A fast-melting glacier in the Mont Blanc raised an alarm in the area of Val Ferret of Courmayeur.

Plampincieux Iconography - from Daily Mail. A fast-melting glacier in the Mont Blanc raised an alarm in the area of Val Ferret of Courmayeur.

A fast-melting glacier in the Mont Blanc raised an alarm in the area of Val Ferret of Courmayeur.

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The Planpincieux glacier on the Grande Jorasses peak of the Mont Blanc massif, which marks the border between Italy, France and Switzerland is fast-melting and could provoke a collapse of 8.8 million cubic feet mass of the 512 square mile glacier.

A helicopter rides on top of the glacier. Photo: Antonio Calanni AP - The Guardian. A fast-melting glacier in the Mont Blanc raised an alarm in the area of Val Ferret of Courmayeur.
A helicopter rides on top of the glacier. Photo: Antonio Calanni AP – The Guardian. A fast-melting glacier in the Mont Blanc raised an alarm in the area of Val Ferret of Courmayeur.

The glacier overlooks the Val Ferret and Planpincieux, 7 km up from Courmayeur. Experts from Fondazione Montagna Sicura (Safe Mountain Foundation), a charity in charge of monitoring the glaciers of Aosta Valley, said that this glacier has been moving since they have been monitoring it closely starting in 2013, but the size of a recent fracture and the increase of the speed at which the ice is melting raised the alarm.

This area is popular with hikers, so Courmayeur’s Major Miserocchi closed as a safety measure, mountain refuges and part of a road upon which the ice could directly fall. Contrary to first reported, only one home had to be evacuated. The rest of the 10 homes in the hamlet beneath the glacier are empty summer holiday homes.

A group of 160 or so pupils marched on Friday to protest against climate change with banners and slogans from “Ban plastic, save our planet” to “You broke our glacier”.

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How to buy a home in the mountains.

Imagine your flat in Val d'Isère. How to buy a home in the mountains.

How to buy a home in the mountains.

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If you are a fanatic mountain lover and a skier or boarder, you know that you are thinking about the mountains all the time. If you could, you would be there as much as possible, maybe try to work for the season, and if you are very lucky, stay year-round.

This idea might be great if you have no family and you don’t need to ground yourself down because of your kids. I have a friend when living in Argentina that was doing the ski seasons in Las Leñas with his kids, and another friend in common kept on saying that those kids were not going to learn anything – I would say they will learn the ‘school of life’. But it is not an easy option.

Le Genepi in Les Gets. How to buy a home in the mountains.
Le Genepi in Les Gets. How to buy a home in the mountains.

So, if you are lucky enough of being able to have the money, receive an inheritance, put money aside every month for some (or many) years, or get money for a deposit and look into getting a mortgage, maybe investing in a home in the mountains could be an option for you.

I always wanted to live in the mountains. When I was young and I lived in Colorado, I was really happy waking up there every day. That was the case in Crested Butte, even more than in Aspen. And working for the seasons in Las Leñas and Bariloche also had its appeal.

But having your spot where to stay in the mountains, and not necessarily having to be working there, is the best of both worlds.

Dining room render of the Génepy. Les Gets. How to buy a home in the mountains.
Dining room render of the Génepy. Les Gets. How to buy a home in the mountains.

So how you can do this.

I obviously started looking online, at new developments that can be bought from the builder, some of them ski in/out and then looking at different websites, of the likes of Rightmove of Idealista (for Italian properties).

There are a couple of UK realtors that are dedicated to selling properties in the Alps. Such is the case of Alpine Property Intelligence, which has a very good website featuring different apartments and chalets in the Alps- specifically in France, Switzerland and Austria. Not only they offer a range of apartments for-sale, but also for rent.

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Not for profit organisation UCPA launches new ski touring week in Norway

UCPA Norway ski touring program. Not for profit organisation UCPA launches new ski touring week in Norway.

