Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Val Thorens and Les 3 Vallees
Val Thorens Village.
Irish Coffee Break, Our First Day on the Slopes.
Blue Bird Day!
The Best Bar in Town, Malaysia! It goes Underground and opens up into a Giant Nightclub which was full of Drunk English People.
Looking A Little Tired After One Too Many Gin and Tonics at the All-Inclusive the Night Before.
30cm of Fresh!
A Blanket of White! Freshies!
The Day it Dumped 30cm Overnight. Freezing Cold but Loving the Powder!
Dennis and I just got pack from an action packed week of snowboarding in the French Alps. Since it was so early in the year we decided to go to Val Thorens, the highest ski resort in Europe (the village sits at 2300m), that way we would be gauranteed good snow. The area is known as Les 3 Valless, the largest ski area in the world and consists of eight resorts: Courchevel, La Tania, Meribel, Brides-Les-Bains, Les Menuires, Saint-Martin, Val Thorens (the highest) and Orelle. All the resorts are linked together by runs and lifts with 600km of interconnected slopes and 180 ski lifts!
The first few days were as sunny as could be, beautiful blue bird days. However, the snow was hardpack and it was extremely cold, it seemed to hover around the -20 degree celsius mark for the entire week. By about the fourth day in, the mountains got a huge 30cm dump of snow overnight which made for epic conditions for our last few days of our trip. The snow itself was a bit weird, it was dry, heavy, a bit windblown and incredibly slow. Even steep sections with lots of powder were slow, and heaven for bid if you hit a flat spot, you'd be walking it out forsure. It made for quite the workout at 3200 feet.
We stayed at the Club Med in Val Thorens, our first Club Med experience. Not bad. The hotel seemed busy, I imagin it was pretty much full-up. The majority of our fellow Club Meders were French, older and predominately men. Women, especially young women, were a rare commodity, so I got starred at, a lot. The restaurant at the hotel was buffet style, and they usually had a vast selection of different dishes to every craving. The hotel was also equipped with a bar which doubled as an entertainment area for shows/performances and a nightclub. The staff were great, always friendly and very helpful.
It was a bit of a nightmare getting home as snow had hit most of northern Europe causing airport shutdowns in major centers such as London and Paris. This was a nighmare as the airports were packed with people! Our flight was cancelled from Geneva to Paris and from Paris to Bordeaux. We certainly weren't in the mood to wait in the million person line-up to rebook our flight home (there was also the possibility that we could be stuck there for days as flights had been cancelled for days) so I scouted out a rental car so we could drive home. This was also no easy feet as most rental agencies were out of cars! Nevertheless, we made it home safe and sound and all in one piece!