Sunday, 15 April 2018

Last ski

We've just had a marvellous last morning's skiing on Rochebrune.  The sun is shining, the birds are singing, the snow was freshly groomed and softening up and the pistes were empty.  I've washed most of the ski gear.  Now I have to finish cleaning the apartment before we leave tomorrow morning.  This evening we are having a barbecue with the staff.

In the crevasse
Yesterday we skied on Mont D'Arbois and although the sun was out there was a chilly wind.  Max and Heidi Stallard took us for lunch at the Gouet to say thank you for providing the flat for their honeymoon, which was very nice.  Poor Violene and Guillaume were rushed off their feet as there were only four of them, two in the kitchen and two serving and they decided to close yesterday as they had no staff for today.

Our Vallee Blanche trip with the staff was a huge success and great fun, in spite of it being Friday 13th.  We walked down the arrrete and skied the first pitches in sunshine and then we hit cloud and it even started snowing.  Our guides were Alex Perrinet and his friend, Thierry.  They are very good and make it an adventure.  We skied down and through a crevasse,  Alex pointing out the three holes which we had to avoid.  We also skied down the frozen river, which was a bit like doing the ski cross and with about the same amount of carnage.  It was a great day and a big thank you to the staff, who have had to cope with the odd crisis (don't mention the ski bus crashing into the Rond Point on Christmas Eve).
Stanford staff 2018 at top of Aiguille du Midi
See you all next year!

Thursday, 12 April 2018

Spring

All our family has now left.  Elizabeth and the children were the last to go on Tuesday.  Most went Sunday but Baylys and Smiths left on Monday.  However, we have Max Stallard and his wife who got married on Saturday and here on honeymoon.   Max was a chalet boy at the Sylvana 18 years ago.      His brother, Tom, was a chalet boy 2 years earlier.  John went to school with their father, so we've known them forever.

There is still lots of snow and it snowed Tuesday morning, though the sun came out in the afternoon.
But spring is on its way at last.  I saw a marmot on the Pylons piste underneath the Mont D'Arbois lift yesterday.  I don't know where its burrow was.

The primroses are now going mad on the banks in town, though I haven't seen any cowslips yet.  The snowdrops and mountain crocuses have just appeared on the Calvaire near the Rond Point where the snow has melted.  Everything is about a month behind.  Most of the lifts close this weekend though some have closed already, like the Princess.  But I think Cote 2000 is staying open for a week or two for the locals.

Today we skied at Les Contamines for a change of scene.  It was terribly windy, to the extent that it was difficult to schuss.  How they kept the lifts open I don't know.  We came down early as it was unpleasant, and the top bubble was closed for some time.

Tomorrow we are hoping to ski the Vallée Blanche with the staff.  

Friday, 6 April 2018

Lizzie's birthday

Yesterday was Lizzie's birthday, 13 years old.  We got up and looked at the rain.  I got dressed in skiwear about three times, and kept changing may mind about skiing.  The girls went up and said there was new snow so John and I ventured out and it stopped raining.  We had a brilliant morning.  We skied the off piste at Lanchettes a couple of times and then went over to Cote and skied there, though the visibility was not so good as it was snowing  slightly.  So we had lunch at the Radaz and then skied some more off piste afterwards.  It just goes to show that you should get out, whatever the weather.
Today was brilliant sunshine.  We had planned a Valley Blanche trip with the grand children, but Alex Perinet advised that there was too much snow for children, and an avalanche risk of 4-5 so it was cancelled.  Never mind.  We found some untracked spring snow off the Epaule ridge and down to Communailles which was great fun.  Lunch was at the Alpage where we baked in the sunshine.   

Wednesday, 4 April 2018

sunshine and snow

Monday was a lovely day, and the world and his wife were skiing.  We don't do queues, but we had little option.  By the time we had got everyone organised we managed to hit the lifts at about the same time as the ski schools.  Sadly, the Princess lift closed at the end of the day, we are told for economic reasons.  It is such a shame as those runs are in great condition.  Anyway, the grandchildren did the luge, which Elizabeth said was very scary.  The staff did it twice!  By the end of the day most people had gone home and the pistes were deserted again.
Mr & Mrs snowman and easter bunny

Yesterday we skied Rochebrune which was good in the morning but the snow got sticky in the afternoon.  But then it is April.  At the Rochford lift Mr and Mrs Snowman have presided for some time, but over the Easter weekend they bred an Easter bunny.   His sparkly ears are very alluring.  There was a huge party of us having lunch at the Telepherique restaurant, over 30, which was good, apart from the fact that their pizza oven had broken down.
Today we woke up to brilliant sunshine so we donned minimal clothes.  Which was fine until about midday when the clouds started to come in.  We had lunch at the Gouet and got there just in time to bag enough tables for twelve of us, which was just as well as the weather deteriorated.  By the time we had finished lunch it was a case of racing home as fast as possible.  I was wearing my new, lightweight,  10 euro decathlon jacket, and was expecting to be sodden by the time we got to the top of the Croix de Christ chair.  But not only was it snowing at the top but my jacket was waterproof.  So apart from having damp trousers and snow clogging my sunglasses, I survived.  By the time we got to Henry Sports the sun had come out.  Most bizarre.  

