Grandvalira Resorts has revealed the novelties that it has prepared to start the 2022-2023 ski season, a season in which, for the first time, all ski resorts in Andorra unite under the same brand. Ordino Arcalís, Pal Arinsal and Grandvalira plan to open on December 2, as long as the weather conditions allow it.
This investment has allowed improvements to the slopes, infrastructure, facilities and services of the Ski and Snowboard School and an expansion of the catering offer. In addition, the season is expected to hold, once more, great sporting, leisure and musical events. The most relevant investments have focused on sustainability, with 2.5 million euros dedicated to the self-production of renewable energy and energy-saving measures.
News on slopes and circuits
Main novelties can be found in the Pas de la Casa and Grau Roig ski areas, where the Port d'Envalira and Antenes area has been revitalized with the creation of the new Pont-Grau track, which will link the Port of Envalira area with the bordering areas. With this slope, suitable for all levels, the ski area is expanded by 14 additional hectares. In addition, the Pastora slope has been reshaped, making it more comfortable for skiers, modifying the TSD4 exit of Pas de la Casa, together with the installation of a telerope that allows access to the new area.
There have also been improvements in the beginner areas of Pas de la Casa and El Tarter to facilitate the progression of skiers who are new to the sport. Pas de la Casa will inaugurate a new ski lift, replacing the old ski lift, and improvements have been made to the layout and snow cover of the Rana slopes.
As for El Tarter, an additional bollard has been installed on the Riba Ski Lift and the starting point is now 60 meters below. In addition, the final section of the slope has been modified, seeking to reduce the slope, and the boarding of the Orilla ski lift has been expanded.
The children's circuits of Encamp, Pas de la Casa and Grau Roig have received improvements and this year, they have new attractions for the little ones to enjoy like never before. In addition, the XCROSS circuit of the Coma III area has been improved.
In this sense, the Soldeu ski area has three new Fun Cross circuits, the Oso Fun Cross Ride, the Astor Fun Cross Ride and the Lechuza Fun Cross, in addition to the Zorro Fun Cross and the Marmota Junior Fun Cross, which launched last season and had great acceptance. The Fun Cross circuits have fast curves, jumps, dubbies, tunnels and many more obstacles that guarantee fun.
As for the disciplines beyond the alpine, a new ski mountaineering circuit is inaugurated in “Cap de Rep” in Canillo and a new circuit will facilitate the ascent from Soldeu to Espiolets on snowshoes.
Improvements have been made, taking advantage of the latest technologies. In the Cubil car park, in the Grau Roig ski area, 30 new charging points for electric vehicles have been installed, in collaboration between the Catalan multinational Wallbox, a leading company in the ski area, and the resort. A control centre with drones will be installed in the Coll de la Botella, that will supervise the retraction of the slopes.
Sustainability and environment
Grandvalira is committed to the self-production of energy with the construction of a hydroelectric power station in Pessons, an infrastructure equipped with a hydraulic turbine with a peak production capacity of 300 kW/h, the equivalent of 5% of the consumption of the Pas de la Casa ski areas, Grau Roig and Encamp.
In addition, photovoltaic panels have been installed on the roofs of 8 buildings in the Grau Roig, Encamp and Soldeu ski areas, capable of generating more than 500,000 kW/year. These new infrastructures, together with the existing ones in Ordino Arcalís and Pal Arinsal, will allow around 25% of the energy consumed by the 3 Grandvalira Ski Resorts in a year to come from self-production.
Different energy-saving measures have also been implemented to reduce consumption by 15% compared to the previous season, maintaining the best service for skiers at all times. The long list of measures adopted is lead by optimizing the operation of the ski lifts to adapt it to the influx of customers, paying attention to the fluidity of the queues to maximize their occupancy.
The Grandvalira snow network, which guarantees 66% of the snow-covered domain, receives constant improvements, benefiting from the latest technologies. Through sensors installed in the snow groomers, recently changed to models with lower consumption, and a thickness control system using depth radar, crop snow production is optimized, thus avoiding waste of water and electricity, and reducing CO2 emissions.
The Soldeu and El Tarter ski areas have received the FEDA Green Light seal, certifying that 100% of the energy consumed comes from renewable energy. The fact that all the energy consumed is of renewable origin allows a reduction of its carbon footprint of around 50%.
Guaranteed emotion and adrenaline with the new activities
One of the most exciting novelties of the season is Snowtubbing by Doots, located in the Pas de la Casa ski area. With 350 meters, it becomes the longest tubing track in Europe, reaching a top speed of up to 60 km/h. The circuit consists in numerous turns and two tunnels that Ski Pass under the tracks. It also has lighting, so together with night skiing, it will expand the leisure-sports offer of the town of Pas de la Casa on winter nights.
For its part, the Soldeu ski area opens the Space Gliss area, thus revitalizing the space with new activities aimed mainly at families: the Mini-Snake Gliss, sledging and tubbing. This way, leisure options will be available to both skiers and non-skiers.
The Mon(t) Magic in Canillo will once again be an adrenaline-generating centre with its main attractions: the Magic Gliss, the slide of more than half a kilometre that descends between mountains with speeds of up to 40 km/h, and the 555-meter zip line and a drop of more than 40 m.
