Saturday, March 09, 2013

Another day of skiing and snowboarding in Saint Francois Longchamp

I’ve said many times in this blog that the reason why we go to the French Alps for our wintersport holiday is mainly because of the slopes. Unlike in Austria, the slopes here are super wide and big. You have a lot of space to glide, turn around, do acrobats or fall to the ground. This makes France unique in the Alps.

If you look at the neighbouring countries within the Alpine region, say the Dolomites in Italy, the slopes there I heard are the same as Austria—narrow and skimpy. I have no idea about Switzerland; the country never really attracted us for skiing holiday. I’ve always had this impression of Switzerland being picturesque but boring as hell (based on my visits and experiences). France can be boring as well but the French have better food and wine.

Nevertheless, I do not mind checking out the Dolomites in the coming winter seasons because the food and booze there are my ultimate goal. Who doesn’t like an Italian for lunch with grappa in between? We’d like to eventually go back to skiing in Austria, although next season I’d like to try the popular ski resorts in France such as Val d’Isere, Val Thorens and Paradiski.

Anyway, Dutchman and I had great fun skiing together (well he, snowboarding that is) in Saint Francois Longchamp.

For the record, Dutchman has been, for years already, desperately trying to get me to snowboard. He even tried bribing me, saying he will pay for my lessons and material. Considering that we are in a 50/50 split expenses relationship, that is quite an attractive proposition. But I always tell him that it would just be a waste of time and money as I do not see myself standing on top of a snowboard. Nah, no way.

The pictures below were taken on a Monday, the 28th of January 2013, our second day of skiing.

Dutchman and moi here in the lift:

Can you see me in the picture below?

This is very typical in the French slopes -- the outside terraces of cafes and restaurants are empty. Perhaps during the peak season it gets a bit busier.

The main reason why we always go in January or early February is because it is non-peak season. No families with rowdy kids on the slopes. Basically, we have the Alps all to ourselves. There would be times that Dutchman and I would be gliding down a mountain range for minutes without nobody in sight. We say, heerlijk.

Very few people in the slopes, although in the weekend, during Saturday and Sunday it gets a bit busier with the locals coming up for a weekend ski.

This slope is going down to Saint Francois Longchamp main ski village:

It can get very dramatic here at the slopes of Saint Francois Longchamp with the bursting clouds. Above sea level...

The (Le Grand Domain) slopes start closing at 4PM. Some lifts close precisely at this hour, others a bit later. Around 5PM there is no one in the slopes anymore. The ski resort usually sends a few personnel into the mountains to make sure no one is left behind.

Travel Period: January-February 2013
Destination: Saint Francois Longchamp – Le Grand Domaine (Savoie – Rhone-Alpes), France

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