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Review of the 2018 Ski Season

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Holiday Reviews 2018

Location Date Review
Les Deux Alpes, France. Sat 6 to 13 January View
Madonna di Campiglio, Italy. Sat 20 to 27 January View
Selva, Val Gardena, Italian Dolomites Sat 3 to 10 February. View
Alpe d'Huez, France. Sat 17 to 24 February View
Baqueira, Spanish Pyrenees. Sun 25th Feb to 4th March View
St.Christoph, Arlberg, Austria Sat 10 to 17 March View

Les Deux Alpes, France

If location counts, our hotel was bound to be a winner. Close to the village centre, but right on the slopes, with 2 drag lifts a short slide away, it was the perfect ‘ski in’ ‘ski out’ hotel. 19 ARP members arrived in time to organise lift passes, skis and, in 1 case, to go out skiing on our first afternoon.

Our first day’s skiing saw wind and a bit of snow, but we all went off in groups with a ski instructor/guide and a member of staff assigned to show us around and help us find our ski legs. Further guiding was offered in 2-hour blocks during the week, and several party members took advantage of the free service.

While other parts of the Alpes were closed to skiing with people being air lifted out of resorts, all we suffered was moderate snowfall with some winds and an occasional avalanche explosion, but we all were able to ski every day. By mid week, the weather was fine with sun at times, giving everyone a chance to ski the fabulous snow and gentle runs on the glacier at 3,200 metres. Our last two days were spent skiing in fabulous sunshine, or taking advantage of more free guiding.

Les Deux Alpes is situated in a hanging valley, and intrepid club members explored further afield, taking the cable car over the valley edge to the ancient village of Venosc, perched on the mountainside.

It wouldn’t be an ARP trip without entertainment on the last night. We had amusing stories, jokes and recitations.

This trip was the Club’s first to Les Deux Alpes, but everyone agreed it should not be our last, so watch out for it as a destination in years to come.

Anne Horne

Madonna di Campiglio, Italy.

26 skiers, travelled from 5 UK airports, via Verona to Madonna.

The family-run hotel was warm and welcoming. On arrival in resort we were able to get kitted up efficiently with our skis. Five groups were formed for the first morning, Many groups enjoyed the extensive local slopes, and we all enjoyed the recent fresh snow. However the wind was very unpredictable with severe gusts, strong enough to blow one skier over and the high winds caused some uplifts to close. By Monday the wind had abated and we then enjoyed four days of clear blue skies, good snow and no wind. We were greeted on our final day by falling snow and poor visibility. However those who decided to ski still enjoyed the fresh snow and very quiet slopes.

Through the week the groups were able to make good use of the Skirama regional lift pass, which covers Madonna, the linked resorts of Folgarida, Pinzolo and Marileva and other resorts in the Val di Sole. The variety of slopes and the quality of the grooming was impressive and catered for all our ski levels. We enjoyed the long wide red runs on the Groste and Pradalago slopes. The Cinque Laghi slopes offered us meandering blues and the challenging Miramonti black run which finished across the road from the hotel. All runs were signed with their distance, drop and incline, so you knew what you were letting yourself in for!

The hotel provided us with a typical “Trentino” evening meal, which was served by staff wearing their national costume.

The traditional last night “Concert Party” proved yet again that the talents of ARP skiers are not confined to the slopes! We had magic tricks, poetry, jokes, and recitations.

This was another enjoyable holiday for ARPSki members.

Sheila Walker.

Selva, Val Gardena, Italian Dolomites

24 Members of ARPSki travelled to Selva, and we were joined by 2 members who had organised their holiday independently. In spite of the forecasts the weather held up surprisingly well. Whilst always cloudy we had sun and blue skies except for Tuesday and Friday afternoons. The snow conditions were excellent. We split into four groups, two intermediate and two a little quicker. Most did the Sella Ronda. Everyone enjoyed the skiing. Queues were almost non-existent.

Carnival night was on Thursday 8th Feb with all the staff in fancy costume, all the guests in funny hats and a special dinner menu for the occasion. We adjourned to the bar where we were visited by the local (very accomplished) dancing pirate.

The usual concert party cabaret was held on the last night. Our two Scottish members, excelled with humorous and mellifluous performances. Three members gave clever spoken and sung commentaries on the week, with one organising a vigorous “strip the willow” to close the show. Maybe short on quantity but certainly high on quality.

Accident wise we did very well until, predictably on the last day, one of the independent travellers, had a bad fall. Fortunately a precautionary overnight stay in a local hospital revealed no concussion problems and he was able to drive home.

A good time was had by all.

David Clark

Alpe d'Huez, France.

It was snowing when we arrived in the resort but the following day was clear and sunny, and on each day that followed we were similarly blessed with clear skies and bright sunshine. Even the day that opened with thick fog cleared up by the time we got on the slopes.

The party of 43 had initially been put into 7 ski groups of six or seven each. This is a new feature of our holidays, and was designed to group people of similar ability and to ensure that everyone had someone to ski with on the first day, particularly new members. Assessing ability is not an exact science, but the groups seemed to work well for most people.

