An independent guide to Val Thorens
The zip wire in Val Thorens is the highest in the world. It's 1300m long, and goes from an altitude of 3230m at the start point, to 3000m at the arrival station. You 'fly' 250m above the ground for around 2 minutes, and the official website describes it as 'two minutes of pure emotion'. Although it's fast (65-105kmh), people say that it doesn't feel fast, and you have time to admire the scenery. It's not scary, apart from when you're anticipating the 'flight' while being strapped in.
Read about the Val Thorens zip wire here.
Val Thorens opened the zip wire, called la Tyrolienne, in February 2014. It goes from the top of the Bouchet chairlift in Orelle, to the top of the Funitel de Thorens in the Val Thorens ski area. (It's marked on the Val Thorens piste map - look towards the top right of the map). It's 1300m long, the altitude at the start is 3230m, and the altitude at the end is 3000m. You're 250m above the ground, at the maximum point. The speed can be between 65 and 105kmh, and the 'flight' takes about 1 minute 45 seconds.
The Val Thorens zip wire is open from 10am to 4.45pm, with a short break over lunchtime (from about 12.45). It can close it the weather is bad, particularly if there's a strong wind. It wouldn't be worth doing if it were cloudy or foggy. It's best to wait for a calm, clear day, then go up to the top of the Bouchet chair and ask at the Tyrolienne hut.
It is open to anyone 8 years old or more, up to a maximum weight of 120kg. It costs €50.
You wear a harness which is attached to the wire. The harness puts in you in a sitting position. Your skis or snowboard go with you, strapped on behind your back. A helmet is supplied, and you have to wear it (although it's difficult to envisage circumstances in which it would help you!)
The official website says the sensation you experience is that of an eagle in flight, hence the somewhat unsettling half-man half-eagle face picture they use in their promotional material. People who have done it say that it's unnerving at the very start, as there's a bit of a 'click' as you set off, but then it's actually quite peaceful and calm during the ride, rather than being a real adrenaline experience.
This is a video of the zipwire taken on 8th March 2014:
This is video of the zip wire is from Saturday 22nd February 2014, less than a week after the opening:
Have a great flight on the zip wire la Tyrolienne in Val Thorens.
There's also a free tobogganing area for small children (over 2 years) on the place de Caron; and a 250m toboggan run for 6 to 10 year olds next to the Castor & Pollux magic carpets, called the Piste of Stars. (You can go back up on the magic carpets, which run during the day, and are free).
Le Bowling is Val Thorens's ten pin bowling venue, at place de l' Arche. It's open every day from 12 noon to 2am. They have eight bowling lanes, and the cost is around €11 per person per game. As well as ten pin bowling, they have arcade games, snooker and pool, big screen TVs, and internet access. There's a bar, La Bicicleta, which is popular with lots of people, not just 10-pin bowlers. Read more about le Bowling, Val Thorens.
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