The principal ski sectors on this side of Grandvalira are focused around extensive mid-altitude service areas at the top of each access-point gondola, where all of the main service facilities and beginners' zones are located, high above the resort villages. Access to the pistes and onward links is simple once you are at these central service areas.
All visitors, whether absolute beginners or advanced riders, must travel up to their nearest mid-altitude service area in order to reach ski school and/or for all onward links. Therefore, long queues are common in the mornings, particularly on Mondays at the Soldeu and El Tarter gondolas. A handy tip for experienced riders is to take either the fast 6-seater Soldeu chairlift
(from Soldeu) or 4-seater Tarter chairlift
(from El Tarter) instead; these run parallel to the gondolas and effectively provide a queue-jump to the same altitude. Canillo's gondola
is a much quieter access point, so guests staying in that village normally have no such problems with queues.
If you are travelling with a tour operator, then Monday morning will probably be your first day on the slopes. You will normally be taken for your equipment fitting early on Monday morning, either near to your accommodation or at one of the large hire operations located within (or close to) the gondola base-terminal stations; before ski school begins at 10:00hrs.
There are lockers available at (or close to) the base stations for your street footwear and for storing equipment overnight.
Ski School Induction
The team of SET instructors
organise an efficient meet-&-greet system every Monday morning, close to the gondolas' upper-terminal stations in all sectors. They quickly ascertain everyone's required tuition level, before carefully grading classes according to each person's ability and then moving out on to the slopes.