The best restaurants, cafes and bars in Les Gets……..

Having lived in Les Gets for 8 years now, we’ve had plenty of time to try and test every eaterie and watering hole the village has to offer. Over the last 12 months, we’ve seen 2 brand new restaurants open and 2 old favourites change hands, so there’s something new to try even if you’re a Les Gets regular.

If you’re lucky enough to be visiting Les Gets this coming season, this guide will help you find our favourite spots for morning coffee, lunch, apres and dinner. All of the places described are situated in the village centre, are child and pet friendly and are easily accessible for both skiers and non-skiers.

hot chocSo let’s start with morning coffee – if you fancy a brew before you hit the slopes, then pop in to Les Notes Gourmande or Wild Beets Café (which has replaced Café Alba). Both serve lovely latte’s, hot chocolates, cappuccinos and have a selection of nice teas. If you’re already hungry, Les Notes Gourmande serve delicious crepes or you can grab something healthier, like poached eggs on toast at Wild Beets (gluten free and vegan options available).

When it comes to lunch, there’s a lot of choice in the village, but we have a couple of firm Copeauxfavourites. If you’re looking for a quick bite then you can’t do better than Le 412. Tasty kebabs, panninis, wraps and burgers to eat on the terrace or take away. It’s excellent value for money- less than 10 euros for a very filling kebab/burger, chips and soft drink. If you fancy something more formal, then Les Copeaux does a tasty, well priced plat du jour and their house wine by the carafe is very quaffable! Or try their speciality ‘Lou Rapins’ – fried potato rosti accompanied by local charcuterie and cheeses – delicious! One of the new restaurants that’s appeared this year is Vina Annapurna, where we’ve enjoyed a some good plat du jour lunches – tasty food and very pleasant service.

For your apres ski drinks we highly recommend L’Apreski Bar at the foot of the slopes which offers traditional outdoor apres, live music and a selection of hot alcoholic drinksBarbylone to warm your cockles – the hot apple vodka is our favourite! We also love Barbylone where you’ll receive a very warm welcome, a lively atmosphere (you may well find yourself drinking with the ESF :>) and the biggest and best Aperol Spritz in town. They also do a good selection of local saucissons if you’re starting to feel peckish. And of course there’s Bar Bush which is always buzzing at apres time, with cheesy tunes, good vin chaud, salt & vinegar crisps and friendly faces behind the bar.

If you’re going out for dinner, again there’s a lot of choice, but having rigorously tried and tested them all, there are a few we go back to time after time. For a real treat, we have found La Pela to be unbeatable. It’s a little more expensive than other restaurants with similar menus, but is warm and cosy with fantastic service and fabulous food. In particular, the ‘Pierrade’ (where you cook your own meat and vegetables on a sizzling hot stone) is excellent and much fresher, varied and plentiful than those found elsewhere. Their fillet steak with homemade chips and your choice of sauce is always delicious too and their ‘Dessert of the Day’ and ‘Café Gourmand’ are beautifully presented and taste sensational! Sadly for us, La Pela is one of the restaurants that is changing hands for Winter 2018/19 – we’re really hoping that standards remain as high with the new owners – we’ll be in there to check it out as soon as possible and will report back on this blog!

Le Tyrol is another firm favourite, cosy and warm with a very extensive menu (this is the place if you want to try snails :>) and the best pizzas in town (wood oven). Their ‘Mont D’or’ has to be tried – it’s a full baked cheese served with charcuterie and veg to dip into it – like your own mini fondue – it’s delicious! Very well priced house wine here too!

For something a little more casual and less expensive, Le Choucas is good choice for a nice pizza or pasta dish, has an extensive icecream selection and serves well priced house wine by the carafe. Le Comptoir, which is the second new restaurant that’s opened this last year also offers reasonably priced pizza, pasta and excellent sharing platters of charcuterie and cheese.

If it’s takeaway you need, then Le Boomerang (located in the Chamois D’or hotel this season) does excellent pizzas, noodles and fish & chips. And you can have a nice G&T from their specialist gin menu whilst you wait for your food!

We hope you’ve enjoyed reading this blog and will find our tips helpful if you visit Les Gets.

If you’ve not already booked your next visit to Les Gets, come stay with us ‘Up the Alps’ – we offer luxury self catered and catered stays – come ski with us!

