Tag Archives: Val Thorens

5 excuses to go skiing this Christmas

Do you always find an excuse to not ski at Christmas?

You have probably thought about going skiing at Christmas every year but something has put you off and you have always found an excuse. We have spent many Christmases in the 3 Valleys and we can confirm it is the most wonderful time of the year. You also get an extra thrill when you suddenly realise that it’s Christmas Day and you are on the slopes and having great time.

Whatever your reason for not going in the past here are a few excuses you can use this year.

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#1 You just love skiing

Maybe not an excuse and more just a fact but if you love skiing then what could be a better present to you and your family that the gift of a ski trip. It also means that you get to try out that new pair of skis that you will have been bought for Christmas.

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#2 Christmas is on offer

A week skiing during Christmas has never been so reasonably priced with all tour operators offering big savings, making the cost similar to off peak weeks. Our prices are starting at £599 pp for the festive week and there are savings of up to £350 pp on our best properties. So if you have always put off a Christmas ski trip due to price now is your chance.

#3 White Christmas

Every single year Bing Crosby sings “I’m dreaming of a white Christmas”. He is right to do so. If you look at the facts you notice that the UK hasn’t had widespread snow on the ground during Christmas since 2010 and before that it was 2004. So to combat this you could head to the 3 Valleys where they pretty much can guarantee you a White Christmas.

#4 Be looked after

The demands of Christmas day for those hosting can be huge, will Aunt Janet get too drunk, will the turkey be cooked in time, have you peeled enough potatoes? Why not avoid this and go on a catered ski chalet holiday and let them look after you? All you will need to do is go skiing and relax… unless you bring Aunt Janet with you.

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#5 One for the humbugs

Spending Christmas in a skiing is a great compromise as in a way it always feels a bit like Christmas in a ski resort. But at the same time it doesn’t as everything is open and everyone is either working or skiing or both. This makes it a perfect place to spend Christmas for families of mixed festive spirit.

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SEE ALL OUR CHRISTMAS DEALS 


Alpine Action @25 Photo Gallery

This year we are celebrating providing catered ski chalet holidays in Méribel & La Tania for 25 years.

We wouldn’t be where we are today without our amazing guest and wonderful staff.  To celebrate we are collecting as many photos from everyone who has been involved in our 25 year journey and building this archive of memories.

Click to share your photo memories with us!

 


 

Are you planning on coming to The 3 Valleys this winter? Take a look at all our prices and availability.

Take a look at out new chalet Virage that is located in Méribel centre.


3 Valleys Weather Report and Resort Information – December 21st

 

Snow & Weather Report for the Three Valleys – Week 2 – December 2016

Welcome to our weekly guide to the slopes and skies of the 3 Valleys featuring up to date reports from the in-resort Alpine Action team. You will also find events listings for Méribel & La Tania.

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Snow Conditions in the Three Valleys

During the past week there has been a few flurries of snow all the way down to 1200m which had a big effect on the pistes across the area.  If you look at the webcams for the resorts you can see it doesn’t look pretty at low altitude as there is grass clearly visible but this distracts from quite how good the skiing still is once you are out of the towns and up in the mountains. If you are heading out for a week of quality piste riding then you won’t be disappointed. The slopes above 2000m are in good condition and have a decent base thanks to the huge November snow and the might of the Three Valleys snow making ability.

The 3 inches of snow that fell during the week wasn’t massive but it was enough to make the runs feel fresh. It is also encouraging for the weeks ahead as it means that the ski area can continue to use the snow cannons and ensure that the resort remains one of the best places to ski in Europe.

The way to get the best out of the mountain at the moment is to follow the sun around, hitting  Méribel’s and Courchevel’s east facing slopes in the morning and then hopping over to the west facing slopes of St Martin and Val Thorens in the Afternoon. You can still get around the whole 3 Valley area easily as the majority of links are open and 74% of lifts are currently operating.

