Travelling via the Grand St Bernard Pass as an option to the Mont Blanc Tunnel

Coming into the Aosta Valley passing the Grand St Bernard Tunnel from Switzerland. Travelling via the Grand St Bernard Pass as an option to the Mont Blanc Tunnel

Travelling via the Grand St Bernard Pass as an option to the Mont Blanc Tunnel

 

Another option on how to get into the Aosta Valley through Switzerland.

 

This article may contain affiliate/compensated links. For full information, please see our disclaimer here. 

 
For those of us driving to the mountains from the UK into Italy, the classic and fastest route is to go to Calais. From there, you take the A26, A5, A31, A39, A40 and you cross the Mont Blanc Tunnel. This past summer the queues at the Mont Blanc Tunnel where horrendous. That is why we thought why don’t we do our travelling via the Grand St Bernard Pass as an option to the Mont Blanc Tunnel.
Chaumont. Travelling via the Grand St Bernard Pass as an option to the Mont Blanc Tunnel
Chaumont. Travelling via the Grand St Bernard Pass as an option to the Mont Blanc Tunnel
 
We’ve first tried that on our way back, as a way of a road trip. Usually, the day of the long stretch we go from Morgex (10′ down of Courmayeur, by the Mont Blanc Tunnel), to Reims. This time, the first day, was falling on the day of my eldest’s birthday, and it would not have been too much fun to be sitting in the car for hours. So we’ve decided to go to Strassbourg and then Brussels. There it was sensible to go through the Grand St Bernard, as it is pretty a straight route.
Lago Blu & the Cervino- Soft Pastels, Pan Pastels and Charcoal on La Carte Pastel- 60 x 80 cm. In my shop.
Lago Blu & the Cervino- Soft Pastels, Pan Pastels and Charcoal on La Carte Pastel- 60 x 80 cm. In my shop.
 
My husband was not happy thinking you have to pay the Swiss vignette. At about 40 CHF, it is nothing if you compare it to the tolls of the French Autoroutes.
Obviously, this means that there are more cars on the road. The Swiss vignette gives you access to all Swiss motorways for the calendar year.

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Best ski resorts for a weekend trip

Le Tour - L'Alpage de Balme. OT Vallée de Chamonix. Photo: Salome Abrial. Best ski resorts for a weekend trip

Imagine yourself leaving your office on a Friday evening, gliding down snow covered slopes for the next two days and returning to your desk on Monday morning with a grin as wide as the mountains.

This unbeatable travel experience is none other than a weekend skiing trip, but it requires a lot of work and rushing around to make this type of a trip a huge success.

Mégève. Photo: Green/Pixabay. Best ski resorts for a weekend trip
Mégève. Photo: Green/Pixabay. Best ski resorts for a weekend trip

From choosing the perfect place to ski carefully and slopes that suit your style of skiing to resort owners willing to take bookings for just two nights, and that too during the peak rush days of the week,there are few ski resorts that are ready to oblige.

So here are a few resorts that not only cater to skiers who only have weekends to spare, but across a broad range of skiing tastes and abilities as well.

Our pick of best resorts to spend your ski weekends at – 

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If Gondolas Could Talk, a Great Book as a Present for the Winter Sports Lovers

If Gondolas Could Talk, the new book by John Hemming Clark, now on sale on Amazon.com

If Gondolas Could Talk, a Great Book as a Present for the Winter Sports Lovers

This article may contain affiliate/compensated links. For full information, please see our disclaimer here.

I have been reading the new book by John Hemming Clark titled: “If Gondolas Could Talk”. For all of us snowsports lovers, just hearing of a gondola (or cablecar- depending where you are located), always makes you smile. It brings you near your love of the mountains and the big outdoors.
 
This book has 101 short stories related by – mainly Brits- going skiing to the Alps, and some a bit further away in North America. It is catered towards those that go skiing/boarding once a year. This is the highlight of our lives. (Now I ski more than once, but I was there since I was 14, always waiting for our ski week as a family. Later it was me alone and anyone could tag alone, and even later now with my husband and kids!)
If Gondolas Could Talk- a Great Stocking Filler for this Christmas. Get it on Amazon.
If Gondolas Could Talk- a Great Stocking Filler for this Christmas. Get it on Amazon here.
 
