Ski Clinics – Les Deux Alpes

Rod Frazer - BASS

Long Time Snowboarders Turning to Skiing

At 14 years old, whilst visiting my sister on her working ski season in the late 80’s, I was lucky enough to discover the relatively new sport of snowboarding. Back then a ski holiday was generally reserved for the well off. The mountain gear was skinny and retro and the off-piste was a play ground for the only the best skiers. Skis were long and thin, which made them a challenge to turn on piste and difficulty to use in the fresh off piste powder snow. As a result the holy grail of fresh powder remained untracked for days after a snowfall.

Snowboarding changed all this. Clothing was baggy and leaned more towards a skateboard style. The snowboards larger surface area made riding off piste accessible to almost anyone who could link a turn and their exaggerated side cut helped easily carve tighter turns on piste. Snowboarders were building their own jumps and with their twin tips, were doing tricks never seen by skiers. Terrain parks with purpose built freestyle zones and half-pipes started popping up. Basically snowboarding was cool and all the kids wanted to do it.

However over the past 25 years, the ski industry has reacted and evolved to the sport we see today. These days, even the most basic ski is shorter, wider and has a tighter turning circle or carving angle. Skis turn quicker and easier. Off piste skiing is much more achievable for a half decent skier and the back country requires carrying less equipment than with a bulk snowboard on your back. Terrain parks are no longer the exclusive domains of the adolescent baggy clad snowboarder. Now free style skiers are commonplace in the parks and actually have more variety of tricks due to having two skis.

The long and short of it, is that it is definitely cool to ski again. Actually, if I think about it, it has been cool for a long while now. As a longtime snowboarder, I have been in denial and resisting the urge to give it a go, since I was reluctant to head back to the nursery slope.

However, like so many similarly placed mid 40’s longterm snowboarders I have spoken to recently, the draw of a new challenge has finally convinced me to switch to two planks. Now I’m not totally new to skiing. In fact I first hit the dry ski slopes back in the mid 80’s and have even strapped them on periodically over the years. But I have never got to a confident stage with two independent skis, where I’m not in constant fear of wrapping my knee around my shoulder.

Ski Clinic – Les Deux Alpes

So after a number of weeks nervously sliding around the mountain and generally loosing more and more confidence, I finally took the plunge and signed up for my first lesson in over 20 years. This was a very small group lesson hosted by Rod Fraser from Bass (British Alpine Ski School) that turned out to be with just three people, plus the instructor. During the first afternoon, the weather limited us to going back to absolute basics on the lower slopes. However after years of bad technique, reverting to total basics was exactly what I needed.

Rod from Scotland, literally started off with the most basic snow plough turn but, with the help of some handy on snow video analysis, we advanced quickly through the various stages of turning all the way up to a simple carve buy the end of the first afternoon. For our second day we had perfect fresh snow conditions and beautiful sunshine. Here Rod was able to take us all over the mountain and helped us put into action all the basics we had learned the first day. This was a truly eureka session for me, as something totally clicked. No more burning thighs, gone was the fear and tension that has plagued my skiing over the years. In short one professionally led intensive ski clinic had done more for me in two afternoons, than years of self-teaching.

So thanks to Rod at Bass – Les Deux Alpes, I now have a totally new focus for my life in the Alps. I suspect I will still drag the snowboard out for those perfect powder days, but thanks to a short amount of professional lessons, I look forward to becoming a much more accomplished skier.

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For anyone interested in joining one of these amazing clinics, Rod has some availability for next week.

Dianne Frazer – “We have one or two spaces left next week on three levels of Clinics – Complete Beginner, ‘almost Beginner’ (i.e. those already booked have done quite a few snowdome sessions, but usually those skiers are a bit taken aback by the open environment, so we will still be starting at very much an introductory level) and Intermediate Clinic (you know we work hard to ensure a good ‘fit’ – those booked on already are shaky rough parallel blue run skiers this time). For a change our Intermediate Clinic is mornings this week – please get in touch if you’d like more details or timings etc on any of the above. Maximum six in these groups.” 

To book another ski clinic with Rod, contact Dianne via the following email.

Rod & Dianne Frazer – British Alpine Ski School

or follow their Facebook page on – BASS FaceBook Page

Bass British Alpine Ski School

Chalet Freeride – Catered and self-catered ski and bike holidays, Les Deux Alpes

 

Les Deux Alpes – European Resort of the Year

In November 2015, Les Deux Alpes in France was voted European Resort of the Year, at the World Snow Awards ceremony

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By Will Corder in Les Deux Alpes

Well, after a slow start across the Alps, the snow has arrived here in Les Deux Alpes we are now enjoying beautiful blue skies with perfect skiing conditions. So while you are searching for your winter ski holiday, it is worth remembering that in November 2015, Les Deux Alpes was voted European resort of the year at the World Snow Awards at the London Ski and Snowboard awards.

