10 to 13 March
We were up super early this morning for our 9am train to the Alps for our first ski vacation!! We started the morning with a slight issue as we forgot the camera when we first left and ended up having to run back. This then meant needing to get an Uber to Gare de Lyon so we didn’t miss our train. Mike and Jeff were already at the seats when we eventually made it, with a few minutes to spare (literally under 5 minutes), and we were on our way.
As you can imagine the train doesn’t take you directly to the ski resorts, but the resort that we picked (Les Arcs) you can get pretty close to via direct TGV trains luckily so after just a few stops, and around 5 hours, we arrived at Bourg-Saint-Maurice in the valley below Les Arcs. Once you arrive at the main station you must take a funicular up to Arc 1600. If that is your final destination then you find your lodging, however for us we were staying at Arc 1800 which required 2 more buses until we arrived.
Around 3pm we finally arrive in Le Chantel, Arc 1800 and our hotel, Appart’Hôtel Odalys Edenarc. It was absolutely stunning and the ski resort was huge! We checked in, put our stuff in the room, and quickly headed to get our ski equipment so that we could be ready to go out first thing tomorrow morning. Once we got our equipment and put it into our ski in/out locker area we headed down into town to the supermarket to get supplies for the long weekend.
We dropped everything back off at the hotel and got changed to head back into town for drinks and dinner. We didn’t have reservations for tonight so we were a little nervous, but luckily only struck out once before we found Au Mont Blanc. We had about 30 minutes to wait until the table was ready so we headed around the corner for a drink while we waited.
Dinner was great as expected, even if a little heavy because when in the Alps you eat a lot of cheese!
Since we had a big day ahead of us tomorrow we headed back up to our hotel (via the gondola we became very good friends with) to enjoy a few more drinks and plan out tomorrow before heading to bed.
This morning Jer and I had lessons setup since it had been so long since either of us had been skiing (last time I was skiing was 7th grade ski club at East Hills!). Mike and Jeff headed out just as the lifts were opening to start exploring. The plan was to meet them for lunch after our lesson at the ski area next to ours, La Plagne, which you could ski between which was cool.
Once Jer and I were ready we headed down to the meeting spot for our lessons. While I was able to make it down without too much issue, Jer struggled his way down and ended up walking after he got halfway down. We got down and met our instructors and had our lessons from 10-12. Jer didn’t do so well so instead of heading right out for La Plagne, to meet up with Mike and Jeff, we decided we need to stay locally and practice more. We had lunch at Le Madly and enjoyed some good, and much needed, rest with delicious burgers. After lunch we were ready to try our luck again so we headed back up the mountain to continue practicing so that we could be ready to explore more of the resort tomorrow!
After a few more hours of practice we arrived back at the hotel around 16h30 to meet Mike and Jeff for our first official après-ski! We enjoyed a few beers, and even some peaks of sun, at the bar downstairs in our hotel and caught up on everyone’s day.
For dinner tonight we decided to stay in and have some homemade chili since our room had a full kitchen. It was also an amazingly snowy night which looked really cool with some of the lights.
We were all up early this morning as Jer and I decided it was time to venture out with Mike and Jeff.
We were all ready to go when the first lift opened and up the mountain we went higher than we had gone all weekend so far. It was still snowing so visibility the further up we went was difficult. It was still lots of fun and about halfway down it started to clear up so it was just beautiful. Jer struggled a bit with the visibility and at this resort there are a lot of traversing runs so on a snowboard that can be very difficult if you aren’t going fast enough.
After we were down we decided we still needed time to practice more so we found some additional runs where we could practice and decided on a place to meet Mike and Jeff for lunch later.
Around noon we met at La Crèche which was up above 2200m. It was nice to sit and relax a little, but unfortunately the amazing views it is known for were not visible since it was still snowing quite a bit at elevation.
After lunch Mike and Jeff were going to try to reach the highest lift possible and see what it was like up there. Jer and I skied our way back down the mountain and after a few moments where we might have gone “hors-piste” we made our way safely back down (thank god).
After exploring some more of the resort it was time to head back to the hotel around 14h30 as we wanted to see what the spa and pool was all about. Mike met us back there and we headed over to enjoy a little relaxation, while Jeff stayed out a little longer to explore some of the black slopes before meeting us.
Dinner tonight was very exciting as Mike had found an amazing restaurant, Chez Clarisse, which as typical in this region was known for its raclette and fondue! With it still snowing out we made our way down for our 20h reservation and enjoyed an amazing dinner! I think we all ate multiple pounds of cheese!
Around 22h we made our way back through the snow and up to the hotel where we enjoyed a few more drinks and made plans for our last half day tomorrow.
We were up early again to catch the first lifts, and boy had it continued to snow last night!
It wasn’t letting up much today either so lots of fresh powder! The plan was to get a few hours in before we had to hand in our gear and head back down the mountain for our train home. You could tell our practice was paying off today as everything was going great and we were starting to really have some fun. Just as we were planning our last run Jer unfortunately took a pretty bad fall and hurt his ribs so we called it a day.
Back at the hotel we turned in everything and packed all our stuff up before heading to catch our first bus down around 15h. We had a small issue with our second bus but ended up making it to our first train without much issue. We had to take two trains today (direct trains only run on Saturdays) a, TER first for about two hours to Aix-les-Bains, and then pick up the TGV from there back to Paris. All in all we were on some sort of train or metro for around 6 hours today until we finally made it back to the apartment around 23h. Next time, we will stay longer and take more lessons!