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Rachel rejoined the VIP team after a season as a Chalet Host in Val d'Isere. Look out for plenty of exciting blog posts and lots of useful information!
“Snow is falling…all around me” ok maybe it’s a bit too early for Christmas songs but it’s certainly fitting because in case you didn’t hear, winter has officially arrived across the alps! A huge snow storm made its way across the French and Austrian alps this week and has turned our resorts into winter wonderlands.
So how is it looking across France?
Our team sent us this sunny shot from just outside The Farmhouse chalet on Tuesday morning. Temperatures were around -7 and I think it’s safe to say the snow isn’t going anywhere for a while.
With so much snow arriving in the Three Valleys, Courchevel hosted a very special early opening day on Wednesday. Those lucky enough to live nearby took advantage of the fantastic conditions and we received these great photos from the resort.
The lifts in Meribel don’t open until early December but there’s been reports of locals hiking up the mountains to enjoy some of the fresh powder – I can’t say I blame them, the conditions sound simply unmissable.
Our very own La Plagne webcam has been reporting blue skies and fresh snow all week. With exactly one month until it opens, we’re so excited for the start of another season in La Plagne.
Portes du Soleil
On their way back from Val d’Isere our team went via Morzine to visit our new Colibri chalets. They told us snow conditions were as good as Val d’Isere and couldn’t believe how cold it was. Our Sales Director even spotted someone out on the piste in Les Gets, clearly the locals are already taking advantage of the fresh snow.
Avoriaz has reported over 60cm of snow and we can’t wait to see what the next few weeks will bring.
Living up to its reputation of the Island of the sun, conditions in Alpe d’Huez look ideal. There’s plenty of fresh snow, temperatures are remaining low, and the sun is still shining. Preparation is now well underway to get the resort ready for it’s opening on 2nd December.
Over in Austria
Looking at the St Anton webcams you would think it’s practically the middle of the winter – not the beginning! With just three weeks to go until the resort opens on 9th December we’re certainly very excited by the photos we’re seeing from resort.
The Lech tourist board have been counting down to the start of the season with daily updates on their Facebook page. We’re all incredibly jealous of those who have managed to sneak out of the office and up the mountain to enjoy some fresh powder.
Last month we said goodbye to the lovely Millie who left us to embark upon a ski season in Canada. While we’re sad to see her go, we’re thrilled to introduce you to the newest member of our team.
Fresh from a season in our very own Altitude Lodge in Les Gets, Lottie Owen-Jones has joined the UK team as ski sales specialist. Lottie was raised in France and has been skiing since she could walk. She’s skied in many of our resorts but she’s certainly an expert when it comes to Les Gets
We asked Lottie for her top tips when it comes to skiing in Les Gets:
“My favourite thing about Altitude Lodge is that it’s ski in ski out so you can easily clip into your bindings and fly down to the lifts. If you’re looking for a cruisy run, take the Chavannes Express to the top of the Violette run which will take you down in to the Les Gets Bowl. If you’re a bit of a thrill seeker, you can ski down to the centre of Morzine and hop on a free bus to the Prodains cable car. The cable car will take you up to Avoriaz where you can take on the infamous Swiss Wall.
Where to eat
Now I know I’m biased, but Altitude Lodge has one of the best burgers you’ll find in Les Gets. But if you’re after something a little different, you can find some great local cuisine at the restaurant Le Flambeau.
After a long day skiing, head down to the bottom of the Chavannes and enjoy a few après drinks and live music at the L’ApreSki Bar, part of the Hotel Bellevue.“
Talk Les Gets with Lottie
Lottie’s ready and waiting to take your call. Get in touch today to take advantage of some of our fantastic offers in Les Gets including half price childcare at Christmas and FREE kids places at New Year.
Skiing is one of the world’s most popular winter sports. What was once seen as a luxurious pursuit for the elite has been democratised over the years by inexpensive equipment, snow cannon and a proliferation of resorts in countries as diverse as Australia, Japan, Bulgaria and Scotland.
Despite dire predictions of worsening snow records caused by global warming, more people take up skiing every year, which is great news for the sport as a whole, but does carry with it some problems. The most obvious of these is overcrowding.
In-demand resorts can often be swamped, especially during peak season, and busy pistes can be dangerous. This is why encouraging skiers and boarders alike to follow a common code of etiquette while on the slopes has never been more important.
Some of the following rules broadly correspond with those set by the International Federation of Skiing, while others are more informal and relate to simple courtesy. But they’re worth keeping in mind to ensure you have a hassle-free, fun skiing holiday, and that you don’t prove a danger to yourself or others.
Heed the dress code
A big part of being safe on the mountain is bringing the right equipment with you. That doesn’t just concern your skis or board, bindings and boots of course. You need to dress for the weather conditions, with warm, layered clothing.
It makes sense to always have a charged phone in a secure pocket, bottled water, a form of identification and a helmet. 25 years ago, they were a novelty. Today it’s rare to see anyone skiing without one.
More experienced skiers relish the challenge and plush snow that you often find off-piste, but leaving the piste carries its own set of dangers. At the bare minimum you ought to leave room in your backpack for an avalanche transceiver, a shovel and a probe, and if you don’t know the route, you should be skiing as part of a group or with a guide.
Most bottlenecks tend to form either at the top of the pistes or around the lift stations. A long lift queue is annoying, but why make it any worse? Some advice here is blindingly obvious - don’t cut the queue, or attempt to change lanes as this will just rile fellow skiers.