On Thursday night we held the traditional Club Entertainment with a wide variety of stories, sketches, jokes and songs, rounded off by a lusty rendering by the whole party (and some others) of “Delilah” led by Charles.

Some members have commented that the ski groups helped the party get off the ground and enabled people to gel together more easily. Another successful and enjoyable holiday.

Peter Taylor

Baqueira, Spanish Pyrenees.

With 26 members travelling from multiple airports, group contacts proved to be very useful with all transfers to Baqueira proceeding smoothly.

Our first day dawned sunny and bright and we were fortunate to have three dedicated guides to accommodate all level. Greeted and welcomed back as friends by the ever helpful and friendly staff, and kitted out and helped on with our boots in our special Ski Hire shop, with the usual care and attention we have come to know, we were ready to go.

Sunshine stayed with us for day 2 and our guides took us over to Bonaigua and the recently extended ski area. Wednesday morning and snow had fallen overnight; sunshine had seemingly left us though not curtailing our skiing.

An earlier mixture of rain and snow together with high winds on Thursday saw the weather closing in making for difficult conditions and curtailing visibility.

Friday we were blessed with a beautiful sunny day though freeze/thaw conditions made for some icy conditions on the lower slopes. Evening entertainment brought forth hidden talent and shared humour, including one member’s recollections of a Baqueira holiday 13 years previously, followed by a sing-along led by Chrissie, which continued into the late evening and was enjoyed by all.

Saturday was our last day and again we were blessed with glorious sunshine, which saw members enjoying excellent conditions and maximising the last day of our holiday. A holiday where the staff had worked hard to cover our every need.

A unique Club with a diverse mixture of members coming together with a common interest, who have shared happy times and gained many friends we said our goodbyes, each with our own memories of our week in Baqueira.

Beryl and Sheila.

Madonna di Campiglio, Italy.

26 skiers, travelled from 5 UK airports, via Verona to Madonna.

The family-run hotel was warm and welcoming. On arrival in resort we were able to get kitted up efficiently with our skis. Five groups were formed for the first morning, Many groups enjoyed the extensive local slopes, and we all enjoyed the recent fresh snow. However the wind was very unpredictable with severe gusts, strong enough to blow one skier over and the high winds caused some uplifts to close. By Monday the wind had abated and we then enjoyed four days of clear blue skies, good snow and no wind. We were greeted on our final day by falling snow and poor visibility. However those who decided to ski still enjoyed the fresh snow and very quiet slopes.

Through the week the groups were able to make good use of the Skirama regional lift pass, which covers Madonna, the linked resorts of Folgarida, Pinzolo and Marileva and other resorts in the Val di Sole. The variety of slopes and the quality of the grooming was impressive and catered for all our ski levels. We enjoyed the long wide red runs on the Groste and Pradalago slopes. The Cinque Laghi slopes offered us meandering blues and the challenging Miramonti black run which finished across the road from the hotel. All runs were signed with their distance, drop and incline, so you knew what you were letting yourself in for!

The hotel provided us with a typical “Trentino” evening meal, which was served by staff wearing their national costume.

The traditional last night “Concert Party” proved yet again that the talents of ARP skiers are not confined to the slopes! We had magic tricks, poetry, jokes, and recitations.

This was another enjoyable holiday for ARPSki members.

Sheila Walker.

St.Christoph, Arlberg, Austria

38 club members went on the club's second-ever trip to St Christoph which is 6km from St Anton on the road to Zurs and Lech and in the Arllberg region.

Six skiing groups had been arranged named on a theme, in this case cartoon families/groups.

Conditions on the first day were not great. The skiing plans for some were disrupted also by the blue Happy Valley run down from St Christoph to St Anton being closed all season. The black down to St Anton was the obvious alternative for some but for others a trip down the Galzigbahn became a regular means of reaching the St Anton and Rendl skiing areas.

Monday and Tuesday, brought brighter mornings but conditions deteriorated in the afternoon with snow on the Monday and on Tuesday extremely poor visibility.

Obviously you can't go to the Arlberg without going to Lech and Zurs and Wednesday brought glorious sunshine and so provided a good opportunity to take in these resorts. The new Flexenbahn at Alpe Rauz enables skiing to Zurs and thence to Lech. From Lech, one can take the gondola to Warth. Thursday and Friday returned to less favourable conditions with only brief spells of sunshine providing further opportunity for some to visit the nearby Hospiz Alms restaurant with its stone slide down to the toilets and impressive wine cellar.

The traditional 'cabaret' on the last evening was held in the chalet's large Wintergarden room complete with stage. A programme of song, reading and dance included the premiere performance of Let us Ski by De'Ath out of McCartney (loosely based on Let it Be).

Members continued to rate highly the chalet hotel and in particular the service of the staff and most found the conditions we had skiing the Arlberg to their liking.

Charles Woodcock