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Ski in Les Deux Alpes. Easy from the Roannais. By Brian Franklin

This month (February 2013) we, and some good French friends, gathered our ski attire and equipment, and motored off to the ski resort of Les Deux Alpes, about 3+ hours drive away form our base in the Roannais.

A first ever visit to a large, serious, ski resort for my family and I.

It was impressive. Surprisingly large, and with some great places to eat. Yes, we gorged ourselves on cheese fondue and raclette!

The views were stunning, and the ski slopes inviting, if not a little alarming for myself as novice skier.

However, our son, Ellis took to it like a budding Olympian, helped along by our patient French friend, Jean-Michel, an expert in the skiing arts! In fact, Ellis and I both invested in a couple of hours skiing lessons with an instructor from the French Skiing academy before we braved the slopes – well worth it!

Okay, it did not turn me into a sporty skier overnight, but gave Ellis and I some additional technicalities, and definitely a lot more confidence.

My son was almost unstoppable, though!

He progressed from the green runs of the ‘debutante’ slopes to the more difficult blue slopes within hours! I was glad that Jean-Michel was around to keep an eye on him – I certainly couldn’t, as I was too preoccupied with ensuring that I wasn’t one of the very few being helicoptered off the mountain top!

Despite my ongoing trepidation I tried more daring and longer slopes than I had ever done before, so I was extremely happy with my efforts and performance.

The whole experience was a delight. My wife, Lucy (not a skier!) was also quite happy and content with ‘apres ski’, taking photos, and overcoming her own slight fear of heights with trips high up the mountain in the teleski pods. Well done, girl!!

Regular injections of chocolat chaud and chocolate waffles also asssisted with her appreciation of the resort.

We will all be returning in the future.

Skiclub of Great Britain recommend it:

“A great resort for beginners, experts, freestylers and party animals that’s popular with Brits.

The name Les Deux Alpes reflects the shared history of two sheep-grazing villages (or alpages) – Venosc and Mont de Lans. Today the villages are joined as one resort by way of a 2km strip of hotels, bars and shops that runs along a narrow plateau. The result is a lively entertainment highway, vaguely reminiscent of towns in the Canary Islands. Venosc, at the southern end, boasts the most character, best hotels, bars and restaurants, and has the least through traffic. It also accesses the Diable gondola. The main Jandri Express gondola is in the centre of town near many of the apartments.”

Mark Warner sings its praises:

“You won’t just like it, you’ll love it! Les Deux Alpes is a lively village and one of the oldest resorts in France. For singles, couples and families you’ll find there’s a wide choice of bars and restaurants along the resort’s main street that will suit all pockets and tastes – including the Tribeca Bar and Restaurant or The Windsor Pub. With an impressive snow record and above average sunshine to put you in the mood, this resort has over 200km of pistes and areas to suit all levels of skier and snowboarder. Les Deux Alpes is known as a family resort and our chalethotel Berangere has excellent, spacious accommodation for all the family. The resort positively encourages children by providing four free T-bars in the village and there’s a kid’s freestyle area too. Popular attractions include an outdoor ice rink and two sports centres.”

Les Deux Alpes