Read our report on the Three Valleys commitment to snow making 

Snow Forecast for the Three Valleys

There is potential for snow during the week and if it does come then it will be just a few inches so you won’t need to dust the powder skis off just yet. Through the week there will be intermittent cloud cover but it will generally be sunny allowing skiers and boarders to make the most of the terrain that is open. During the days the temperature will peak at at around 3° and drop down to -5° overnight allowing many of the 2186 snow cannons to work away freshening up the slopes.

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What’s on this week in Méribel & La Tania

Week: 20th – 24th December 2016 Méribel La Tania
Tuesday ♫Live Music♫

Evolution Bar featuring:
Hobo Chic and Max Le Sax 10pm

♫Live Music♫

Ski lodge: Les Deux Roux 10pm

Wednesday Womens Alpine Ski Comp 3pm :
Featuring the French Alpine team, Chaudanne♫Live Music♫Apres Ski:

Le Rond Point featuring:
DJs Bubble and Crisp

Jacks Bar featuring:
Wingmen + The Mardy Jonny Depps

♫Live Music♫

Apres at Ski Lodge with The Slopes 5pm

La Taiga : Al Jones 10pm

Thursday ♫Live Music♫

Lodge du Village featuring:

Bring Your Sisters, 10pm

O’Sullivans featuring:
Mountain Movers event Jack Beats playing live.

♫Live Music♫

Apres with bring Your Sisters 5pm

Friday ♫Live Music♫

Scotts Bar:
Open mic night 10pm with
Daisy B and Tom

Meet Santa – Resort Center, 4.45pm

♫Live Music♫

Apres with The Shadowmen 10pm

Saturday ♫Live Music♫

Lodge du Village : Christmas Carols, 6pm

Jacks Bar : Bad Christmas Jumper Party, 10pm

 

Christmas Eve Party – Ski Lodge

Santas Grotto – Live Music – Drink promos

Late availability to Méribel and La Tania

We have a few rooms left in La Tania next week, departing on the 27th of December if you want to spend New Years Day skiing off that hangover. Prices are from £699pp.

4 day break 3rd December to Méribel from £379pp.


3 Valleys Season Preview

The 2016/17 winter season is here. Find out what to expect in Méribel &  The Three Valleys in our pre-season preview.

Skiing started in the Three Valleys on the the 19th of November when Val Thorens turned on its lifts and welcomed skiers and boarders earlier than expected due to some seriously heavy November snow. Courchevel was also able to open some of its runs early due to the 120cm of snow that fell across the Alps. All that happend before the season truly kicked off, so what has this winter got in store for the 3 valleys? Lets find out…

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Snow

As we said there has been loads of snow already and all that snow has laid down a great base for the season and the temperatures are staying low according to the long term forecast.  That coupled with the 3 Valleys’ amazing ability to make snow this could be a great season. Méribel opens its doors for skiing on the 10th of December opening up the whole of the 3 Valleys for skiing until late April.

We couldn’t wait to get up on mountain so we went hiking on the 17th of November.

Let us take care of you this Christmas – Ski and come home to a traditional meal with all the trimmings
Christmas holidays from only £549 for an adult and £466.65 for a child from Gatwick

What’s New In The Three Valleys

You can save €10 per lift pass if you are buying more than one as part of the new Duo Lift pass, you must be purchasing a 6 day pass for a valley or the whole area to get the discount.
Tubing in Mottaret is opening this winter meaning that you can spend your evening flying down the slopes in a rubber ring.
If you like to picnic on the slopes then there is good news as Méribel has opened some indoor lunch lounges complete with microwaves. These can be found in Méribel and Mottaret main lift stations.
There are also new lifts in Val Thorens, the Roc and Stades drag lifts are now a shiny new 6 seater chairlift and the Boismint has also been upgraded to take more passengers.