Sunday, 1 April 2018

April Fools' Day

We woke up to it dumping snow so we put on our ponchos and headed for the first lift. Sadly it then stopped snowing. We skied down the red Princess and got in the same cabin as Neville, Gordon and his and Carol's sons, Kit and Simon.  Tomorrow they are all off for an adventure with a mountain guide for five days in Courmayeur, sleeping in a hut and skinning up to find untracked snow.  If only one were younger and fitter!

With John at top of Mont Rosset field
They went off and we waited for Alison, Matt, Jackie and Seb and then took them down the Monrosset field, which was lovely, but we had to step over a small stream at the bottom.  After that, we skied left off the Monrosset chair down untracked snow to Bettex, then up and over to the Communailles field.  Nothing had been skied too much, and though it was a little lumpy in places the fresh snow was perfect.
Crossing the stream

Finally we skied, in a blizzard, down to Planellet.  The top field was perfect, the bottom a little heavier, but fun.   And we all managed to catch the bus.  The kids loved it, in spite of one or two tumbles, and Seb declared that he thought he was getting better at the off-piste.  This afternoon the sun came out but John and I came home to pack, as we are off to the Sylvana for our family and friends' holiday, 15 adults and 14 kids.  I think I shall need a holiday after that.
Seb in a tree well

Saturday, 31 March 2018

Powder Day

Yesterday we skied with Alison (who is the daughter of John's best man) her husband, Matt and their two children, Jackie and Seb.  We skied the Rochebrune ridge but the snow was quite hard, although it did soften in the afternoon.  Sadly the wind didn't, and some of the lifts were closed so we came back after lunch.  We had lunch at the Staduel as Alison's father, Mike, doesn't ski .  In the evening we went to La Galeta in St Gervais with Carol, Gordon, Neville and Drew as it was Drew's last night.

It had started snowing in the afternoon and it was snowing really heavily as we came back.

Ali in powder
So today we were up bright and early and at the bus stop for the 8.40 bus.  But no bus.  They have changed the bus time table as the French holidays are now over.  But we got to Mont d'Arbois soon after the first lift.  And then we skied down to the Mont Joux chair which was late opening because of the fresh snow so we went up the Freddy drag and put in some fresh tracks there. They immediately opened the Mont Joux chair so it had been skied a bit but we came down under it because Epaule had not yet opened.  Anyway we then did have success on the Epaule.  We were on the second chair and first down the off-piste under the lift.  As we went up again Ali and Matt and children were skiing down so we joined them and then skied over the back in deep powder to the Porcherry.  Seb said he had a spectacular wipe out but no-one, other than his Dad, saw it.  The rules of wipe outs are that they must be in front of everyone.

It started snowing after lunch
As we came up the Croix de Christ chair we saw that they had opened Mont Joli so we rushed over there.  There were only a few tracks down the Grand Chamois as most people were skiing down by the chair, and that was fantastic.  We had lunch at Chez Tartine where we met Mike.  The cloud came down and it started to snow heavily, so we abandoned our plan of skiing down to Planallet.  Also John had left his rucksack in the restaurant and had to go back for it.
But what a fantastic morning's skiing for the last day of March!

Wednesday, 28 March 2018

New snow

We were promised new snow. but we only had a few centimetres.   Perhaps more will come tomorrow.
Neville has a disabled friend out at the moment, who is staying with Carol and Gordon.  Drew skis in a sit ski, and it is amazing to watch him.  He skis everything, even a steep black, but it's coming off the chair lift that he shows his real skill.  It looks incredibly difficult to keep the chair upright and manoeuvre off the chair.  He lives in Norfolk, near Hunstanton, where he can cycle along the promenade.  A very interesting man.
John is trying to sort out the repairs to the Rond Point.  We were told that we need planning permission as we want to change the format of the windows.  Philippe Scuotto looked amazed when John told him and said he wouldn't have bothered.  John pointed out that he is English and if we go ahead and change the windows without permission someone is sure to complain.  That's what happened years ago when we changed the colour of the walls of the Sylvana without first getting permission from the Marie.  

Saturday, 24 March 2018

Staff lunch

Yesterday was a beautiful day, and staff day off.  Nobody got up early to ski with us, and I had a cold so didn't feel 100%, so we didn't get out until mid morning.   We got to Chez Tartine, the restaurant just above the intermediate station of the Princess bubble, at 12.30 together with half a dozen of our staff, and slowly the rest of the bunch arrived.  Most had chosen to wear fancy dress, characters from the Marvel comics.  So we had Batman, Spiderman, Superman, Captain America, Catgirl, the Joker and several others.  We also had a Maid (Douglas had been given a very fetching outfit by Secret Santa and looked very sweet though he had to keep his salopettes on as the skirt was so short.)

Jake came in his one size fits all costume as a mobile phone, which he said was an essential piece of equipment for the director.  Dean was wearing a startling pair of red and blue sparkly shorts which he said were rather tight.  We had a lovely lunch and then most of the staff went off to the Follies Douce.

Today was another gorgeous day and we skied at Jaillet.  The best views are from the top of La Giettaz.  You have the Mont Blanc range, the mountains over towards Val D'Isere and the Aravis range.  It was stunning today.  There were few people about and the pistes were in marvellous condition, so we had a great ski. Sadly I think it closes next weekend, just about the time all our family come out for our family holiday.  We may get one day over there if we're lucky.  

