Tuesday, February 18, 2020

French Alps: Skiing in La Norma

La Norma, Modane
Saint Jean de Maurienne in the Savoie Region of the French Alps
Travel Period: January 2019

This is our first time to visit and experience La Norma. The ski resort is small, compact and inconspicuous. It has 65 kilometers of easy to moderately advanced slopes and a maximum elevation of 2,750 meters.


Our first impressions were quite good. It wasn't busy at all. The weather was perfect. We very much enjoyed taking on the wide terrain almost to ourselves. What a luxury!

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As it was our second time in this area of the French Alps, in the Parc de la Vanoise, I did some further reading and found out that our ski pas has some benefits. It actually has a name to it, the "Eskimo Ski Pas".


La Norma ski village in the valley.


The 6-day Eskimo Ski Pas gets us unlimited access to Val Cenis ski resort where we stayed, as well as to 4 other ski resorts in the Parc de la Vanoise, Aussois, Bonneval-sur-Mer, Valfrejus, and La Norma. The catch here is that we can only have 1 day each on each ski resort, which is more than enough for us really.

But isn't this cool?

Dutchman didn't want to believe this at first, so he double-checked online to see it for himself. We even went to the tourist office to get proper confirmation, and yes, it is all true!

We quickly made arrangements on our schedule for the week and decided on skiing in La Norma and Aussois as they both have enough kilometers of slopes and only half an hour's drive away. Valfrejus was not an option as it was a bit too long for a drive. Bonneval-sur-Mer was the smallest of all with only 25 kilometers of slopes so we skipped this, instead, I came to visit the old village on my own as it is widely known in France as part of the list of pretty villages in the country.

We were very glad to have visited as we enjoyed our time here.


That's me on the left that just arrived and ready to go up again.


A funny incident happened here in La Norma though. It all happened after skiing.

The car we drove in this winter sports holiday was the Audi which is a hybrid e-tron model. It has an electronic key powered by a battery. This particular model has smart key access and as long as you have the e-key in your pocket, bag or hand (within a meter range), the car lock system automatically gets deactivated. No need to press open the key, the car doors are already unlocked when you reach out to open it. I really loved this cool functionality. I kind of miss this as I drive a different car now.

As we were getting ready for our trip back to our chalet in Val Cenis, which is approximately 35 minutes, we found out the electronic key didn't work. We realised that the battery was dead. Oh. We tried not to panic.

We knew that we brought the spare electronic key with us but unfortunately, we left it in the chalet. We also have no idea where we can buy batteries in this small town ski resort. Dutchman and I had only 1 real option. Read the car's manual and find out how to start the car without a functioning electronic key. One thing we can say, the recovery process did work pretty well. Thumbs up to Audi.

We have learned 2 things here: Always bring a spare key and manuals are there for a reason!


Almost nobody on the slopes.


This is a snow cannon.


There is an avalanche risk of 3 on a scale of 5.


A group of youngsters ready to take the black piste.


I think this is the same group with their ski instructor.


That's me trying to go down a  steep and narrow slope (hence the V skiing action). Not my best form I must admit.


One of the nice mountain restaurants with a view in La Norma.


This is the main cable car.


Apres-ski is very low key here but some do the "Jeu de Boules", a typical French ball game.


The village after 16:00 hours.


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Happy Travels! Enjoy Life =)

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