The History Of Skiing In Châtel:



Before the skiing industry developed in Chatel,  agriculture was the main source of income for many of the inhabitants of the village. This tradition of farming has continued right through to the present day in Chatel, as a large number of local families are still involved in the industry and it is their cattle that make the world famous Abondance cheese.


As skiing became more popular after the second world war, the first skiers had no ski lifts to use in the area. Chatel's first ski lift arrived in the Vonnes area in 1947 in the form of a drag lift and this increased the popularity of skiing in the area. A short time later, the first ski school was set up in Chatel (1948) by Roland Macchi. Further lifts arrived in the 1950's with the top of Morclan accessible by lift from the village for the first time, thus creating the Super-Chatel skiing area.


Chatel is part of the vast Portes Du Soleil skiing area and it was the tradition of crossing the French/Swiss border on skis during the 50's that was the foundation of the idea of this linked ski area. The first piste basher was purchased in 1964. The Linga ski area was created in the 1960's followed by the Barbossine area and the area was developed continuously up to the present day. The popularity of the resort as a summer destination has also increased over this period with some of the best mountain biking terrain in the French Alps to be found in Chatel.


Key Dates:


1946/7: Vonnes drag lift constructed & first ski school founded by Roland Macchi.

1953 - 1956: Super-Chatel ski area created with lifts running from the village up to the summit of Morclan.

1963/64: First gondola, first piste basher and first links with Switzerland.

1967/8: Linga ski area created with 2 lifts installed.

1970's: Pre La Joux area created. Lift expansion & modernisation. Portes du Soleil officially created in 1975.

1980's & 90's: Further lift expansion & modernisation. 10 man Super-Chatel gondola built in 1985.

2000's: Cornebois, La Chaux, Pre-La-Joux, Les Combes, L'Echo Alpin chairlifts installed. Investment in snowmaking.

2010's: Further snowmaking infrastructure investment and Rochassons chairlift installed in 2012.

2013: Construction of Forme d'O spa and swimming centre started.

2014: Completion of Forme d'O. Start on linking the Linga ski area to the Super-Chatel ski area
2015: Completion & opening of 2 chairlifts (TS Portes du Soleil & TS Gabelou) linking the Linga ski area to the Super-Chatel ski area




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