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Review of the 2011 Ski Season

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Holiday Reviews 2011

Location Date Review
Reberty 9th - 16th January View
Vallandry 23rd - 30th January View
Arraba 6th - 13th February View
Lauterbrunnend 26th February - 5th March View
Aspen 27th March - 6th April View

Reberty, France

The Club last visited Reberty in 2004 when we experienced almost a whole week of mist and rain. Of the nineteen members of our group, seven had been in that 2004 party and were optimistically hoping for better conditions this time.

A very short walk to the piste on Monday opened up the whole of the Three Valleys region. Conditions were good with ample sunshine and fresh snow, which gave a perfect start to the week. The rest of the week had varied weather conditions but the snow was excellent and on the whole there was more sunshine than mist. Large areas of the Three Valleys were skied and enjoyed by all. One of the party celebrated her 80th birthday during the week. On the last evening there was the usual ‘in house’ entertainment and so another very enjoyable ski holiday was over. This year the weather and snow conditions had been kind, the chalet staff friendly and efficient, and the ski manager accessible and above all, there were no injuries.

Bill Porter


Vallandry, France

Eighteen members travelled to the Les Arcs region in late January when we stayed in the chalet/hotel La Foret, situated just above the bottom of the piste leading to the village of Vallandry, a position that meant that we were able to enjoy ski-in/ski-out facilities.

The weather was cold but mainly clear and sunny for the whole week. We were guided in two groups by Sharon and Mel who showed us some good skiing in Les Arcs and for one day in the La Plagne area. The pistes were well covered although the last significant snow fall had been 10 days before we arrived. By the end of the week however the snow was becoming a bit thin in places and the piste really needed some more snow.

The week was very successful with good weather, excellent skiing and comfortable accommodation enjoyed by everyone.

Peter Taylor

Arraba, Italian Dolomites

On the Sunday morning an intrepid group of 19 ARPskiers set out for the Dolomiti Superski area, “The largest skiing area in the world” in the Italian Dolomites with 1200 kilometres of piste.  The accommodation was split between the Chalets Matea and Luka, on two floors of the same building but the central staircase made communication between the two chalets easy. The walk to the uplifts, carrying skis was rather longer than the 4/5 minutes indicated in the brochure. However this ensured that everyone was all ‘warmed up’ ready to ski. During the week the two guides, Suzie and Vickie led the group around the 42-kilometre Sella Ronda circuit. It was rewarding and a measure of ARPskiers determination that these circuits were successfully completed, one of the most famous skiing areas in Italy. One day the “Hidden Valley” was explored, the highlight perhaps being attached to horses and pulled along on skis. The scenery was delightful. The skiing on the magnificent Marmolada glacier, the highest point in the Dolomiti range at well over 3400 metres in height a truly memorable experience.

The holiday was blessed with the finest weather possible, as every day of the week was to be wall-to-wall blue skies with bright sunshine and good snow conditions, making lunch stops on the slopes delightful. There was general acclamation for what all agreed had been a splendid week of skiing. The remarkable feature of the holiday was the way in which the 19 disparate characters gelled harmoniously together as old friendships were re-kindled and new ones formed. As we left the resort, in low cloud, with snow and even rain forecast, we thankfully realised how lucky we had been. This was a holiday to remember, as one member exclaimed ­ "The best yet!"

John Hodgson and Sheila Walker

Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland

A group of 16 stayed at the Chalet Rosa in Lauterbrunnen. This chalet is a nice one, in the main road and near the church and a bus stop. The hire shop is close by and the company has a heated storage facility at the railway station. Thus we can easily walk from the chalet to the transport centre in outdoor shoes, then put on boots and collect skis ­ a good and satisfactory arrangement.

On arrival at Lauterbrunnen there was new deep snow in the Murren area, with snow continuing to fall heavily and also fog! The snow had stopped the following day, and despite some fog, most managed to ski from Mannlichen to Grund and around the Wengen area. The weather then greatly improved and we skied at Grindelwald on perfect snow and in beautiful sunshine. On the last day (Friday) we skied to Murren and then took the cable cars to the famous revolving Piz Gloria restaurant on top of the Schilthorn for lunch. Friday night ended in an entertainment evening, and as it was one member’s special birthday, champagne and hilarity were part of the programme. All together a super holiday and some said “the best yet!”

Geoffrey Peterson

Aspen, USA

This was a repeat trip to America, because the previous year’s trip was such a successful one. This year 18 people took the long journey to Aspen where we stayed in the Aspen Mountain Chalet. This chalet has been run by the same family since 1954 and was Alpine in design. Hot cider, hot chocolate, coffee, tea and homemade cookies were always in evidence and much appreciated after skiing, as was a swim in the pool or use of the hot tub and gym.

Our skiing covered four ski areas: Snowmass, Buttermilk, Aspen Highlands and Aspen Mountain. Aspen Mountain was within walking distance, and there was a free bus service, which stopped opposite our hotel, ready to take us to the mountains of Snowmass, Aspen Highlands and Buttermilk. The largest area of Snowmass was felt to be the favourite ski area for the group. The vastness of the area with its wide, groomed pistes, gave wonderful views and the runs between the trees were a real joy with the experience of the ‘Noon Groom‘ never to be forgotten. In addition to the guiding provided as part of our holiday, members could also utilise the hosting provided by ‘Ambassadors’, who were much in evidence on the slopes. These are experienced volunteers with a love of their mountains, who are appraised by the State to provide a free service taking skiers around the mountains whilst also providing a bit of local history; a resource well used by the group. On our first day we skied Snowmass. That evening 23 inches of snow fell beating the previous record for the season of 22.5 inches by half an inch! Only one morning were the group unable to ski, having set out in a snowstorm, only to find that the lifts were closed due to the danger of lightning. Members had to resort to museums and art galleries or a spot of retail therapy. The last two days in Aspen were really beautiful with sun and blue skies all day long.

Most of our evening meals were taken at restaurants outside of our hotel, as is the usual practice in American chalets, though covered in the cost of the holiday. The chalet provided us with some superb breakfasts, thus we took our evening meals at American venues as well as Italian, Mexican, French and Japanese restaurants. There certainly is a diversity of dining in Aspen. Everyone enjoyed the skiing, the camaraderie and friendship of this trip, and Aspen provided a very memorable holiday by all.

Alison and Beryl