Jen & Craig

The Shared Chalet Experience – Is It For You?

Autumn is here, and with the kids back at school, it’s time to start planning your next ski adventure! September and October are always the most popular months for bookings here at Chalet Virolet, where we’re happy to take both whole chalet (sole occupancy) or room by room (shared chalet) bookings. This means that if you’re a smaller group, or even just a couple, you can still enjoy the full catered chalet experience by sharing with people you don’t know (yet). Yes – that’s right – people you don’t know :>


‘Won’t it be Weird?’

Chalet Hot TubNow, we know that for some prospective guests, the thought of sharing the living area, dining table and even the hot tub with strangers, is a scary one. The most frequent question we’re asked by those who have yet to experience the shared chalet is ‘won’t it be weird?’ And we can understand that there will always be a bit of trepidation about who you might find yourselves sharing with for the week. However, speaking from 9 years hosting experience, we can honestly say that it’s never been weird! We welcome around 150 guests per year into our chalet and around 70% of these are sharing with ‘strangers’.
Group skiingWe find that time after time, following a few drinks and dinner on the first night, our guests generally get on like a house on fire and often end the week hitting the slopes together. Conversation flows easily – after all everyone has one big thing in common – SKIING!!
We’ve welcomed guests who now come as a big group but originally met on a shared chalet experience and we even have a married couple who actually met on a shared chalet holiday! The shared experience also works very well for children, who love having other kids to hang out with after a hard day’s ski and often leave as pen pals. On the whole, we find that the atmosphere on a shared week is very relaxed, sociable and fun!


‘What if we don’t like each other?’

The other question we’re asked all the time is ‘do you ever get shared groups who don’t get on?’. Again, speaking from experience on this one – the answer is ‘no’. In 9 years, we haven’t experienced a mixed group that really didn’t get on. In fact, it’s much more likelyShared chalet group for there to be discord in a big sole occupancy group! Before we started to run Chalet Virolet, we went on several shared chalet holidays ourselves and always found them very sociable, with all holiday makers (singles, couples, kids, small families) mixing well and enjoying each other’s company. Again, with skiing in common and a warm glow after a day on the slopes, a bit of après ski and a hot tub, people are really not disposed to disagreeability and in general look forward to a good chat with new friends over dinner.


But really, there MUST be some drawbacks?

To be honest, it’s hard to think of down sides to the shared chalet experience. In the past, the shared experience may well have meant sharing bathrooms and loos, but most chalet guestchalets have ensuite rooms these days, so guests still have their privacy. Yes, you might be super unlucky and land a chalet with that one person you can’t abide – but, in our experience, the chances of that are low. You can mitigate the risk by choosing your resort and chalet carefully, so that you’re likely to find yourself with like-minded guests looking for a similar standard and pace of holiday. It’s also worth mentioning that here at Chalet Virolet we offer short breaks in January and March, so if you’re not sure, you can try the shared experience for a few nights rather than a full week.


If you’re thinking about taking the plunge and booking you first shared chalet experience, then our advice would be to go for it. Who knows, you could make some fabulous new lifelong ski friends, or at least have a fun week meeting some interesting new people with similar interests.

We’d love to host you here at Chalet Virolet – just contact us to enquire.

Serving dinner
Craig & Jen

Prices and availability

Short breaks

A perfect day in Les Gets….

Now that the snow has well and truly arrived here in the Portes du Soleil (Avoriaz is opening this weekend!!) we’re starting to get really excited for this coming season. We can’t wait to get our skis on and hit the slopes in Les Gets!

Our time off during the winter is limited, so we always try to make the most of these precious days.

Here’s our guide to a perfect ski day in Les Gets – if you’re visiting this season, why not give it a try……

