Schussing Les 3 Vallées
by Tracy E. Hill, Ph.D.
When you want to go skiing, why not schuss the French Alps? Silver Sage Magazine did just that this week. After an incredible stressful week of ever changing goal posts by the Swiss and French governments regarding COVID vaccinations and testing, Silver Sage publisher joined Schuss Le Monde on a week long adventure to France. Travelers came from near and far but we all flew out of JFK International on Friday night and arrived in Geneva Switzerland on Saturday morning. We then boarded a bus and drive a few hours to a COVID testing site before entering France. The bus weaved it’s way through gorgeous mountains, past crystal blue lakes and quaint European towns. The last leg of the trip included switch backs that would certainly rival the Tail of the Dragon! We held our breath convinced we’d either go off the ledge or slam into the oncoming vehicles. After a long and stressful journey we arrived at last.
Les Tres Vallées covers more than 370 miles of skiable terrain with over 183 ski lifts which includes 3 cable cars, 37 gondolas, 69 chair lifts and 74 surface lifts making it the largest ski area in the world. This mass array of cables, chairs and gondolas looks like a spider web that crisscrosses the vast mountainous range; stretching over hotels, through the valleys, around ridges and over the most impressive peaks I’ve ever seen. And it just so happens that Les 3 Vallées considers their seven resorts nestled between the valleys the best in all of Europe.
Silver Sage Magazine is staying in the highest of the seven resorts in Val Thorens at 2300 meters (7,545 feet). Not quite Colorado Rockies, but with the expanse of the mountain and terrain to ski, what’s a few thousand more feet up? A smartly packed village resort bursting with nightlife and much to do during the day for those not interested in skiing.
Our first night we were greeted with a welcome reception of wine, beer, and exquisite foods. Exhausted from 24 hours of travel, we still managed to stay up late enjoying the comradeship and swapping stories until we realized that the next day – the mountain awaits.
Who knew that in France the sun doesn’t rise until nearly 8:30 am this time of year. Thankfully, the alarm was set for 7:00 am and I tiredly woke and joined the ski group downstairs for a full self serve breakfast which included yogurt with all the fixings, fresh fruits, French pastries, organic eggs to cook as you like, bacon, sausage and so much more. Enough food to fuel us for a day on the slopes.
And so the schussing begins.
Please join me this week as I post on Instagram (@silversagemagazine) and Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/silversagemagazine) photos, reels, stories and a few short stories of my week in Les 3 Vallées!
Photos by Tracy E. Hill Ph.D.