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Les Trois Valles is awesome as are many of the Austrian resorts but If you
have to go one place in Europe and you have never been before and might not
ever make it back then it has to be Chamonix without a doubt. It's not even
close.


Chamonix is very close to Geneva so you fly there. It has some of the must
ski runs of a lifetime including everything off of the Aguille du Midi (The
Mont Blanc Tram) and the Pas De Chevre. The Chamonix Valley has the town of
Chamonix at one end and the town of Argentierre at the other. It is
surrounded by numerous lift stations that service absolutely breathtaking
terrain both on and off piste. You can buy a lift ticket that is good for
the entire valley including the Aguille Du Midi. The two other major station
other than the Mont Blanc are Les Grand Montets and Brevent.

The place that I stay is called Le Hameau Albert 1ER. It's the top of the
line but once you convert the francs or euros it's an absolute steal. You
can see it here:

http://www.hameaualbert.fr/

E mail: [log in to unmask]
The contact there is Nathalie Bernos.

There are of course many cheaper alternatives and condos are available in
Argentiere for a couple of hundred dollars for the week. I would highly
recommend having a guide when you are there for the entire visit.The
mountains are just so vast that you need someone with the experience of
knowing where to go and when. I remember one day we awoke to a drizzle and I
rolled over in bed thinking I'm sleeping in today. Bang Bang on the door, It
was Jean Pierre. Tag let's go it's a powder day. I got my self together and
we headed to Les Grand Montets. Half way up the second tram we broke through
the clouds into blue skies and sunshine. Three feet of new snow had fallen
and we skied down the open glacier in the sun until we disappeared into the
clouds and the trees We did it again and again and again. Unbelievable. If
you don't stay at the Albert contact Nathalie anyway and see if you can book
her husband Jean Pierre Bernos as your guide. He is one of the main guys in
Chamonix and a great guy. If you can ski then he will take you everywhere
and safely. He also distills his own schnapps from the wild mountain flowers
there. It rocks. Ski well and you might even get a bottle to take home as a
going away present.

OK here's a short little sample of a day at Chamonix. The Mont Blanc tram is
an expressway to skiing heaven. It goes so high (3842m) so far, so fast that
you actually feel a little lightheaded when you get off at the top. You are
literally flying over 3-4  Jackson Hole size ski areas. You should be guided
because it is all off Piste. After you get off the tram and you take in the
unbelievable view of the Chamonix valley, your guide puts you on a rope for
the walk down the arete to where you put your skis on. Then he takes you to
untracked powder heaven. Steep, Deep and beautiful. After skiing down for a
couple of hours you have arrived at the refuge which is a stone building in
the middle of the Valle Blanche. Get ready for the best meal skiing you ever
had complemented with the best wine and for the price of a hot dog and coke
at a US resort. Yeah, I know you're thinking food I don't care about food I
want to ski. I was the same way my first trip over. But it's a different
head over there and you are skiing such huge areas that everything slows
down and you just revel in the whole overall vibe. It becomes this wonderful
intrinsic addition to the overall experience and camaraderie. There is an
intermediate route down which is mainly for the tourists who can't ski. With
a guide there are infinite routes down that are awesome. After lunch,
depending on the time of year you can either ski all the way down to the
town or part of the way down and get the cog railway back the rest of the
way. It is simply the best day you will ever spend on skis.

I'm happy to give you any additional information you need including on
nightlife, how to get your gear there etc. Trust me on this if you're a
skier this is the equivalent to a must make pilgrimage. Nothing in North
America even comes close.

----------------------------------------------

Tag Gross
RTG Music Limited/Websound/RockRiver
212-222-4800
917-930-7859
[log in to unmask]


In 40 years of skiing all over the world this is my favorite place
-----Original Message-----
From: Vermont Skiing Discussion and Snow Reports
[mailto:[log in to unmask]]On Behalf Of Todd Fisher
Sent: Tuesday, January 29, 2002 12:43 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [SKIVT-L] european vacation


Alright I'm breaking down. .. . I said I wasn't going to do it, then I
thought about it,  then I thought I thought that maybe I could, then I
decided it wasn't worth it, then my buddy asked where were going this
season.

Who can recommend a European ski vacation ?  Any help pointing me towards
reliable snow, all inclusive everything, French speaking, interesting
nightlife in Europe would be greatly appreciated.

I have my eye on Austria.

thanks,
   Todd


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