  1. cedricFollowing a warming bowl of porridge at Chalet Virolet, we’ll head into the village (the 8 minute walk warms up the legs nicely), grab our kit from Desire Sports (the proprietor Cedric will always offer a homemade Schnapps!) and hitch an early ride on the Chavannes Express.
  2. From the top of this 6 man chairlift, it’s a quick ski down into the Les Gets bowl lesgetsskiwhere we’ll spend a couple of hours enjoying some beautiful, peaceful runs accessed from the Rosta, Ranfolly and Grains D’Or chairs. Our favourite piste is the ‘Melezes’ down to the Perrieres Express – a long, wide well groomed run through the trees and usually very quiet, perfect for honing your technique!
  3. Next it’s time for elevenses! So we’ll head up the Nauchets Express and down the 14225336_10210892653890153_7093088405222172808_nChevrelles piste to the Cortenaz restaurant for frites and a Coke to recharge the batteries.
  4. The next few hours will be spent skiing around the Morzine side of the mountain – taking the Telesiege des Tetes is a must as the view from the top is stunning. On this side, the blue Lievre run down towards Morzine is very pretty.
  5. 10906523_10152945651681011_7468035464801652449_nTime for a late lunch! So, back over on the Les Gets side (via another favourite piste the ‘Ambresalles’), we’ll head up the Rosta chairlift for a bite to eat at the Rosset’Taz restaurant. They serve really good, fast food (burgers as big as our head :>) and the view from their terrace is gorgeous.
  6. After another few runs, we’ll ski back down to the village, drop our kit with Cedric and share a Vin Chaud with him before returning to the Chalet for a quick power nap.
  7. 294768_364159507029377_518423923_nAt Apero time, we’ll head to Barbylone or l’Apreskibar for a drink with friends (both bars often have live bands in the early evening) and of course call into Bar Bush for a quick snifter before dinner.
  8. If we’re treating ourselves, dinner will be at La Pela – a gorgeous restaurant with fantastic service and amazing steaks. Their dessert of the day is always a treat – a real work of art. Alternatively it’ll be a take away kebab from ‘412’ and home to catch up on some TV!

All topped off of course by a fantastic night’s sleep (on account of the mountain air of course – not the drinks :>)

We can’t wait!!

Jen & Craig

Pelapierrade
Pierrade at La Pela

The best restaurants, cafes and bars in Les Gets

Having lived in Les Gets for 7 years now, we’ve had plenty of time to try and test every eaterie and watering hole the village has to offer. If you’re lucky enough to be visiting Les Gets this coming season, this guide will help you find our favourite spots for morning coffee, lunch, apres and dinner. All of the places described are situated in the village centre, are child and pet friendly and are easily accessible for both skiers and non-skiers.

AlbaSo let’s start with morning coffee – if you fancy a brew before you hit the slopes, then pop in to Les Notes Gourmande or Café Alba. Both serve lovely latte’s, hot chocolates, cappuccinos and have a selection of nice teas. If you’re already hungry, Les Notes Gourmande serve delicious crepes or you can grab an English bacon butty at Alba!

When it comes to lunch, there’s a lot of choice in the village, but we have 2 firm Copeauxfavourites. If you’re looking for a quick bite then you can’t do better than Le 412. Tasty kebabs, panninis, wraps and burgers to eat on the terrace or take away. It’s excellent value for money- less than 10 euros for a very filling kebab/burger, chips and soft drink. If you fancy something more formal, then Les Copeaux does a tasty, well priced plat du jour and their house wine by the carafe is very quaffable! Or try their speciality ‘Lou Rapins’ – fried potato rosti accompanied by local charcuterie and cheeses – delicious!

For your apres ski drinks we highly recommend L’Apreski Bar at the foot of the slopes which offers traditional outdoor apres, live music and a selection of hot alcoholic drinksBarbylone to warm your cockles – the hot apple vodka is our favourite! We also love Barbylone where you’ll receive a very warm welcome, a lively atmosphere (you may well find yourself drinking with the ESF :>) and the biggest and best Aperol Spritz in town. They also do a good selection of local saucissons if you’re starting to feel peckish. And of course there’s Bar Bush which is always buzzing at apres time, with cheesy tunes, good vin chaud, salt & vinegar crisps and friendly faces behind the bar.

If you’re going out for dinner, again there’s a lot of choice, but having rigorously tried and tested them all, there are 2 we go back to time after time. For a real treat, we have found La Pela to be unbeatable. It’s a little more expensive than other restaurants with similar menus, but is warm and cosy with fantastic service and fabulous food. In particular, the ‘Pierrade’ (where you cook your own meat and vegetables on a sizzling hot stone) is excellent and much fresher, varied and plentiful than those found elsewhere. Their fillet steak with homemade chips and your choice of sauce is always delicious too and their ‘Dessert of the Day’ and ‘Café Gourmand’ are beautifully presented and taste sensational!

