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Team GB: More investment across more Ski and Snowboard sports

Posted on: December 23rd, 2018 by SkiGB

It has been announced by the British Ski & Snowboard Team that after concentrating their funds on their “Park and Pipe” programme they will be spreading future investments over more sports.

 

For the last couple of Olympics Team GB have concentrated their efforts on the park sports which have seen them securing three Olympic medals.

 

Quote:

“Our aim is to be one of the top five snowsports nations by 2030, and we need to be competitive across a range of disciplines if we are going to get there. Over the course of the next four years we’re going to see more investment across more sports, while ensuring our park and pipe programme remains right up there with the best in the world,” said Vicky Gosling, CEO of British Ski & Snowboard.

 

UK Sport have increased the funding for British Ski & Snowboard by 31% to £6.75 million. This was decided due to the successes of recent Olympics.

Is this the end of Ski Waxing?

Posted on: December 4th, 2018 by SkiGB

Could this be the end of yearly ski servicing?

Skiers that have their own pair of skis know all too well the yearly “tax” of ownership, the ski servicing. Depending on where you go and what you need to be done this can add up over the years with a standard service around £50 or nearer £70 in the resort.

So you might like to know this could be coming to an end!

A Salt Lake City based ski company have developed a new liquid ski wax that only needs to be applied once, ever!
No more having to go to your ski specialist to get your skis waxed every year – or more often if you spend lots of time in the snow.
This new technique – is a 1 time forever treatment – is called Phantom and it forms a chemical bond with the bottom of your ski and soaks into ski base, all the way to the wood core or graphite core in some cases.
The makers say Phantom will last the whole life of the ski saving a considerable amount for the ski owner as well as being green – we all know waxing isn’t exactly good for the planet.

The University of Utah helped create the product and introduced it into the market in late 2017 for testing by a select few professionals, this season however some Aspen ski companies are now starting to use it on their rental skis.
Phantom will be available to buy by many online retailers in time but at the moment we have only found one, EVO.com.

Testing by the professionals who have been putting the product through its paces are all talking it up, very positive indeed!

A big advantage with Phantom over a standard wax is that it will last all day every day and not just a few runs in the morning – we have all been there haven’t we? Staying up all night waxing the planks for it only the wax to stay on them for a few runs.

Looking for a BUT?

There is a little one, Phantom costs $99 which isn’t a small amount of money but less than a couple of services! So, in fact quite cheap.

We’re not sure how ski service rental companies will feel about this, although you will still have to get your skis edged so it’s not the end of the world.

Team GB is joined by Snowboarder from Team France

Posted on: November 23rd, 2018 by SkiGB No Comments

Should we be a little smug or should we be British and keep our upper lip stiff?

We British located on our little islands which have little snow is starting to make waves – or should that be drifts – in the snow sports events. We are now regularly picking up medals in the World Championships and Winter Olympics for pretty much all the sports we compete in.

“Shout out to team GB – well done!”

But news has broken that Charlotte Bankes has defected from the French ski team to join Team Great Britain was quite a surprise.

Obviously nothing against our squad – we love you – but to leave a very strong team that has amazing facilities and of course a stack of snow to master your sport, to join Team GB, there must have been quite a convincing argument.

Charlotte Bankes Bio

  • Charlotte Bankes is 23 years old
  • She is currently ranked 4th in the World for Snowboard Cross
  • She has won the Snowboard Cross World Cup 3 times
  • She has also been the French Champion for 3 years
  • She has competed in 2 Winter Olympic Games
  • Charlotte joins our other two Snowboard Cross team members Zoe Gillings and Maisie Potter.

She is a big deal in Snowboard Cross and quite the coup for Team GB to secure her services.

Why change teams to Team GB?

Although Charlotte grew up in France and progressed through their snowboard academy, she was actually born in England, Hemel Hempstead to be precise – she didn’t need to move to France did she with Hemel’s dry ski slope on her doorstep.

However, she did move to France at the age of 4 years old and hasn’t looked back, until now.

Charlotte has decided to return home and represent Great Britain in future events, and we are very happy to welcome her back.

So why now?