All mountain sports lovers always have stories to share after a ski day or a trip to the mountains. Many are because you cannot make yourself understood, or funny things happening to you while trying to come down the mountain – in one piece!

Summer in the Mountains? Yes, please!

The views from a Sentiero up from Chabodey, up from La Salle in the Aosta Valley. Photo: The-Ski-Guru

Our account of our summer in the mountains

This article may contain affiliate/compensated links. For full information, please see our disclaimer here. 

 
School was off, and we were ready to leave! But then my husband got the Covid bug, so we needed to postpone… Bummer! But it was the weekend of chaos at the Port of Dover and Eurotunnel- maybe it was a blessing in disguise….. Our summer in the mountains was going to be postponed for five days.
 
Five days later, we left early to get in the road- thinking it could be difficult to get to the Eurotunnel on the M20. Plus, when I’ve changed the ticket for the Tuesday, it was so late, that all was sold out. I have to conform myself with a 2.20 PM departure. Not the best, as if there are any problems, they tend to accumulate during the day!
Troyes is a lovely medieval town, a great spot for a night over on route to the mountains. We've stayed at the Brit Hotel Comte de Champagne. Book your room at the Brit Hotel Comte de Champagne here Photo: The-Ski-Guru.
Troyes is a lovely medieval town, a great spot for a night over on route to the mountains. We’ve stayed at the Brit Hotel Comtes de Champagne. Book your room at the Brit Hotel Comtes de Champagne here Photo: The-Ski-Guru. Summer in the Mountains? Yes, please!
 
As we were leaving a bit late, and estimating that we could take for ever to cross the Channel, we aimed to make it to Troyes. Normally, we go to Chaumont, which we are doing in a good time, have a nap and a lovely afternoon and evening in this lovely city.

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A Great Buy for those Wanting to Venture into Winter Sports: Ski A to Z by Inspire by Kim (Kimberley Kay)

Ski A to Z in my home in Morgex. Photo: The-Ski-Guru. A Great Buy for those Wanting to Venture into Winter Sports: Ski A to Z by Inspire by Kim (Kimberley Kay)
Inspire by Kim has published early in 2022 the hardback book titled Ski A to Z.
This is a lovely book to gift to anyone, of all ages, wanting to start skiing or boarding (or any winter sports ), and not sure where to start.
 
I love the format, which is very simple, as it goes literally, through all the alphabet. It shows you all the lingo you need to know for getting prepared for this next winter season. It demystifies what it takes to plan your trip to the mountains!
 
And you know that I paint as my part time job, and I love paintings and drawings. The drawings on Ski A to Z are so cute! I always loved these kind of drawings with lots of little people. I think they are magnificent! They will definitely make you smile! You can see some of these drawings on the pictures I am posting of the book in this post.

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The Piscina Alpina di Courmayeur

Going up to the Piscina Alpina di Courmayeur
A great day out with the family while in Courmayeur is up to the Piscina Alpina di Courmayeur. You need to go and get the Dolonne cablecar up to Plan Chécrouit to arrive. Last year you had to get up the Armani funicular, but this summer it has being repaired, so it is not in use.
Piscina Alpina in Courmayeur. Photo: The-Ski-Guru
Piscina Alpina in Courmayeur. Photo: The-Ski-Guru
 
After a short gondola ride, you arrive to Plan Chécrouit. There, you have to do a short traverse and small hike to get to the site of the pool. The walk is pretty lovely, as you see the town of Courmayeur from a height, and then the Grivola in the background. From the pool, you have impressive vistas of Monte Bianco.
My solo exhibit at the Caffè della Posta in Courmayeur during August 2022. Photo: A Girl and her Dog- Gemma Johnstone.
My solo exhibit at the Caffè della Posta in Courmayeur during August 2022. Photo: A Girl and her Dog- Gemma Johnstone. Check my mountain art here.
 
The pool has a simple setting, with changing rooms, lockers, bathrooms, showers and a sauna on the side. The pool is in the middle, with the bar in one corner, and parasols and loungers on the side.
 
Kids 12 and up pay as adults in Courmayeur, so the price is a bit expensive. Obviously, with the price hike of oil, the heating of the pool has tripled so you can understand a bit the pricing. Also, you have to include the cablecar. I paid EUR 27 per person when we went full day, or EUR 20 going from 13.50 onwards. The pool closes at 17.00 and the last cablecar coming down from Plan Chécrouit to Dolonne departs at 17.50.