Thursday, 22 March 2018

Last few days

Passing the Husky farm
We have had sunshine the last two days, and cold, which has been great.  On Sunday we had some fresh snow and we decided to ski down to the Chattaz bus from Jaillet.  Unfortunately, John and I went too far to the right and ended up struggling down beside the stream.  The snow was thick and heavy and it took us about two hours.  It was not fun.  However, we came out at the Husky dog farm. I really don't know how it operates - they seem to have 30 or 40 dogs there.

Yesterday was sunny and Gordon, John and I skied past the Pre-Rosset restaurant and then skinned up the other side to the Verey ridge.   Gordon was way ahead of us so we turned back before the ridge as some clouds had come in and we were concerned that the light would go.  As it happened, the clouds cleared and we walked out in sunshine.   There were two goats feeding on the lichen on the trees just below the cliffs at Cote.   Sadly, they were too far away to get a good photograph.

Dry powder snow in the trees
Today we skied through the trees down to the path that takes you to the Petit Fontaine chair.   The snow was light and fluffy as the sun had not got to it.   John and I then skied through the trees to the left of the Petit Fontaine run where there are some lovely glades.  However, the stream at the bottom was extremely challenging.   Gordon had gone down a different off piste run from Jardin, and said that was challenging also.

Celebration lunch at the Alpage
We then met for lunch at the Alpage at Communailles.   Jonathan Muirhead has torn the ligaments in his ankle so is unable to ski.  Carol brought him in the car but the rest of us, Fiona Muirhead, Neville and Caroline and Gordon all skied over.  We had a very good lunch.   Carol provided two cakes, one for Neville's birthday in a day's time and one for Caroline retiring from work.  It was a very jolly lunch.

Our family come out in ten days' time and they are going to have a great holiday.  All the pistes are open and are in great condition, and there is nobody here.

Saturday, 17 March 2018

Ski Cross

Today they were holding a World Cup Ski Cross at Cote 2000.  It started snowing this morning when I got up, and continued steadily through the day and it's still snowing.  The finals were early afternoon so John and I put on our ponchos (essential when it's snowing to avoid a damp bottom on chair lifts) and off we skied to Cote.  Sadly, the race had been cancelled.  The officials said it had been rescheduled for tomorrow morning, but it's supposed to be still snowing.  Tomorrow afternoon is supposed to be the finals of the moguls.  We shall have to wait and see whether they manage to hold either.   The last time we had the World Cup Ski Cross there was not enough snow.   Now its because there's too much.  



Thursday, 15 March 2018

Sunshine and snow

Yesterday was a beautiful day, sunny and good snow.  We met Gordon and headed off to find some powder.   We started on the Epaule ridge and skied off the left hand side down to the Croix de Christ. John took a rather better line than Gordon and me and found a track down the stream.  We did quite a bit of uphill walking!  So we did it again and skied down John's stream, which he said was very pretty.  I was concentrating on not falling into it.

There was a race going on of over 100 competitors.  They were skinning up to the Epaule ridge, presumably from St Nicholas or Chatterix.  From the top of the Epaule chair they took their skins off their skis, strapped them to their backs and walked up Mont Joli.  It must have taken about another hour, hour and a half.  From there they skied back to the top of the Grand Chamois, down that and traversed back to the Epaule ridge which they skied down to the big bump.  At that point there were two slalom courses set down the left hand side.   We watched one or two come down and it did not look a pleasant experience.  That was the end of the race.   It looked gruelling.

Today was a completely different day, cloudy and overcast.  I skied on Jaillet with Gordon, Neville, Caroline and two friends of Caroline's.  John had a day off.  I left them having lunch at the Bonjournal.  It is now snowing but supposed to be a nice morning tomorrow.   So we're hoping for a powder day.  

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Tuesday

John went home for the weekend so I haven't been able to blog, as I cannot do it on my iPad.  Friday we skied with Elizabeth and Caroline on Mont D'Arbois.  They skied some off piste but it was heavy and we didn't feel up to it.  It was OK but not as nice as the day before.  We had lunch at the Gouet.

Saturday was not a good day and we came home early.  The girls stayed out and said they were the only ones skiing at Giettaz.  Even the lifties looked surprised to see them.

Me showing the effects of a tree encounter.
On Mothering Sunday John got up early to go to the airport so we three skied together on Rochebrune.  We had a lovely morning and the snow was good.  We had  lunch at the Radaz which was busy.  The girls were leaving early afternoon so we came back early.

Today it was snowing so Gordon and I skied together.  We went over to Jaillet and had to wait while they opened the lifts.   They had to clear the snow before they could allow us through the gates.  It snowed all morning but we had a great time.  We skied the bowl at the top of the Christomet chair about 6 times.   No-one else was doing it, possibly because the visibility was not too good.

I had a contretemps with a tree branch and have a graze down the left side of my face.   It is quite swollen as well, though I did spend the afternoon icing it.  It won't stop me skiing!

Friday, 9 March 2018

Friends and Family

This week everyone has turned up.   Our friends from Istanbul, the Hatton family, have rented a chalet near Jaillet.  Our friends, Rob and Elspeth Pinckney, are at the RP.  John and Tracey Cox are staying with Gordon and Carol in Combloux.   And Elizabeth and Caroline, our daughters, are at the Clochettes.  Wednesday we skied with Rob, Humph and Ruth Hatton.   The weather kept changing. One minute it was a blizzard, and the next the sun was trying to shine.  We had a good day.