Quite simply Great Britain are now demonstrating how good we can be with a fully backed snowsports academy of our own and starting to bring back some medals.

Seeing this has made her make the jump across the channel.

Charlottes first event in our colours will be at the Europa Cup in Austria before she joins the World Cup circuit starting in Park City in February 2019.

We will be following Charlotte’s events and will report about her and the rest of our GB Snowsport (new name!) Team.

Guess the Snow Patch

Posted on: July 10th, 2018 by SkiGB

Scottish ski resort Glencoe Mountain Resort are seeing their snow disappear with all the high temperatures the UK are experiencing.

So, for a bit of fun and a chance to win a prize of a free days skiing at the resort they are playing a little guessing game.

The idea is to pick one of the 5 remaining snow patches and the date you think will be it’s last, if you choose the last patch and the correct date you win!

 

If you fancy having ago here is a link to their Facebook post where you can enter! CLICK HERE

Swansea dry ski slope to be replaced by shops

Posted on: March 18th, 2018 by SkiGB

Sad news that the proposed indoor snow dome to be built on the site of the once dry ski slope in Swansea will not be going ahead.

The once popular ski slope which opened in 1989 hasn’t been used for over a decade and is now run down.

Instead of the suggested snow dome it looks like the site will be redeveloped into shops and restaurants.

Restaurant review for La Bouitte in Saint Martin de Belleville

Posted on: February 16th, 2018 by SkiGB

A top notch hotel should boast a top notch restaurant, and when that restaurant is awarded a prestigious Michelin star you know you are staying somewhere special. So how about one that has just been awarded its third? The La Bouitte boutique hotel boasts a prime location in the beautiful enclave of Saint-Martin-de-Belleville in the Rhône-Alpes region of south-eastern France. Rather than being a hotel with an exceptional restaurant, this is an exceptional restaurant which has expanded to include a luxury hotel, and what an inspired decision that was.

A really family affair La Bouitte, which translated to ‘Little House’ in local Savoyard dialect, was created in 1976 with the purchase of a potato field. On here Rene and Marie-Louise Meilleur built their restaurant with the sole aim of creating a dining experience never before seen in the area. Their children joined them in the business in the 90’s, the restaurant expanded over the years to include guest rooms and the finally they realised their goal of building their dream chalet.

From the outside the building is a so visually appealing you cannot wait to get inside. Every inch has been designed by the family themselves and it is truly spectacular. The large, airy dining room with its use of wood and stone pillars gives way to a terrace where you can enjoy your fine dining experience al fresco style surrounded by the mountains.

The restaurant today is in the more than capable hands of René and his son Maxime, and the recently expanded dining room has been specifically designed to offer diners the best possible views of their stunning surroundings. Behind the scenes, the dynamic culinary duo are constantly creating new dishes based in their beloved Savoie cuisine with a touch of ingenuity thrown in for good measure. This results in the kind of dishes that look to good to eat, but when you do the taste manages to surpass the aesthetics.

As an introduction to La Bouitte René offers guests his surprise menu which makes the most of the local produce at the time and which gives you top quality fare with the element of surprise thrown in for good measure. The ‘initiation at LA Bouitte’ is available in either 3 or 4 courses and while ordering an unknown menu anywhere else may make you worry slightly, you certainly won’t do that here with those 3 stars as the most iron clad guarantee possible of the quality you will be served.

There is, of course, also a sublime menu to choose from, and no doubt you will peruse through this wondering what the Michelin people opted for! Superb starters, magnificent mains and delicious desserts make your time spent at La Bouitte a fine dining experience par excellence. We cannot ignore the wine list either, well, we say list that should be wine book. The choice of Champagnes alone will make astound you and if the choices of wines in this book were in an oenophile’s cellar he would be considered to be one of the world’s greatest connoisseurs on wine.

From start to finish your experience at La Bouitte is something to savour. Knowing you have a room booked for the night simply adds to the experience as you have all the time in the world to soak up the atmosphere. There aren’t many restaurants where you run out of superlatives to describe them, but La Bouitte is one of the favoured few.