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8 THINGS WE ARE LOOKING FORWARD TO THIS WINTER

Events – What’s on on the Three Valleys 2016/17

There is lots to look forward to in the 3 Valleys this season from the Ski Cross world cup in Val Thorens on the 5th of December for 5 days to the end of the season mega party that is the 3 Valleys charity day. Here are few to look out for…

December

December is a busy month with opening parties as well as Christmas and New Year celebrations all going on. But there is also the the FIS Ladies Alpine World Cup being held in Courchevel from the the 20th December. lindsey-vonn-2015-audi-fis-alpine-ski-world-cup-womens-super-g-in-italy-02

January 

One of the best events to watch in January is the annual British Armed Forces Combined Services Alpine Championships which is held in Méribel and will be in its 11 the year.

February

This month the resorts will celebrate Valentines day with various activities to help show your love. There will also be loads of children’s activities across the 3 Valleys as during the majority of the month there will be a region of France that has a half term holiday as well as the UK Half Term week starting on the 11th.

March

The big event in March is the Ronnie Loves Music Festival, hosted at the original aprés ski destination The Rond Point. This year Norman Jay MBE will return and there will be a set from 6 Musics Craig Charles playing music from his trunk of funk. There will also be some of the worlds top riders showing off on a specially build park.  The event kicks of on the 20th of March.
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April 

As the season comes to a close there are a still some great events on. We have all ready mentioned the incredible 3 Valleys Charity day happening on the 12th of April and it will feature all the best Aprés ski bands. There is also the 3 Valleys Enduro event where you can take part in events across the ski area such as Giant Slalom and Ski Cross.

We Recommend

If your heading to the Three Valleys then you may want to tick of a few thing on the Méribel bucket list and you definitely don’t want to miss out on some of our favourite things…

You need to make sure you spend at least one afternoon dancing at the Folie Douce.

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Spend your evenings hanging out at Jacks Bar in Méribel where they have live music nearly every evening as well as comedy and great drinks offers.

If your in La Tania make sure you grab some lunch in at Pub Le Ski Lodge as well as enjoying the evening entertainment.

Also don’t forget to get your photo taken in one of the 3 valleys giant photo frames.

Check out all our latest offers to the Three Valleys

 

 

 

 


Minority Sport

I thought the hardest thing about trying mono-skiing was going to be finding a mono-ski and then I clipped my boots in and discovered that actually skiing on one ski with my feet next to each other was actually harder.

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After having the idea of giving this minority sport a go I set about looking for some kit. I started my quest at the usual ski hire shop. My question was met with silence and then laughter, they didn’t have one. After trying my luck at a few other shops where I was met with similar reactions I was told to try a hire shop that I had never noticed in resort before. I found it in a big apartment block located between some sort of office and a restaurant. Just by looking at you knew that it had never experienced the British onslaught of boot fitting and bad ski carrying techniques only seen on a transfer day.

Inside the shop there was a good selection of skis, certainly no snowboards, cross country equipment, snowshoe kit and two mono-skis of questionable quality. I arranged with the owner a day to hire them, filled in the paperwork and left a deposit. Next I went to inform my accomplice in this adventure who seemed surprised and mildly concerned.

Monoski

It may be worth you knowing the level of our skiing. I was average at best, having learnt skiing at a young age then abandoned it for snowboarding, something I have later come to regret not least on the upcoming “mono-ski” day. My buddy was a better skier than me however, his distinct Dad style gave away the many floors in his technique which would also hinder his mono début.

The day arrived and lucky for us it was a pleasant spring day on the mountain. In a vain attempt to distract anyone from our lack of ability, we decided to dress-up as we assumed a mono skier would dress. Our outfits involved headbands and day-glow clothing, a look that seems to repeat itself on the slopes regularly as part of a decade long fashion cycle.

I went for the turquoise and pink mono-ski the other one was purple and yellow this seemed to reinforcing our choice of attire. We headed for the lifts. Rather predictably we opted for the British approach to taking on something new which is to muddle through, invent and learn in the field. Our first challenge was the chairlift. I won’t waste your time with faux suspense at the outcome. Let us just say there were people sat on a stationary lift for some time.
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Finally we were clipped in, we stood up and pushed off. We weren’t expecting immediate success nor were we expecting it take 2 hours to get down a slope that would normally take us 5 minutes to ride down. There isn’t the forgivness on a mono that you get on two skis and the motion of planting poles is crucial to success leaving me endlessly muddled in my attempt and on the floor after most turns. My biggest mistake was trying to use my poles to push off to make the turns. This did aide my speed down the hill however, that was with my back lying on the ski, feet still clipped in, head pointing down, with poles and head gear liberally distributed down the slope.

