Club Med, Alpe d’Huez, France
January 30 - February 7, 2010
by John “Horst” Binder
It always seems to be a struggle to get to Europe to ski. First an overnight 8 hr plane ride then a 3 hr bus ride just to go skiing! When compares to a 4 hour flight to Salt Lake City and a 45 minute bus ride to Snow Bird, I wonder if it’s all worth it. But I seem to keep going to Europe every year. So what is it about Europe that makes me go back?
Skiing there seems to b a way of life! Skiers (and that includes us) ski through villages admiring the Tyrolean style houses. Yes, they are even in France...looking at bakeries, butcher shops and, of course, ogling the women who seem to wear “painted on” jeans. Our women seem to prefer the baggy snowboarder style.
But, let’s put intangible aside and concentrate on the skiing. We all know that the size of the ski area matters. Otherwise we’d be happy to ski Okemo.
Take it from me, this “Alpe d’Huez” is huge as was last year’s trip to “La Plagne”. There must have been at least 6 or 7 different villages in the different valleys that we skied. Try coming back without the Club Med Instructor! I can be don but it takes some doing in good weather and on a snowy day ???? Good Luck!
We had sun the first 3 days, so we got an idea of the diversity of the place, but then the snows came and it was blue and green run and good skiing by “braille.” Thursday & Friday it dumped about 12" around the hotel and 15" to 18" in the higher elevations. Most people on the trip didn’t like that. But me and 6 or 7 of us were in our glory!
On our last day I skied with Victor & Lenora Wechter from California and Claudia Buser and her 12 yr old daughter, Ariel, from Mass. After lunch Victor & Lenora called it a day. Claudia & Ariel followed me for some epic skiing through the woods. It was the most gorgeous day ever! Claudia got stuck in “bottomless” snow and struggled for 15 min to get out. Would she follow me again? You ask her! Ariel loved it and I just know it was the highlight of the trip for her.