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Review of the 2012 Ski Season

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Holiday Reviews 2012

Location Date Review
Serre Chevalier, France 7th - 14th January View
La Plagne, France 22nd - 29th January View
Baqueira, Spain 5th - 12th February View
Megeve, France 4th - 11th March View
Sauze d'Oulx, Italy 17th - 24th March View

Serre Chevalier, France

The ARP SKI Club was founded in 1997 and the first holiday was to Serre Chevalier. The party stayed in the Chalet Charlotte in Monetier. Demand was so great that it became necessary to arrange a second week later that season. This holiday was thus one of nostalgia for the current members who were included in one of those first parties.

As we approached the resort it became obvious from the complete snow cover and road conditions that there had been recent heavy snowfalls that boded well for the week ahead.

On day 1 we boarded the ski bus outside the chalet for the short journey to the slopes. Here we discovered many improvements. We were able to hire our skis; leave them with poles and boots overnight and obtain our lift passes, all on the same site. This meant that at the end of the day we were able to return to the chalet unencumbered.

Our first day was hampered by strong winds but nevertheless we had a full day's skiing, mainly on the middle and lower tree lined slopes. The rest of the week was blessed with blue skies, glorious sunshine and good snow enjoyed by all.

The excellent skiing conditions enjoyed by the party were complemented by the chalet staff who sustained us, guided us, and generally looked after us well.

Our evening meal out in Monetier met with varying degrees of success but none even approached those provided by John our chalet chef. He is obviously destined for the Dorchester or TV. Entertainment during the week included an interesting and thought provoking quiz from Nigel, our host and resort manager.

Bill Porter

La Plagne, France

Well, the snow was truly fantastic and there were 26 ARPskiers to enjoy it. Several of our number were new to ARP but the whole group seemed to gel together at an early stage. We settled into the chalet Graciosa on the first evening and woke to clear skies, bright sunshine.

The chalet was generally comfortable and well situated above Plagne Centre, which enabled us to ski in and out, as advertised.

Ski Olympic had only one ski host this year, but there were enough of us who already knew the resort to ensure that the group he led was not swamped. After easing our feet into our boots and tentatively flexing our legs, we ventured out on the slopes. The snow was so good it didn't really matter where you skied; there was good skiing everywhere, throughout the week.

Tea and cakes awaited us on our return and in the evening we enjoyed a tasty meal. Over the course of the week our waistlines expanded to accommodate the regular cooked breakfasts, afternoon tea and cakes, and 3 course evening meals with wine.

Naturally on the staff day off we all ate in local restaurants. There were several different parties and everyone enjoyed themselves.

Overall, we had a really great week.

Peter Taylor

Baqueira

Heavy snow in Toulouse caused our Sunday flights from Gatwick and Bristol to be cancelled. The Bristol flight was only delayed for 24 hours but those on the Gatwick flight had to wait until Tuesday before flying out.

With such a disappointing start to the holiday we were delighted to find that the chalet Eira had panoramic views which gave justice to the weather of sunshine and blue skies which we enjoyed for the rest of the week. The chef did us proud; his meals rated the highest commendation from our party.

The chalet was very close to the first lift which was a boon and ski passes were free for those over 70 (which many of us turned out to be!) The ski hire shop was very friendly and helpful.

The chalet also provided us with two guides who showed us round all the slopes.

All in all we had a great holiday, and the chalet, meals and snow conditions were first rate. We hope to plan another trip to Baquiera and the chalet Eira.

Beryl and Alison

Megeve

Frequently I have people say that Megeve is low down, and therefore liable to be lacking in snow. However it is in the 'shadow' of Mont Blanc and that mountain's weather visits the resort, and so the snow cover is usually very good. Furthermore, the lower slopes are pastureland or golf course, so when the snow comes it is soon skiable.

This year we had good snow cover and plenty of enjoyable skiing. Just before we arrived there was a good early spring dump of snow and the skiing for our week was superb. Our Club visit, again to the chalet Sylvana, was a good week.

The group was 29 strong, so we had the chalet to ourselves. In our group there were 9 new friends and members, all of whom had a good week and made new friends. We look forward to these new members joining us in a subsequent year's ski holiday.

Geoff and Heather were the holiday leaders. Megeve is a great resort, and the two mountains cover a large area. The downhill runs are varied, some challenging, and all enjoyable. There is also opportunity to ski in to other valleys and back, and the group did all of these things. We had 4 days of brilliant sunshine and good snow, and two days of changeable weather.

On one of these days there was extensive hill fog, and the other was dull and it snowed heavily - but the latter gave us a different ski experience on fresh, deep, new snow.

Our night 'off' was taken in small groups - 29 is too big for one restaurant - and so people came back at all times of the night with stories of different delights that they had enjoyed at various venues 'in town'. The 'last night' was the traditional 'club' type of varied entertainment, in which the chalet girls joined, it was enjoyable and a great event. Liam the Chef deserves special praise for his exquisite cuisine, and for his general happy demeanour, he made every effort to please our varying food requests.

Over all this was a really pleasant, happy and ski packed week - thank you everybody for making it so!

Geoff Peterson

Sauze d'Oulx

Early - very early - on March 18th twenty skiers from all over the country made their way to Sauze d'Oulx. The Crystal rep. Jade was first rate and explained everything to us in clear detail. Also, the ski hire shop was excellent with very supportive and caring staff.

The first meal in the Hotel Gran Baita was superb, beginning with a delicious salad course, beautifully presented. The waitresses were most helpful and anxious that all our needs were met. The food remained of top quality throughout the week.

The next day we gathered together under clear blue skies at Sportinia to begin our ski guiding. During the day we covered a huge amount of snow-covered ground including a black run which became a firm favourite during the week! The first day was spent wholly in Sauze and we became very familiar with the main runs - mostly reds.

On the next day we took the gondola over to Sestriere and skied most of the men's Olympic downhill course - a black! The sun shone upon us and the sky was an unblemished blue. Wednesday saw us in San Sicario on the women's downhill - another black. Everyone in the group appeared to ski it effortlessly.

On the fourth day, our guiding finished, Morag, one of our group, kindly led us back to Sestriere for another outstanding day's skiing.

On Thursday a number of the party crossed into France to Montgenevre for yet another very enjoyable day.

Those who remained in Sauze made the most of the continuing amazing weather and the brilliant conditions. The last day saw us in groups exploring some of the runs we had not yet covered - the area is so vast.

Three daring lady members spent the morning learning how to snowboard - with some hilarious moments ingrained on their memories. We look forward to the pictures! Two quite competent skiers decided to perfect their technique by taking professional ski lessons.

Many in the group enjoyed the apres-ski entertainment including a quiz, a wine tasting, a torchlight procession and a pub-crawl!

The hotel served us very well with lots of games, which appealed to members of our party as gales of laughter could be heard from various parts of the spacious and comfortable lounge.

We had a delightful group who gelled very well together, had a lot of laughs, achieved much in their skiing and were very pleasant to be with. A memorable holiday.

John Hodgson