Me skiing at Christomet

Thursday was fresh snow so John and I headed to Jaillet and up Christomet.  No-one had skied the bowl at the top of the Christomet chair, so it had to be done, three times!  Then we skied off the back down to the small drag lift.  By the time we got to the top Gordon had joined us, so we skied down to the Chattaz bus.  The bus driver was the same man who had told us to clear the snow off our skis and boots, and then  had lectured us because we were at the wrong bus stop.  This time we were at the right stop and had clean skis and boots.  We still didn't get a smile.   Then we skied down to Cordon where Carol and Tracey met us.  By then the temperature was rising and the snow was getting heavier, so we decided it was time for lunch.  We went to Chalet Emilie at Combloux which was pleasant.



Today we skied with the daughters on Mont D'Arbois.  They skied some off piste, particularly on Mont Joli, but it was heavy going and John and I felt tired.  It was intermittent sunshine but overall a nice day.  The pistes were quite crowded (for Megeve) as it is the last day of the French holidays, and everyone was out.  But the piste down to Chatrix was deserted as usual - its odd how all the french seem to congregate around Mont Joux!

Sunday, 4 March 2018

Sunny Sunday

Yesterday it snowed most of the day, stopping at about 4pm.  We met Gordon and skied  the Mont Rosset field and then down to Planallet where we met Neville at the bus stop.   We took the bus to Jaillet and skied down the Face which was good, though the light was flat.   We then went up again and skied down to Magland, 500m past the Medical Centre.  As we got to the road the bus drew up.  The driver told us to knock the snow off our boots and skis.

Today the same driver picked us up and gave us a lecture about how we were waiting at the wrong bus stop.  We knew we were but that bus only runs once an hour and we didn't have time to walk up the road, so we hoped that he would take pity on us and stop, which he did.  A lecture is preferable to waiting another hour or walking a mile into town, carrying skis!

Some weird snow we found in the forest
Today was bright and sunny.  We found some lovely powder off the back of Christomet.  Gordon and Neville skied down to La Giettaz but we didn't fancy the track out along the stream.  However, we met up with them later and skied along the ridge to the wooden cross (which we failed to find).  The last time we did it was about 4 years ago with John Cox, where he received a call to say that the chef at the Sylvana had tripped on the stairs and put his arm through a window.  Fortunately he didn't cut any tendons and was back at work within three days, but it wasn't a fun ski down.  Today was marginally better in that we received no phone call, but the snow was deep and heavy and very hard work.  But we got to the bus, and had a well deserved beer.  This is a picture of us at the top of the last field.  It looks great but was quite testing.
Emerging from the forest - great view of Megeve with the Mont Blanc Aguilles behind.


Saturday, 3 March 2018

The Beast from the East hits Megeve & Norwich!

Are you looking at all this snow out of your window and dreaming of skiing?!

It's fair to say that over the last few days we've had more than our usual share of the white stuff here in the U.K. The only problem is that there are no mountains (or ski lifts) to make use of and this country is not geared up for heavy snow...

As 'The Beast from the East' swept across the U.K, our Norwich office was covered with a wintry blanket. We have all been snowbound with poor Debbie unable to reach the office for two days.  Meet our snowman!



Oodles of snow in Megeve with more to come this weekend.  It's been minus 15 out there so very chilly- super conditions though!  This season is set to be a record breaker for snow.
This pic was taken by staff in Megeve today



If it is skiing you dream of, we have some fantastic offers available in both our catered and self catered chalets with prices starting from just £300 for 3 nights. Great deals on short breaks and ski weekends as well as week prices.  All you need to do is find your flights and we'll take care of the rest.  The base is around 2 metres now and there's another 50cm forecast this weekend.  It's really going to be fab for the end of the season.

With 445km of freshly groomed pistes and levels to suit all abilities, there really is no better time to make the most of our fantastic deals and head out to Megeve for a short break or week in a magical playground that is completely set up for fun in the snow!
As always, we're here to help if you have any questions at all - fortunately, we all get to visit Megeve with our families at least once a year, so we know the resort really well.

Hope to hear from you soon

Elizabeth, Debbie, Rachel, Sarah & John xx







Thursday, 1 March 2018

More Snow

We woke up this morning to fresh snow and it was still snowing.   We had a great morning mostly skiing pistes, as there was not quite enough snow to cover all the moguls off piste.  However, we did the Monrosset field twice and that was nice.

This afternoon the temperature has risen dramatically and we have sunshine.  We haven't seen much of that recently, although yesterday was sunny.

On Tuesday evening we had dinner at the Sylvana, and there were two Lincolnshire famers and the son-in-law of one of them who was a farmer in Somerset.  One of the farmers lived in the village where I grew up, and his daughter and son-in-law married in the church where John and I got married 50 years ago.  They knew a lot of the people I remembered as a child and teenager.  It was a real trip down memory lane.  The next day we skied with them on Jaillet and had an enjoyable morning showing them round the slopes.  We do have some lovely and interesting guests.