 

 

Speed Mountain Toboggan on Rails

Posted on: February 16th, 2018 by SkiGB

If you think about winter sports in the world’s top ski resorts you will instantly conjure up images of skiing, snowboarding and possibly tobogganing. These are the main ones of course and what the majority of visitors flock to take part in during the relatively short winter sport season. When it comes to European resorts the savvy traveller will already know that best fun in the sun, and snow, awaits in the Trois Vallées and that area is gradually expanding to offer its guests even more activities.

Do you have the prudence of a snail or the speed and agility of a hare?

If you are lucky enough to be heading to Les Menuires in the Belleville Valley of les Trois Vallées then you have the thrill of a lifetime awaiting you and there isn’t a ski in sight. If you fancy hurtling along in a toboggan at break neck speeds without any fears of tipping over and getting too close for comfort with the cold white stuff then this is the place to come thanks to the Speed Mountain Toboggan which winds its way around the mountain on rails. New and ever more inventive adventure sports are appearing on the radar due to the ever increasing demand of thrill seekers, and this one certainly takes some beating.

As if an adrenaline rush wasn’t enough there is also a competitive edge thrown in for good measure as you will be racing against Boukty; the mascot of the Les Menuires resort. Both adults and children can take on Boukty in a run that is more than 1200m long. There are twists and turns, ascents and descents and even raised bends just like you would see in competitive tobogganing. A lot of time and effort has also been put into the surroundings as the entire length of the run has been landscaped to make your run even more enjoyable.

There are 10 signposts relating to the Boukty challenge and your goal is to beat his record. There are 3 control points will let you know how you are getting on in your quest. Do you have the prudence of a snail or the speed and agility of a hare? One thing is guaranteed; once you have been on the run you will want to get straight back on it! While there are individual toboggans for adults and older children, little ones from the age of 3 can share a toboggan with an adult so they don’t miss out on all the fun.

There are few activities in the mountains that are a real family affair and Speed Mountain is one of them. A new activity for the 2013/2014 this is fast becoming a firm favourite. There are similar attractions in other resorts but Les Menuires have created the longest run in the Alps, giving you a lot more fun for your euros. Priced per individual run or in set of 5, 10 or 20 at a reduced cost this is currently the hottest ticket in les Trois Vallées, and there is still time this year for you to hop aboard and have a truly exhilarating experience in one of the most spectacular settings.

Cave des Creux restaurant in Courchevel – Review

Posted on: February 16th, 2018 by SkiGB

There are certain things you expect when you arrive at a restaurant in a top end ski resort. Kerb appeal is the first thing, then a tangible warmth as you go through the door. Friendly staff who make your arrival a pleasure, being shown to your table quickly and the dining area surpassing all expectations are another 3 key items. Sadly, even those restaurants which have the highest rating can fall down on one, or more, of the above.

We must applaud Boris and Florian Glise

For those planning a visit to the Cave des Creux restaurant in Courchevel I am delighted to report that you have absolutely nothing to worry about. This restaurant was opened in 2013 by a couple of ski instructor brothers who heard many complaints from visitors about there being nowhere to eat actually on the mountain and the fact that they had to go right down into the village to satisfy their hunger. Once a shelter for those shepherds who roamed the mountains of the Trois Vallées with their sheep, this unique restaurants offers fine dining at altitude, and some of the most amazing views of the Courchevel Valley and Mont Blanc.

From the beginning of December through until the end of April the Cave des Creux is open daily and offers Alpine diners a refined yet simple brasserie menu to satisfy all palates. Every item on the menu is created from the finest local produce and all under the watchful eye of the head chef Daniel Thibault. Daniel hand picks the producers of every ingredient that enters his kitchen and throughout the season offers a fine selection of Savoyard specialities. The wine list is equally superb and will satisfy the needs of even the most discerning of oenophiles.

As delicious as the fare is it is well worth leaving some room for one of the many mouthwatering and home made desserts offered as a buffet. Each one looks more delicious than the last and the only complaints we heard from fellow diners was that there was too much choice! After your meal relaxing on the south facing terrace is an absolute must.