Ensure when approaching a lift that you begin to slow down well before you reach it, otherwise you risk ploughing into people.
When your turn approaches, be ready so that you don’t hold things up. If you’re skiing, have your poles in one hand and your lift pass in the other so that you can take your seat promptly. Don’t wait for other members of your group to join you - you can always reconnect at the top.
Manage your speed
Naturally there’s a lot of fun to be had in whipping down a slope at top speed, but if you’re not in full control, able to turn or stop when you need to, then you’re no better than a cannonball, and about as welcome on the piste.
Going too fast when you’re not ready to do so, or the situation doesn’t suit it, means that you’re probably incapable of avoiding a collision with rocks or other people. If you want to open up the throttle then you need to be confident that you have enough room to manoeuvre and that you’re confident in the conditions.
Respect the environment
Essentially, leave the mountain as pristine as you’d like to find it. So don’t litter. If you smoke, carry a tin for your butts. Resist the temptation to hack at tree branches with your poles, and if you do encounter any wildlife, keep a safe distance.
If you see someone taking a bad fall, or arrive in the immediate aftermath, then you have an obligation to stop and check if they need any help. You don’t need to be trained in first aid to ski, but it’s common decency to look out for others. That’s another good reason why carrying a phone with you while skiing can come in very handy.
Don’t overdo the alcohol at lunchtime
There’s nothing wrong with enjoying a beer or a glass of wine when you stop for lunch. But too much alcohol impairs your responsiveness as well as your decision-making. It’s also worth noting that many insurers will not pay out if you have an accident after drinking alcohol.
Stop and go safely
Before launching yourself off down the piste it’s essential to check that you’re not about to put yourself in the path of someone else.
When it comes to stopping, either to check your map, take a photo or catch your breath, you should ensure that you and anyone else in your group are off to the side of the piste, leaving space for others to go past and not causing an obstruction.
If you’re on a narrow piste then it’s best not to stop until it widens out a little, and if you take a tumble in a dangerous place, do your best to get clear as soon as possible.
Share the space
Respect the line of those ahead of you at all times. The downhill skier always has the right of way. Don’t cut people up, and have patience with novices if they’re obstructing your run. We were all first-timers once. This especially applies when you’re overtaking a ski school group, which may well contain young and inexperienced children. Give them as much space as possible.
Warning signs are there for a good reason - your safety. If a trail is closed off, or a reduction in speed is advised on a section of the piste, then you ignore this at your peril. Similarly, pay close attention to weather reports.
Respect the mountain
All of the above can probably be summed up with one golden rule. Have respect for the mountain, and the other people using it, and you should be just fine.
Now to book yourself the perfect ski holiday to test your new skills see our 2017/2018 season selection. We've got some fantastic offers for the start of the season including short breaks from £300pp, FREE lift passes in Val d'Isere and FREE places in Altitude Lodge, Les Gets.
With just under 6 weeks to go until the start of our season, now’s the time to book your next luxury ski holiday. We’ve put together 6 fantastic offers especially for you. We may reduce our prices from time to time, but rest assured, we never compromise on our fine food & wine, stylish accommodation and exemplary service. Don’t delay, these offers won’t be around for long.
1. Save £100pp in January and 11 March
Book any of our chalets or hotels on any January date or 11 March and save up to £100pp.
Only 6 days left - Offer expires 31 October
2. Have a few drinks on us this Christmas
We’re offering all adults staying in Hotel Theodul €100 to spend behind our bar this Christmas.
Only 16 days left – Offer expires 10 November
3. FREE or HALF PRICE childcare at New Year
Book a whole chalet in any of our resorts and get a FREE VIP SKI nanny or book rooms in a shared chalet and get a nanny for half price.
Only a few days left – limited nannies available
4. Hit the slopes with lift passes & skis on us
Stay in Bellevarde Lodge Merlot on any January date or 4 Feb and get your lift pass and ski hire completely FREE (not combinable with Saver Week discount)
Only 23 days left – Offer expires 17 November
5. Ski in La Plagne from £999pp
Our La Plagne chalets couldn’t be in a better location. With ski in ski out access they’re the perfect place to enjoy the delights of the Paradiski area. Book any Jan date or 4 Feb and ave up to £260 , special offer price £999pp
Only 1 month to book – Offer expires 24 Nov
6. FREE ski hire with in chalet fit in Val d’Isere
Stay in Chalet Davos on 4 Feb, 11 or 18 March and not only will you get a FREE gold ski hire, the team from Precision will also pop into your chalet and fit the skis for you.
Only 1 month to book – Offer expires 24 Nov
If you’re spending the weekend looking for your next ski holiday, then we’re here to help. We’ll be open 10am – 2pm on Saturday or you can browse any of the above offers on our website. Alternatively, call Gina, Lottie, Jonnie, Andy, Lou or Georgia from 8:30 – 7pm Monday to Friday to take advantage of any of our six great offers.
All the flights and flight-inclusive holidays on this website are financially protected by the ATOL scheme. When you pay you will be supplied with an ATOL certificate. Please ask for it and check to ensure that everything you booked (flights, hotels and other services) is listed on it. Please see our booking conditions for further information, or for more information about financial protection and the ATOL certificate CLICK HERE
The Association of Bonded Travel Organisers Trust Limited (ABTOT) provides financial protection under the Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 1992 for APS Select Ltd, trading as VIP SKI (No 5240). Please note that bookings made outside the UK are only protected by ABTOT when purchased directly with VIP SKI.