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Posts Tagged ‘travel’

Main Belleville road blocked by large Rock from landslide

Posted on: February 28th, 2015 by SkiGB

* Update 28th Feb 2015 – 17:15 *
The authorities think the road will now be open at 17:30 both directions.

* Update 28th Feb 2015 – 17:00 *
The RD117 road up from Moutiers to Les Menuires and Val Thorens is still currently shut. A diverted route is in place using the RD96 village road. This road is very thin in places so trucks and buses are not allowed.
The RD117 road is still due to open at 18:00 with priority traffic given to vehicles leaving resorts.
The buses from the connecting trains will also be given priority.
It is still recommended not to join the traffic to try and clmb the mountain road until tomorrow.
More information here or on our social media accounts once we know more.

 

* Update 28th Feb 2015 – 12:00*

The very earliest that the road will be passable is 18:00 however there are many vehicles wishing to travel up and down the road so there will be a large delay.

 

The main road in the Belleville valley has been blocked by a landslide which includes a 50 tonnes bolder.

A landslide has covered the main road up to ski resorts Les Menuires and Val Thorens with lots of rocks including the above mentioned huge bolder.

As you can see from the photos below the rock is so large it will take many hours (possibly days) to remove. Saturday is of course the main transfer day for tour operators and this landslide is far from ideal. The authorities are trying to move the rock as quick as possible however they don’t think the road will be open again until Sunday 1st March.

We will update this blog post as well as our Twitter, Facebook and Google+ pages to keep you up to date.

Will the return trip be as bad?

Posted on: January 2nd, 2015 by SkiGB

And so the week for the holiday makers who had to endure the transfer from hell getting to the resorts is coming to an end and we are all sure the thought of the return journey is playing on their minds.

A lot can happen in the Alps in a week from completely different snow conditions to the organisation of traffic management, we don’t think a repeat of a week ago will happen tomorrow.

That said several tour operators have made the decision to leave the ski resorts earlier to be out of sync with other traffic on the roads and hopefully not get caught up with any jams that may arise.

This is a good idea and very sensible, this weekend the traffic will mainly be going down the mountain road instead of climbing up as per last weekend. It is much more difficult to drive on snow/ice going down than up and more accidents happen in this direction.

However the snow level isn’t too low so the snow on the roads should only affect high resorts like Val Thorens.

The only negative we can see is that the guests will have to get up earlier to leave the resort and wait around in the airports for longer time for their flights.

We think you might as well stay up and not go to bed at all and keep the bar man company. 🙂

Snow Hampers Skiers in Busy Week

Posted on: December 28th, 2014 by SkiGB

This weekend 27th and 28th of December is one if not THE busiest weekend for many ski resorts. So many thousands of cars are trying to make their way up the mountain roads to the ski resorts.

This year however Mother Nature has decided to dump best part of a metre of snow at exactly the time these cars are in the area.

Mountain roads are generally a single lane road which wiggle their way up the hill and don’t have many places to overtake.

This weekend 15,000 vehicles are trying to get up to ski resorts like Val Thorens, Meribel and Tignes but due to amount of snow that has fallen in such a short amount of time the roads are completely jammed.

Ski resorts are very well equipped for clearing snow off roads and the staff can do it in their sleep, they are that good. The problem is if you stick thousands of cars on the same bit of tarmac they just can’t clear it.

But THE main problem why we have all these cars stuck around Albertville, Moutiers and up mountain roads is the drivers themselves. Every time there is snow of the mountain roads you will need to use snow chains except if you have a big 4×4 (and we have seen many BMW X5 and Land Cruisers have to put on chains too on some days).

Drivers often leave it too late to put on their snow chains, if they have them at all (it’s actually against French law not to have snow chains). What happens is they drive up as far as they can thinking they will make it all the way and get stuck. As it is a single lane they have little choice and have to start putting on the snow chains there and therefore hold up the hundreds of cars behind.

Another problem is that it is often the first time people have tried to put on snow chains, believe me some of them are a nightmare to put on!

