An independent guide to Val Thorens
The Skicross Jean-Frédéric Chapuis in Val Thorens is a fantastic run which starts by the top of the Deux Lacs chair (see the piste map). It has rolling bumps on the top section, then a couple of jumps (which can be side-stepped); there are banked corners on the steeper, lower section. It finishes at the bottom of the Chalets piste. It's used for competitions, and open to the public the rest of the time.
Jean-Frédéric Chapuis, photo by C Cattin, OT Val Thorens
Jean-Frédéric Chapuis grew up in Val Thorens. His dad was one of the people involved in building the Cime de Caron cable car. Jean-Fred came through the Ski Club of Val Thorens, and raced in Alpine skiing before switching to skicross. He won the gold medal at the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games, and has won three overall Globe de Cristal World Cup titles in 2015, 2016, and 2017. Val Thorens' Skicross course is named after him.
Skicross and Boardercross are Olympic and World Cup events. The first World Cup Skicross in Val Thorens was held in December 2012 (see this report by Graham Bell in the Telegraph), and there was another the following year. Val Thorens is now a fixture on the World Cup calendar, with an event in December each year, which involves two World Cup races, on consecutive days.
In December 2017, there's also a World Cup snowboard race. Dates of races are included in events.
This video shows the World Cup in December 2016:
This video shows the World Cup on 9th January 2015:
This video shows the World Cup Skicross from December 2013:
When the course is not being used for training or competitions, it is open to anyone to ski or board it. It's usually fine for children of Bronze Star level to tackle, and probably confident 3-stars. It's remodelled every year, and before and after competitions, so the difficulty does change somewhat. Also, it's easier first thing in the morning when perfectly groomed, before ruts are dug by the flags; and hard snow is a lot faster than snow which is soft because it's fresh, or because it's warm in the afternoon in spring.
This skier's eye view video gives you an idea of what it's like:
Have a great time on the Val Thorens Skicross / Boardercross.
A guide to the events in Val Thorens during the winter season, plus the weekly programme.
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