Skiing 3 Vallees, France

I wrote this entry on the RER from Paris to CDG two weeks ago.  I have a backlog of posts to make, so be ready to do some reading in the next few days:

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We took a train for three hours from Paris to Moutereils, then a bus for an hour. The French trains claim that they are the fastest, but Amit has a good counter argument: ‘but they don’t get you there faster if they are never on time and stop between stations.’ there was some work being done on the tracks, so in several places, our train came to a complete stop to wait for another train to pass. What also a little upsetting was backing out of one of the train stations and then continuing in that direction about 20 min before we get to our final stop.

Arriving at Les Menuires was a bit overwhelming. We walked around the shopping gallery for 20 minutes carting our stuff until we found the apartment reservation office. After picking up our key, we had to take a bus to our apartment, in the median building. This place is absolutely huge!  The room however was quite tight. We mistook the bedroom for a closet and almost called to say we got the wrong room!

As far as the skiing conditions were, we saw it all from a foot of fresh powder to rocky slush to huge snow-covered ice moguls to freshly groomed snow. Unfortunately, we saw more lumpy moguls than groomed slopes, but we still had a good time.  On some of the days, the lifts to the top were closed due to violent winds. This caused us to be stuck in les menuires, which seemed to have the worst conditions of all 3 valleys.

On Thursday, it was foggy and snowy all day.  Amit and I really enjoyed the conditions this day, despite the fact that it was frightening to see the orange flags marking steep drops but not being able to see how steep. We stayed close together and took it slow and really enjoyed the day.   Friday was also mostly a good day. However, we saw the largest snow /ice mogul patches that day. As a result, we did some off-piste skiing and loved it!! It was thrilling to go off the normal paths, even though the areas that we went were still well-traveled and close to the normal slopes.

On Tuesday, after 2.5 days of skiing, Amit and I took a break in the pool. It was outdoors, and only slightly heated. We lasted about an hour.

Hélène, Amit’s French coach, planned the trip for us. It was like having our own personal French guide with us! She found it shocking how much Amit and I eat.  Although she was most shocked when we were sipping Ricard straight.

One day Amit walks out of the bathroom and stops, and looks at us confused. I start laughing because one of the glasses in his glasses wasn’t there! After scouring the bathroom for 15 minutes, we filly find the piece on the carpet in the hallway.

Overall, I thought the three valley ski experience was not the best of the alps. Perhaps if the conditions were better, I would feel differently. But this place was too large and too crowded.  I didn’t really feel safe leaving our gear unattended since Amit’s board bag was stolen out of our locked locker on the first day of skiing.  And the slopes were rarely groomed.

On the day that we left, Hélène was able to get an earlier train to Paris, but Amit and I couldn’t. So, we drop off our luggage and explore the town in the rain. This town was purgatory for travelers like ourselves. We ended up at the supermarket, where we bought nuts and a Georges Duboeuf wine. When we got on the train, we realize that we do not have a cork screw. I went to the dining car but they did not have one, but I did pick up some cups anyway. Then I scouted the train for old French men; I think they are required to  carry them by law. When I got back to our seats, I told Amit who to ask and he took off with our bottle of wine and returned with it open!

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