Sunday, February 8, 2009

La Clusaz

Waking up this Sunday and looking out. It was pouring down snow and most ski resorts warned that snow-chains was mandatory. So we hesitated a bit to go skiing today. We woke up instead very relaxed. Had a nice breakfast with freshly made Tresse and Croissant from the local bakery.

At around 11:00 it had stopped snowing so we said: Yeah, let's go and see. So we packed our gear and 12:35 we arrived in La Clusaz, France. We did go here sometimes last year, but have been a bit against going here since they had the old ski-pass system. You had to wear it very visible for a person to check it everytime entering a lift. This time, to our happy surprise they had updated to the usual SkiData system, so we could finally use our Swatch Ski-Pass watches.

So we got the half-day pass and went up. Visibility was basically 0, but we decided to go to the top anyway. After arriving we kind of said: Where is the piste actually. So we found the sticks and started the adventure of getting down for the first time. We also picked a part of Clusaz where we have not been before. So pretty virgin one can say. We managed to follow the piste pretty well, until I took a wrong turn and went into deep powder, which normally would be just fine, but today could not tell what was up or down. Fought a bit to get back to the piste, but made it :)

So we continued slowly down to the first ski station in the middle, and entered the restaurant to grab a lunch. Ordered a Spagetti and Marlene took a Sallad with some Cheese ;) Nice with a bit of relax, since it was quite straining going down without knowing where we were. After a nice lunch we decided to go back up again, since maybe it was low hanging clouds. This was not the case :(

So we came up to the top for yet another adventure trying to get down. This time it went much smoother since we took the same piste again. Arriving at the bottom we deceided to stay there so we goofed around in the earlier easy pistes a bit, and then decided to drive back home at around 15:30. Of course we stopped for a quick apre-ski to get the vin-chaud which was well deserved.

Next week will be a 4-day Les Contamines, which shall be really fun!! Stay tuned :D

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Grimentz / Zinal

So it is time for another ski adventure. This time we got a friend of ours telling us we should try to go to Grimentz/Zinal/St-Luc area. After a lot of phone calls, we managed to find a little small Hotel-Chalet called Rothorn. Very cosy place actually, except for the usual smoke that is still allowed in Valais, which will change soon though.

Marlène already went there Friday morning to get a ski lesson and familiarize with the region. I arrived late on the Friday night after a slight hell on the highway. Seemed like the entire Suisse-Romande decided to go to Valais this weekend. Just after the fork to Verbier, traffic finally got easier. Arrived around 20:30 and then of course had a nice glass of wine waiting for me, and of course we ate dinner as well in the hotel.

Saturday morning! Clear blue skies and an amazing view. We actually stayed in Aeyer, which is a very small Swiss village, chalet-style. No tall sky scrapers or over exploited. After having a nice breakfast we drove up to the ski station in Zinal. Took the lift to the top, and then the view was really stunning. Only snag during this weekend, is that they closed one of the best black pistes for snowboarders only for slalom practice, which was also very impressive to see.

Started skiing in Zinal and then took a very scary steep black piste with a following transport to Grimentz where we found a nice lunch restaurant in the village. Had a good lunch with some local white wine, and the continued up skiing. We stayed the rest of that day in Grimentz, since the only way back to Zinal is with a CarPostal, which is a free bus going between the stations.

Later in the evening we went to Vissoie for a very nice restaurant, which specializes in fish and local traditions. Marlène had a nice Sole and myself a Filet Mignon. Rounded up with a splendid dessert and tea of course.

Sunday, was time for skiing again. A little bit cloudy in the morning, but still sunshine coming out. We stayed in Zinal all day this day, since we wanted to beat the rush hour home traffic a little bit considering that all the people getting stuck going there on the Friday, are likely to drive home as well on the Sunday.

After we just passed Montreux, the snow started pouring down like crazy. The traffic basically came to a halt, and the visibility was zero. So the drive home took a bit longer than expected, but still arrived safely at home and in time for a late dinner.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Les Contamines

Hello there again. This weekend it was time to change place, or actually change back to one of our favorites: Les Contamines. It is located just on one of the sides of the Mont Blanc. We kicked of around 07:45 from Geneva and was standing with the skis all ready to go at 09:15. Excellent weather as well. It just snowed 15-20cm fresh which is just what was needed.

So when we arrived, there came 4 large buses at the same time, and you immediately go: "No no no... Lots of people and messy", but the slopes were basically empty where we went. We start of to Signal and the continue on the "left" part of the system, and down to Hauteluce, which the adjacent valley. Some great power skiing next to the pistes as well.

After while it is time for lunch at our usual place, which is "La R'mize a Louis". Really good food, nice cosy chalet, but they only accept cash, since they have no phoneline. They do not even have any running water :) Just after we were done we also go some free schnapps which was nice as well.

Then off to ski some more and in the end go back to the parking and drive back home to Geneva. Really amazing day with sunny skies, not too cold, and fresh snow.

This is a place we go back to often, just because it is not as massive as Val Thorens or Verbier, so you can get some privacy and not having to queue for hours just to get back up again. Of course, the non-smoking restaurants in general in France are very appealing :)

More skiing adventures will follow. The season this year is really good!!! :)

Just a little note: All photos are taken with my iPhone, so quality is a bit so so...

A of course some nice views on the place. To the left is the Mont Blanc, and to the right is just a small chalet covered with snow.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Avoriaz skiing day

We finally got to try a new ski place which is called Avoriaz, which is very close to Switzerland. When skiing here you can just cross the border and ski on the Swiss side which is kind of nice. Just make sure you buy the ski-pass for entire system and not just locally. It is called: Portes du Soleil. One little sad thing with this place, is that the Swatch Skiwatch does not work here like most other ski resorts in Europe. Also the magnetic card you can get, cannot be returned. So make sure you keep it if you buy one :)

Starting off slowly to do some warm up, since it was pretty windy on the top and cold. Doing some reds and blues in the beginning just to try out the area. After a while we decide to get a little drink somewhere. The father of Muriel was quick to get the drinks to us: Beers, Rose Wine and some Lemonade. Sitting here in the Sun was just great. After a while we all continue down the slopes to find a lunch area, since it is getting close to 12:00. When the stomach says food, then you just need to get a break and eat :D

After lunch we just continue all of us, Roger & Muriel, Peter & Marlène, and the father of Muriel.

Here are some more photos to enjoy:

The adventure continues...

For more pictures in general, please visit our gallery page on Picasa.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Weekend approaching fast

Friday again....

This week just ran by like a wind gust, and tomorrow is skiing time :)

More will come later here...