Strapped in, zipped up, goggles on and clicked into the skis. My first trip out on the mountains, starting with the green runs and shooping down reds before the week was out.
From Geneva airport, we followed the windy mountain routes before arriving at our home for the week, Alps Haven. A half-board chalet half way into the valley, set a 20 minute chairlift away from La Rosiere ski resort.
For a group of us with split abilities (a long time snowboarder, second time skier and two beginners), La Rosiere was the perfect place. There’s an extensive selection of runs, plenty of each difficulty to work your way through on a week’s trip. For Matt and I as beginners, we stuck to the greens for the first few days, building our confidence while avoiding the kids that were already light years ahead of us.
We developed a timetable for our days pretty quickly; head up as a group, ski across the entry green, then split off before meeting for lunch and apres-ski.
Our days were spent navigating the ski trails, testing ourselves on steeper blues that I inevitably made Matt go down first before slower. It’s the moment at the curve of the hill, you can’t see what’s beyond and once you shoop off, there’s no looking back… Unless you’re hiking back up. I only had one moment when I didn’t want to get up after another fall, before the pre-mentioned kids weaved their way over to me with their teacher. A little lost-in-translation pep talk and I got to the bottom of the hill where Matt was patiently waiting.
With a full week’s trip, we made the most of our ski passes, heading out as soon as the chairlift opened and making it back just before it closed ~ Matt and I hadn’t progressed to skiing down the patchy red to our chalet by the end of our trip. Waiting at the bottom was the manoeuvre from the chair lift where there was minimal snow to break our fall. We only fell flat on our faces the first day, all three of us (still wish someone had filmed that), before getting the hang of it for the rest of the week and then heading over to the bar to reward ourselves.
We even ticked off enough practice to give us the ability to ski into Italy for the day. It’s all covered in the ski pass and gives me another country to legitimately tick off the list. A long chair lift to the top, an easy red for entry then an even longer button lift to the border. More trails to explore and more lost-in-translation moments to navigate. Matt and I only dipped our toes in to the Italian side, but for our next trip, I think we’ll be ready to tick off even more of the runs.
At the end of each day, Alps Haven had the perfect remedy to achy legs and a full day of exercise on the mountains. We arrived back, headed straight into the jacuzzi then sat down for a proper home cooked meal every night. A full three courses of proper home cooking and wine, with excellent company. Debbie and Gary were such great hosts, on hand for anything you needed, but leaving you to it when you needed to wind down after the full on day.
We were treated to beaming sun for the whole trip – not exactly to my delight, being the snow obsessive and easily sunburned person I am – which made the snow gleam beneath us and gave us flawless blue backdrops to the mountain scenes every day.
First ski trip down and I am raring to get back on the mountains. I caught a blue run towards the end of the week on camera which always gets me so excited to get back on skis when I watch it. I am of course still on the beginner end of the spectrum, but I am ready and waiting to work up the ranks.
As Xscape is so close to us, I'm sure we'll be getting in some filler ski time before our next trip. It might not be the same as navigating the chairlift etiquette, weaving through children's ski schools or sweating through a buff to avoid getting the dreaded ski face tan lines, but if that's the place to get a fix of my newest hobby, I'll take it for now.
Hoping to see the mountains again soon...