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Ice and Fire guests often ask, when they are with us, what the area is like in the summer.

 Well, let me paint a picture. Two events signal the start of the summer season.snow pic

 Firstly, the opening of the high mountain passes. The Petit Saint Bernard links France to Italy during the summer months and provides a route popular with cyclists, motorcyclists and other tourists. The “Cutting of the Pass” usually occurs towards the end of May and is an event in itself with locals and tourists alike, present for the symbolic opening of the route for the summer. After the huge snowfalls this winter it is delayed this season and they still have atleast one kilometer to go!

 Secondly, the return of the cattle to the mountain pastures. Having been confined to valley barns during the winter months the cows are deliriously happy to be out on pasture again and muching the sweet spring grass. As they are driven to the high ground the cattle are often garlanded with flowers to mark their return, whilst their individual cow bells provide the sound track to the summer.

 Many of the lifts that provide access to the very top of the mountains are open during the French school holidays and give easy access to the chalet restaurants at the top. After coffee or lunchtimCow in Summere repas you can then walk down to the village along the green route that you skied in the winter.

Alternatively, hook a mountain bike onto the outside of your cable car cabin and ride down the mountain!

Summer weather in the mountains is usually fabulous; warm, hot summer days with the occasional afternoon downpour usually accompanied by thunder. It never lasts long however, and once gone, everything dries very quickly. Do remember to pack your sun screen though, you are a lot nearer the sun at the top.

Further afield, Lake Annecy – which many will drive the length of in the depths of winter – is transformed into a summer paradise with the lake full of sail boats, windsurfers and paddle boarders. If you fancy a bike ride, the lake can easily by ridden around in a day, on for the most part, a dedicated cycle path. Annecy town itself is fabulous with canal side restaurants and bars and, on 14 July, it has the most spectacular firework display out over the lake.

There is accommodation at every price point throughout the valley – but for me it has to be camping. A BBQ on a warm evening and the night under canvas is the very essence of summer for me.

Monsieur Mogul

 

Monsieur Mogul – Our man in La Plagne

The views expressed in this blog are those of the author

alone and not those of Ice and Fire Ski and Snowboard Holidays

Comedy MonoskiI was skiing through the tears this week as I realised it was nearly the end of the season and bags should be packed, the apartment cleaned, and the car pointed towards Calais.

And so to this season’s awards.

Most surprising thing this season

The snow. It has been utterly, utterly fabulous. From Week 1 to Week 15 it’s been perfect!

Best ski run in La Plagne

Pierre Blanches. Dappled sunlight, trees, interesting skiing on consistently great snow and it gets you home. What’s not to like?

Best ski run in Les Arcs

Mont Blanc. Fabulous views, sustained, empty and bathed in sunshine. All boxes ticked!

Best ski lift in La Plagne

Funiplagne Grand Rochette. Maximum up for minimum time. And if you are a singleton, you can generally sneak around the queue and jump on as the doors close on a half-empty cabin.

Best ski lift in Les Arcs

Transarc. Groovy free loos at the start and a super quick ride to the heart of the mountains.

Most annoying person of the season

My Roomie. New to snow sports this winter, Roomie skied a blue piste with confidence within 90mins and was off-piste within a week. He does have a background in surfing, inline skates and skateboarding which is almost like cheating really. The annoying bit? He returns each skiing day to report to this confirmed piste skier, the gullies that he’s skied, the off-piste he’s discovered and how many forests he’s skied though. Every. Single. Time.

Champagne Moment of the season

Meeting the two guys on the mono ski above La Plagne. Playing it for laughs they brought a smile to everyone’s face. Book them for Panto someone.

And that’s all he wrote.

MMgone

 

Monsieur Mogul – Our man in La Plagne

The views expressed in this blog are those of the author

alone and not those of Ice and Fire Ski and Snowboard Holidays

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