Sipping a coffee looking out over the view is akin to sitting on the Rive Gauche in Paris; you can’t really believe what’s in front of you and what you are experiencing. The outdoor fireplace ensures that even if you fancy a spot of alfresco dining you are protected from the chill in the air.

It’s positioning at 2112m on the main ski area means there are many people eating in ski suits who have stopped off for lunch before returning to the slopes and making their final run back down into the actual village itself.

Good quality, hearty fare is just what’s needed after a long day on the slopes and this restaurant delivers on every level. Its high altitude position doesn’t mean sky high prices either, and the general consensus amongst diners is that they have paid a lot more for a good meal actually in the village where there is a lot more competition. We must applaud Boris and Florian Glise for not only creating this restaurant in such a magical spot but for making it so enjoyable. A true mountain gem.

 

Ski Cool Val Thorens Ski School

Posted on: February 12th, 2018 by SkiGB

Ski Cool Val Thorens ski school is one of the newest in the resort. Basing their teaching on the ‘fun’ side of learning they are very popular with the children.

The school has three offices, one in the Balcons area, one just next to the Church and the other at the bottom of the resort. We have added all the office to our Val Thorens Ski School Map so you know which one to is closest to your accommodation.

They teach young children to Adults from complete beginners to Expert and offer a bespoke tuition if required, just ask!

Ski Cool Ski School contact details:

  • Telephone: +33 (0)4 79 00 04 92
  • Email: mail@ski-cool.com

Here is a link to their website: Click Here

SETAM 3 Valleys VIP Ski Pass Booking

Posted on: February 12th, 2018 by SkiGB

Prosneige Val Thorens Ski School

Posted on: February 12th, 2018 by SkiGB

Prosneige are one of the few ski schools in Val Thorens and are dressed in Blue, they are a friendly bunch so you should have a great time with them.

Prosneige have 4 offices in Val Thorens which will ensure there is one near your accommodation. We have marked their locations on our Val Thorens Ski School Map so you know which one to is closest.

They are available to to teach Skiing or Snowboard from Beginners to Advanced and from 3 years to 100 years old, you’re never too old to start to learn!

 

Due to their large range of instructor skills they can also teach more specialised forms of snow sports. For example:

  • Freestyle Skiing or Snowboarding
  • Freeride and Touring
  • Handiski
  • Airbags to perfect your jumps
  • Night time skiing

Prosneige Ski School contact details:

  • Telephone: +33 (0)4 79 01 07 00
  • Email: info@prosneige.fr

Here is a link to their website: Click Here

ESF Val Thorens Ski School

Posted on: February 12th, 2018 by SkiGB

The ESF ski school in Val Thorens is the largest ski school in the resort, this is mainly due to being the first ski school in Val Thorens and it is also the national ski school.

ESF (Ecole du Ski Francais – Which means: School of Ski French) are dressed in bright red and can be seen all over the mountains. The school caters for complete beginners to advanced skiers and snowboards. Their main office is on the ‘Place de Caron’ just next door to the Tourist Office. We have noted down all 4 ski school offices for ESF in Val Thorens on our Val Thorens Ski School Map so you know which one to is closest to your accommodation.

ESF Ski School contact details:

  • Telephone: +33 (0)4 79 00 02 86
  • Email: info@esf-valthorens.com

here is a link to their website: Click Here

Free School Attitude Val Thorens Ski School

Posted on: February 12th, 2018 by SkiGB

The Free School Attitude ski school in Val Thorens is the newest in the resort. Based in the ‘Galerie de Caron’ near the Tourist Office it is right in the centre of the resort. This school only has the one office so that might be a consideration when booking.

They specialise in Snowboarding from learning to do tricks and jumps to just starting out. They do teach skiing but you will have to check their availability of instructors as they are a small team.

Don’t let that put you off they have had some great reviews and often have smaller groups than the other ski schools like ESF Val Thorens and Prosneige Val Thorens.

 

We have marked their location on our Val Thorens Ski School Map to help you find them quickly.

