Serre-Chevalier 1500, Yret and Cibouit summits
Location within Alps
|Coordinates||44°56′40″N 6°34′0″E / 44.94444°N 6.56667°ECoordinates: 44°56′40″N 6°34′0″E / 44.94444°N 6.56667°E|
|Top elevation||2,800 m (9,200 ft)|
|Base elevation||1,200 m (3,900 ft)|
|Lift system||62 lifts|
Serre Chevalier is a major ski resort in southeastern France, in the Hautes-Alpes department of the Alps. Near the Parc National des Ecrins, it enjoys a large skiing area, with 250 km (155 mi) of slopes and favourable weather, boasting 300 days of sunshine a year. In Serre Chevalier, 80 km (50 mi) of the slopes are covered by snow cannons to supplement natural snowfall. It is owned by Compagnie des Alpes.
Serre Chevalier consists of the town of Briançon, with the villages of Chantemerle, Villeneuve, and Le Monêtier-les-Bains. World Cup champion ski racer Luc Alphand was born and lives in the valley below the resort.
The maximum elevation for skiing is at Telesiege Yret at 2,800 m (9,190 ft) above sea level, and the minimum is 1,200 m (3,940 ft), a total vertical drop of 1,600 m (5,250 ft). One of the outstanding features of Serre Chevalier is the wooded nature of the slopes. The timber line is at 2,150 m (7,050 ft), yielding about 700 m (2,300 ft) of vertical drop of tree-lined slopes. The slopes are managed by the CDA, and there are 61 lifts: 1 Cable Cars, 5 Gondola Lifts. There are 20 Chairlifts in total, 10 High-Speed Detachable Chairlifts and 10 Fixed-grip chairlifts. There are 28 Surface Lifts, 3 Ski tows and 4 Magic carpet lifts A new 8 passengers gondola has been built this year giving access to Serre Ratier Plateau within 5 minutes.
In the summer Serre Chevalier becomes an area dedicated to kayaking, walking, cycling, mountain biking, climbing, rock climbing, sledding, paragliding and generally enjoying the mountain area. Serre Chevalier organised the MTB French championships in 2008, MTB Trial French championships in 2009 and the BMX European games in 2010. The location was also used in the 2011 Tour de France when Stage 18 finished at the summit of the nearby Col du Galibier, Luxembourg climbing specialist Andy Schleck won the stage with a long solo breakaway 60 km (37 mi) from the finish and finished the Tour second overall, losing to Australian cyclist, Cadel Evans.
Four lifts reopen during the summer months to take walkers and mountain bikers up the mountain. There is a website dedicated to the MTB Bike park of Serre Chevalier and there are 10 trails between 2500 and 1350m.
The nearest airports to Serre Chevalier are Turin Airport in Italy and Grenoble–Isère Airport in France. These are served by budget airlines such as EasyJet and Ryanair, providing easy access from many European cities.
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