My second mistake was telling people we were going to attempt this and choosing a run than pretty much had a lift running over it the whole length. Normally I am the one sat on a chairlift laughing at the misfortune of others, today I was being laughed at, commented on and on occasions applauded but with irony. My friend fared no better than me I am pleased to report. Possibly my third mistake was not giving up after the first run, through the course of the day my technique didn’t really improve and my biggest success was probably linking 10 turns before confusion ultimately got the better of me.

At the end of the day we felt a bit sore, quite demoralised and no better at mono-skiing. I can thoroughly recommend this as a minority sport that you don’t need to try.


What Emily Sarsfield Loves About Méribel

Emily Sarsfield is the UK’s number 1 female Ski Cross athlete, has been ranked 20th on the World Cup circuit and is a member if the British Ski and Snowboard squad. For the last 10 years Emily has lived, worked and trained in Méribel and is a big fan of the Three Valleys.  Recently we had a chance to sit down with Emily and talk to her about what she loves about our Alpine home.

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Val Thorens World Cup, credit: Daniel Smye-Rumsby

Not only does Emily train in the Three Valleys she also runs a small ski school offering private lessons out of Méribel, this is obviously when she isn’t competing and is often during the school holidays. The reason she does this is because unlike many other athletes she doesn’t receive funding, so has to find ways to fund her own training and racing. As Emily bases herself in the Three Valleys and is always returning in Méribel, we started be asking her why she keeps coming back, her response was that the resort has a strong community, although she doesn’t behave like the usual seasonnaire and is likely to be found in the gym when everyone else is in the pub.

We then chatted about her missing out on the Winter Olympic Games and becoming a ski instructor but we soon ended up back on the subject of Méribel. One of the first thing Sarsfield mentioned was the fact that all of the resorts in America would fit into the Three Valleys before pulling out the usual but true clichés and declaring that Méribel is “postcard picture perfect”.

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Megeve World Cup, credit: Daniel Smye-Rumsby

In the 10 years of skiing in the Three Valleys she doesn’t think she has skied every run, which is probably very true, after all the years we have been working out there we probably haven’t either. If you live somewhere for a long time you will inevitably notice the changes, one of the big things Emily has noticed is how the access to cross the entire ski area has developed and even beginner skiers can now move from resort to resort on mainly green runs.

“There is always something different” – Emily Sarsfield on the Three Valleys

Of course one of the main reason Emily loves the Three Valleys is because of the Ski Cross park in Val Thorens, which is one of the best in Europe and regularly hosts World Cup Events. Over the years she has fallen in love with off piste skiing which the the 3Vs has plenty of when the conditions are right and Sarsfield top tip is to head up the Loze chair on a bluebird for some easy access powder.

We saved our “best” question until last, when we asked her in our serious interviewer voice, what is her favourite run in the resort and the answer was the Mauduit. The run is from the top of Saluire and goes all the way down to Méribel Center, or you can choose to head down to Méribel Village. She described the run as “long, open, well groomed and a thigh burner”.

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If you would like to keep up to date with Emily then check out her Facebook or Twitter.

To book a holiday to Méribel visit our website. 

 


What’s new in Méribel for this winter

This is our round up of what is new in Méribel this winter.

Beginners Areas

This winter Méribel is making learning to ski a nicer experience by expanding its safe haven areas for children and beginners. The Altiport area has a designated “Ski Cool” zone that is for gentle and peaceful skiing it is also the home of the piste des Inuits, a nursery slope. On the other side of the valley is the “Zen Zone” and Yeti park, located on the Little Himalaya piste and is also billed as safe haven for people new to skiing and snowboarding.

