Asian skiers discover Megève
Skiing and guided ski tours in the heart of the French Alps
Recently many inquiries have come to my attention for lesson requests and information on skiing the French Alps. Indeed a few skiers from Asian countries particularly Hong Kong and Japan have come and visited Megève and Chamonix and the ski areas in the nearby Italian Alps, this past season.
To my happy surprise these are very pleasant and well informed experienced ski tourists who are amazed by the diversity of geographical and climatic change within a very narrow confine as in the distance between Geneva International Airport and the Megève-Chamonix-Mont Blanc triangle. It is often a choice of mine to have these clients visit Courmayeur and Cervinia all in the Italian Alps, and all less than a 2 hour drive from Megève. It will surely not be long before many mainland Chinese come to visit our wonderful Alps.
Megève is well known by few and is a jealously guarded secret among those that frequent its ski slopes; Michelin Guide rated restaurants, high-end shopping stores, Casino and quaint narrow cobbled streets. The village is dominated by the traditional church belfry, and a square all in a pedestrian friendly atmosphere. Horse drawn sleighs carry tourists all over during the peak periods adding a festive and memorable experience for young and old.
The ski area is laid out in such a way that the summit of Mont Blanc is almost always in view when skiing Megève ski runs. The runs are cut through the trees; a very welcome change to most ski areas in the Alps that are above the “tree line”, adding a touch of green to this Haute-Savoyard village! Great skiing for all levels with a particularly pleasing predominance of upper intermediate skiing terrain.
The “Espace Mont Blanc” domain is a whopping 445 Km and with over 111 lifts make Megève and partner ski areas (la Giettaz, Saint Gervais, Saint Nicolas de Veroce, Combloux, les Contamines Montjoie and Cordon) in the top 6 longest skiable areas in France. I often bring clients on a beautiful day to see and ski what I think is the best vantage point to view the French Alps and the Mont Blanc:
The most scenic views of Mont Blanc, the highest mountain in Western-Europe, are visible from the top of the “Epaule” chairlift of the Megève Ski Area. From the top of this chair lift you will want to turn immediately left to stay on the piste, a right turn will take you immediately off piste! You should be a good intermediate skier to do this run, in several places it is quite narrow and in whiteout conditions not advised at all. However on a brilliant sunny day you will want to look around you and make a visual picture that even the best of cameras could never capture….the whole of the French Alps in all their beauty right before your eyes! After taking it all in, its time to ski all the way down to Chatrix, the longest of runs in the domain.
….But don’t tell anyone how nice it is!
If you are flying in to ski the French Alps and Megeve you have the following possibilities. Chambery Airport, Geneva Airport and Grenoble Airport are all a little over one hour’s drive away. This makes Megève a highly accessible ski destination, even for a long weekend, from any airport in the UK. Leave the UK at 08:00 and you’re on the pistes by 12:00 noon. Be aware that the above can vary depending upon traffic and weather conditions.
Driving: From Geneva you will go to the A40 direction Mont Blanc/Chamonix and turn off at Sallanches and about 17 kilometers direction Albertville, to Megeve.
Driving: In the event of bad weather: If you drive from Grenoble and Chambéry, direction A 41- E712, to Annecy/Geneva/La Roche sur Foron and get on the A40 direction Mont Blanc/Chamonix and turn off at Sallanches and about 17 kilometers direction Albertville, to Megève.
Good weather alternative: If you drive from Grenoble: A 41- E712 to the A 430 direction Albertville. Take the N212 at Albertville up the beautiful “Gorges de Arly” to Megève. Please note however that this route can be closed due to rock and mud slides and traffic can be a problem!
Mike Beaudet a Colorado native lives in France with his wife and twin boys Tom and Lucas. Known as “Megeve Mike”, he is the founder of Ski Pros Megeve. Megève is located in French Alps, at the foot of Mont Blanc, a 1 hour drive from Geneva International Airport. Day ski tours, private and small group ski lessons for skiing enthusiasts of all levels and ages are available in the French Alps, Italian Alps and Europe.
Mike has an extensive background in skiing, teaching group and private ski lessons. Mikes credentials include Full Certification in Professional Ski Instructors of America-RM, the prestigious French Government “Ecole National de Ski et d’Alpinisme” in Chamonix as a Moniteur de Ski Diplome and a member of the first PSIA National Academy held at Mount. Hood Timberline, Oregon. Mike has over 30 years of ski school and ski teaching and coaching experience in the US and in France and has taught in all the major ski areas in France and America.
http://www.geocities.com/mikeskifrance/ - “Better Skiing Starts Here”
Copyright © 2006 Megeve Mike - All Rights Reserved Worldwide and forever.
Posted by Megeve Mike
on Monday, 11 September, 2006 at 05:20 AM
and what Mike forgot to mention is that there is a McDonalds in Megève, not exactly what you would expect for such an upmarket resort.
My experience of the Gorges d’Arly route is that it is scenic but prone to black-ice in the mid-winter. The rock falls have been problematic in the past, the road is closed until mid-November for work. Check out this site before travelling:-
Posted by davidof
on Sunday, 10 September, 2006 at 07:45 PM
Indeed Davidof… and there even is an Internet Connection in the McDonalds for those that need to get online.
Another item of interest is the huge sports arena in the Town of Megeve; make sure to bring your bathing suit along with your skis.
Posted by Megeve Mike
on Saturday, 16 September, 2006 at 11:31 AM
Is this an actual article about SOMETHING informative (I don’t see any actual content here) or just a way to hide a travel advertisement that is designed to pull in search engine hits to this article using pistehors.com ‘s high rating by Chinese people looking for places to ski???? Yuk.
Posted by on Tuesday, 26 September, 2006 at 06:07 PM
That’s a bit harsh isn’t it?
Personally I have heard that it is the case that more different Asian peoples are finding more of the niche resorts in the Alps - why should that not be news.
Sounds like good news to me too.
Posted by Andy
on Sunday, 19 November, 2006 at 05:09 PM
It did at the time and still does seem to be news of a certain interest that should not be neglected.
Markets change destinations change the demographics are changing…. and there is no doubt in my mind that many more Asians will be headed our way in the near future.
Let’s just hope that people and “certain minds” change faster than what was posted above… better yet adapt to the change.
Again thanks to PisteHors for the open mind that it has in allowing the posting news/material that interest those interested in change which itself is inevitable.
Posted by Megeve Mike
on Sunday, 19 November, 2006 at 07:08 PM
Comments are now closed