 

For something a little more casual and less expensive, Le Choucas is good choice for a nice pizza or pasta dish, has an extensive icecream selection and serves well priced house wine by the carafe.

If it’s takeaway you need, then Le Boomerang (located in the Chamois D’or hotel this season) does excellent pizzas, noodles and fish & chips. And you can have a nice G&T from their specialist gin menu whilst you wait for your food!

We hope you’ve enjoyed reading this blog and will find our tips helpful if you visit Les ldnGets. Just one last place to mention – we’re super excited that there’s a NEW bar/restaurant in town this year called Le Comptoir/L’As des Neiges. It has a huge outdoor sunny terrace and will serve casual food and apero in the bar and high end Savoyard inspired classics in the restaurant. We can’t wait to try it!

If you’ve not already booked your next visit to Les Gets, prices at Chalet Virolet start at 695 euros per adult and 595 euros per child on a half board basis. Come ski with us! See full prices here.

Jen & Craig

4 nights in Les Gets – how to make the most of your short ski break

At Chalet Virolet we’ve always catered for short breaks and demand for a 4 night get away is increasing year by year. Ladies groups, gents groups or families wanting to ski outside of the school holidays can enjoy the full chalet / ski experience whilst minimising time off work. Did you know that on a 4 night stay in Les Gets you can actually fit in 4 ½ days of skiing? Here’s how we recommend our guests do it……

DAY 1:

  1. 6am – Take an early flight! Easyjet flights from the UK start at around 6am – this of course means a VERY early alarm call, but it’ll all be worth it when you’re lunching on the mountain!
  2. 9am – Let Skiidy Gonzales whizz you up the hill! The flight time to Geneva is our-fleet-2around 1hr 30 mins, so allowing for the 1hr time difference, you’ll be landing before 9am. If you book a great local transfer company, such as Skiidy Gonzales to bring you up the hill, you’ll be in Les Gets by late morning (driving time is 1h 15 mins).
  3. 11am – Quick change and pick up kit. In most chalets and hotels your room will not be available until 4pm, so it’s important to choose somewhere where they will give you space to get your salopettes on and store your luggage for the day. If you’re staying at Chalet Virolet, we’ll of course do this and then, following a swift cuppa we’ll walk to Desire Sports in the village with you to get your kit hire sorted.
  4. 12 noon – You’re on your first lift! And the mountain is your oyster! Whether you 16142475_1211065012322700_94543124988763509_ndecide to hit the Chavannes side first (5hr pass is 36 euros) or sample our ‘locals mountain’ Mont Chery (20 euro pass) you can get in a full afternoon of skiing (and of course a spot of lunch with a view).
  5. 5pm – Apres, dinner & bed. Time to ski down to the village, drop your kit back at Desire Sports for the night and make your way back to your chalet (perhaps with a few Apres drinks enroute?) If you’re staying at Chalet Virolet, we’d recommend that, once you’ve unpacked, you enjoy a relaxing soak in the hot tub and an invigorating steam before dinner! Following a delicious 3 course meal with carefully selected wine, it’ll be time to hit the hay. A long day, but well worth it and you’re sure to sleep like a log after all that mountain air….

DAYS 2, 3 & 4

Just ski! There’s plenty of skiing to keep you entertained in Les Gets/Morzine. If you’re feeling more adventurous though you can of course ski further and experience Avoriaz and the rest of the Portes du Soleil, including the notorious Swiss Wall. If you’ve chosen to stay at Chalet Virolet, we can advise on ski passes (to make sure you get the most economical option) and of course chat you through runs & routes to make sure you get the most out of your time here.
lesgetsski

DAY 5

  • 10am – Check out time. Check out is usually 10am, so choose accommodation where you can store your luggage during the day and where they’ll give you somewhere to change at the end of the day.
  • 10:15 – You’re skiing again! It’s your last day on the slopes, a chance to revisit your favourite pistes and haunts and breathe in more of that fantastic mountain air!
  • 17:00 – Almost home time. Ski down, drop your kit, final Apres drink and back to the chalet for a quick change and to collect your luggage.
  • 19:30 – Back to the airport. Again, we recommend Skiidy Gonzales who will collect you from your accommodation and get you back to Geneva safely, whatever the weather.
  • 21:00 – Fly home :> The last Easyjet flight leaves Geneva at around 21:30 – meaning you can enjoy a full day’s skiing and still be back in the UK before midnight!

