World’s leading winter sports resort guidebook presents Awards to four resorts that have improved the most over the 20 years since the book was first published
Where to Ski was first published in 1994. At the launch party for its 20th anniversary edition in September, it presented Anniversary Alpine Awards to the resorts in the main alpine countries that had improved the most in the 20 years since the first edition.
And the winners were:
In 1994 that the resort suffered from shockingly bad peak-season queues, especially for the Hahnenkamm cable car out of the town, which had an hourly capacity of just 380 people. Now the resort has one of the best lift systems in the Alps, including the Hahnenkamm gondola from town with a capacity of 2000 people an hour and the groundbreaking 3-S gondola carrying 30 people in each cabin that linked the main ski area to the Wurzhöhe area across the valley from 2004.
20 years ago, the first edition of the book said Tignes was a great place to ski with good slopes for all standards and reliably good snow but was ‘one of the ugliest resorts in the Alps’. It is now a much more pleasant place to stay. Tignes-le-Lac in particular has been smartened up by some of its original eyesore buildings being revamped in chalet style and the road through to Val Claret being buried in a tunnel.
ITALY: Val Gardena
Since 1994 the main Val Gardena resorts of Selva, Santa Cristina and Ortisei have become much more polished resorts with attractive places to stay and serious lift systems with gondolas from the valley and lots of high-speed chairlifts above them. But the most impressive thing now is the snowmaking, which covers 95% of the slopes and guarantees good skiing all season whatever the weather – the scenery here is spectacular, so this is one of the few resorts where we pray for sun, not snow.
In its first edition in 1994, Where to Ski carried a special feature box criticising Verbier for its dreadful lift system, serious lift queues, overcrowded pistes, appalling piste map and signposting, poor snowmaking and shortage of easy pistes. 20 years later most of these things have been significantly improved and last year’s gondola link to Brusson has improved things further.