Image: Oakley Park c Matthiew Pinaud
The French Pyrenees have received regular fresh snow top-ups over the last two weeks building on an already excellent snow base setting them up for excellent conditions for their final few weeks of the season and spring events.
Below are a selection of ski holiday offers for March and April:
Zenith Holidays in St Lary – Departs 17 March
Zenith Holidays offer 7 nights in the Cami Real apartments from 17 March from £163pp, sleeps 4. Flights available from £50 from London Stanstead. www.zenithholidays.co.uk
These excellent spacious apartments are in the centre of the Pyrenean village of Saint Lary Soulan in the Hautes-Pyrenees. Sensoria, the resorts thermal baths are just a short walk away through the garden of the residence. The main gondola up to the skiing at Pla d’Adet and beyond is a 100m from the Residence. St Lary has a lovely collection of shops and restaurants with plenty of Spanish influence in the local tapas bars lining the streets.
Big Break St Lary – 11-30 March
Book direct with St Lary between 11th and 30th March for any 3 days and get the 4th night for free. Just 175€ for four nights including a lift pass. www.saintlary.com/hiver/big-break
Ski Weekends in Ax les Thermes – Departs 22 March
Spend 4 nights in Ax les Thermes in the 3* Hotel la Grand Cordee B&B including flights and from £382pp (2 sharing). http://bit.ly/2F3l0iG www.skiweekends.com . For in-resort offers on lift passes from 19 March to the end of the season: www.ax-ski.com/en/end-of-season-promotions
Ax les Thermes in the Ariege region of the French Pyrenees, just 1.5 hrs from Toulouse is an historic village based around its thermal waters. Guests can visit the Bains du Couloubret spa or soak their feet in the thermal open air foot spa at the base of the gondola. Ski Ax 3 Domaines with its three sectors, Bonascre, Saquet and Campels and skiing from 1400m up to 2400m. Over the closing Easter weekend March 31 and April 1st, a Snow Bike festival closes the season with MTB/Dirt bikes, enduro and races for all ages.
Erna Low in Cauterets Save 15% and 20% Departs 31 March
A family of four can stay 7 nights from in the Residence Balneo-Aladin in Cauterets, WAS £408, NOW £327 saving 20% or stay in a 7 person apartment, WAS £652, NOW £522 saving 15%. www.ernalow.co.uk
The Residence Baleno Aladin has a great location in the centre of Cauterets, 100m from the gondola taking skiers straight up to the ski area and 150m from the resort spa centre. Guests have free access to the Espace Balnéo Aladin spa centre which covers 800m² and includes 5 pools heated to 32° with water jets and hot tubs, steam room and sauna. Children from 3 to 13 years have a 3-storey play structure, games consoles, a mini cinema and a relaxation area for parents.
Pierre et Vacances in Grand Tourmalet Save 30% Departs 7 April
Pierre et Vacances offer 7 nights at the Residence Mer et Golf Pic du Midi rom £357 per apartment that sleeps two people (down from £509, saving 30%) pierreetvacances.co.uk
Grand Tourmalet is made up of the two villages Bareges and La Mongie with the largest ski area in the French Pyrenees. La Mongie is ski in-out with the cable car access to Pic du Midi and Bareges and old French town with tree lined skiing from the Tournaboup area. Both areas have spas using the local thermal waters.
Ski France in Peyragudes – Save 10% 17-24 March and Free Children
Ski France offer an apartment sleeping up to 4 people from 31 March from £319 in the Residence Les Adrets de Peyragudes plus children ski for free with every adult ski pass purchased. www.skifrance.co.uk
Peyragudes is a modern ski resort with ski in ski out accommodation perched on the side of the mountain in the Hautes-Pyrenees region of the French Pyrenees. Guests can enjoy an indoor pool at the Les Adrets de Peyragudes residence or take a short drive/transfer down to the village of Loudenvielle where they can enjoy the Balnea spa. The French Snowboard Championships weekend takes place over the closing Easter weekend.
Les Angles 30% off Lift passes and reduced Packages
Les Angles is offering 30% off lift passes booked from 17 March to the end of the season.
So a six day adult lift pass 165€ instead of 195€ [child 12 yrs & under 148€ instead of 175€) www.lesangles.com
Les Angles old village Is at the foot of the slopes, and it has managed to retain its authentic character whilst at the same time providing facilities of a modern ski resort. It is the only resort in the Pyrenees where the ski slopes end in the old village itself. The ski area has 55km with an altitude drop of 800m. With skiing up to 2,400m it is one of the largest ski areas in the Pyrenees-Orientales.
“Le Rendez Vous” EVENT 20& 21 April Cauterets
300 amateur and professional freestyle riders descend on Cauterets for the closing weekend. The Oakley snowpark at the foot of the ski area will be open for photos and video shoots to get the best of the action from the event. DJs are on site and the “Winter Closing” party is held in Cauterets village at the Royalty Café.