If you’d like to try a short break at Chalet Virolet, get in touch! Prices start at 500 euros per person for a 4 night stay, including bed, breakfast and 3 course dinners with wine on 3 out of 4 nights. 

Self catered short breaks are also available at Apartment Le Wetzet.

Contact us for more info

Why Easter makes a great choice for your family ski holiday

If taking the kids out of school during term time isn’t an option for you, then have you considered an Easter ski break? Skiing during the Easter holidays has become increasingly popular over the last 5 years and makes an excellent alternative to a Half Term or New Year break.

kidsskiSpring skiing conditions lend themselves well to a family ski holiday. Typically, Eglantine pistein April, the snow is best in the mornings and can get a little softer in the late afternoon. So, get the kids booked in for morning lessons and you can enjoy your skiing while the snow is good and the little ones are learning. Compared to the busier half term and New Year holidays, the slopes will be much quieter and you won’t be facing huge queues for the lifts, so you can really maximise your slope time. Next, you can enjoy a leisurely lunch on the mountain and some sunny family skiing / snowball fights / sledging in the afternoon. There’ll be no complaining of being too cold – just remember to apply plenty of sun screen and remove your goggles at lunch to avoid embarrassing tan lines!

Easterski

If you choose to ski at Easter, you’ll save on the cost of accommodation – compared to half term, you’ll find that all types of accommodation are significantly cheaper for the Easter holidays, so you can take the opportunity to stay somewhere really lovely, for less! Easter prices at Chalet Virolet start from just 795 euros per adult and 595 per child for 7 nights on a half board basis. Or rent our lovely self catered apartment Le Wetzet – prices start from 1750 euros per week.

LogoLesGetsPaysageQuadriHere in the Portes du Soleil, ski pass prices are also reduced at Easter. From the 1st April onwards, your Les Gets/Morzine pass is 15% cheaper (a saving of 30 euros per adult and 23 euros per child).

So for a school holiday ski, with a reasonable price tag, why not give Easter skiing a try? Contact us if you’d like us to help you arrange your next brilliant ski holiday!

10898167_10152945651316011_1579284895565431455_n
Jen & Craig

 

 

A beginners guide to planning a ski holiday……

Every year, we receive lots of enquires from people thinking about organising their first ever ski or snowboard holiday. Whether it’s a family group with small kids or grownups planning a trip with friends, the one thing these enquiries have in common is that they have LOTS of questions!

If the mountains are calling you, but you’ve never skied before, the prospect of planning a first ski holiday can be quite daunting. Where to go, where to stay, what to organise and what to take with you – these things are second nature to seasoned winter holiday goers, but if you’ve never been before, then how do you know what you need to do?

jc
Well, worry no more – with 8 years of hosting skiers new and old in our chalet (and having been on lots of ski holidays ourselves), we’ve put together this handy step by step guide to help you plan a hassle free first winter adventure

 

