Skyvall - transporting you to mountain bike heaven

2020 marked the official opening of the first summer season for “Skyvall”.

Skyvall is our brand new télécabine (cable car), officially completed at the end of summer 2019 and fully operational for the opening of the winter season 2019/2020. The project was 10 years in the planning, at a cost of €10million and took 10 months to complete. It is estimated that Skyvall will result in a significant reduction in car traffic on the Col de Peyresourde which in turn will seriously reduce CO2 emissions in the valley (estimated reduction of 274 tons of CO2 or 89,072 fewer car trips per year).

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Skyvall links Loudenvielle (900m) to our local ski resort Peyragudes (1600m) covering a distance of 3km, with an altitude gain of approximately 700m, all in just over 9 minutes. It provides rapid, comfortable access to the mountains in both summer and winter for a variety of action sports for all the family. This amazing new facility is fast becoming a key attraction and essential service. One of its main roles to is the development outdoor-based tourism and mountain activities in the Vallée du Louron. A key aim is to make the area a mecca for mountain bikers, complementing its already established position as a region for top class road cycling.

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During the past 5 years the local council and regional department has worked hard to develop the area for bikers and has invested in approximately 380kms of marked mountain bike trails, offering instant access from the base of the valley, right along its length and to the slopes of our two ski resorts, Val Louron and Peyragudes and beyond. The “Federation Française de Cyclisme” has recently recognised this and has certified the Vallée du Louron as a “mountain bike and cyclosport area”, it is the first area in the South West of France to achieve this accolade.

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Over the past two years the resort of Peyragudes has developed its own Bike Park, offering a further 15 downhill routes, boasting over 40km of descent. This is now accessible with your bike via Skyvall, then onto the Privilege chairlift, arriving at the summit of the park at an altitude of 2200m. The views are amazing and from this point you can start a number of different routes which are all colour coded according to your ability and level. For those seeking the ultimate in downhill descents why not try the adrenaline fuelled route from the top of the park all the way to the shores of Lake Genos-Loudenvielle, offering a staggering descent of 1350 vertical meters.

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The “Louron Bike and Trail” app for smart phones is now available to download. It details some 30 mountain bike routes, 14 trail/running routes and 8 road cycle routes.

If all this mountain biking action is not enough, it is well worth remembering that the valley is also home to many other exciting adventure activities, along with some lovely hiking routes to suit all levels ranging from green to black. These can help you to discover the mountains, local villages, products and heritage of the region. Finally, to finish off your day of mountain activities there is the ultra-modern local spa of Balnea, an ideal spot to soak away those tired muscles and simply relax!