Mixed opinions on CDA super lift pass

Here at PisteHors we’ve never understood the problems with roaming between domains in the massive Companie des Alpes group. The CdA currently 13 ski resorts in France having recently acquired stakes in Val d’Isère, Valmorel, La Rosière. After checking the shareholders register we recently discovered that they also have a large shareholding in l’Alpe d’Huez. However skiing different days in different resorts has always been a faff. Why don’t they just sell one lift pass for the whole area?

Well it seems that the CdA has heard our complaints with the Carte Skier Fréquent (Frequent Skier Card) although the introduction of this super lift pass has not pleased everyone. The CSF was trialed between les Arcs and Serre Chevalier last season, not exactly nearby resorts but both possessing the hand free systems needed to make the pass work. If you are familiar with the French highway’s telepeage system then you will already understand the CSF. Basically you purchase the card for an annual fee of 30 euros (ouch!). However you can then just turn up at any CdA resort in the programme and ski. No need to queue at the lift pass office, fill out forms, sacrifice your first born etc. From 2008/9 you will be able to use the card in Val d’Isère, Tignes, Les Arcs, Peisey Vallandry, La Plagne, Les Ménuires, Méribel, Flaine - Grand Massif and Serre-Chevalier with further resorts to be added later. Your credit card will be debited the month following for any days skied. The CdA says that anyone skiing more than 8 days will benefit from taking out the card, that’s around 20% of their clientele.

Skiers will benefit from a reduction of 30% on the daily lift pass price. However it should be remembered that daily lift passes are considerably more expensive than 6-7 days passes. However lets crunch the numbers. In 2007/8 an Espace Killy pass cost 42 euros and a 6 day pass 202.50 euros. So with a 30% discount six days skiing will cost 176.40 euros. It seems like a win-win. In fact the break-over comes at 9 days skiing in the same resort. Remember that a 6 day+ Espace Olympic lift pass used to entitle you to ski in other areas. So maybe the Carte Skier Fréquent isn’t such a great deal. Personally we would have liked to have seen a digressive tariff, the more you ski, the less you pay.

Ski resorts are also unhappy with the new pass claiming it breaks the link between skier and resort. Mayor of Tignes Olivier Zaragoza says the CdA is putting its shareholders first. He’s particularly unhappy after a long outage of the Grande Motte cable car at the weekend which he blames on lack of investment by the lift company. He accuses the CdA of milking ski resorts. The CdA has replied that it reinvests at least 20% of turnover and that the new card will encourage skiers to ski more.

Further information


Posted by davidof on Wednesday, 02 July, 2008 at 04:06 PM

slightly off topic, but does anyone know if the Gde Motte Cable Car is fixed? I’m off to Tignes on Sat 5 July for a spot of summer boarding.  It would rain on my parade somewhat if it’s closed

Posted by  on  Wednesday, 02 July, 2008  at 04:21 PM

I’m hoping that this CSF card will make it cheaper for my girlfriend to ski.  She is happy to have non-skiing days during our holidays together, especially if the weather is very bad, and doesn’t like having an 8-day pass if she only skis for five days during that holiday.  Although the daily rate is more expensive than buying a week+ lift pass it might make it cheaper for her if she is planning to have two or three non-skiing days during the holiday.  We also occasionally visit Tignes or Courchevel from our base in Les Arcs, so the roaming aspect of this new lift pass will be useful for that.

Posted by  on  Wednesday, 02 July, 2008  at 06:10 PM
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