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Ski Lifts

The new lift is the extension of the Combes, which runs from Meribel Mottaret up towards Les Menuires. This lift now has a mid station allowing beginners to get off and access the Himalaya “Zen” area. It will also shorten the time it takes for skiers to get over to the next valley and onto the runs down to Saint Martin de Belleveille. The lift also boasts magnets as increased saftey for children wearing a special bib.

Take a virtual tour of the new lifts and runs!

 

Wifi

Méribel has introduced free on piste Wifi. You can find out more about it and the locations in this article.411535_552625424749240_476471687_o (1)

Sledging

For many years the neighbouring resort of Courchvele has had an epic Toboggan run, this year Méribel is introducing not one but two! One run is located in up the Altiport are and the other is next to the Rhodos lift down by the Chaudanne. Sadly neither will be as epic as the one over in Courchevel, which you can watch in the video below.

Photo frames

There will be added photo opportunities this winter as Méribel will be installing a selection of giant photo frames arround the resort for you to have your photo taken with, as soon as we know the locations of these we will let you know.

The Alpine Legends Ski Pass

We wrote about the Alpine Legends pass a few weeks ago. It is a pass that allows you to ski the 3 Valleys, Espace Killy and Paradiski for one price. In the past there was always the option to “upgrade” for a day but this pass allows unlimited skiing in every resort, there is a challenge waiting for some adventurous people to invent, 9 Valley Rally anyone?

Click here if you want to get in contact and talk to us about booking a ski chalet holiday to Meribel.

Source : french-alps.meribel.net

 

 

 

 


New lift pass to cover 3 Valleys, Paradiski and the Espace Killy

The Alpine Legends Ski Area – One Pass to Rule Them All

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Have you ever thought to yourself “there just isn’t enough skiing in the 3 Valleys”? If you have then you will be please to know that there is now going to be a new mega pass. This new pass, called the Alpine Legends pass, will cover some of the worlds legendary and iconic ski resorts and areas. The 6 day ski ticket will allow you unlimited skiing in all of the 3 Valleys areas, Méribel, La Tania, Courchevel and Val Thorens which are all impressive ski areas in there own right. The pass will also include Les Arcs and La Plagne which form the amazing Paradiski and if that isn’t enough Val d’Isere and Tignes are both included, which combined makes 1325 km of pistes to explore.

The Alpine Legends lift pass is expected to cost around €340 which is only €51 more than a 3 Valleys pass, so that means you get an extra 725 km for less than the price of day pass.

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How to get about 

If you are considering buying an Alpine Legends Ski Pass you will need to think about how you are going to commute around the areas as they are not all linked by lifts and runs.

Car: Probably the easiest of all the options is to do a self drive holiday  or hire a car either at the airport or in resort, then you can just drive yourself around from resort to resort each day. All resorts have car parks close to the slops and many have free parking if you are on a budget.

Bus: All these resorts are linked by a bus service of sorts. You can get from the Three Valleys to the Paradiski via a bus from Le Praz in Courchevel to Bozel at the bottom of the valley where you will have to change and catch a second bus to the small resort of Champagny that is linked to La Plagne. We have done this route many times and you can read our experience here.  If you wanted to catch public transport to and from one of the resorts in the Espace Killy you will have to make your way down to Bourg St Maurice, which you can do via the funicular in Les Arcs. From Bourg St Maurice you can get on the daily service to Val d’Isere or Tignes and will cost about €18 for a one way trip, timetables can be found at www.altibus.com.

Ski: It is possible to ski from Tignes to Les Arcs, but this is a serious mountain route and you would need to take an experienced guide with you.

Where to stay: Naturally we recommend staying in one of our ski chalet in La Tania or Méribel and either would make a great base for exploring the Alpine Legends ski area. Take a look at what have to offer.

 

 


Guests Tips – Making the most out of The 3 Vallées.

Guests Tips – Making the most out of The 3 Vallées 3valleys

We asked our Facebook fans and guests how they make the most of a ski holiday in the 3 Valleys. The best tip won a helmet and a pair of goggles thanks to our friends at the Meribel North Face ski hire. 

