Ski Independence Blog

Posts Tagged ‘France’

Where are you going skiing in 2011/12?

The Team March 24th, 2011

This season is still in full swing, and with record levels of snow in WhistlerMammoth and Colorado my feet are still itching to get some more turns in before packing away my boots.

However, I’ve also been tempted by some of next season’s early booking offers available in both North America and Europe. The Fairmont Chateau Whistler and the Westin Resort and Spa in Whistler have a superb 50% off early booking deal, resulting in some of the best prices around. These are proving very popular with many clients having taken advantage already for next winter. I have to say that I’m pretty tempted to get my ski holiday booked early too!

Superb March conditions in Whistler

Some of the French properties are getting involved as well and have released their rates for 2011/12 – the earliest we’ve ever seen. We’re delighted to offer 10%  off a range of luxury self catered properties including four in Tignes, a brand new property in Alpe d’Huez and a new property in the resort of Val Cenis, which is on the French/ Italian border and is a very exciting addition to our European menu.

Choices, Choices… If you’re looking to next season and want to get the best price, just drop us a line and we’ll let you know the latest offers. There’re certainly some crackers out there, and it seems that the topic of conversation at the moment is “Where will we go next year?”…

Affordable, Available and Awesome Resorts At Half Term

The Team October 14th, 2010

February half-term can be busy and unfortunately is one of the more expensive times of year to go skiing however there are still some resorts which are good value despite being high season and there is still availability!

Our main criteria as a French family is to find good value, ski in/ ski out accommodation with something else to do besides skiing and finally but most important a resort with a good snow record! You’ve probably noticed, but French people don’t like queuing…I admit, I am one of them – anything more than 5 minutes is unbearable! So we also look to choose a smaller resort which access to a large ski area or one with an efficient lift system.

Bearing this in mind we have visited Valmorel, Les Saisies, Valloire, La Toussuire, Les Coches, Le Grand Bornand & La Rosiere as those resorts ticked all of our boxes…If you never heard of these resorts or can’t even pronounce their names, no worries you are not the only one! Which is why they are still well kept secrets!

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French World Cup Team in Tignes

The Team May 21st, 2010

The 09/10 winter ski season is well and truly over in the Alps at this time of year but with the 2010 FIFA World cup in South Africa nearly upon us many of the national teams are heading for the mountains to get some well needed altitude training with England in Austria and Les Bleus – the French team up in the high resort of Tignes in the heart of the Espace Killy area. Read the rest of this entry »

High and Wide – a week in Val Thorens

The Team April 26th, 2010

Après ski announcements don’t come much more euphoric than ‘you are on top of the world!’ and this is certainly how we felt during our sun-drenched week in Val Thorens this season (13th-20th March).

I was pleasantly surprised by the vast array terrain and facilities Val Thorens holds. Val Thorens is a purpose built resort sitting at 2300-2400 metres altitude.  As our transfer bus dropped us off I realised immediately that Val Thorens was a layout of large concrete buildings of different shapes and sizes depending on their age.  The aesthetics are unlikely to entice those looking for a ‘chocolate box’ Savoyard village but, whatever the resort lacks in appearance it makes up with functionality and when, being honest, do you really go to a ski resort to study architecture?  Or to ski?

Simply put, Val Thorens is placed at the head of the Belleville valley. The stunning teeth of L’Aiguille de Peclet which look down on the resort village, act as a reminder of the vertical ascent still available at this altitude. Furthermore, the surrounding slopes are as wide as they are high with sweeping pistes rolling across the bowl within which Val Thorens sits.

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Family Time in Les Arcs 1950

John April 14th, 2010

John Bennett, Chairman of Ski Independence, is currently out in Les Arcs staying at Le Village with his family. Here is a short report from his stay so far…

This trip was all about taking one of the grandchildren with us and so school holidays dictated dates.  Now ,I’m not a fan of late season skiing but this trip – so far – has changed my view.

Arcs 1950 was developed by Intrawest, the Canadian company that operates Whistler and a number of other resorts in North America.   They have created a great village atmosphere high up in the Tarantaise with quality accommodation. The snow covered main street means everything is ski-in and ski-out – brilliant with kids involved and lined with a sufficiency of shops, bars and restaurants. 

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Video Snow Report from Chamonix – 7 April

The Team April 7th, 2010

It’s hard to believe that these are Easter conditions!

Check out the snow conditions in Chamonix, thanks to Seb Montaz at Chamonix Guiding.

Video Snow Report from Chamonix – 28 Jan

The Team January 28th, 2010

Cold crisp conditions continue in Chamonix, with fluffy powder to be found off piste. 5cm of fresh snow fell on Tuesday, with more predicted through until the weekend. Here is Seb Montaz’s video snow report for Chamonix for this week.

If you want to take advantage of these conditions but can’t spare a week, Chamonix is a perfect resort for a short ski break thanks to the short transfer from Geneva airport. Take a late flight on Thursday, return Sunday night and you can have 3 full days on the mountain! There are some great hotel & self catered options available in Chamonix for short breaks in February – just give us a call on 0131 243 8097 and you’ll be out there before you realise! Read the rest of this entry »

Best Monday in a long time? I think so!

Claire January 25th, 2010

Although most minds are currently fixed on the 2009/10 ski season, here in the office we are starting to think about 2010/11! Every January we head over to France to meet with suppliers to make sure we bring you the very best in offers for the season ahead and to find out about any new ski properties.

This year’s annual European contracting trip was preceded by a visit to Avoriaz and Samoens. After a slight delay to our flight into Geneva, we headed to the transfer desk at arrivals, where our driver was waiting to take us up to Avoriaz.  We were staying at the Balcons du Soleil apartments which are divided into several buildings in the Falaise area of Avoriaz, all with direct access to the slopes on skis – comfortable apartments with great views in an ideal location. We also visited the Antares apartments over in the Crozets area of the resort. You just need to know about two lifts that connect the Antares to the centre of the resort to make getting around easier. These apartments were renovated a couple of years ago and are great if you’re on a budget.

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Video Snow Report from Chamonix

The Team January 7th, 2010

Every Thursday we will be bringing you the latest snow reports from Chamonix thanks to Sebastien Montaz of Chamonix Guiding. Chamonix Guiding is the first mountain guide websites to feature High Definition video content.  The quality is simply awesome. Enjoy.

Cold Temperatures And Heavy Snow Across Alps & North America

Gareth January 6th, 2010

www.Skiinfo.co.uk reports that the Alps and both Eastern and Western sides of North America have again all reported heavy snow in the past seven days over New Year, building on last week’s accumulations.

Flaine 6 January 2010

Flaine 6 January 2010

Snow depths are building in France with Flaine now at 2.7m (9 feet) on upper slopes, La Clusaz on 2.5m (8.3 feet) and Orcieres on 2.1m (7 feet).  The French Alps have also seen some of the heaviest falls of the past week with St Gervais reporting accumulations of 90cm (three feet) and the Paradiski region of La Plagne, Les Arcs and Peisey Vallandry 70cm (2.3 feet).  Most other areas have reported at least a foot of new snow. As a result of the new snow, the snow depth has already almost doubled since the end of 2009 at many French resorts.

In Austria, Kitzbühel received fresh powder on Saturday. Christoph Hirnschall of Bergbahn AG Kitzbühel told me: “The 20 cm of new snow on Saturday helped the winter’s atmosphere very much as they added a layer of natural snow to the already well-prepared slopes.” Kitzbühel  had up to 45 cm of artificial snow on their mountain slopes before. Now the snow depths reach 65 cm on upper and 30 cm on lower slopes with 51 lifts in operation.

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