  1. Choose your dates and resort
    Your first task is to decide where to go – do some research online and make sure you choose somewhere that’s good for beginners and/or families. You’ll need a resort where the beginner ‘green’ slopes are easily accessible on foot but where there are also plenty of gentle ‘blue’ runs to progress to once you’ve grasped the basics. If you’re a family, do consider average temperatures and avoid very high exposed resorts as you don’t want the kids to be too cold! Although we never booked with them, we always found the big tour operators brochures handy for resort comparisons and they’re good to leaf through over a glass of wine! For both family and group beginner skiing, we of course recommend Les Gets!
    When picking dates, if you’re tied to school holidays, then Easter skiing is increasingly popular and prices are cheaper than February half term. If not, then 16142475_1211065012322700_94543124988763509_nJanuary is a brilliant choice – with quiet slopes and no queues for lifts you can really make the most of your time on the hill. If you have friends who ski a lot, they’ll invariably have lots of advice, which can be helpful, but they are also likely to talk at length about snow conditions and how you must consider this, which may be confusing! As a rule, if this is going to be your first ski holiday, you really don’t need to worry too much about the snow – whatever the time of year, there will be enough for you, as a beginner, to learn to ski on and to ski all week to your level.
  2. Book your accommodation
    There are a lot of options to consider here – hotels, B&B’s, self-catered apartments, but by far the most convenient choice for your first holiday is a catered chalet. Catered chalets offer half board accommodation, so your breakfast, afternoon tea and dinners with wine are taken care of. This means you don’t need to worry about UP THE ALPS dinner0172supermarket shopping, cooking or eating out in the evening when you are tired! If you choose an independent chalet rather than a big company, you’ll also benefit from direct contact with the owners before and during your stay, who will be very happy to help you arrange all aspects of your holiday and answer any questions you might have. Remember that, as a complete beginner, you DON’T want ‘ski in ski out’ accommodation (you can’t ski yet!) but do choose somewhere that’s walking distance to the slopes or easily accessible by bus/car. Chalet Virolet makes a great choice!
  3. And flights
    Do try and book as early as possible to secure the cheapest flight prices – we like to use www.skyscanner.net to compare details. We’ve found that the smaller regional UK airports tend to offer some cracking prices, even last minute, so, for example, think about flying from Leeds/Bradford rather than Manchester or London City rather than Heathrow. Also think about your arrival time in resort – those later flights might be a bit cheaper, but do you really want to start your holiday by arriving in resort at midnight? And for the early flights, do make sure that your accommodation can store luggage for you if you arrive before check in time – you don’t want to be trailing big suitcases around the resort until 4pm!
  4. Book your airport transfers or car hire
    Consider how you’ll get from the airport to resort. If you’re staying with an independent chalet company, they will be able to organise shared or private transfers for you. If you’re with a big company, your coach transfers might be included with your holiday. If you’re going self-catered, car hire could also be an option. If you’re travelling to Les Gets, we highly recommend Skiidy Gonzales for transfers to/from Geneva airport.
  5. Book your lessons
    Perhaps the most important thing to organise – how well your lessons go will have a direct impact on how much you enjoy your holiday and whether you’ll come again! You MUST book your lessons as soon as possible so that you get the slots you want. There is a lot to consider, but generally: If you’re 26556_410610196010_4761802_nstaying for a week – book into ski school every morning. Depending on your budget, you can go for a large school or a smaller independent company, where your class will be smaller. If there are a few of you, then you could go for a small private group lesson, rather than joining an existing ski school course (where you’ll be with other learners). Whichever option you choose, you’ll have your afternoons free to spend together and practice what you’ve learnt so far. If you’re on a short break – book some private lessons for at least your first 2 days – either one to one or as a group if there’s a few of you. Having a dedicated instructor will give you the best chance of getting up and skiing in as short a time as possible. Again, depending on budget, you can choose a large school or an independent company. If you’re coming to Les Gets, check out our lessons page for some recommendations.
  6. Select and purchase your ski pass
    You’ll need to buy a ski pass and can usually do this online in advance (sometimes at a discounted rate) or in resort when you arrive. If you’re staying with an independent chalet company, they can purchase your passes for you so you don’t need to worry about it. Also, pay attention when lgyou book your ski lessons as sometimes a free or discounted lift pass is included in the lesson price. How do you know which pass to buy? Well, most ski resorts in Europe are part of a larger ‘linked’ ski area (for example Les Gets/Morzine is part of the larger Portes du Soleil area). If you’re a beginner, you will not need to buy a large area pass – in this example, just the Les Gets/Morzine pass will give you enough range for your first trip.
  7. Sort out your equipment hire
    If skiing, you’ll need to hire skis, ski boots, poles and a helmet. For snowboarding, you need a snowboard, boots and a helmet. In every resort, there are lots of shops to choose from and they’ll vary hugely in terms of the cedric2service you receive and quality of kit. As a beginner, you need somewhere that will look after you and ensure your kit is well fitting and comfortable. This is where, again, it really is best to choose independent accommodation who will help you with this and can also usually get you a good discount! It’s also advisable to use a hire shop where you can leave your kit overnight, so you don’t have to carry anything back to your accommodation each night!
  8. Get the clothes you need for the slopes
    Ski_Fashion
    It’s always worth asking friends if they have anything you can borrow – there’s no point buying your own kit until you know you’ll ski again! And rather than buying new, Ebay is great for picking up barely used kit. Getting the right gear for your first ski trip needn’t be complicated or expensive.
    As a minimum (assuming you are hiring a helmet) you’ll need:
    – Ski trousers (salopettes)
    – A ski jacket
    – Ski gloves
    – A warm hat
    – Waterproof boots or snow boots
    – Ski Goggles and sunglasses
    – Not clothing, but you’ll also need Suncream for your face and lips!
    Depending on the weather forecast, you’ll also potentially need a fleece and thermals, but you can buy these cheaply online or from regular shops & supermarkets. If you do want to buy some new kit, then the SportsPursuit website has a good choice at good prices.