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Best Ski Resorts in the Alps

Best ski resorts in the Alps. Photo: Alpine Elements.

Superb slopes for skiing, dotted with picture perfect Alpine villages, has made the Alps a legendary hotspot for skiers from around the world for decades.With epic powder being dumped on the Alps the prospect of the new upcoming ski season affording a much smoother escape is high on the cards. 

That said, though the Alps have an undeniable appeal, with over 4000 resorts to choose from, how do you find one where you are sure the mountain air will make you feel truly alive again?

So we will let you know which resorts snowboarders should consider, the ones that are best for beginners and above all a resort where families can spend quality time with the kids. This is our ultimate guide to the best ski resorts in the Alps for 2022 and beyond. Companies such as Alpine Elements offer amazing deals and packages to these ultimate ski resort destinations.

 

St Anton, Austria

Best for: snowboarders 

Most of the resorts in the Alps are catering for first time skiers and beginners and it is not difficult to understand why. With business gradually picking up after two years, the industry needs to survive somehow or the other.

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Why do Brits love their ski chalet holidays

Ski Vertigo ski chalets- Why do Brits love their ski chalet holidays

Skiing, prior to WWII, was a privilege afforded only by the elite few who stayed at some of the most elaborate Victorian hotels spread across the Alps, in between spending time on the slopes.

However, post 1950, things began to change dramatically as the sport got embraced by a wider group of people, especially the British, who were hungry for some outdoor fun after spending years of life in austerity because of the conflict.

In 1953 the travel industry began running ski parties where groups of Britons were invited to travel with the host to the Alps, but the idea of installing a chalet arose only in 1958 when one Colin Murison Small came out with a brochure offering comfortable, though not luxurious, accommodation including catering with wine at dinner at no extra charge.

The price was not only a bargain, but what was more important was the friendly atmosphere which the young Britons truly enjoyed. Additionally, the helping hand offered as they battled with unfamiliar ski equipment and the lift systems, endeared them to the ski chalet concept in no time at all.

The employment of charter flights in the 60s changed things for the better even further because of simplifying logistics. The weekly schedules of the chalet were perfectly adapted to planes arriving with one group and leaving with the previous guests, keeping both the chalet beds and airline seats always full.

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Differences between skiing in North America and Europe

Aiguille du Midi. Chamonix. Differences between skiing in North America and Europe

Differences between skiing in North America and Europe

 
What are the differences I see between skiing in North America and Europe? These differences are, of course subjective and I can hear your point of view, if you want to leave a note to the post!
 
There are pro and cons in both continents. I am lucky to have skied in both sides of the Ocean, plus a bit south in Argentina and Chile, to notice some differences. My view is my own, in accordance to my experience.
Another day of changing boots in the car. The boys with the Cervino on the background. Photo: The-Ski-Guru. Differences between skiing in North America and Europe
Another day of changing boots in the car. The boys with the Cervino on the background. Photo: The-Ski-Guru. Differences between skiing in North America and Europe
 
Here you go, in no special order:
 

Skiing in North America – The Pros. Differences between skiing in North America and Europe

 
Skiing in America is easy.
 
Easy to access usually by plane, or with a plane connection and transfer.
 
Resorts planners built resorts as resorts, so they are functional.
 
Grooming is great, state of the art.
Vail's main street. Soft pastels and pastel pencils on pastel paper. 40x30cm. For sale in my shop. Differences between skiing in North America and Europe
Vail’s main street. Soft pastels and pastel pencils on pastel paper. 40x30cm. For sale in my shop. Differences between skiing in North America and Europe
 
Lift attendants are very attentive. They help you mounting and un-mounting lifts with kids.
 
North Americans are masters on getting the singles getting in chairs that are not full. This speeds up the uploading of lifts.
 
People are easy going, everyone salutes you and talk to you as if they knew you from before.

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Matterhorn from the Air- Painting by Martina Diez-Routh in soft pastels- The-Ski-Guru HOME

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Aperitivo at Dusk with Monte Bianco. Soft pastels art. Register to my Mountain Art Newsletter today.
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