1972 - 202250 years of BessansThe resort is celebrating its anniversary!
1972 - 2022

50 years of Bessans

The resort is celebrating its anniversary!

From its first pioneering steps to the diversity of activities now available on the Bessans plateau, the past 50 years have been marked by the creation of La Bessanaise holiday and activity centre and the opening of Le Carreley sports complex.

Bessans,

THE NORDIC SPIRIT

1,740m – 2,000m

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Save the dates!

This winter

Events and exhibitions (including an outdoor exhibition retracing the history of the Nordic resort through various themes. The “Roi Mages” cross-country ski trail and the “Lièvre Blanc” pedestrian trail will become the venue for this exhibition accessible to skiers and hikers).

Wednesday 23 February 2022

Late-afternoon sports event – a Nordic team relay race for families followed by a festive evening with music and fireworks

Tuesday 1 March 2022

Carnival with a “vintage” theme featuring skiwear from yesteryear!

Program

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Highlights: Sporting events for everyone!

For the 50th anniversary and in order to best celebrate the resort’s anniversary, Bessans is organizing a convivial and sporting highlight on Wednesday, February 23, 2022 afternoon on the snow front of the Alpine domain.

With family or friends, come and share together a relay of 3 events symbolizing 3 activities practiced in Bessans: alpine skiing, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing + biathlon.

Journey

Who says 3 relays says 3 participants in 1 team obligatorily. In order to allow everyone to participate, 2 courses are offered with 2 very different objectives.

Discovery trail* – family
For beginners or families from 6 years old, come and take part in the discovery trail. On the program, a simple course, accessible to all and without challenge, just a moment of sharing. As a bonus, small gifts for each team.

Competition route* – expert (from 12 years old)
Come take part in a “special 50th anniversary” competition. A relay with 3 more complex courses to allow teams to surpass themselves while having fun!

Snowshoes will be lent to you on site. Remember to bring your downhill and cross-country ski equipment as well as your helmet for the downhill skiing part of the relays..

* The 2 routes will be preceded by a briefing to explain the routes and the challenges.

Schedule*

  • 12:00 p.m.: Start of registration for the ski lifts for the “Family” discovery course & the “Expert” competition course.
  • 4:00 p.m.: Briefing of the “Family” discovery trail.
  • 4:15 p.m.: Departure of the “Family” discovery trail.
  • 4:45 p.m.: Briefing of the “Expert” competition course.
  • 5:00 p.m.: Start of the “Expert” competition course.
  • 6:15 p.m.: Awards ceremony on the Town Hall Square.

* Please note that the program and times are subject to change.

50th anniversary events (Free access)

Following this sporting afternoon and in order to continue celebrating this anniversary day, we will continue with a festive evening.

Evening program

  • 6:15 p.m.: Presentation of sporting time awards / Musical atmosphere & hot drinks (hot apple juice / mulled wine on the Place de la Mairie).
  • 6:45 p.m.: Fire show.
  • 7:30 p.m.: Video screenings “Retrospective of 50 years” / Flashmob / sharing of the 50-year anniversary cake.
  • 8 p.m.: Fireworks.
  • 10 p.m./4 a.m.: Ball organized by Mourra Savoia / Dance floor & music / Drinks / Photobooth in the Albaron room*.

* In compliance with the health measures in force, the presentation of an up-to-date vaccination pass will be compulsory to access the evening at the Albaron hall.

RETROSPECTIVE...

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In 1968, the Olympic Games hosted by Grenoble triggered many an idea! With cross-country skiing beginning to boom in France and across Europe, the time had come to act!

Bessanais trained to become cross-country ski instructors and La Bessannaise, a holiday centre, became a centre school in 1972 with the aim of making cross-country skiing known and appreciated by as many people as possible.

Highly motivated, the elected representatives and residents of Bessans gave up a great deal of their time and energy. Sports club, Nordic centre, ski school, accommodation providers, ski rental outlets, and local winners of the French cross-country skiing championships… This is where it all began!

ANECDOTES BY THE RESORT’S PIONEERS

 

Blessed with a number of advantages (1,750m elevation, early snowfall, and dynamic inhabitants who were keen to help), the village and plain of Bessans gradually built themselves a world-class reputation.

Bessans also came up with the means to achieve its ambition of becoming a key site in the world of Nordic sports.

From the Ratrac snow groomer driven by Jean-Marc Personnaz in 1976, to the snowfarming techniques used in 2018, the trails and infrastructures have constantly evolved as the resort of Bessans has built itself a name in the Nordic world, boosted by the sheer determination of its mountain “devils”!

50 years gone and more fabulous prospects for this favourite cross-country skiing destination that was recognised by UNESCO as a “Land for Alpine mountaineering” in 2021. A prestigious reward that it shares with the neighbouring resort of Bonneval sur Arc.

By now you’ve guessed that this village at the end of the earth is inhabited by precious people who are proud of their heritage and happy to share their traditions with visitors.

So head for Bessans to join the anniversary celebrations with highlights following this underlying theme throughout the 2021/2022 winter season.

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