Free School Attitude Ski School contact details:

Magic In Motion Val Thorens Ski School

Posted on: February 12th, 2018 by SkiGB

One of the newest ski schools in Val Thorens they are not however new to the 3 Valleys. With ski schools all across the other two valleys of Courchevel and Meribel they are a very successful ski school indeed.
With a truly international team means they can offer private lessons in many different languages: French, English, Dutch, German, Spanish, Italian and Russian.

 

Private Tuition
Wobbly toddlers, headstrong teenagers, nervous ladies, couloirs climbers, any age, any discipline, on and off the slope, ski, snowboard, telemark, touring, freestyle or simply guiding…Magic has it all!

With a maximum number of 6 people per class they make sure they give a personal service, always wanting to help whenever possible the really do progress your skiing or snowboarding.

 

Magic in Motion Ski School

Magic in Motion Ski School

 

Magic In Motion Ski School contact details:

Or if you prefer you can book them online, a link to their site is below. Don’t forget to let them know you found them on SkiGB.com, they might just give you a present! 🙂

 

Hotel Le Hameau du Kashmir – Val Thorens

Posted on: February 12th, 2018 by SkiGB

Accommodation in the premier ski resort of Val Thorens is vast and varied to say the least. Traditional chalet type hotels rub shoulders with contemporary boutique hotels to give visitors an eclectic mix choice. Every now and again, however, one will really jump out at you for the not only the inventiveness of its design but its desire to bring something different to the table. In this case it is the Hotel le Hameau du Kashmir.

The hotel takes its name from Kashmir region of north west India, set high in the Himalayas. The rocky landscape here consists of towering mountains permanently covered in snow; sound familiar? This hotel was designed to incorporate these far eastern influences with what is on offer in the Savoie, creating a unique ambience for those looking for somewhere to make their trip to Val Thorens that extra bit special.

Hotel le Hameau du Kashmir Val Thorens

Located at the resort entrance, Le Hameau du Kashmir enjoys uninterrupted and panoramic views of its spectacular surroundings, as well as catching the best of the sun. The hotel consists of several buildings to create a hameau; hamlet. These surround a centrally located quadrangle and have been positioned in tiers to ensure harmony with their backdrop of snow covered slopes. The interiors have been decorated in the vibrant colours of the Kashmir region and offer visitors a warm, welcoming and very stylish guest experience.

There are 57 apartments and suited in total within this mini resort which sleep from between 4 and 8 people, each one tastefully created to give you a real haven to retreat to after a long day on the mountains. The vision of the hotel is to offer all its guest lifestyle with luxury and manages to strike that fine balance between a traditional hotel and the homely aspect that comes from private accommodation.

Make no mistake this one very upmarket hotel that really goes that extra mile to ensure every guest has the best possible experience. It is also a very family friendly hotel which makes the well being of both parents and their children a top priority. The spaces and services have been designed with families in mind and anyone who has been told in the past to keep their children quiet or to stop them running around will appreciate having somewhere to stay where children are allowed to be children. There is even a ski in ski out facility offering direct access onto the Plein Sud slope which is a great piste.

The vision of the hotel is to offer all its guest lifestyle with luxury

The hotel Le Hameau du Kashmir boasts 2 top class restaurants which are firm favourites with the Val Thorens crowd. Le Yack is billed as a beef lovers paradise and it’s guaranteed that you have never visited a steakhouse quite like this one. Whether you want to enjoy the sunshine at lunch time or looking for a hearty dish to round of the day this restaurant is one of the best in town, and guests have it right on their doorstep; literally.

Le Karmin is the second restaurant and can be accessed directly from the slopes. The terrace offers diners spectacular views over the valley and is the perfect place to kick off your boots, sit back and soak up the atmosphere. Breakfast is served buffet style and those who want a quiet drink once the kids are asleep can spend a bit of me time in le Bar. Add the spa in the mix and everything else on offer at Le Hameau du Kashmir and you have one very special hotel.

