Hautes-Pyrénées: The beginner area of ​​the Grand Tourmalet is undergoing a revolution

the essential
The rebuilding of the snow front at the Grand Tourmalet Resort has just begun. A major project of 3 million euros to improve the beginner area. But not only

The ski area has just closed and construction machinery has already started at the foot of the Grand Tourmalet slopes on the La Mongie side. It will take a good three months for the companies, which have been given a mandate to remove the mound from the snow front, but the work that has just been launched is already enough to confuse the resort’s regulars. The snow blanket and the ski lifts in the beginner area have been removed and the plant surface removed (see below). And that’s just the beginning.

“We started three weeks ago with the preparation of the site (securing the premises, dismantling ski lifts, etc.). This week we are tearing down two buildings, “La Bergerie” and the old gendarmerie. In the coming days, the earthworks will be tackled, the purpose of which is to create a flat traffic area for skiers and pedestrians. This will improve the space for beginners, but it will also reduce the energy costs of the station and clear the building of the departure station for the Pic du Midi cable car. Given the proximity of the site, it will also be impossible to use this site for mining. So we need a planer, ”explains Arnaud Cercos, project management assistant. This technical and environmental manager of the Compagnie des Pyrénées is not at his first attempt. He was in fact responsible for the redevelopment of the resorts of Ax-les-Thermes and Beille in Ariège.

Collaboration with the Botanical Conservatory

The work will involve eight companies and their teams (about thirty people) over the next few months. “Everything must be ready for next season,” sums up Arnaud Cercos. By that time, the carpet and Tremplin and Turon 2 ski lifts will be reassembled, “not in the same place, but in the same area”, the technician specifies. Another detail, the vegetation removed and carefully preserved over the next few months will be “unfolded” and enriched with new seeds. With local seeds, of course, thanks to a collaboration with the National Botanical Conservatory of Bagnères-de-Bigorre. The station can also count on the expertise of Amidev, an environmental design office.

“Limit the carbon footprint”

“The environmental aspect is part of the specifications. It’s not new, but we’ve been talking more about it for a couple of years, ”slips Arnaud Cercos, who is not the type who sees any limitation in it. On the contrary. Our concern is to be as virtuous as possible and a controlled CO2 footprint with recycling of materials in situ. We avoid, for example, assembly materials from the valley. give it a little more incline, ”he explains. And what cannot be recycled is sorted and recycled elsewhere. This is the case for the two demolished buildings (scrap, wood, etc.).

Finally, in addition to the comfort of its customers and environmental issues, the resort also seeks “to take care of the aesthetics and visual identity of the places, dominated by stone and wood”.


Larger construction sites on the village side

The old gendarmerie is being demolished./ photo VT

The old gendarmerie is being demolished./ photo VT

If the demolition of the old gendarmerie is underway, the construction of the new one has been completed for a few weeks. Now located at the entrance to the station, a hundred meters from its “predecessor”, a wooden hut that has fallen into disrepair, the new building offers improved comfort and working conditions to the gendarmes deployed there in the winter. Ditto for the reception of citizens. A plot of land run by the town of Bagnères-de-Bigorre, as well as the redevelopment project for the village of La Mongie, which the municipality has entrusted to ARAC. The latter has already acquired two disused hotels, Pourteilh and Taoulet, to turn them into establishments that live up to customer expectations. Traffic, vehicles such as pedestrians, parking, etc. follow. Following the new generation of lighting system that La Mongie recently acquired ..

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