The resorts
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    Timeline

    Une histoire d'hommes et d'amitiés. Les Portes du Soleil, c'est d'abord l'histoire d'une bande de copains qui il y a 50 ans avait fait un rêve, le rêve d'un immense domaine skiable franco suisse relié par des Remontées Mécaniques.

    1. 1956

      Pierre Béteille - an engineer from the Pyrenees - built the first lift across the border by extending the Coq ski lift with the Corbeau lift to link Super Chatel with Morgins. Once finished, skiers could cross from one country to another without having to remove their skis. Skiing without frontiers was born!

    2. 1964

      Thanks to this first positive step and driven forward by real visionaries, the idea of an international ski area began to take shape.
      The enormous potential of the Haut Chablais and Valais mountains was undeniable for winter-sports lovers. All that remained to do was tell people about it...the date was set for May 1964 and the place to do it was the national exhibition in Lausanne.
      The 3 metre x 3 metre scale model ( 1/10 000) detailed all the ski lift links that would create the Portes du Soleil.
      This was an excellent promotional tool at the time and clearly demonstrated the potential available by developing the existing winter sports resorts of Les Gets, Morzine, Avoriaz, Châtel, Abondance, La Chapelle d?Abondance in the Haute-Savoie and Champéry, Morgins, les Giettes-sur-les-Monthey in Val d?Illiez (Valais) region.

    3. 1965

      The project unveiled in Lausanne in 1964 was initially called the "Haute Route des Familles", a reference to famous high-altitude route from Chamonix to Zermatt.
      But Jean Vuarnet didn't think the name was catchy enough...Gustave Trombert remembers it clearly:
      "At a meeting at Carnotzet in Grand Paradis one day, Jean went round the table asking for possible names.
      I was the only who had an idea. The French pulled their faces and my suggestion was only tentatively accepted. Jean suggested that we think about it a bit more but we had to leave the meeting with a name! As expected, there were no further suggestions and Les Portes du Soleil (the name of the col at Les Crosets) was chosen!"

    4. 1968

      In 1968, Téléchampery built a 2-man fixed-clamp chairlift to access Avoriaz, the French ski resort. At the same time, Avoriaz started work on a button lift and finished it at the end of summer 1968; the two sides were finally connected! This new gateway via Chavanette opened up a host of new possibilities for skiers: a fantastic playground with access to the famous "Swiss wall".

    5. 1969

      With the new Avoriaz - Champéry link up and running it was only logical that the Portes du Soleil should offer its first cross-border ski pass: the Avoriaz-Champéry-Les Crosets international pass.

    6. 1973

      From the Festival du Film Fantastique d'Avoriaz event to Rock the Pistes music festival, the Pass'Portes du Soleil MTB event and the Col des Portes du Soleil walking festival, member resorts have always hosted large-scale prestigious events renowned for their popularity.

    7. 1976

      Publicity for the new ski area described an uncomplicated ski area with a choice of resorts to suit different tastes and budgets: small villages with chalets nestling at the foot of the mountains around the parish church and school, or futuristic resorts for those wanting to step out onto the slopes.

      The message was clear: a ski area tailor-made for you to ski, where you could ski longer and for less.

    8. 1981

      The International Portes du Soleil Association was formed in 1981. In the same year the Rochassons chairlift linking Chatel and Avoriaz also opened. To manage this new grouping of ski resorts, the association's headquarters were built in Chatel. The chalet was deliberately located in Vonnes, between the French and Swiss customs posts, and inaugurated on 26th March 2005.
      Presidents of the International Portes du Soleil Association:
      - Jean Vuarnet
      - Jean-Pierre Béteille
      - Pierre-Ignace Exhenry
      - Jean-Pierre Calvet
      - Raymond Monay
      - Georges Coquillard

    9. 1991

      When summer comes and the snow melts, it unveils mountain pastures that stretch as far as the eye can see over the Portes du Soleil's 12 resort villages.
      The first mountain bikes arrived in France in 1983 and the demand created by this new sport has been enormous. Very quickly, the bravest riders identified the possibilities for speeding downhill on a bike, but they had to pedal back up again!
      It didn't take long for the Portes du Soleil's ski lift companies to realise the potential offered by MTB and this led to the creation of the first linked MTB area, with legendary events including the first Freeraid event which became the Pass'Portes du Soleil MTB between 2003 and 2004, the World Cup in Les Gets in 2004 and more recently in Champéry in 2011.

    10. 2009

      In 2009, The Portes du Soleil reinvented the summer mountain experience with the Multi Pass activity card. It offered holidaymakers, those visiting for the day and regular visitors unlimited use of more than 50 activities and facilities. All of this for only €1 when it was launched and only €2 today!

    11. 2014

      What drives us? Creating new links, making significant investment to modernise ski lifts, installing more snow makers, building reservoirs and MTB trails, improving existing ones, organising international-scale events...these are the tangible results of what motivates us here in the Portes du Soleil, namely making our early pioneers' dream a reality of an immense international area that's linked in the winter and summer, where it's a pleasure for those who live here and even more so for those lucky enough to come here on holiday!

    2014

    2014