 

The Statistics

How many Stars: 5* Hotel

Sleeps: 57 apartments

Closeness to the piste: Ski in Ski out

Resort location: Quarter Arolles, Bottom of resort

Style: Very modern

Swimming Pool: Yes

Spa: Yes

Michelin Stars: none

Specialness: A Ski Hotel but done a little differently

Internet: Free WiFi

Disabled Facilities: Yes

Pets allowed: No

Our rating: 5/5

Val Thorens Best Piste – Tete Ronde

Posted on: February 12th, 2018 by SkiGB
Pretty much every ski resort has its jewel of a piste, whether it is particularly long or maybe known for being really tough to ski all ski resorts have them. For us in Val Thorens it has to be Tete Ronde.

 

Tete Ronde is not a long piste and being a Blue run it is not a tough one either. It is located off the top of the Telecabin de Peclet right next to the start of the famously long Toboggan (which needs to be tried if ever in resort).

 

So why is Tete Ronde the best piste in Val Thorens?

 
Quite simply because of its twists and turns. Tete Ronde starts as mentioned a little bit below the top of the Telecabin de Peclet, follow the piste to the right (when looking upwards) and it will take you through a large gap in the mountain.
The initial start of the piste is a little steeper than the rest of the run but is quite wide so there’s plenty of space to make those wide carved turns, or try again from a failed stem turn.

 

Top of Val Thorens Tete Ronde

 

Once down the first decent it flattens out a little but then it’s the start of the real fun bit, the twists and turns!

 

The first few left and right turns are quite open so you can take them at speed (safely though!!). However don’t get caught out a little later near the end if the run there are some sharper turns including the concluding corner which is a 90 degree right. Because so many do get caught out this corner gets cut up from all the skiers performing an emergency break.

 

Val Thorens Tete Ronde 90 degree right hand corner

 

Our Tip: The best way to ski this corner is to flatten the line and keep high left as you enter, then swoop in to the right. By doing this you should be skiing the same direction as the bumps and it should make the turn smoother and flatter.

 

Val Thorens Chalet la Marine

 

Then finally it is a dash to the end of the run and join the 2 Combes piste or stop off at Chalet la Marine for a drink and chat about how good this piste is!

 

A truly great run in Val Thorens and one that can be skied by most ski standards, go and give it ago you’ll love it!

 

Val Thorens’ The Secret Piste

Posted on: February 12th, 2018 by SkiGB

There are always ski areas that are not found out by holiday makers until the latter part of the week and therefore are quiet until then, Val Thorens is not any different.

At the lower part of the Val Thorens ski area there is a piste called Boismint which we think is that piste. This is why we think this.

Let’s split this down into two groups of skiers to make it easier to explain.

 

Group 1 – Holidaymakers staying in Val Thorens
Group 2 – Day skiers who drive up to Val Thorens and then leave after they have skied for the day

 

Group 1 – Val Thorens Holidaymakers tend to start the week skiing on pistes near to the resort until they find their feet. So pistes like Tete Ronde (read why we rate Tete Ronde as the best piste in Val Thorens) and use lifts like Telecabin de Peclet as it’s easy to find and near by.

 

Group 2 – Val Thorens is very popular for day skiers who come up to the resort from down the valley to enjoy the ski area for the day. The resort have spent a lot of money creating a new car park, ski lifts and piste access to get as many day skiers up to Caron (main mountain in Val Thorens) as quickly as possible. Which is great, however they don’t head towards Boismint!

 

Whether you like piste skiing or just off the piste this is a great place to ski. For the just of the piste skiers you can (with snow permitting) ski a good couple of feet of powder quite often throughout the season, just be careful of the big rocks.

 

The only negative to ski this area was the very slow chair lift that takes you back up. However this has now changed as Val Thorens have invested once again on upgrading their lift system and from 2014 there is a much quicker lift (read what is new for Val Thorens in 2014 which includes this lift). It also takes you up higher than the old lift.

 

Finally another good reason why Boismint is handy to know about is that when the cloud comes in (and it can) or when it gets windy (and it can) this area is a good replacement for the lack of trees to protect you.

 

There you have it, another Val Thorens piste recommendation, it’s up to you if you want to keep it a secret!

 

Skiing down to Val Thorens Boismint Ski Area

The Perfect Blast Piste!