Monday, 26 February 2018

Arctic weather

Yesterday there was cloud in the valley but the webcams showed that it was clear on top so I headed out.  I soon realised that I needed to keep high so I skied over to Cote.   All of the top lift, apart from the last little bit, was out of the cloud and the snow was great.  There was no-one around and I virtually had the pistes to myself.  However, the cloud crept up higher so I came home.

Today it was -10C on our balcony.  I wore 5 layers under my ski jacket. woolly tights and  long johns.    With heated gloves and boots I felt relatively cosy.  I skied the runs which we don't usually do, Voltigeurs, Bridans, Le Schuss, Pylons.  On most of them I was the only person.   I decided to ski the Black Princess and got snarled up in a queue so thought that was a good time to come home.

Gordon went out on his bike and returned home after 10 minutes.   It was too cold.  We have had a sprinkling of snow but it's probably too cold for more. 

Friday, 23 February 2018

Gluttons for punishment

We didn't get out until about 9.45 today as it looked grey.  In fact. at the top of the mountain the sun was shining but it took a bit of time to burn through the cloud.  We met Gordon at the Lanchettes lift and skied off the back past the Pre-Rosset Restaurant.

Gordon pointed out a herd of chamois, though John thought they might have been goats, which were underneath the cliffs on Cote.  We skinned up to the ridge, Gordon being miles ahead of us.   He was skiing down to Haut Luce which is the back  of  Les Contamines, and then skinning up again.  We were going a different route, along the ridge and then climbing over the top of the ridge to ski  down to Praz-Sur-Arly.  The sun was out and it was beautiful, though rather crowded.  Eight people skinned up behind us but they were skiing down to Haut Luce.  They were with a guide.

After we had hit the piste in Praz, we then skied off and down a track which takes you to the road which passes our hotel Sylvana.   It is a long way up and we had to ski down to catch the bus at Chataz.  Sadly, the snow was quite tricky and we had to walk down the road in one or two places before we could get back into the fields.   If the snow had been better it would have been a lovely ski down.  As it was, it was interesting.  But a change from skiing on the piste.  

Thursday, 22 February 2018

Praz-Sur-Arly

Yesterday was a lovely day but I didn't feel well so stayed at home, and John skied with the Unthank Ski Club.  Today was grey fog/low cloud, but we thought it would clear like yesterday.  It did, but only briefly.    We were planning to try and find the right route down to La Giettaz but because of the cloud decided not to.   However, it cleared enough for John and I to think we would ski down to Praz.   The top field was good, through the trees was OK,  but the path out was horrendous.  Five times we had to take our skis off, slide down the bank of the stream, cross the stream (fortunately they were all shallow) and climb up the other side, then clear the ice from our boots so we could get our skis on!

At one point I realised I should have taken off my skis but it was too late, and I tumbled head first into a hole.   So then I took off my skis.  I was relieved to find it was a dry hole.  As a result we missed the bus.  John thought there was another in about 20 minutes, but when we checked the time table that one only runs on a Saturday.  So lovely Patryk came and picked us up in the minibus. But we lived to tell the tale!

Monday, 19 February 2018

Combatting Dementia

John read an article yesterday that said one way of combatting dementia is to be mentally positive and remain active at our age (over 70).  So today Gordon sends a WhatsApp saying that he was going to investigate spring snow on Rochebrune.  We therefore take our touring skis and skins and follow the crowd - Gordon, Neville and Neville's partner, Caroline.   They are all super fit, Gordon and Neville having spent a week ski touring in Italy recently and Caroline won two bronze medals last year at the Badminton Veterans' World Championships.  And then there's us.
Us skinning up with shadow of plane
The first bit was fine.  We skied off the back of Lanchettes just below the Pre-Rosset restaurant.   The snow was fantastic but it was over too soon.  Gordon had already set off and was a dot on the horizon.  The rest of us put our skins on and soon Neville and Caroline disappeared.  John and I trudged up, wondering at which stage we should turn round.
On the way a small plane flew over - this is Neville's pic of us trudging up and the shadow of the plane.




Skiing down - you can just see me in the distance
We thought that when we got to the top of the ridge we might have been able to ski down to the restaurants at the end of the road which passes the Sylvana, but on the ridge we were not sure that the way down was obvious, particularly as we knew there was a cliff in the way.


So we opted to follow the others (again) and ski down the way we had come up.  And that was fantastic.  See pic on right.





The walk up the other side was tough.  This is Gordon in the foreground with John & me behind, but if you look carefully you can see our tracks coming down from the ridge at the back.

But we survived the day and had a pint in the Dahu, together with lunch ( a cereal bar.)  We have now decided we need new (much lighter) skis!






By the way, this is the first week of the Paris Holidays, but thankfully the Parisians don't get up early..  Here is a pic of the Jardin Piste which we skied at about 10.15 before we started touring.


Friday, 16 February 2018

New summer adventure holidays in beautiful Megeve at our catered chalet Les Clochettes!

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New summer adventure holidays in beautiful Megeve at our catered chalet Les Clochettes!


Yes, it's two "news" for us next summer.  Firstly, we'll be offering our superior chalet Les Clochettes on a catered basis next summer.  Food will be simpler than in the winter but it'll also be significantly cheaper.  Prices will start at just £450/person for a week or £180/person for a 3 night short break!  So you can get to enjoy lovely accommodation at the best price, we've even just installed a sauna (more on that in our next winter bulletin!) so you can sooth your aches and pains away post adventures!