Après-Ski in L'Abarset
The coldest winter nights will warm up with the après-ski in L'Abarset, which returns with innovations and the energy to consolidate and surSki Pass the success of last season, in which more than 50,000 people visited the new space.
On the one hand, L'Abarset The Club will premiere, one of the great innovations that the temple of après-ski is preparing and that promises to revolutionize winter nights. On the other hand, the Velvedere Shot Bar is inaugurated, a new concept that will offer the most original shots and that will be the perfect complement to the drinks and cocktails of L'Abarset in an elegant space suitable for the occasion.
Apart from novelties, L'Abarset maintains its characteristic essence, going beyond après-ski, with a magnificent bistronomic restaurant proposal, of lunch and dinner, which make L'Abarset a mandatory stop within the Après-ski experience. Ski in Grandvalira.
First Snowrow festival in Andorra
From March 30 to April 2, Grandvalira will host the first edition of SnowRow, a music and sports festival organized jointly with "elRow", creator of electronic music macro-festivals with eccentric themes. This unique and innovative event will hold a wide variety of activities over four days, full of music, shows, pop ups, competitions and all kinds of proposals aimed at family audiences during the day and adult audiences at night.
The festival will feature performances by international DJs, "secret parties" and other spectacular après-ski proposals. It will take place in different spaces in the Pas de la Casa and Grau Roig ski areas, and will propose activities every day from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Gastronomic novelties and Premium experiences
Grandvalira's terraces are the most requested spaces for moments of rest in the middle of a skiing holiday and in constant renewal to continue surprising and accommodating skiers.
The Ski resorts have made an effort to offer new gastronomic proposals, renovating establishments and theming terraces. In Grandvalira, the Snack bar 1960, in the El Peretol ski area, has become the Bordes 1957 vermouth bar, while In The Snow Veuve Clicquot, the Petroni terrace and the Rincón de Solanelles have received many improvements. In addition, the Coll Blanc terrace will open a new outdoor San Miguel bar, while the Coma III and Pla de les Pedres restaurants have expanded their San Miguel terraces.
As for Arinsal, the old Obelix bar, one of the most emblematic restaurants in Arinsal, returns to be renovated and is renamed, Niu. In addition, the restaurant located on the terrace of the Comallemple building has been redesigned, becoming the new Terroir, and the Xiri Snowbar has become the Piccolo.
One of the most notable gastronomic innovations in Ordino-Arcalís is, without a doubt, the reopening of the emblematic La Coma Restaurant, with a profound renovation and a new elegant decoration. The Planells Restaurant also brings innovations in terms of decoration and will include 100% organic products on its menu.
With the desire to offer extra service to those looking for a genuine Premium experience, the VIP services also have new features. In Grandvalira, the Mountain Club Soldeu – El Tarter has been expanded, and the Pas de la Casa – Grau Roig ski areas will be home to the Mountain Club Pas de la Casa – Grau Roig will be.
Both will offer their members an exclusive experience with their personalized service and offer many amenities, such as access to the resort's VIP lounges, changing bedrooms and ticket offices, or VIP car park lots and their electric chargers. In addition, they will be able to enjoy priority access to the gastronomic days of the Snow Club Gourmet and the Gourmet Experience.
Once more, Grandvalira Resorts will once again be the scene of the highest-level national and international competitions:
Finals of the Alpine Ski World Cup (from March 13 to 19): The Soldeu – El Tarter ski areas will host, for the second time, the most prestigious and important event in the world of alpine skiing after the Olympic Games and the World Championships. For a week, the 25 best skiers in the world in the disciplines of slalom, giant slalom, super-giant and downhill will meet at Grandvalira, making it the world epicentre of this sport.
World Cup Speed Skiing (from March 28 to 30): This speed ski event will, once more, be the last on the calendar, where athletes will fight to win the Crystal Globes. The tests will take place on the Riberal KL track in Grau Roig, which is 1,050 m long and has a 200-m drop.
ISMF Comapedrosa Andorra Ski Mountaineering World Cup (from January 19 to 22): Arinsal will host the two already traditional tests, the Individual Race, which includes three different routes starting and finishing at the Xalet Igloo in Arinsal, and the Vertical Race, which has two routes and to which the Open modality is added this year, for other ski mountaineering practitioners and valid for the Park Piolets Andorra Cup of ski mountaineering.
Freeride World Tour (between February 4 and 9): for the ninth consecutive year, Ordino Arcalís hosts the third event of the Freeride World Tour, the most important international circuit of this modality in which riders will play their way to the following phases.
Borrufa Trophy (from January 16 to 19): Ordino Arcalís will host the 31st edition of one of the most noticeable international alpine ski competitions for young people between the ages of 11 and 16, the perfect opportunity to see the future stars of skiing live.
Freeride Junior Tour (February 4 and 5, Ordino Arcalís).
Jam Extreme Freeride World Qualifier (between March 30 and April 2, Ordino Arcalís)
Andorra Skimo, the crossing of the refuges (4 and 5 March, Grandvalira and Ordino Arcalís)
Andorra 2029 Candidacy
Andorra, once again applies as a candidate to become the venue for the Alpine Ski World Championships, the most notable event in this sport worldwide. The experience gained in recent years and the organizational success of the 2019 World Cup Finals, and other high-level competitions, have allowed Andorra face the challenge of presenting its candidacy to host the Alpine Ski World Championships in 2029 once more.