Posted on: February 12th, 2018 by SkiGB

It doesn’t really matter what level of Skier or Snowboarder you are sometimes we all want to do the same thing, to scream down a piste as fast as we can! 🙂

A nicely groomed piste, whether it is freshly made corduroy motorway or hard packed with a dusting on top some days can’t be beat!

It goes without saying that you should only hit Mac 2 when the coast is clear of snaking ski schools or it is so busy it looks like the day of the sales at Snow and Rock!

So back to the job in hand, where is it good to break the speed record in Val Thorens? (obviously not including the race pistes)

Time to test your knowledge of Val Thorens!

Clues:

There are several options but we are going to recommend a piste which isn’t used as much as it’s next door neighbour.

It’s a Blue run (BLUE! Surely not steep enough?) and starts up high.

There is even a restaurant half way down to have a coffee.

Have you guessed which one yet? (Here is the latest Val Thorens piste map to help)

One last clue it starts at the bottom of the Coldest lift in Val Thorens.

 

Got it?

 

Let me tell you about Genepi the fastest blue run in town!
Twinned with its sister piste Moraine it starts at the bottom of Le Col lift. Instead of skiing down to the right (skiers right) take the left piste. So many more people for some reason ski to the right down Moraine.

Genepi is nice and wide and has a nice initial drop to get your speed started (don’t worry not a real drop like a cliff) so get into your tuck!

The first stage gets you to the big red Restaurant to get that Coffee you need. Then on to the slightly thinner section with some great corners. This section is much harder to go flat out and to do it safely. Do be responsible please and control your speed when others about!

To master you need to have a few runs on this slope, luckily though the piste ends at the bottom of the Moraine lift to take you to the top again so it is easy to loop round and have another go!

 

Val Thorens top of Genepi piste, doesn’t that look fun!

Best way to Ski into the Orelle valley

Posted on: February 12th, 2018 by SkiGB

 

If you have not picked up a 3 Valleys or Val Thorens piste map or have not read much about skiing in the 3 valleys and Val Thorens then you might not realise that there are actually 4 valleys in the 3 valleys!
Anyone in marketing is probably thinking that they have missed a trick here, after all surely 4 valleys is better than 3 valleys? Well without going into this too deep why this is as this post is not about the history of the 3 valleys, but here is a brief run down:

A long long time ago on a mountain far far away…

… a few decades ago the force was strong between the three major ski resorts in the area, Courchevel, Meribel and Val Thorens. This became too great and instead of battling it out on their own they decided to join an alliance to create a superpower of a ski area. As the three members were located in three valleys they called the alliance, The Resistance!

Sadly they couldn’t get the website name for that so they changed their minds and called it the 3 Valleys (actually 3 Vallees) instead.

Meanwhile just over the mountain a little village started to become a small ski resort in their own right called Orelle. They had access to some great powder and good slopes but didn’t have access to the vast 3 valleys. Well I say that, for many years you could actually squeeze through a gap in the mountain to ski either side, but the lifts and passes were not connected in anyway.
Fast forward several years and Orelle became part of the 3 Valleys and they made the gap in the mountain bigger and moved (replaced) the lift on Val Thorens side higher so we could and still can ski over to Orelle’s ski area.

I guess changing the name from 3 Valleys to 4 Valleys would be a lot of work, plus there is already a ski area in the world called the 4 Valleys.

ANYWAY I have got side tracked, this post is about the best way to ski into the Orelle valley.
There are two main ways to get into the valley, often people only know of one, the obvious one as mentioned above. So instead of skiing through the gap in the mountain from the Grand Fond lift head up the Cime de Caron. Take the piste off the other side of the mountain and turn left into the Orelle Valley, you need to ski down a bit of a path (sometimes depending on snow conditions) but the piste opens up. Now a little word of warning about this piste, it can get a little bumpy if skied by a lot of people but if you are skiing early on in the day you should be OK.
Skiing in from this side you should get a great view of the valley too weather permitting.

For the powder skiers/snowboards out there, which is everyone isn’t it?

This piste on a powder day is quite supreme and is a get there first thing piste, big tip!

Hope you enjoy!