It is also very often the case that it is dark when drivers tackle the mountain roads as they have more than likely travelled far, now they have to fit snow chains which they don’t know how to do in the dark!

With all this snow around the place the temperature is most likely quite cold so if you are outside of your car you will need to wear some gloves. Fortunately you have packed your thick ski gloves!

Now try putting on snow chains you don’t know how they work, in the dark, with snow falling getting in your eyes, in below freezing temperatures wearing thick ski gloves! Oh and whilst holding a torch (if you have one) in your mouth as there are not any road lights on these roads so you won’t be able to see without one.

It is easy pointing out the obvious if you live and work in a ski resort and see this day in day out, but come on people a little thought needed here!

 

I started writing this post to report on the state of the roads at the moment but it has kind of changed direction to point out what we all can do to stop this happening again in the future. There has been other unusual events happening at the same time which would not have helped, there was a fire in a tunnel around Chambery and Alberville as well as crashes by buses, which is rare and would have stopped traffic passing but that aside we can all help.

Things Skiers driving to a ski resort can do to help the traffic:

  • Practise putting on your snow chains at home before you leave.
  • Make sure you have a good torch, a head touch is ideal.
  • Thin gloves will help instead of thick ski gloves.
  • Don’t wait until it is too late to put the chains on, do it in one of the snow chain lay-bys.
  • Make sure you have food and water as well as warm clothing (available not in suitcase).
  • Fill up you car with fuel before going up the mountain (see saving money when skiing tips), you don’t want to run out of fuel whilst sitting in traffic.
  • Pack lots of common sense and don’t forget to use plenty! 🙂

 

If you would like to know the latest traffic report for this weekend follow us on Facebook, Google+ or Twitter as we post the latest info from the resorts.

Monarch Launch New Ski Route!

Posted on: December 15th, 2014 by SkiGB

Monarch have announced that they will start a new winter ski programme to help us skiers get out to the Alps. The new route will start on the 27th December and will continue until 11th April 2015 flying to Lyon from Gatwick Airport.

This will provide another option for you to get out to the main 3 Valleys ski resorts of Courchevel, Meribel and Val Thorens as well as all the other smaller resorts in the ski area.

Lyon is more or less about 2 hours drive from the resorts so quite handy really.

What is also very good news is that the flight leaves Gatwick at 7:10am so you could get an afternoon extra on the slopes.

Prices start from £29.99 one way and they are already for sale!

Here is a link to their site to help you alone the way: http://www.monarch.co.uk/offers/flights/new-destinations-w14

 

Ski or Snowboard Carriage Prices When Flying

Posted on: December 9th, 2013 by SkiGB

So the 2013/14 ski season is among us and some are looking to book their next trip out to the white stuff. Whether you are heading out to Val Thorens, the 3 Valleys or any European ski resort taking your Skis or Snowboard on holiday can add quite a bit to your holiday expenses, after all not all airlines provide free carriage for Skis or Snowboards. So before booking your flight have a look down our little list of airlines and what they charge for your beloved equipment.

 

Let’s start with the best out there, the airlines that provide FREE carriage for your Skis or Snowboard.

Swiss Airlines and Austrian Airlines will not charge for carriage.

 

Low cost airlines will charge but I guess you would expect that if you aren’t paying much for the flight itself.

 

EasyJet charge £30

Jet2 charge £30

Flybe charge £16.50 each way

Ryanair charge a whopping £50!

 

There is another option and to be honest it’s the best way to get out to the Alps, travel by Eurostar. There isn’t any weight limit, it is very relaxed and takes you almost to the door of your resort. We have timed ourselves from London to Val Thorens going by Eurostar and again taking the normal flight option to Chambery. We found that the two trips almost took the same time from door to door, but going by train was a lot less stressful.

 

The best bit though is that Eurostar do not charge anything for carriage.

 

We have more information about travelling to the Alps including helpful tips:

 

Travelling to the Alps by Train

Travelling to the Alps by Plane

Travelling to the Alps by Car