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This winter in the Val d’Aran and Valls d’Àneu resort, skiers and snowboarders will have the chance to experience up to 165 km of runs (160 km marked and 5 km off-piste), thanks to the creation of the new Baciver area which joins the three existing areas of Baqueira, Beret and Bonaigua. Furthermore, the highest point of the resort is now the Cap de Baciver at 2,610 m.
It is no wonder that Tuc de Baciver, the mystical mountain that presides so imposingly over Beret and Orri, should be the namesake of the new area that will be skiable on part of its Eastern face from this season. This is due to the installation of the ski lift that takes its name from this peak and leads up to Cap de Baciver, a peak located very close to Tuc. It is an area designed for experts, with five new red ski runs.
With the Baciver ski lift, the resort also gains 100 m in height, reaching its highest point at 2,610 m on Cap de Baciver, and as such now offers a descent of more than 1,100 m to the base in Baqueira 1500. The length of the ski lift is 1.7 km, travelling up 400 m during a journey that offers unique views of the North Face and even the unrivalled Escornacrabes off-piste route.
Of the five new runs, all red and of corresponding difficulty, of particular note is the run bearing the name "Baciver” - it boasts a 405 m vertical drop, a length of over 2 km, and an average gradient of 19%. Also worth special mention is the run with the highest gradient of 21%, “Ta Tq Baciver”, and the easiest run “Estanholes”, which has a 150 m vertical drop and a smoother average gradient. The other two runs in this area are “Orqueta” and “Roca Blanca”.
As for Beret, the new run FunPark premiered halfway through last season in the Beret area runs parallel to the Clot Der Os run. Little ones (and not so little ones) can discover a blue ski run of 1,750 m in length with plenty of fun elements. The route travels past giant flowers and models of animals native to the Pyrenees, some of which make their distinctive sounds which are bound to give some people a bit of a surprise.
What matters in FunPark is not the speed, but the fun surrounding the different elements. The first part features easy ski runs where the big flowers have been placed, and when the route goes into the forest it is the turn of local fauna to take centre stage. There are around a dozen figures featuring a wide variety of species: marmots, owls, deer, wolves, foxes, chamois and wood grouse, among others. Visitors can interact with the rubber figures and seek out the animals hidden among the trees. Fun guaranteed!
With this expansion, the Baqueira Beret ski runs map is now comprised of 111 marked ski runs. The new skiable area of Baciver also adds hectares of terrain to the resort, reaching 2,273 hectares of surface area, an expansion of 107 hectares that will increase the enjoyment of the Baqueira Beret experience based on its wide scope and quality of snow.
To prepare the slopes, two state-of-the-art machines have been acquired, one featuring a winch to groom runs with a steep slope. With regards to the snow production, two innovative low-pressure snowmakers have been installed at the Beret Era Marmota Snowpark, to guarantee snow on the main features of this freestyle area.
The resort boasts 25 restaurants and cafés on the slopes, 5 of which are themed eateries offering unique dining experiences. Perhaps the most renowned, is the Moët Winter Lounge, which this year has improved its services and expanded its kitchens to continue growing in quality. Refurbishments have also taken place in the Audi Quattro Bar, located in Beret. Whether it’s due to its location or its charm, this spot is always very popular for breakfast and snacks.
The other fine dining restaurants in the resort (Refugi San Miguel, 5J Grill Baqueira, Restaurant Pla de Beret and Borda Lobato) have also improved their menus, with new dishes and a growing wine cellar.
Meanwhile, the best café in the resort, Bosque, located in Baqueira 1800 and just refurbished last season, now has a more comfortable magic carpet, allowing for a comfortable ascent from the base when heading to the gondola lift.
The Hotel Montarto, where visitors can find the Winebar by Viña Pomal and the Drinkery Pub, has also renovated some of its rooms and the lobby areas which access the dining room and the Piano Bar of this establishment at the foot of the slopes.
More and more prestigious events are heading to the Val d'Aran, with the FIS Snowboard Cross World Cup coming to Beret on 1-2 March 2019. This will be the second time that this leading global circuit of this thrilling format - which could be defined as motocross with a snowboard - will be held in the Aranese region. The first took place in March 2016. Taking part in the competition will be the finest in the world, including two leading Spanish winter athletes and members of the Royal Spanish Winter Sports Federation (RFEDI) team: the Andalusian bronze Olympic medallist Regino Hernández and the Basque world runner-up Lucas Eguibar.
This event, consisting of qualifying rounds on 1 March and finals on 2 March, is also a great celebration, in which there will be plenty of entertainment and even a gastronomy event in the arrival area, easily accessible from the Beret parking area.
Improvements have been made to the Viajes Baqueira Beret reservation system, with the installation of a new program that makes booking even easier, both over the phone as well as those booked directly on the revamped website www.viajes.baqueira.es