Le Fitz Roy Hotel – Val Thorens

Posted on: February 12th, 2018 by SkiGB

Right at the heart of Val Thorens, nestled at the top of the Three Valleys, stands Le Hotel Fitz Roy. As one of the most renowned hotels in the world’s largest ski area, a stay at le Fitz Roy brings with it a great deal of expectation. As with many hotels with a formidable reputation for quality service and luxury, one might think that le Fitz Roy has the potential to be somewhat underwhelming for some of the more potentially presumptuous guests. This is, however, certainly not the case. Somehow, regardless of your expectations, le Fitz Roy Hotel manages only to impress.

The building itself is stunning. The classic chalet architecture makes one feel immediately welcome. This natural charm is reflected inside the hotel, more so following extensive refurbishment works, completed in 2013. The newly decorated interiors clearly aspire to make guests feel at home and comfortable in the occasionally harsh mountains, and they succeed in every respect.

Public areas vary between opulently spacious and intimately cozy, and the classic décor of all rooms have been given a light brushing with the modern. Iconic furniture sets the overall tone, but warm, neutral colours, modern luxuries, and comforting fabrics bring the hotel squarely into the 21st Century.

 

Each room either faces the slopes or the mountains; each view is similarly breathtaking so there will be no disappointment when you are given your room number. If you have a preference, I found the staff to be more than willing to accommodate if possible. Even basic rooms at le Fitz Roy Hotel match executive suites in other hotels in terms of luxury, but there are superb options for those wanting something grander and more exclusive. Available upgrades include a split-level room, a two-floor suite, or an entire floor for parties of 10 or more. I urge people to visit the hotel’s website to see the beauty of the rooms; description will inevitably fall short.

One thing that must be mentioned in a review of this hotel is the view. While it seems somewhat unfair to critique accommodation with reference to obviously magnificent surroundings, I think it is part of the genius of this hotel that it manages to blend itself into the surroundings. Val Thorens is the highest resort in the world, and the Three Valleys is, for me, one of the most beautiful landscapes in the Alps. The layout of this grand chalet, not to mention its location, make it so easy to take in the valley. Feeling constantly awe-struck when you venture onto the slopes, which are literally on your doorstep, and then returning to le Fitz Roy Hotel is what makes this hotel so brilliant.

As one would expect, the restaurant at le Fitz Roy Hotel is arguably one of the best places to eat in Val Thorens, and the bar is romantic beyond belief. The compulsion to get outside and ski is remarkably tempered once you have spent an afternoon sprawled on a sofa, lost in the fire that sits at the centre of the room. Every meal on the restaurant’s menu is exquisite; if there would be one place where you felt confident ordering simply the ‘chef’s recommendation’, it would be here. After seven nights dining in the restaurant, I never once felt as though I could have received better fare elsewhere.

The hotel is located on the place de Caron which is in the centre of the resort, this is where all the events of the resort takes place. New Year has the most special fireworks display which you would have the best view on your balcony.

Skiing to and from the hotel really couldn’t be easier. In the morning just click your skis in and scoot off down the piste. At the end of the day it is just as easy as there is a small lift that take you back to your hotel door, it’s as if they made it just for you!

Being in the centre of the resort also makes it easy to walk to the shops or Tourist Office as they too are on your doorstep, possibly one of the best locations of the resort.

Of course, there are many other facets that make le Fitz Roy Hotel an exceptional place to stay in the Three Valleys, if not the best; the fully-equipped, newly refurbished Spa facilities being one of the best things to indulge in while spending a week at this mountain retreat. However, a review must focus on the key attributes, and this hotel’s are sublimely simple: food, views and location. It is rare for a hotel to be of the highest quality based on these factors alone, but then le Fitz Roy Hotel is not your usual hotel.

 

The Statistics

How many Stars: 5* Hotel

Sleeps: 112 people

Closeness to the piste: Ski in Ski out

Resort location: On place de Caron, the centre of the resort

Style: Modern whilst keeping it’s roots

Swimming Pool: Yes

Spa: Yes

Michelin Stars: none

Specialness: It has the most comfy piano bar in the resort which crackling fire

Internet: Free WiFi

Disabled Facilities: Yes in rooms

Pets allowed: Yes

Our rating: 4/5