Winning Post – Jonny L Vacca  – The more time you spend on lifts in 3vallees the better the run down! I find if I spend a lot of time getting lifts to the very peak I can have a 30 minute run down to the bottom with varying pistes and challenges!

Chelsea Taylor – Always have a hip flask!

Joe SirDrinksalot Walbyoff – Have a couple (or more) of drinks in pub le ski lodge down in La Tania!!

Ed Dalgleish – Mountain burger.

Sophie Milne – challenge yourself to the black mogel field just above the la follie douce, 8 mins, no one on the group falls that means a cheeky beer and boogie! If someone fails back up the chair! Great way to challenge yourselves! Val T!

Bradley Michael Wigglesworth –  Don’t miss the last lift from Les Menuires to Val Thorens, did it 2 days on the trot!!!

Tony Smith – Having just come back from the 3 valleys yesterday, I’d say my top tip is get out there and enjoy yourself, if there’s someone in your group that wants to stay at the hotel bar then let them, get out on the first lift ski/board hard and go up on the last lift, make the most of it, there’s so much to see and you’ll be on your way home before you know it, but most importantly have some fun that’s what it’s all about.

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La Tania to Les Arcs and back

La Tania to Les Arcs and back

A few years ago I had the pleasure of staying in the Chalet Hanneke in La Tania. There were two reasons I had chosen to stay in this chalet in La Tania, other that the first class reputation Alpine Action has. The first was because I have been luckily enough to work in Courchevel a few years back and wanted to relive the memories with some old friends. Secondly I was considering putting in a Jacuzzi bath in my house and as each room comes with one en suite it seemed to make sense.

The week was sunny, with good conditions on the slopes. The group had fun reliving the days that we spent when we were young season workers. We went to all the bars that we used to frequent, we even cringingly spoke to current resort workers starting with the line “I used to work here”, I believe one of us even tried to get “seasonnaires discount” at a bar. I think you could say that we tried to relive the dream. Naturally we reminisced and talked about stunts we pulled, adventures we went on and opportunities we had missed.  It was during one of these discussions that we came up with a challenge for ourselves.

  From Courchevel you can see the back of the La Plagne ski area which goes to down into the village of Champagny and from La Plagne you can get on the Vanoise Express cable car to Les Arcs. Also if you buy a full week long Three Valleys pass you are entitled to ski for a day in another ski area. It was this basic knowledge that formed the basis of our holiday/ reliving the dream challenge. The actual challenge was to go from La Tania to Val Thorens, ski across the three valleys then make our way to Les Arcs highest point via La Plagne. The rules were that we must only use public transport or lifts. The Jeopardy was that if we get stuck in Les Arcs or the wrong side of La Plagne we face a very expensive taxi ride back to our chalet in La Tania.

On the morning of our challenge, we had the inevitable drop outs due to an extended après ski session. We also had to kindly persuade a few weaker skiers not to come as this would be a long, fast, tough day with no hot chocolate stops.  We had a big breakfast in the chalet that included lots of coffee. We got our ski kit on and waited at the bottom of the La Tania gondola for it to open. Making it pre-first lifts is a challenge in itself. The ‘ liftie’ kindly let us on 5 mins early and our group of four explorers were off. During the first assent we convinced ourselves that we are probably the first people to attempt this, if nothing else we were at least the first people staying with Alpine Action to attempt this, either way we were skiing pioneers.

We reached our first check point of Val Thoresn in good time, the slopes were empty and the lift queues were nonexistent. To get to Val Thorens we dropped down into Meibel Center up to Mottaret. The mountain remained on our side as we made our way to the top of Saulire. It was as if everyone had remained in bed just for us. Our second goal of the day was achieved, even we couldn’t believe we had made it before 10.30 in the morning.