Our second "new thing" is that we'll be offering
adventure holidays for those staying at the Clochettes, so you can make the most of your alpine experience.  Choose from hiking, mountain biking or road biking where you can discover the mountains under your own steam, we'll provide maps and show you to the nearest bike hire shops.  We'll even transport you to start and end points of hikes/bike rides for free (one return trip/group/day) should you like to venture further afield.  For those who would like more adventure, our partners at Evo 2 offer canyoning, white water rafting, guided mountain biking, glacier walking and much more.  Have a look at our full list of activities here.  Again, we'll transport you there and back for all local activities so you don't even need a car!
Have a look at our adventure holidays here!

What's Megeve like in the summer?

Megeve is a beautiful, picturesque village summer and winter alike but I have to admit, I have a special fondness for the summer.  It's just so relaxed.  Up on the mountains the air smells of pine and you can get away from it all, swimming in mountain lakes and watching the cows munch at their pasture.  The village is beautiful at any time of year but in the summer there are lots of special events from the jazz festival and show jumping events in July to bands playing and orchestra's playing in the central square in August.  You can visit farms and see the cheese being made or enjoy the new swimming pool and leisure facilities with great slides to keep the kids occupied, not to mention the luge which is fun for all the family.  The best things are simple, sitting in the square sipping "un verre" & watching the world go by.  What could be better!
Book Now or Check Availability
We look forward to welcoming you to Megeve this summer.

Best wishes, Debbie, Sarah, Rachel, Elizabeth & John

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Long treks in the forest

What an exhausting two days it has been.  Both days have been sunny and cold, though today started off a little grey.  Yesterday Gordon, John and I did a run through the trees which brought us out near the Fingers Restaurant.  It was about a 10-15 minute walk out, carrying skis.  Then we went up Christomet and walked up the knoll, probably about 15-20 minutes this time, and skied down to La Giettaz.  However, the path along the stream was slightly different, so there was more poling along it than usual.  The ski down was in perfect snow.

John on the way to Cordon
After that we thought we would ski to the bus at Praz Sur Arly, but as we were on the ridge, Gordon pointed out where he had reconnoitred in the summer, walking up from the village of La Giettas, about three miles from the ski area.  So we decided to give that a go.  However, we got a little lost in the forest so ended up walking along a track for a considerable distance, which was very hard work in the deep snow.  We also had to take our skis off about three times to cross streams.  Eventually we got down and caught the ski bus to the ski area and came home.

Gordon - the perils of tree skiing
Today was more skiing than walking, thank goodness.   We stayed on the Jaillet side and had three lovely runs down, twice to around Cordon where Carol picked us up, and the last time down to  Gordon and Carol's chalet.  We were skiing untracked perfect powder, with no-one in sight.

In the afternoon we parked our car at Magland and caught the bus back to Jaillet.  We then skied back to the car, through the trees and the meadows.   The snow was not as nice as this morning as the slopes are south facing, but we found some reasonable snow.  So in spite of it being the first week of the French holidays we managed to avoid the crowds.  When we did get on the pistes we were pleasantly surprised how uncrowded they were.

Monday, 12 February 2018

Powder!

We woke up this morning to about 6 inches of fresh snow.  Yesterday we had had snow showers but not enough for the off piste.  But today was different.  We were on the first Rocharbois, the first bubble on the Mont D'Arbois lift with the pisteurs.    Gordon was coming up the Princess lift, or trying to, as they were having problems in getting it going.  So John and I were first down Voltigeurs and Bridans before Gordon made it to the top.   The pisteurs told us that the lifties had had some problems this winter in starting the Princess lift but it was OK once it got going.  Gordon was not impressed.

Me in powder on way to Les Comunailles
After we had met Gordon we went over to Mont Joux and skied off the back behind the Folies Douce  all the way down to Comunailles.   There was about 30cm deep snow. That was lovely so we came back up and skied back down again.   Then we went over to Epaule.   By that time, although the snow had stopped and the weak sunshine had retreated behind the cloud so we decided not to ski off the back as we couldn't see.  We skied down the ridge which was unpleasant, partly because we couldn't see but also because of moguls and skiers who shouldn't have been there.  However, we got to our favourite hot chocolate stop, which is becoming rather popular.   We couldn't sit at our usual table!

Our goal was to ski down to the St Nicholas bus so we swallowed our hot chocolate rather fast as we were worried that we would miss the bus.  There is only one a day and, as John Cox knows, it's a long walk to the lift.  We got down with about 5 minutes to spare.  Only one other person had been down which was quite useful as he had made a track as there is a little bit of polling near the bottom.  The snow was lovely and we enjoyed it.  It's the first time we've skied it this winter.


After that we went up the Etudiant lift and skied all the way to our front door.   Gordon came with us as he wanted to buy Carol a Valentine Day's card, so we ended up having a beer in the St Paul bar.   What a splendid day's skiing.

Friday, 9 February 2018

Staff Day Off

We got back to Megeve on Tuesday, and were told that it had been a glorious day.  Wednesday was horrible, freezing fog.  We came back early.   On Thursday, Chris Gill, co-editor of Where to Ski and Snowboard, contacted us to arrange to ski with us in Megève.  He had been staying at Les Carroz but was flying back that evening.  He has a project to check that blue runs are properly blue, not something where you are faced with a steep, unexpected slope or other nasty.  So we skied blues all morning and had a very nice time.

