Peyragudes ski station, in an idyllic setting in the Pyrenees, connects with the traditional village of Loudenvielle thanks to the installation of the Skyvall ski lift
In the heart of the Pyrenees there’s the Louron Valley, a magical region dotted with typical villages surrounding Lake Génos-Loudenvielle. Around it, impressive mountains topped by two ski stations.
One of them is Peyragudes, halfway between the Larboust Valley and the Louron Valley. This special area in a traditional environment, between neighbouring countries, will not leave any skier indifferent.
Neverending possibilities hide in this valley everything, from Romanic churches of more than 500 years old to a modern ski station in the mountains. The initiative to create Skyvall, a ski lift that linked the Peyragudes ski resort with the town of Loudenville, appeared to bring these two adjacent worlds together.
This idea came true, after 10 months of work and an investment of 10 million euros, when Skyvall opened in summer 2019.
A chairlift to join two destinations
This ambitious project turns a height difference of 700 meters into a connection of only 3 kilometres travelled in just 10 minutes. It has 32 cabins with a capacity of 10 people each, which allows to transport 1,000 people every hour. After the first year, this capacity can double and transfer up to 2,000 people per hour.
Skyvall begins in the town of Loudenvielle, a town located 900 meters above sea level with great entertainment offers. Its generous gastronomy, its authentic stone streets and its superb nature guarantee a leisure for all tastes.
This pleasant town is linked to the Peyragudes station, at an altitude of 1600 meters, with the comfortable chair lift. In this way, skiers staying on the slopes can enjoy both the modern facilities of the station and the pleasures of the small traditional villages of the Pyrenees, as well as other forms of entertainment such as a hot bath session in Balnéa.
During the Christmas season of 2019, according to Laurent Garcia, director of the Peyragudes station, “there were almost 1600 people a day who were transported in Skyvall”
In this period, the facility counted between 400 and 600 pedestrians every day who were going for a walk, to do VTT, to use mountain scooters, for trips to restaurants right next to the snow, for walks on the edge of the lake or exits to both Loudenvielle and Balnéa .
We have registered a great enthusiasm of the public for the tickets of Balnatitude and Skybalnéa whose sales have exceeded all expectations
“We have seen great success in prolonged openings once or twice a week. These openings have allowed customers to enjoy Balnéa at night or attend from Loudenvielle to the torch and fireworks display in the station”
A more sustainable option
The installation of Skyvall not only facilitates the access to the station in a comfortable and safe way because it is part of the motivations of Peyragudes to be a greener station. It’s estimated that thanks to Skyvall, 274 tons of CO2 will be reduced, or the equivalent of 89,072 car trips. This new chairlift will drastically reduce traffic on the roads to access the ski slopes. In addition, it has the advantage that regardless of the state of the roads, direct access to the ski slopes will be possible.
The installation of this chairlift brings great advantages for the entire population, not only for skiers, because the area is revitalized with a new touristic offer both in summer and winter while communicating better the mountain area for the inhabitants of the surrounding rural towns.
The case of the Louron Valley is a great example of a perfect balance between the industrialization of a rural area and the maintenance of its rustic essence. To reward this harmonic situation, the MMA Foundation of the Entrepreneurs of the Future gave the Louron Valley the Territorial Ecosystem award. In this way, economic models based on tourism that benefit the whole territory, not only the entrepreneurs, are congratulated.