Cauterets spring information can be found at http://blog.cauterets.com/ski-de-printemps-a-cauterets/ including ‘Free skiing for children’ between 8 and 21 April (with an adult lift pass).
Oakley Park c Matthiew Pinaud
For Press Information and images: please contact firstname.lastname@example.org +44 7957 618525
Snow Depths and Closing Dates:
2 April: Ax-3 Domaines/Peyragudes/St Lary
8 April: Grand Tourmalet – Pic du Midi/Les Angles 22 April: Cauterets
Snow depths: lower/upper
Ax 3 Domaines 160/240cm Cauterets 270/320cm
Grand Tourmalet -Pic du Midi -130/170cm Les Angles 150/180cm
Peyragudes 110/200cm Saint Lary 150/230cm
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A resort that works for Kids, Tweens and Teens plus a skiing Grandad at Half Term: Wengen in Switzerland.NEW
My visit was a family visit.
A return to a resort I have been to many times but not with my family for a couple of years – like many Wengen regulars we were lured back by its enduring appeal for families.
My dad, now 72, wanted another ski with his grandchildren before his various ailments curtail his skiing.
To cut a long story short I ended up taking half of his eight grandchildren to Wengen;
One young one, a couple of ‘tweens’ and one teen, along with my father “grandad”, whose own health has been a bit suspect of late.
Wengen worked for everyone.
Tired legs – young and old – can come down from the mountains by train or cable car.
Teens can hoon around the circuit from the Mannlichen to Kleine Scheidegg and speed down the Lauberhorn back to the village.
The teen found some fellow skiing teens who he has met before in Wengen = happy teen!
Grandad liked to have a regular break at lunchtime in the sunshine when it appeared or was happy to latch on to a random group over a bowl of soup at ‘the station restaurant’ at Kleine Schiedegg.
Mobile phones make it even easier these days to connect with everyone but the joy of Wengen is the accessibility of its slopes using the excellent trains.
Plus the stand out wigwam – an easy meeting point come rain or shine (and we had both!).
If you want to ski back to the village base, there are options to suit all abilities and on our final full day in the sunshine all the grandchildren made it down the famous 4.5km Lauberhorn Downhill run, a proud moment!
Despite it being half term, we avoided the cable car queues in the morning with early starts.
Not once did we queue at Grindelwald for a bubble or return train up the mountain.
The blue run through the trees to ‘Brandegg’ and all the way down became a favourite for all ages, younger legs darting in and out of the bumps and paths in amongst the woods and snow banks and the older less flexible legs finding the smooth path between the woods easy to turn on.
There are a few ski resorts which work well for mixed ability and mixed age groups but none that I have been to, make it as easy as Wengen.
Also published on http://www.planetski.eu/news/10224
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Calling all Snow Geeks….
Gaming becomes a reality in Les Menuires, 9-10 December 2017, at the inaugural Les Menuires Geek Festival.
Gaming events are scheduled to take place all around the ski resort, situated at the heart of the Three Valleys ski area, over the opening weekend of the new winter season.
Gamers and geeks will be able to enjoy laser quest, animations that are virtually real as well as life-size video games – all on snow.
It’s the first time an event like this has been held in a mountain environment and Les Menuires are very proud hosts.
Les Menuires has dedicated a further 1000m2 inside to gaming during the festivities:
Geeks and guests can indulge in historical ski and snowboard console action in the Retro-gaming area.
The next generation of gaming technology is on show on snow for people to get their hands on in the Experience section and discover an escape game hidden in an igloo on the mountainside. At the snow front in La Croisette watch the NEW illumination of the area on Saturday 9th December with a ‘pyro’ show and concert.
Divided in 4 teams, gamers and skiers – comedians, Youtubers, artists and free riders will also compete for the Menuires Geek festival Cup, awarded during the evening Raclette Party.
And as the sun sets and apres ski begins so does ‘GAMEAT’ – which is gaming and eating of course! www.menuiresgeekfestival.com/en/
…and Female Fitness Freaks.. Pop in!
9000 women have participated in urban events ‘Pop in the City’ since its inception in 2012. Now for 2018 it’s in back in the mountains…
Pop in Les Menuires is just for the girls and takes place on 10 March 2018.
Intrepid females from all over Europe will take on a series of mental, strategic and physical challenges over 8 hours culminating in an evening extravaganza and prize giving.
‘Pop in’ originated in the cities of Europe and moved to the mountains for the first time in 2014.
Estelle Roy, Press Officer, Les Menuires adds, “We are excited to host these two ‘first time’ events, the Geek Festival over our opening weekend and ‘Pop in Les Menuires’ later in the season. We offer so many events season long and this ‘Pop in’ girls-only challenge will be great fun and really complements our other activities.”
ENDS: For further information and images please contact Les Menuires UK PR
email@example.com +44 7957 618525
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Published on Planet Ski Website
We started with 30cm of fresh powder & ended touring the religious shrines of Lourdes on Good Friday. Plus had some great Spring skiing in between.