Not for profit organisation UCPA launches new ski touring week in Norway

Not for profit organisation, UCPA, has launched a new ski touring trip away from its home in France, based in the north of Norway around Tromsø and the Lyngen Alps. 

It’s an expansion of the program that already offers one of the largest choices of ski touring and splitboarding holidays for all levels of skiers and snowboarders across the French Alps.

The 7 night fully guided trip is suitable for skiers with previous off-piste and touring experience only, with 6 days of non-lift accessed skiing through backcountry terrain in remote locations. Potential summits include Store Jaegervasstinden, Russelvjellet, Giilavari, Daltinden, Svarthamartinden, and Gråtinden plus many more.

It’s a chance for skiers to experience a trip that could normally incur huge costs, but at the all-inclusive price that UCPA is well-known for.

The accommodation will be in comfortable guest house style lodges and rooms typically shared between 2 and 4 persons, all meals are included, with the exception of the first and last night dinner in Tromsø.

UCPA Norway ski touring- Northern Lights. Not for profit organisation UCPA launches new ski touring week in Norway
UCPA Norway ski touring- Northern Lights. Not for profit organisation UCPA launches new ski touring week in Norway

Managing Director of Action Outdoors, the UK arm of UCPA, said: “This trip really is one of a kind. The scenery alone in this corner of the world is like no other. The mountains are Alpine in character and contain several glaciers, providing it with exciting terrain despite the highest peak being just 1,833m above sea level – the latitude certainly makes up for the altitude. There may be the chance to witness some of the northern lights too. Although the costs exceed a normal UCPA week in the Alps, we really feel that it provides amazing value considering the potential costs normally involved with fully guided, organised and all-inclusive trips to Norway”.

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So, you want to take your family skiing, but you do not know where to start?

The kids at Maison Vielle- enjoying the day in the sun. Photo: The-Ski-Guru. So, you want to take your family skiing, but you do not know where to start?

So, you want to take your family skiing, but you do not know where to start?

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

The summer holidays are finished, kids starting school again, and you got the holiday blues. The best thing to do to combat this feeling is getting ready for your next holiday.

I don’t know if you are like me, but I always need to have a holiday to look forward to. How about if you want to initiate your family into skiing but have never done so? And what happens if yourself are not that experienced at it? You might have gone when young with your school but did not think any more of it.

And maybe the mountains caught your attention, but you did not have the money when young and the world was a big place to discover and were not thinking in this kind of holiday.

The boys waiting for their ski race- Photo: Patrick Hinchy. So, you want to take your family skiing, but you do not know where to start?
The boys waiting for their ski race- Photo: Patrick Hinchy. So, you want to take your family skiing, but you do not know where to start?

Now you are tied down with kids, and holidays are completely different. But you’ve heard of friends going skiing already, and of how much fun they had, and how good it is for your kids to start the sport when they are young, as they are not afraid about falling.

You could maybe master a couple of blue or red slopes, but you are not an expert, or, you have never skied.

The problem with skiing, is that it seems daunting: with the travelling, lodging, transfers to the mountains if not lodged ski in – ski out; the equipment, the weight of it all, the clothing you need, the ski or snowboard school for getting all started….you are tired of it before you even begin organising yourself!

But do not despair – I know that all seems awful before starting, but if you like to master tasks and break them into little bits and bops to tackle one at a time, you can definitely be organising the first of an annual holiday that you’ll cherish for ever. Or, if you could not be bothered with the fuss, but still want to introduce your family to a holiday in the snow, then you can always contact a tour operator or travel concierge!

The big picture

Just imagine the rewards, paradisiac landscapes in pristine snow and blue skies, or snow tip-tapping in your face, the silence you can feel when it is snowing, cuddling up under a fluffy blanket by the fire with a nice cup of hot chocolate or wine, the interminable strings of stories of hilarious things that happen to you when you are in the mountain which are great to share with friends. All these things make these kinds of holidays really worth it. For me, it is the holidays I like the best, I think all year of them, I crave my time in the mountains like crazy when I am in the lowlands.

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