champagny Le Haut and the road back to the lift...

The Champigny gondola is a massive lift. It's a Poma-built 8 passenger that
uses the same cabin that Stratton does for its allegedly 12 passenger lift,
the same as the main gondola out of Whistler Village up to Whistler.  Dunno
about 5K of verts, but it's easily 3K.  The terrain underneath is steep and
forested, and yes, the tree skiing would be terrific under good snow
conditions.  I was in this area in mid-March and there most certainly
wasn't enough snow to ski the trees.

I don't know what it looks like now, by the way.  That whole area was
pretty badly scorched by the forest fires over the summer.  My buddy
Patrick Thorne reported that the village and the gondola were spared, but
there was apparently a fair amount of damage to the forest surrounding both.

>"The valley such a lift would traverse, by the way, rarely sees
>snow.  Elevation too low at the bottom to hold it long.  If they were to do
>something like this the logical lift would be a jigback tram - but the span
>between towers would be huge, and the height would be staggering. Given
>the span, I think wind would probably be an issue, too."
>Pretty much the design criteria for the Arc-Plagne lift (it's like a mile
>and a half across with no lift towers). But you're right, the
>Champagny-Courcheval shot is not as straight. I think Champagny is
>actually in a side valley off the main one. Who needs a ski area that big

The distance between is bigger, too.  The Arc-Plagne lift is comparatively
short.  YOu'd be looking at a much bigger spanwith a Courchevel-Champigny lift.

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