It’s been more than 15 years since I last skied in the resorts of Bareges and La Monjie that make up the 100km ski area of the Grand Tourmalet.
Much has changed. And yet little has changed.
There have been many new lifts with more to come as PlanetSKI reported earlier, but it still retains an authentic and original Pyrenees feeling.
There are good value flights to Lourdes and an equally well-priced apartment in the village of Bareges – I booked through the same tour operator I had travelled with 15 years ago, Borderline Holidays.
As the week progressed more of the slopes closed down under blazing sunshine and blue skies, but each day we had enough snow.
There was the short black run, Coupe du Monde, a challenge for our youngest son Zac aged 8.
From there we accessed the fast red runs above La Mongie – pit-stopping at the Igloo bar in the ski-in-out village for crepes and coffee mid morning.
We found a perfect picnic spot in the rocks to the side of the main piste on several of our days.
Perfect picnic spot on the rocks
A new restaurant opened in February, ‘Chalet des Pisteurs’ – playing funky but mellow dance music and with a huge terrace perched literally on a huge rock above the top of the Pourteilh chair.
Chalet des Pisteurs – perched on a rock
One morning we booked in for ‘premier traces’.
Our ski patroller, Bernard, told us sometimes they get to ski powder on these early starts but of course, at 8am in mid April, we had ear-deafening ice to screech down.
Early morning ski with our ski patroller, Bernard
Early start with the ski patollers
No matter as watching the sun kiss the top of the mountains as it rose, was beautiful.
A highlight of the trip.
Sun kissed mountain – French Pyrenees
The Espade blue slope in to the main bowl hitting perfection in terms of condition just after 9am.
French Pyrenees – April 2017
Yours Truly – French Pyrenees – April
All too soon our week of Easter family fun was over.
With only a 40 minute drive to Lourdes we decided to pay a visit to the religious shrine.
We took the 100 year old Pic du Jer funicular above Lourdes for the 360 panoramic views of the area.
We speed hiked to the summit with its huge cross, followed by a flying visit of the medieval castle.
Pic du Jer funicular above Lourdes
Climbing the 104 steps up the tower offers great views over to the main church.
Many spaces in the castle now feature museum-style rooms showing displays of the Pyrenean past.
We all loved the old ‘latrines’, simple slats high up in the rock and the ‘drop-box’ through which boiling oil or molten lead would be tipped on to the enemy below.
My daughter has been learning about Bernadette’s vision of the Virgin Mary at Lourdes at school, so a visit to the famous grotto was imperative.
Followed by a quick peek in to the huge underground basilica.
We must have watched 50+ wheel chairs process in for the Good Friday service.
Even if you are not religious the place feels serene and being out of the busy summer months, it was not too busy.
Lourdes, French Pyrenees – April 2017
Taking off from Tarbes-Lourdes airport after a week of skiing and a taste of culture, and skiing to almost to the last day of the winter season, felt all the sweeter for being booked so last minute.
We had managed to squeeze in one week skiing before the Grand Tourmalet closes on Easter Bank Holiday Monday.
I was hoping to ski the Pic du Midi on this visit.
It is a huge off piste and freeride area that the PlanetSKI editor, James Cove, has skied a few times and he highly recommends it.
It wasn’t an option for skiing on my previous visit in 2002/03, and it wasn’t an option this time with a young family in tow as the snow-free walk out at the top was too long to subject the family to.
But skiing the Pic du Midi is the one I’m coming back for.
With thanks to Intersport for ski rental.
Book Winter Breaks to the French Pyrenees with Erna Low >>
Book Winter Breaks to the French Pyrenees with Ski Weekends >>
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Eddie ‘The Eagle’ out front in support of this excellent initiative in its second year
published on Maddogski website
National School Snowsports Week kicked off at The Snow Centre in Hemel Hempstead today, Friday 21st April, with over 30 children from Yewtree Primary School having their first ever ski lesson.
After hearing inspiring Winter sports tales from ambassador Olympians Aimee Fuller, Eddie ‘The Eagle’ Edwards and Ski Sunday’s very own Graham Bell, the kids hit the slopes to give it a go themselves. We’re sure a few of them have caught the snow bug already.
The National School Snowsports Week rolls out across a total of 25 slopes around the UK with taster ski and snowboard sessions for as little as £1. Running from Monday April 23 – 30, school-aged kids can have a go at all sorts of mountain sports. As well as skiing and snowboarding there’s roller-skiing, luging and snow-tubing on offer.
Eddie the Eagle says, “I started skiing when I was 13 and have lived and breathed it for my whole life. I am proof that anyone – no matter what their age or background is – can get into snowsports. I am proud to support National Schools Snowsport Week and hope it brings lots of young people into our brilliant sport.”
To get involved and to find your nearest participating slopes, visit www.nssw.co.uk
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