Borrowing a part of the old Jockeys ski slope, the piste for the World Ski Championships 2023 is named ‘Eclipse’. This slope, steep and fun to ride, opened in 2020 and promises a spectacular show during the racing from 5-19 February 2023.
The Men’s Downhill (DH), Super G (SG), Giant Slalom (GS) and the Slalom (SL) will take place on this piste. It has already been referred to as one of the most difficult runs on the competition circuit.
Departing from Courchevel 1850 below the mythical Col de la Loze, you ski between open landscape and forest, light and dark, with a succession of steeps and jumps, arriving in Le Praz near the legendary Olympic ski jumps of the 1992 Albertville winter games.
Outside of the competition dates, this slope is accessible to the public, so you can ski in the tracks of Alexis Pinturault, our local hero, who has 6 cristal globes, 3 olympic medals and 2 world champion titles. Discover the different iconic sections of Eclipse to recognise the commitment required of the elite athletes who will race down it.
In the same way that we give names to the different slopes to help skiers get around the ski area more easily, names are given to the different sections of the piste to help understand the challenges.
Each name is carefully chosen to represent a sensation, recall a memory or reference a link. Let us reveal the meaning behind each section name:
Le saut du Zénith The Zenith jump, this first jump on the slope is the highest on the course, like the sun at its zenith, and a nod to an eclipse – this section is in a luminous, open area.
Le mur du son The wall of sound, here we find the fastest section of the slope, where the ski picks up the most speed, with peaks up to 130km/h where the air displacement generated by the skier at high speed generates its own sound! The wall refers to the steepness of this section of the run.
Le S des Arolles The Arolles S, after passing through the wall of sound, the skier continues with the Arolles S, a technical turn section which references the magnificent ‘arolles’ pine which is emblematic of these high altitudes and sits alongside the slopes, hence the name also of the ‘Boulevard des Arolles’ track which leads to this section.
Le saut des Jockeys Jockeys Jump references the name of the former piste Jockeys, which was so-called originally after a tragic fatal accident of a professional jockey in the 1970s. Around 60% of the Eclipse run follows the footprint of the Jockeys piste.
Le trou noir The black hole, it is on this portion that the name of the track takes on its full meaning: you suddenly pass, after a fiendish break in the slope, to a sector of forest surrounded by 30-40-metre-high pine trees! In a fraction of a second, the skier enters a black hole. The jump only makes it more technical!
Le mur de la bux Wall of Bux, this is a reference to Buxbaumia, a rare and locally valued type of moss which is found near this slope, growing among the pines in damp and decomposing parts of the forest.
L'envol The take-off, this section references the Olympic ski jumps in Le Praz. They were used during the 1992 Olympic Games in Albertville and each year they host the summer world ski jumping championships (the only stage in France).
Le mur des braves The wall of the brave, the name for this final part of the piste was chosen as you have to be absolutely sure of yourself to tackle this particularly steep and icy wall. A real challenge that requires total concentration until the very last metre. For this jump, the skier is holding their breath, keeping legs solid and has muscles filled with lactic acid. The bravest jump the furthest, finally finding themselves at the much-anticipated finish line.
After the Albertville Olympics, Courchevel returns to the scene of top-level racing with the biggest sporting competition in the ski world. It is a popular and exciting event which we cannot wait to share with you.
The World Ski Championships in Courchevel and Meribel in figures:
12 days of racing 6 disciplines for 54 medals 600 athletes representing 75 nations Up to 20,000 spectators per day and 500 million watching from home Find out more about the event
Don’t worry! During this period the ski area and your ski experience won’t be impacted: in Courchevel, only two slopes will be closed (Eclipse, of course, and also Granges), the 3 Valleys links will stay open as usual without interruption.
The ski lifts used by competitors will stay open to the public and tunnels have been created to allow skiers to pass under the competition slopes and continue to move around the ski area.