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Review of the 2016 Ski Season

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Holiday Reviews 2016

Location Date Review
La Plagne, France 10th - 17th January View
Cervinia, Italy 24th - 31th January View
St Christoph (St Anton), Arlberg ski area, Austria. 6th - 13th February View
Serre Chevalier, France 20th - 27th February View
Eira, Baqueira, Spain 28th February - 6th March View
Park City, Utah, USA 30th March - 9th April View

La Plagne, France

It was snowing when we arrived on Sunday. We were welcomed at the Chalet Graciosa by the highly efficient team.

On Monday snow fell all day long, visibility was variable but often poor. Lift closures meant that most of us did not want to venture too far from the chalet.

Next day snow fell most of the day and visibility was variable.

On Wednesday we were advised that this was the best day (in weather terms) for a trip to Les Arcs. Two parties set out, but unfortunately various lift closures thwarted us. We subsequently learned that one – the top part of the Transarc – was caused by an avalanche!

On the Friday we held an entertainment evening including songs, jokes, stories and monologues, to which many people contributed.

On Saturday the weather let up and left us with a great snow-base, and some decent conditions in which to enjoy it. We were able to go further afield and finish the week with some good skiing.

Our party gelled very well during the week and in spite of a lot of adverse weather, I think everyone found themselves with like-minded people and enjoyed their holiday.

Peter Taylor.

Cervinia, Italy.

The Hotel Breuil is situated only a short walk from the first uplift at Cretaz. It was comfortable and welcoming.

Cervinia’s main slopes are high, open and sunny, with a spectacular setting under the Matterhorn. The abundance of gentle blue and red runs on the Plan Maison side suited one of the groups, and others enjoyed the more challenging reds and blacks on the Cretaz side. Thee long cruising red runs off the Plateau Rosa satisfied others who wanted to get miles under their skis.

We enjoyed good skiing in the sunshine for the next few days. The slopes were well maintained and there were no queues. Skiing over the Theodulpass or Plaseau Rosa to Switzerland, gave us magnificent views and wide flattering slopes, and the snow on the glacier was super.

On Wednesday one group skied to the Rothorn, the other side of Zermatt, the furthest ski sector in this area. By using the funiculars, cog railways and the huge cable cars, ARPskiers conquered the extensive and breath-taking slopes over in Switzerland throughout the week, skiing at Gornergrat, Riffelberg and Sunnegga with the Matterhorn always in the background.

On Friday when the weather improved again, groups covered the whole of the “Skirama” Breuil-Cervinia Valtournenche/Zermatt piste map area.

Cervinia proved to be an excellent resort for all our skiing levels, and those who skied less were still able to enjoy the wonderful scenery of the Matterhorn and Alps. The hotel was comfortable, the skiing was excellent and the friendship and camaraderie we have come to expect of an ARP holiday, was there in abundance.

Sheila Walker.

St.Christoph, Arlberg, Austria

St Christoph is a small hamlet 6 km up the valley from St.Anton in the direction of Zurs and Lech, and has a couple of local runs, but more importantly is served by a 4-man chair up to Gaizig peak (2100m) above St Anton.

On the second day, blue run 17 became indelibly imprinted on one group’s memory. It is a 2.5 km uninterrupted not-cruisey blue – some might say red – from the Galzig area down towards Stuben. After lunch we made the bus trip to Lech where high winds curtailed the extent of our exploring, as it did more severely the next day when we went to the Rendle area of St Anton, and suffered more lift closures.

Wednesday morning brought high winds and poor visibility, with heavy snow stopping many from skiing. After Wednesday the weather dramatically improved when glorious clear blue skies finally broke through for the final 2 days, revealing the mountains and slopes in a much more attractive light.

On the staff night off we had our ‘cabaret evening’ featuring 8 very entertaining turns of humour and music. The group rated the catering and service in the chalet/hotel highly and appreciated the well-sized and well-equipped rooms, sauna and large swimming pool along with the convenience of ski-in and virtually ski-out.

Charles Woodcock

Serre Chevalier, France

Arriving safely at Grenoble Airport, we found that our short transfer to Serre Chevalier became a marathon alpine tour due to a landslip closing the Chambon Tunnel. Italy looked pretty, but we were supposed to be in France.

The chalet/hotel Charlotte was certainly full of character. A former monastery, it had vaulted ceilings, alcoves, wooden beams and a huge open fire. Although only a short stroll from the chair lifts there were facilities to leave our skis and boots next to the main ski lift.

The first morning was bright and sunny, and the ski guiding was excellent, with our 2 young men, who were very considerate and always cheerful.

Monday morning was cloudy and grey as we skied over to the Villeneuf ski area. Tuesday saw a fine sunny day, but a bit windy on the high ridges. Some of the party stayed on the Monetier runs while the majority headed for Chantemerle.

On Wednesday we were without guides, so a small group went off to explore the World Heritage Site at Briancon, while others headed out skiing. Our final day’s skiing was again in sunshine. The entertainment evening was excellent. The final night was quiz night, Prior to this, some of us tried out the thermal baths in Monetier, listed as among the largest in Europe and quite an experience. Everyone who came agreed the trip was a success.

Anne Horne.

Baqueira, Spanish Pyrenees.

Three new members joined our group of 26 for this year’s holiday in Baqueira, and they were quickly drawn into the ARPski camaraderie. One new member was 91 and a contestant for the oldest skier’s place, and both of them were an example to us all.

Returning members were greeted like old friends on arrival at The Eira, and by the caring and welcoming chaps in the ski hire shop.

We were lucky enough to have three dedicated and caring guides again this year, our newest 91 year-old choosing to go with the faster group and, so we were told, always hot on the heels of the guide! It must be the Over 70’s Lift Pass at 15 Euros for the week that is the attraction!

The weather was not so kind to us as in previous years, but despite poor visibility on some days, with plenty of fresh snow on the wide open slopes of Baqueira, and with the occasional burst of sunshine, we were able to enjoy the varied terrain on the newly extended skiing areas on most days.

The ‘Last Evening’ entertainment, which has now become part of many an ARPski holiday, brings forth many hidden and often unexpected talents.

All too soon it was time to say goodbye; new friendships made and old renewed, alongside that special and unique sharing of friendship that ARPski provides. It was another excellent year at Baqueira,

Beryl and Alison.

Park City, Utah, USA.

The transfer arrangements from the airport to Park City were efficient and within 45 minutes we arrived at our hotel, “The Double Tree by Hilton”, previously known as “The Yarrow Hotel”. The hotel boasted a hot tub; fair sized swimming pool and a games room, which were all well used by our group.

Although there had been no new snow there was a good base, and the slopes were well groomed.

Ski groups were fluid and everyone found a level to suit them. Some members made good use of the Mountain Ambassadors who provided guided tours in the morning and afternoon. These guides used their knowledge of the best slopes and snow conditions to help us enjoy the Park City and Canyons ski areas – now the biggest linked resort in North America.

We enjoyed many sunny skiing days, on wide open, well maintained and mostly empty slopes. The silver-white aspen trees set against the azure blue of the sky was a memorable sight. The vast ski area provided a range of terrain to suit all abilities. However the higher snow bowls with their Double Diamond black runs were less accessible because of the conditions. Most groups made the trip to Deer Valley for a day. This exclusive resort where snow boarders are banned, has a reputation for pampering its guests.

Our final evening’s entertainment was scaled down. Despite the lack of powder snow, which drew us to Utah in the first place, the holiday was considered a success, and most thought it was good value. The introduction of new direct flights to Salt Lake City next year, the short transfer time and the vast skiing areas do make Utah a viable place for an ARP trip.

Sheila Walker.