Skiing holiday – Val Thorens

As you could read in the Skiing – Coming up soon! I went on ski trip in Val Thorens. Together with Sven, Thamar and Paola we met on Friday evening the 28th at my home to pack the car, the plan was to leave Friday on Saturday around 4:30 at night. So after packing the car it was time to hit my bed early to get a couple of hours sleep (of course like always this did not happen).

Day ZERO

According plan we left exactly around 4:30 from Sven’s house and I have to say the trip went pretty smooth less. Not much traffic and good weather conditions let to a 10,5 hour drive (of course stopping regularly for coffee and a necessary sanitary break). Driving to Val Thorens (VT) is a long boring route on the Route Soleil with many toll booths and with the roof box on my car more gas stations as normal. The closer we came to VT the lower the temperature dropped but with the last 37 km (uphill) to go it was still 5 degrees Celsius, worrisome for the snow conditions. But our worry was to early as we saw soon a winter wonder world popping into our view and even better it started to snow in the evening.

After unpacking the car it was time to park the car (parking 2 outside, see day 6), fetching the rental stuff for Thamar and finally our ski passes. The latter was in Restaurant le Rendez-vous, the spot we had our half-pension the last three years. So after receiving the passes we picked a table and had our dinner, a bit disappointing compared to the earlier three years, and off to bed afterwards.

Day One

After having a good night sleep it was time for breakfast, of course you would expect also in Restaurant le Rendez-vous but reality was different. Arriving in the restaurant the tables was not set for breakfast, in fact none of the tables where set. So we took a table with a nice view and waited for the waiter to arrive. A bit surprised by seeing us he asked what we wanted, breakfast of course! After waiting a bit we received a piece of bread, some butter, jams and the question if we wanted coffee or tea. Again a bit different then we expected based on our last 3 years there. As we are Dutch we started to complain a bit under ourselves and I even started texting the hostess of SunWeb about the minimal food we received for the price we payed. We finished our breakfast and went out to go to the bakery for additional food because on this we could not ski the whole day. While leaving the waiter looked weird and us but we didn’t bother, which let to the fact he came after us because we had to pay for our breakfast. After some discussion, in the meantime receiving back a message from the hostess which restaurant we used, we discovered that the half-pension was served in a different restaurant. Big mistake from us! With paying for breakfast we left the restaurant to go into the one next door and finish our breakfast in the right restaurant. Haha good start!

Having our bellies filled now with a proper breakfast it was time for some skiing. Paolo brought some snowfoot skis, which wasn’t a big success so with her going to rent some snowboard equipment the rest of us discovered some of the slopes around VT. We thought the snow conditions were already pretty good, no knowing that later that week they would be even better due to heavy snow fall.

We finished this wonderful first day traditionally in the apres ski bar 360. With the Corona (not the virus but the beer) flowing and the weather snowing we ended this perfect day.

Day Two

We started this day with snow and low temperatures. Paola decided to get some snowboard lessons so the three of us went on the slopes together again. With less visibility we decided to hit the blue slopes further down to avoid the crowd. Thamar realized that skiing in this conditions is quit different and with some instructions she managed to adapt and avoid the earlier crashes. Going further and further away from the village we headed back during lunch time to join Paola, who finished her lessons.

Thamar decided to stay with Paola and together with Sven we went up the Follies Douce side to run down those slopes with the snow getting heavier and the sight conditions getting worse we decided to finish for the day. But not without having a small drink, some good food and an early sleep.

Day Three

This started with a beautiful blue sky and sun. When getting on the slopes the snow was crisp and grippy. Perfect conditions. So we went down the usual suspects to get a connection away from the crowd. At least that was what we thought. Taking the Boismint to the back of VT brought us on new blue slopes. Perfectly prepared during the evening and night. Which such conditions it is easy to ski and you forget that you have to stop regularly in order to let your muscles adjust to the new conditions, even when they are easier. So we were flying to the restaurant we named “croque monsieur“. In our first year in VT we used to eat this regularly during lunch. After a sanitary stop we continued all the way down to Les Menuires where the lift should take us back all the way to the stop. Unfortunately more people had the same idea 😉

On the top we took the slopes back to VT again and met up with Paolo at 360, yes we have a kind of a habit going there. After a nice lunch Sven decide to go back to the hotel and change his ski jacket for his sweater, he did not buy it not to use it right. So while he did this I went up the Follies Douce slope again and skied it down without stopping, feeling it burn. Near the hotel I stopped and called Sven current status via our walkies, since we lost each other on our first trip we are wearing using them to stay in touch with each other. As he was almost finished I waited a bit and we continued our day with hitting the slopes in Orelle. This side of the slopes is located mostly in the sun and with this conditions it seemed to be perfect. And we were right!