Today was bright, sunny and cold.  We were on the first bus to Jaillet, with Patryk, Matt and Ben.  We decided to try and find some off piste, though most was skied out.  However, we took the boys through the trees and down to catch the Chattaz bus.  It was a bit icy through the trees in places and the snow was variable, some lovely stuff, some nearly spring snow and some rather crusty.  But it was good fun and the boys survived.  Then we came back to Jaillet and skied down to the Princess lift.   I think ski school must have been down it because the start was heavily skied, but we found some nice patches.  To finish off, the boys went through the trees and down to Planalet.    My ankle was hurting by then so I gave that a miss, but it sounded very similar to what we had been skiing earlier.

Snow is forecast but we're not sure exactly when - the forecast keeps changing.

Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Home

We are now in Putney as we have come home to look after the grandchildren while the daughters and their husbands go skiing.  On Monday we led the Unthank Ski Club which was great fun.  It was a lovely day, blue sky but cool.  Our group wanted to have lunch at the Radaz but though we got there at about 12.15 it was full.  They have fewer tables than before  so you have to get there early.   We went to the Javen and sat outside in the sun.   Sadly the food was not up to scratch.

Yesterday we skied for 2 1/2 hours with a guest. Steve, who has an Austrian ski instructors qualification.

We got the first lift at 8.45 and got back at 11.45 to get the transfer to the airport.  We skied all our favourite runs on Mont D'Arbois at speed.  Two Mont Rossets, Blue Princess, then over to the Epaule ridge, then Gouet and Clementines and back via Communailles, Ideal and Belle D'Arbois.  It was a bit like skiing with Gordon, Gordon's son Charlie, and Neville,  though with the boys all I can see is a pair of yellow trousers (Charlie) and orange (Neville) disappearing at a great rate down the piste.  I can't see Gordon as he wears black, unless his boots are visible, which are bright green.

So we are now home, in the rain, until next Tuesday.






Sunday, 28 January 2018

Sunny weekend

Yesterday was odd.  In town we were covered in grey cloud, but half way up the mountain the sun had burned through and it was beautiful.  The down side of that was that everyone had come out to play.   Normally we don't expect to have to queue for a lift.   But this weekend we had to share our pistes with others.   Even so, the wait to get on the Mont Joux chair was probably only about 4 minutes, so one can't really complain.

Today I skied the Rochebrune ridge as John was doing a transfer.   He said the Princess car park was packed and cars were parked on the road, so I think I made the right choice.   Its the nearest Megeve car park to Geneva and people come for the day if its a sunny Sunday.

I got out early so skied to Cote 2000 without any queues, though the Lanchettes queue was building up as I got on the lift and the Petit Fontaine chair was busy.  I skied for about four hours and then came home for lunch, which one can do if you're out for the whole season.

We are very lucky that most of the time we have the pistes to ourselves, so I mustn't complain too much when others want to share my fun.

Thursday, 25 January 2018

More sunshine

The last two days have been lovely, sunny but not too warm.  Yesterday we went to Jaillet.  This is a view of me skiing down a deserted piste from the top of the Giettaz chair lift with Mont Blanc as the backdrop.  We had lunch at the Bonjournal which was busy as usual.  Gordon's son, Charlie, is out for the week and it's a bit disappointing there is no powder for him.  He and Gordon were hoping to find some spring snow this afternoon, but it involved skiing through the trees which might have been challenging.
Today we spent skiing on Mont D'Arbois.   We started off skiing down to the Mont Rosset chair as those pistes get the sun first thing.   Eventually we moved on to the ridge at Epaule which was busy (for Megeve -  so more than half a dozen skiers!).  I think people are finding it much easier access with the new lift.  Also our new find for mid morning hot chocolate has been discovered by others, and this morning we were not the only people there.   It's the new restaurant just at the end of the first steep pitch on the Epaule ridge.  We haven't eaten there but if the food is anything like as good as the hot chocolate it will be a find.  Lunch was at the Alpage at Communailles.  We chose to go there as Charlie said that he had to sit outside, and we thought it might be warmer than the Gouet as they have heaters.   However, it has changed hands and the new owners have enclosed the outside area with a tent, so we didn't sit in the sun after all.  John and I shared a croute but it wasn't nearly as good as the croute at the Gouet.

Tuesday, 23 January 2018

Sunshine

The weather has been all over the place.  As you will have seen, we've had piles of snow.  But then the temperature rises and the snow turns to rain, and then snow again.  It has been very weird.


Today, for the first time for days, we saw the sun.   It started off a bit grey, with some fantastic views of Mont Blanc appearing out of the clouds.   Then the sun burnt through and we had a beautiful sunny  day.  We even had lunch outside at the Auberge du Mont Joly.

I haven't been skiing for a few days as I tweaked my ankle.   I went to see the osteopath who asked if I had had an accident as my left ankle is much more flexible than my right.  I tore the ligaments very badly in my left ankle over twenty years ago, walking in the Lake District, and now that old injury is catching up with me.  It is very tedious.

