Monday, January 23, 2017

French Alps: Alpe d'Huez Grand Domaine Ski on a Sunday and Missing our Connection to Vaujany

Salut. Bonsoir. I am currently in the French Alps!

We are staying in one of the ski villages of Alpe d'Huez Grande Domaine Ski Resort. Our village is smaller and does not really have the best connections to the slopes around the Alpe d'Huez bowl and beyond so it was a bit tricky for us this Sunday because we started quite late. It was just before lunch time when we picked up our ski passes and hit the Alpe d'Huez main ski area.

Alpe d'Huez Grand Domaine Ski

The weather was very erratic. We had sun and blue skies, as well as wind and overcast.

Moi in action today.

This is the piste map (slopes) of Alpe d'Huez Grand Domaine Ski Resort: Alpe d'Huez Grand Domaine Ski Piste Map

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From Vaujany, we took the Vaujany-Alpette and then the Alpette-Rousses gondola-lifts to reach the Dome Des Petite Rousses 2800 station. We then did a couple of ski runs which was really nice. The snow was great; it was powder snow quality. Because it is our first time at this ski resort we were not that familiar of the ski terrain. On hindsight we should have studied the ski map carefully making sure we have a couple of escape routes to bring us back to our ski village on time. Most lifts and gondolas close between 16:00 and 16:30.

We stopped at the Alpe d'Huez 2100 station for our late lunch enjoying the lovely alpine white peaks. Afterwhich we took the gondola-lift to 2700 station and skied down to Oz-en-Oisans where we could catch the Alpette gondola that will bring us to the other side of the mountain, the  L'Apette 2050 station that has access to the gondola-lift (Vaujany-Alpette) going to Vaujany, our ski village. Then we planned on doing a few more ski runs on this side of the mountain before calling it a day. The key here is getting to this part of the mountain, otherwise we will be stuck and might need to take an expensive taxi back to our chalet.

But then our plan was put to a challenge because the red slope, Les Rousses we planned to take en-route to Oz-en-Oisans was closed. We had no choice but to take a detour via Poultran. We were already running out of time because the lifts will be closing in less than half an hour! STRESS. We ended up on an intersection which luckily has a slope going to Oz-en-Oisans. Well this red slope (a combination of Poultran and l'Omet) could have been a blessing in disguise had it not been the ice on it. It was icy as hell! If only hell could have melted the ice? Because I really had huge problems with it. To add insult to injury the slopes here were steep and deep. Not a great combination when it is icy.

Needless to say we missed our gondola-lift connection in Oz-en-Oisans (Alpette gondola-lift). This gondola-lift closes at 16:30 and we were 10 minutes late. We were stuck. You see, the Alpette gondola is THE crucial connection that will bring us to the other side of the mountain where we could then take another gondola-lift (Vaujany-Alpette) to our ski village, Vaujany.

We inquired from a local ski instructor and was told that the next ski shuttle bus departing Oz-en-Oisans is in 40 minutes. This will bring us to the lower valley in Allemont. From here we get off and take another ski shuttle bus going to our village. Unfortunately, we were only able to catch the shuttle to the lower valley, because the ski shuttle bus services run only until 17:30. From Allemont we called a taxi to bring us to our ski village resort in Vaujany.

The only consolation we had was we managed to share the taxi ride with 2 French girls who also missed the lift and are staying in the same village. We arrived at our chalet already dark, which was a bummer. The ski shuttle buses in the French Alps are free but the taxi not (€40 Allemont to Vaujany).

Having said all these, I am very sore from tackling the steep and deep icy red slope of l'Omet. Just hoping the warm bath I've just had will help relieve the muscles a bit. We shall see in the morning.

Here are some pictures of the Alpe d'Huez bowl area.

Alpe d'Huez Grand Domaine Ski

At 2050 metres above sea level.

Locking my ski boots here before gliding on the red piste to Alpe d'Huez mountains.

Alpe d'Huez
Alpe d'Huez

Alpe d'Huez ski village.

Alpe d'Huez
Alpe d'Huez

As you can see from the pictures above, the weather was changing every hour! The slopes were quite busy on a Sunday because of many locals going for a ski weekend.

My ski pants got stuck in my ski boots strap.

Dutchman took this picture. He thought these guys are cool?

Alpe d'Huez
Alpe d'Huez

Resting here and having a quick eat and drink.

Alpe d'Huez 2100

It was not really the perfect terrace day on the slopes.

I will be posting more stories and pictures soon of our skiing and snowboarding holiday.

Travel Period: January 2017
Destination: Alpe d'Huez (Isere - Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes), France

Keep in touch and follow me on Facebook: Travel & Lifestyle Diaries by Dutched Pinay Travels
Happy Travels! Enjoy Life =)

All pictures were taken by a point and shoot pocket camera or a smartphone.

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