I’m currently cruising at 35,000 feet flying over Paris watching the Eiffel tower glisten as it does every hour. I’ve certainly had worse ends to holidays.
I’ve spent the last week with 10 lads and 1 lass in the idyllic resort of La Clusaz in France, a mere 1hr15min from Geneva.
I flew out of London Gatwick on the 10am flight 11:30 flight…. arriving only to be stuck on a bus on the tarmac for the best part of 45 minutes. I was wearing a huge wool fleece so needless to say the stress & cramped conditions were not an ideal start and the perspiration set in.
When I finally got through passport control I joined the mosh-pit of people scrambling for bags, after another 40 minutes it was time to meet up with the guys. Beers in hand we got on the mini bus & headed to the chalet. On the trip into the mountains the premise was set for the tone of the holiday, it was not going to be my typical spa break in the Tuscan hills….
We arrived late afternoon & got settled in the chalet. Here is a panoramic picture of what we were treated to day in day out, I won’t go into detail but it was fantastic & comfortably slept 11.
It could have been more as some party members spent more nights on the sofas than in their beds. We headed straight to get ski gear before heading to le sauto (bar) to watch the Rugby and get some grub. As expected my gluten & lactose intolerance meant that I couldn’t have anything to eat as pizza’s were the speciality. My reliable sources ensured me that their cinq fromage pizza was one of the best they’ve ever had. Not bitter at all…
The Rugby was mediocre but the atmosphere was excellent. Après the bar we then headed to a takeaway pizza place to get more pizza. I was thrilled by this decision as my dinner turned into a handful of mixed nuts & berries and some ham, yes you read that right ham.
The first day on the slopes was ropey at best, I had no confidence in my turns. I was blaming the snow & ice. So I’ll fast forward to the evening, which was the resounding aspect, we’re all going to remember. We went to La Ferme, a restaurant around a 9 minute walk from the center of town, perched above the green ski slope.
Dinner at La Ferme
We took our places in the quiet rustic room, restrained as it was early and we had enjoyed a long day on the mountain. Ollie, the host, ordered for the table. I forget the French but in essence Meat & Cheese. After finishing off the first round of carafes, red hot miniature bbq’s appeared on either end of the table. Followed by a mound of raw meat, I agree the term mound doesn’t sound impressive but this was lovely thinly cut steak.
We spent the next 3 hours cooking steak, melting cheese & drinking more carafes of red wine than I think any of us will ever remember. It was a truly fantastic experience if you ever visit La Clusaz it certainly deserves a visit.
Day 2 was a Monday and one thing is for sure none of us woke up with the Monday blues. It was a clear day and I vividly remember standing in the crisp mountain air at 7:30 in the morning feeling very alive. I made a huge batch of scrambled eggs & baked some fresh bread & tucked into my usual breakfast, colossal in nature to fuel me for the day ahead.
We weren’t the first on the slopes but it didn’t matter we’d had no snow and at 9am the temperature was well above freezing. At this point the snow was looking ropey, by the afternoon pistes were almost bare or covered in slushy moguls. I had some concerns about the week ahead and that the forecast was too good to be true…
Fast forward to the evening where we had a BBQ which I’ll let the picture & video do the talking!
I’ll remember this day for the terrible snow and intense mist, we stopped skiing after lunch & had a relaxing afternoon which descended into heavy drinking pretty quickly. One of our party was leaving so we went for dinner in the center of town at L’Outa. I’ve been to La Clusaz three times before every time to here and every time had an amazing time.
Day 4 – The Day the Snow Came
For the past 3 days we had been preparing ourselves for this day.
We practically had the snow forecast as the homepage on our phones & all the signs pointed to a colossal amount on it’s way.
Eagerly awaking I opened the curtains to yet more mist and no snow. Could the forecasters have got it wrong? The usual morning routine was followed & come lunch time the snow had not arrived instead we were presented with an intense amount of rain. We huddled in a mountain cabin at around 11am and contemplated what to do. We stuck htit out and in the afternoon the snow began to fall……immensely.
We went up and down L’Etoile all afternoon with fresh powder covering the tracks from the previous run. It was amazing, one of the best afternoons snowboarding I’ve had. The mountain was empty as most people gave up when it started raining but for the dedicated few (10 of us) we had the mountain to ourselves.
Day 5 & 6
I’m really struggling to even contemplate describing the best two days of snowboarding I’ve ever had in my life. Thigh deep powder, quiet off piste runs ,good visibility. I tried to sum up this experience in the video below so please check this out as I’m still lost for words!
Wrapping it up
The trip was fantastic with every day bringing back wonderful memories many thanks to Ollie & his family for having us stay in their wonderful chalet.