Yesterday we were planning to meet up for lunch with our friends, David and Jane Redwood, who live just outside Argentiere.  On Sunday evening they said that the road from their village to Le Tour at the head of the valley had been closed. On Monday morning, the only road to Argentiere was closed.   Some years ago an avalanche came down across a stretch of the road, so I am sure the authorities are playing safe.   But not much fun when you can't even get out to go skiing!

Anyway, the pistes in Megeve are open, they are in great condition with a huge amount of snow, AND the sun is shining.

Friday, 19 January 2018

Now taking bookings for Summer 2018!



Whether your idea of a holiday is getting active in the sunshine or relaxing somewhere tranquil, Megeve has all you need for an incredible time away!
Summer in the French Alps features lush, green valleys full of beautiful flowers, the picturesque chalets of Megeve bedecked with overflowing flower boxes… and the towering white mass of Mont Blanc dominating the background promising an adventure playground of hiking, mountain biking, canyoning, white water rafting or of course relaxing by mountain lakes and watching the world go by with a drink in the medieval village square



New this summer, a chance to enjoy our superior catered chalet Les Clochettes, at non-superior prices! There's a plethora of mountain activities to enjoy in and around Megeve and we will transport you for free to local destinations Or just relax and enjoy the wonderful, summer mountain ambience! Prices start at just £450/person/week bookable on a room by room basis or exclusively for 10 guests
  • 150m from the Rochebrune cable car for mountain biking & hiking
  • 5 minute stroll down to Megeve village square
  • 10 minute stroll to the sports centre with swimming pool, climbing wall, tennis etc
  • Canyoning, white water rafting, guided hiking & mountain biking and many more bookable through our partners Evo 2
  • Great for road biking with lots of Tour de France routes on your doorstep.
  • Free local transport including St. Gervais, Sallanches, Combloux & Flumet to access more hikes, mountain bikes, swimming lakes, high ropes courses etc. One return trip per chalet group per day.
  • The chalet has a wonderfully spacious sitting area with luxurious leather armchairs and deep comfy sofas
  • Large dining area with glass plate doors to sunny veranda and garden.
  • Sauna to sooth away post adventure aches and pains!
  • 5 comfortable en-suite twin/double bedrooms all with balconies
  • Crisp white linen and plump duvets and french complimentary toiletries
  • Delicious cakes and 3 course meals with wine home cooked by our friendly chalet staff.
  • For larger groups extend into the upstairs apartment
  • WIFI throughout
  • Quiet location
  • Parking and bike storage available.


Our Hotel Rond Point is a small friendly 2 star hotel situated in the centre of Megeve, just a couple of minutes walk from the central square and the sports centre. Perfect for those who want to maximise their time enjoying the picturesque town centre as well as the beautiful mountain scenery. It has 13 comfortable bedrooms, each with en-suite shower or bath and WC, hairdryer and homely furnishing. Downstairs you can relax in the attractive lounge area with a log fire should the evening turn a little chilly. In the summer, our hotel is run as a B&B with continental breakfast being offered every morning. There is a games room in the basement, equipped with English satellite TV (free to view channels), video player and board games. The chalet has free WIFI. The Hotel Rond Point is a 10 minute walk from the Jaillet and Rochebrune cable cars and there is a bus stop outside the front door that will take you to Mont d'Arbois or Jaillet/Rochebrune. Prices start at just 70€ in a single room per night!

The Sylvana is perfect for those who prefer a slightly quieter location but still just a short stroll to the centre of the village and only 150m from the Rochebrune cable car. This chalet is a favourite with our winter guests and for the first time, we are opening it in the summer as a B&B hotel to give our summer guests the chance to sample it's rustic charms. The chalet has 15 comfortable bedrooms decorated in the Savoyard style with simple and homely decor and each one has a small ensuite bath or shower room. Downstairs you can relax in the cosy lounge area with a log fire. There is a terrace running along the back of the chalet which is ideal for BBQ's and sunbathing. There is a washing machine and drying room in the basement and a television room for the children.There is plenty of free parking outside of the chalet and free WIFI throughout. Prices start at just 50€ in a single room per night!
Whats on...

There really is so much available to do in Megeve that you'll be spoiled for choice when you visit.
Here are some dates to put in your diary

MB Race Culture Mountain Bike Race, 7th July
The 21st Pays du Mont Blanc Baroque Festival Concert, 11th July
French National Holiday Ceremony, 14th July
The eighth edition of the Haute Route Alps, Sunday 26th August
Market Day, every Friday throughout the summer
Guided tours of the Calvaire de Megève, every Thursday throughout the summer

More things to do...
Hiking * Guided Hiking * Canine Hiking * Glacier Hiking * Via Ferrata with Evo 2
Acrobranche - Go Ape! * Climbing with Evo 2
Road Cycling * Mountain Biking
Horse riding * Pony trekking * Golf * Luge de Jaillet
Swimming Pools * Thermal Baths * Swimming Lakes
Canonying * Rafting * Canoeing * Hydrospeed
Private Flight * Hot Air Ballooning * Paragliding * Helicopter Ride

I think it's fair we've certainly given you something to think about, but don't leave it there... Give us a call on 01603 477471 or email info@stanfordskiing.co.uk and make your thoughts a reality!

Sent with very best wishes as always
from the team at Stanford Skiing xx