This award is a recognition of the fantastic variety and scale of skiing available in the resort. Although not as large as some of the interconnected resorts available across the Alps, the 220km of marked piste is more than enough for most holiday makers. If this is not enough, then included on your 6 day ski pass are 2 free days skiing in neighbouring resort Alpe d’huez, which can be reached either by a shuttle bus, or if you fancy doing it in style, but helicopter transfer.

One of the significant benefits of Les Deux alpes is the amount of easy skiing above 3000 meters, a domain that is usually reserved for the best skiers. Here even the newest of skiers get to experience that top of the world feeling and the best of the snow conditions. In the summer this area doubles as Europe’s largest skiable glacier and a world centre for freestyle skiing and snowboarding. During the winter the  Freestyle and terrain parks (slide zones) move down to more sheltered positions, dotted all over the resort and offer perfectly maintained kickers, rails, pipes, cross tracks and even an airbag to safely practice your jumps.

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2alpes-snowpark.com

For the more adventurous, Les Deux Alpe backs onto La Grave, one of the last true ski wildernesses of the Alps, which offers north face skiing from 3600 meters on terrain which is left entirely for off piste and backcountry skiing and snowboarding. This area is only for expert skiers and snowboarders and it is advised that you only venture there with a guide and full avalanche kit such as transceivers, shovels and probes. For top quality ski guiding and free ride courses take a look at the British Alpine Ski School.

Since being taken over by the Compagnie des Alpes a few years ago, much has been spent on the resort infrastructure. Most noticeably are the vast amount of snow making facilities present to keep the resort running even on the leanest of snow years. During the early weeks of both the 2014/15 and this season, when snow was sparse through out the Alps, coach loads of tourists were being shipped in to Les Deux Alps, when other resorts had to remain closed.

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The Polar Bear – Les Deux Alpes

Once your ski day is over, the party starts, first with the daily après ski piste party at the Pano Bar at 2600m, with live DJ sets from 15h – 17h. Then its down for more live music at one of the many popular bars in the resort such as the Polar Bear, or Smokie Joes who have live acres ski music and serve their own locally brewed beers. During the later evening Smithies Tavern is highly recommended before dancing into the small ours in L’Avalanche Club.

Not resting on the accolades bestowed in 2015, this year Les Deux Alpes has addressed it’s only former negative issue by building the Jandri 1 blue run, creating a much needed easy return to resort piste option. In addition in the coming years it has been decided that Les Dexu Alpes and Alpe d’hues will build a huge gondola system which will link the two resorts, resulting on one of the largest linked ski resorts in the world.

But for now, if you were keen to discover this world class resort and were looking accommodation option in the area here are a selection of options for you.

Catered of Self-catered chalet sleeps 14+
2 Bedroom (+ mezzanine) sleeps 7
2 Bedroom Chalet sleeps 5
Studio sleeps 2

Alternatively send us an enquiry to enquiries@bikelodging.com

Ski Chalets and Apartments Les Deux Alpes

Ski Chalets And Apartments Les Deux Alpes

The snow has arrived across the Alps.

So aside from getting you ‘Fatbike’ out, its time to start thinking about a winter ski holiday and what better location than Les Deux Alps. Many of our bike friendly properties double as ski chalet and apartments in the winter. This year Bike Lodging is managing and running a number of properties in and around Vensoc, a beautiful village with a cobbled pedestrianised centre,which is connected to Les Deux Alpes by high speed gondola.

Chalet Grand Rochail – Sleeps up to 14, 400 meters walk from the Venosc gondola. Available catered or self-catered.  Prices from €1500 self-catered in January or €400 with half-board catering per person per week.

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Chalet Les Ecrins – Beautiful new 6 bedroom chalet in La Danchere, with views over Les Deux Alpes. Prices from €1500 in January

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Chalet Chardon – 2 bedroom chalet sleeps 5. Recently renovated to a very high standard, now with wood burning stove. Perfect for a small family or a group of friends.  Weekly rental from €600

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Apartment Les Cristallieres – 2 bedrooms, plus a mezzanine and large balcony with views over the Ecrins National Park. Central Venosc. Sleeps 6 comfortably, but up to 8. Weekly rental from €550

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Studio Bourg/Vensoc – Cosy studio built from a vaulted cave in a beautiful stone building surrounded by pine forest and mountain stream. 5 minutes drive from the Venosc Gondola. Weekly rental from €350

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For information about these or any other properties in the Alps and Pyrenees, then please contact me on enquiries@bikelodging.com