Ski holiday choices – convenience vs charm

from White-Peak Ski Holidays

When choosing their next ski holiday, many callers from the UK seem disappointed that Chatel isn’t a “ski-in/ski-out” resort. To many people, the idea that some resorts can involve walking, driving or bussing to the slopes can often come as quite a shock.

I grew up with non ski-in resorts, visiting Scotland, Bulgaria, North America and real town French resorts such as Chamonix. As a result, when I look for a ski holiday I look at how good the skiing is and how picturesque the resort is, not how close my front door is from the nearest piste.

When I ski through Avoriaz (a purpose built resort in the Portes du Soleil), I can undertand the convenience of stepping out of your apartment block, putting your skis on and skiing off. But then I just look at the place and I think “no thanks”.

I believe that if you’re not careful you can lose sight of the fact that your holiday is meant to be exactly that – a holiday. What can be nicer than getting back from a day’s skiing and relaxing in a hottub watching the sun set over a picturesque chocolate box alpine village?

Not much in my opinion.

Give me 10 minutes on a ski bus to get back to my beautiful view any day rather than skiing to the front door and spending the night in my concrete horror of an apartment block!

I know that this is simply my opinion, but the point of this post is that I think many holdidaymakers make up their minds before trying a real resort. The proof of the pudding is when families who have been dragged kicking and screaming away from their usual ski-in apartment complex reluctantly try Chatel for the first time, and then come back year after year after year!

Obviously I have first hand experience of this happening in the Portes du Soleil, but really it is the same story wherever there are beautiful well kept secret resorts. Those in the Northern French Alps also benefit from manageable drive times from the UK, so if you have a real aversion to public transport you can always drive. Or even hire a car at the airport. And how difficult is it anyway to jump in the car in the morning to drive to the nearest ski lift? Not very.

As with many things in life, staying in the best ski resorts requires a little bit of effort, but in the big scheme of things it isn’t that difficult!

White-Peak Ski Chalets

News and weather – 16.12.05

The holiday is season is almost upon us, there is deep snow on the ground, and the best part of a metre due to fall over the next 24 hours. This will be followed by extreme cold temperatures so wrap up warm if you are out here over Christmas.

Once again, the Portes du Soleil has the best snow in the alps for the start of the season. Read more about this in our mountain weblog.

All lifts should be opening tomorrow and conditions are promising to be fantastic!

The village is looking very Christmassy with all the lights up and snow covering everything.

Other news: The piste between Pre La Joux & Linderets has been widened and improved dramatically making it easier for beginners/early intermediates to get down there.

North vs south…

Once again it appears as though the Portes du Soleil, and the Grand Massif have had a better start to the season than some of the higher “snow sure” resorts. Snow depths as reported by the ski club of GB on Monday 12 December are:

Val d’Isere (39/39cm)
Tignes (28/60cm)
Val Thorens (60/70cm)
Risoul (55/60cm)
Vars (50/60cm)
La Plagne (50/90cm)
Meribel (30/50cm

Whereas in the Portes du Soleil we have:

Chatel (40/110)
Avoriaz (130/130)

The skiing here over the last weekend was superb. Perfectly groomed pistes & fluffy deep powder of-piste!

What a great start to the season.

White-Peak Ski Chalets