So there you have it – an easy 8 step guide to planning your first brilliant ski holiday – why not get started today?

Prices at Chalet Virolet start at 795 euros per adult and 595 euros per child for 7 nights on a half board basis. See full prices here.

Or stay self catered at Apartment Le Wetzet – prices start at 1750 euros for 7 nights rental. See full prices here.

cropped-15053416_10211564886815556_478091683_o.jpg

We are Spartan!!

12 months ago, Jen and I went down the hill to Morzine to see what all the fuss was about with a new event to grace the area. It turns out that Reebok Spartan Race is a worldwide series of endurance obstacle races and the Morzine event is widely regarded as the most challenging Spartan Race in Europe due to the mountainous terrain, rivers and waterfalls involved. The guys and gals had to climb crawl and carry a series of walls, nets, rocks and wheels over a course of either 8k, 15k, 21k or 42k!

As we watched some seriously athletic looking participants running some serious distances and navigating even more serious obstacles, little did I know that Jen was thinking ‘Christmas Present – tick!’

So fast forward 12 months, Christmas present and challenge accepted, a Spartan training plan badly adhered to due to illness, nervous vomiting the morning of the race and I’m at the start line feeling very out of place and ill prepared. Problem with the start line you is have to scale a 6 foot wall to get to it! 6 foot wall negotiated and starting gun fired and we are off, very much into the unknown of what my body can cope with. Now I must mention that I was only doing the ‘Spartan Sprint’ – approximately 8km with 25 Obstacles over land, water and air. You can actually graduate up to the ‘’Spartan Ultra Beast’’ which is a full marathon and something close to 60 obstacles with this years winning time clocking in at a little over 9 hours – eek!

Back to the Spartan Sprint, whilst the Elite category does attract some very intimidating looking physical specimens, fortunately for me the Open category presents a bit less age and body envy with a couple more dad bods around!!!

The first 3rd of the course is around Morzine Village including the river and took us over some interesting wall and rope climbs, trekking through the freezing river, cargo netting, balance beams and tractor tire lifts as well as remembering a mobile phone number for later in the day! All ‘’Obstacle course 101’’ you might say and you would be right apart from the hundreds of people watching you struggle to complete them. Most of the obstacles are obligatory however about 20% have a failure option of 30 Burpees, which is always good fun. Try doing 10 now straight off the bat, they are a killer!!

The second 3rd of the course took us up into the mountain toward the Pointe de Nyon (you may have skied this sector of the Les Gets/Morzine ski area). This was a tough climb, followed by what I think were the biggest 3 challenges of the day:

  • Firstly, descending a 50m vertical rope (no safety harness) down into the Cascade de Nyon with god knows how many other people on the rope, all strugglcling to stay alive. This was an exercise in keeping your nerve just as much as strength!
  • Following that and trying not to freeze, we had to cargo net out of the Cascade whilst the water fall was flowing over us…..it was astonishingly cold!!!
  • 3rd and toughest challenge of the day for me and my lack of strength was the bucket carry, a mini 250m course of its own carrying a bucket (no handle) filled with stones and gravel up a muddy incline and back down into the river through some deliberately wet concrete. It was a toughie!!

Absolutely knackered by now we were off on the final 3rd of the day back into the village, up ropes and down walls into the river and up more cargo netting before having to recite the phone number learnt earlier in the day, chuck a spear into a target some meters away and then attempt the worlds hardest monkey bars before jumping over a pile of burning coal to cross the finish line and collect a well deserved Spartan Sprint medal!

The quickest time of the day was 50 minutes and the slowest 5 hours. I managed a decent top 50% finish with 2 hours 37mins. Given it usually takes around an hour to run 10km, it just goes to show what an effort it took to do some of these obstacles!!

Medal

The whole experience was absolutely fantastic and I would recommend to everyone that, while Spartan Race is here in the Alps (hopefully for the next 4 years) to come and give it a go. I’m forming a team for next years ‘Spartan Super’ which is the one up from Sprint – why not come and join me? If I can do it, anyone can!