The only downside of this day was that when we returned to VT we got stuck in the chair lift. After about 5 minutes in the ride the lift came to a stop and did not continue to move for 40-45 minutes. While the sun was still out it became very very cold and when we finally got at the top I was cold to the bone. Going downhill while your body is shaking is not a funny feeling so I decided to push through very quickly back to the hotel. Leaving Sven behind who met up with Thamar and Paolo. Back at the hotel I took a shower for about 20 minutes and went to bed watching Netflix. Man I was so cold….. brrrrr.

Later when the other three came back I found out that Thamar and Paolo took the opportunity that afternoon to explore some other slopes and although they say the knew what they were doing Sven and I suspect they got lost on their way. But in the end the managed to meetup with Sven at 360, yes there again 🙂

Day Four

This came out to be the best day of the week. Beautiful weather already when we started. Paolo was going to exercise again on her own so the three of us took the opportunity to go and use our full lift pass. We took the Follies Douce lift to the top and for there we worked ourselves all the way to Meribel. The snow conditions were just perfectly. Sven and myself have not gotten this far into Les 3 Vallees since our first time in VT and we enjoyed riding those slopes again. Brought back some good memories. As time flies by when having fun we decided not to go further but head back to VT to meet up with Paola again.

After Lunch Sven and I did go up again to reproduce the tracks that Thamar and Paolo did the day before. I have to say chapeau to Paola that she managed some of them because although blue they are not the easiest ones. Running the slopes in such conditions is a privilege and the feeling of being able to ski came completely back. Flowing sometimes hitting more then 60 km/h is an indescribable feeling which I thought never to have after my crash. Finishing the day with a little drink, food, lots of laughs and a good night sleep was a perfect end to a perfect day.

Day Five

Waking up seeing fog, snow / rain, almost no visibility are a perfect days is not something you want to do but as we are not from sugar we still pack our stuff and went out on the slopes. As we came out and we saw that it was really difficult to see something we decided to take the first lift and run down the blue that would take us a little higher. Hoping that the fog was only down in the village. On the top as we came out I said to Sven and Thamar stay left on the slopes and we will run till under the lift of 360. At the first split on the slopes I waited, almost crashed because I could not see shit. I waited and waited and I did not see either Thamar or Sven. So I decided to continue and waited a bit further. Nobody came down the slopes so I hooked in my ear piece of my walkies and got confirmation that they both took another slope down. Haha even with walkies we lost each other. Returning back to them we took immediately the decision to call it quits for today. We did not want to risk getting hurt or worse. So back at the hotel after some showering, Netflix we decided to play the game Paolo brought with her called “Who’s the Due“. With a blowup male doll you need to visualize all kind of activities, sayings, and god knows what else. Of course to make it a little more challenging we decided that the winner should drink a shot of Flügel. This kick started a crazy afternoon and evening ending up in Le Monde, a Dutch apres ski cafe.

Day Six

Final day for skiing. The weather cleared up perfectly and we decided to run the slopes at Les Menuires again. Picture perfect snow let to a very good ending of our skiing. A quick visit to Follies Douce (why do they need such an amount of security?) which we only could visit after doing a bit of black, Thamar you did it! And then back down to the village where Thamar split of. Together with Paolo she was returning here rental stuff and afterwards started packing a bit, we had to go home the day after. Sven and I went up some slopes again to finish at 360 where he bought a cool hoodie again.

Back at the hotel we decided to go to the car and clear the snow, lots did fall during the week, as it was parked outside. Luckily I brought a shovel, which we broke in the end, so clearing the car to get in to it was done very quickly. But then trouble started….. as the car was parked on snow, which became ice my wheels did not get any grip. So while the wheels were moving the car did not. Even putting on the chains, a blanket, sand and god knows what else we tried the car did not move. Luckily another guy showed us where we could borrow a better shovel and when we cleared the whole car, in the meantime we called the ladies to help, Thamar went behind the wheel and while we were pushing the car got clear. So happy we decided that we not waited until the morning of departure.

Day Seven

The day of departure arrived and we wake up normal time to pack the car, have breakfast and leave. A little snow gave us a bit of a worry because with the action of the previous day our chains broke and we might not be able to fix them. Luckily the snow was not that bad and we could get down the mountain without any problems. Arrived down the mountain the temperature went up and the ride back home went as smooth as our arrival. So after about 11,5 hours, we took some more resting time at the stops we arrived back in the Netherlands. At the border we went, of course, to MC Donalds for a final dinner, if you can call it that, together.

Here you can see our daily efforts:

Thanks Thamar, Paola and Sven for the wonderful holiday. Hope we will do this again!

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