From the next winter season 2016-2017 the ski area Mechi Chal, Chepelare will be part of the ski area of Pamporovo. The new name of the resort will be Pamporovo-Mechi Chal.
Ski Area Pamporovo-Mechi Chal
In 2016, for the first time in Bulgaria, two neighboring ski zones start working in tandem, with a united ticket and transportation system, turning the two resorts Pamporovo and Chepelare into one large attractive center for winter sports and recreation. The project’s goal is to create the biggest sports center on the Balkans by boosting the competitiveness, using the popular and natural assets of the mountain and increasing the chance of Bulgaria to host major sport events on each of the ski areas.
Only 6 miles distance between the two ski zones Pamporovo and Mechi Chal is the reason in 2016/2017 they took the opportunity to unite via common transport. New investments, started earlier in 2016, launched the infrastructure improvements of the two ski areas providing the necessary directions and physical access.
The ski pass valid for the ski runs and lifts in Pamporovo gives access to ski area Mechi Chal, should the conditions allow that, by a regularly scheduled ski shuttle bus. The bus is free for all ski pass holders whose pass is valid for the day they use the bus connection. Special ski bus stops and timetables are set to inform the resorts’ visitors about the bus schedule. More information about the stations and the transport system connecting the ski areas is to be published very soon.
In addition to the two areas’ connection plans, the resorts’ guests can now use the new ski map of the ski area Pamporovo, which in 2016 introduces ski area Mechi Chal. All major ski centers in the two ski zones will show information, through new interactive panels, about the ski area map and the lift and trails system status – open/close runs and lifts.
The facilities serving the ski areas in Pamporovo and Mechi Chal are time-saving and provide fast access, avoiding the long lines. New generation snow grooming machines “Kässbohrer Geländefahrzeug” and “Prinoth” are taking care of the runs’ best performance and a new modern snow machine system will provide a constant snow cover on all regular ski trails.
Ski area Mechi Chal
Originally started out as the first Bulgarian recreation center, built because of the exquisite local climate conditions in 1937, Chepelare today is a cozy, small resort town, popular as the ‘Green Heart of Bulgaria’. The main sport center Mechi Chal is less than a mile near the town and is named after the Mechi Chal peak (1873m/6,145 ft) where the runs of the ski area start and in whose base the sports center is situated.
Chepelare has decades of history and traditions as a winter sports center and manufacturer of ski and snowboard. Its nickname “the winter Olympics capitol of Bulgaria” is due to the fact that many of the best winter sports stars and champions started from here – alpine skiing, ski running, ski jumps, biathlon and snowboard medalists and athletes. The town is a birthplace of the only (at the moment) Bulgarian champion to win the winter Olympics – the biathlete Ekaterina Dafovska, golden medalist from the winter Olympics in Japan, Nagano 1998 and the Snowboard World Cup winner (Men's parallel and giant slalom) for 2016 - Radoslav Yankov.
Ski area Mechi Chal has approximately 20 ski tracks and runs with various levels of difficulty, that are to be additionally developed and categorized in order to cover the international standards in the next couple of years. Long-term project for the area focus on the ski area development with new tracks, existing runs development, overall cultivation and marking according to the European standards and also the construction of a finish line, to host international competitions and large groups of guests. The ski area is suitable for biathlon, ski running and snowboard.
For the coming ski season, one of the longest ski runs for alpine skiing in Bulgaria (the ski run for advanced skiers “Mechi Chal 1”) is in development; the run has all necessary qualities to operate as a premium class run to host world rank competitions. In the ski area project plan for the coming years, major role holds the development of one of the longest ski runs in Bulgaria for advanced skiers – about 6km long, as well as a more difficult run for deep snow and freeride with 1.2km length. A new powerful and modern artificial snow system to provide snow for the main trails and runs is in progress.
Winter sports enthusiasts can use a modern 4-seat chairlift of the French company “Pomagalski” with capacity of 2,000/ hr. The 2700m (1.7mi) distance from the base to the top of the ski center Mechi Chal takes only 9 minutes ride. The access system for the area is secured by the Austrian company AXESS – fast and reliable enough to reduce large lines and queues during the rush hours.
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