Serre Chevalier is one of France's biggest, and most southerly, ski areas. It is currently in the ascendancy having been bought by the giant Compaghnie des Alpes (a kind of Euro-Intrawest) who are spending big time. The area opens Dec. 15 and the season will run through April 26. There'll be a new six-seat chair, "Les Combes," and the "les vallons" trail is being widened this winter. There's a new beginners' area on the Aravet plateau. There's also been a big investment on snowmaking across the ski area, something Serre Chevalier has in common with many Alpine ski areas.