‘High fliers’ can head to the French Alps for fun on and off the slopes

Posted on 04 March 2014

Thrill seekers have plenty of black ski runs to choose from in the French Alps, but now they can get their kicks dangling up to 250 metres above the slopes, thanks to the opening in February of the world’s highest zip wire in Val Thorens.

Called ‘La Tyrolienne’, the 1,300-metre long zip line stands at more than 3,000 metres above the glacier in Val Thorens and connects the top of the Bouchet chairlift at Orelle (3,230 metres) to the top of the Funitel de Thorens (3,000 metres). A typical ride lasts for one minute and 45 seconds and plunges 230 metres in altitude.

Val Thorens, which is part of the Three Valleys ski area and at 2,300 metres above sea leve is the highest resort in the Alps, was voted best ski resort at the World Ski Awards in Kitzbühel last November. The resort also boasts the longest toboggan run in France, as well as ice driving and karting.

Such activities away from the slopes complement the skiing on offer at a ski resort, making it a more attractive place to own a ski property and easier place to let a property. Many activities, like the zip wire, also draw year-round tourists, not only skiers in the winter season. }

Chamonix, which like Val Thorens is in the Savoie region and is a popular place for a ski home, is regarded as the hub of summer activities in the Alps and now receives as many visitors in the summer as in the winter. Last November, the Chamonix lift management company, Compagnie du Mont Blanc (CMB) and the Chamonix council announced a 40-year investment programme worth €477million, which will see the upgrading of ski lifts and facilities in the Chamonix area.