From the top of Saulire we looked down on Courchevel, ready for the first of several long descents. This one would take us through Couchevel 1850, and 1550, past Le Praz and down to Saint Bon at 1100 meters, making a total vertical drop of over 1500m. Surprisingly the snow towards Saint Bon was good enough to ski on, which was a relief as no one had bothered to check if the run would be open. It was here that we hit our first problem, where was the bus stop to Bozel. Bozel is a small town in the valley where would get on to another bus to Champagny.  We found the bus stop and were glad to see that we were in time for the next bus, so we waited and waited. The bus was only 4 minutes late but with our tight schedule this seemed like an age.

We reached Bozel and had 15 min until the next bus to Champagny, so we had a look around. The highlight for me was the Pizza vending machine which we vowed to use on the way back. The bus was on time and we sat down on the front seat for a quick disembark at the other end.

There was no queue for the bubble out of Champagny, but time was getting on we ate our lunch on the lift and started to raise doubts about succeeding in our quest.  We knew it was a pretty straight forward run to the Vanoise Express from the top of La Plagne, but we also knew that after that point we were going to be on a lot of chair lifts. Luckily for us the weather was lovely sunshine and light winds, also,  there wasn’t any fresh powder to distract us. Once  we were off the gondola we weaved our way up to the top of Grand Rochette, then dropped down to Plagne Bellcott just in time to miss the lunch time rush. As we reached the Vanoise we looked up to see that time was slipping away from us, it was almost 1.30 and still 6 lifts away from of Les Arcs Check point at the top of the Aiguille Rouge.

On the first lift out of Plan Peisey, doubt was beginning to creep in and the threat of a €250 taxi ride started to weigh on the group’s mind.  An argument broke out about which lift to take next. The lift we did take stopped for 20 minutes which left us dangling and angry. The lift finally moved and we were on our way down to Le Arcs 1800. The queue here was massive so we decided to split up an use the single skier entrance, this also gave us all time to cool down. At the top of Transarc gondola we regrouped and had a team meeting, we all agreed that making it to the top of the Aiguille Rouge was not going to be possible. The decision we made was to go to Arc 2000 have a celebratory demis and head back.

We ended up stopping on a bar terrace in Arc 1950, called Luigi’s. We were rather please with ourselves and thought that we had done very well. Back on our skis and down to a lift named after some bears we rode. I knew from experience that from the top of here we could make it to the Vanoise Express in one run.  Unfortunately I also knew that there were several errors that could be made that would mean we end up in the Village of Vallandry and an extra lift away from getting back across to La Plagne. So it happened that we ended up in Vallandry. The Piste map was confiscated from me and we went back up the hill.

Finally we were on the double decker cable car that would take us to La Plagne side of the where we then had to take 4 lifts up a hill side that only took us 8 minutes to come down. The lifts were in the shade and the sweat on our backs was cooling, we knew that we were still not safely home yet. The time was near 4 and the lifts were shutting soon. We had to get down into Plagne Center and back up to the top so we could ski down to Champagny, it was looking like we might make it. Finally we arrived at the top of the Arpette and could see where we had to be. By now our muscles had cooled and our legs were starting to ache. Nonstop down to Bellecote, silence on the next lift, then flat out to Plagne Centre.

We were pretty much the last people allowed on the lift up to Les Verdons. On the lift we congratulated ourselves for making it, this was the last lift we had to catch. The run from the top down to Champagny was the last run we had to do. It took us quite a while. It was a long way, with slush snow towards the bottom. We arrived in the valley with the sun setting and a burn in our legs. We now needed to get back to La Tania. We went to the bus stop to find out that we had missed it. We sent our best French speaker to the tourist office to break one of our rules and book a taxi. The taxi that arrived was a 52 seat coach that cost us €4 each. Maybe we hadn’t missed the bus after all.

In Bozel we discovered that we had defiantly missed the bus up to Le Praz. So we consoled ourselves with a vending machine pizza and played paper, scissors, stone to see who would phone the Alpine Action resort manager. The response was that they don’t make a habit of picking up stranded guests but  a there was a minibus on it’s way up the hill they would get it diverted. Half an hour late we were picked up by the company driver. He asked us how we had become stranded in Bozel. We told the story, with embellishments. His response was simply “legends”. An endorsement from an actual Seasonnaire, we at least achieved that.


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