The Must-Read Guide of Vail, Colorado

Vail's iconic village with the Gore Range Mountains capturing the sunset in Vail, CO. Photo- Craig Orsini, Vail Resorts. The Must-Read Guide to Vail.

The Must-Read Guide of Vail, Colorado- Where to Stay, how to ski the Mountain, Where to Eat and Drink.

Vail is one of the most renown ski resorts in the world. It was one of these resorts I always wanted to visit when I was young growing up in Argentina. Luck struck me and I was able to visit several times, and also worked for Vail Resorts long time ago now. International visitors always want to visit either Vail or Aspen. Those are the famous resorts they know. This made me then put together the Must-Read Guide to Vail to help you organise your trip to this grand resort!

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Vail's 10th Mountain Division skier. Photo: Vicky Galarraga. @vickydevail. The Must-Read Guide to Vail.
Vail’s 10th Mountain Division skier. Photo: Vicky Galarraga. @vickydevail. The Must-Read Guide to Vail, Colorado.

The History of Vail

Ute Indians used to settle within this territory in the summer. They used to travel to the most arid lands on the west during winter. The Utes used to call the Gore Range that overlooked the valley the “Shinning Mountains”.
Came WWII and the United States created a training center called Camp Hale. Here the 10th Mountain Division trained for alpine combat. They went on to fight on the Mountains of Northern Italy. When they came back, they were the force to develop the ski industry in the USA.
One veteran of the 10th Mountain Division, Peter Seibert, came back to Colorado. He joined the Aspen Ski Patrol and Ski School. Then he went on to become the manager of Loveland Basin Ski Area. At that moment, Seibert and Earl Eaton start looking on developing a new ski resort in the Rockies.
Eaton was local to Colorado and started skiing when young. By 1940, he was ski racing in Aspen while working for the Civilian Conservation Corps in Glenwood. In 1957, he and Seibert climbed Vail Mountain in winter and realised of its potential as a ski area.
Friends Skiing Groomed Terrain in Vail, CO.. Photo: Daniel Milchev. Vail Resorts. The Must-Read Guide to Vail.
Friends Skiing Groomed Terrain in Vail, CO.. Photo: Daniel Milchev. Vail Resorts. The Must-Read Guide to Vail.

Must-read guide to Chamonix

Winter in Chamonix- Photo credits: Salome Abrial. OT Chamonix. Must-Read guide to Chamonix

Must-read guide to Chamonix Mont-Blanc

Why visit the Chamonix Mont-Blanc Valley? Well, it should be in every mountain lover’s bucket list! There are plenty of reasons why to go and visit Chamonix Mont-Blanc Valley. That is why I put together a Must-Read Guide to Chamonix Mont-Blanc.

 

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You can summarise why Chamonix is so amazing in seven facts:
1) Chamonix lays at the foot of The MONT BLANC (4810m), the highest mountain in Europe, making of it, a unique spot! (You must have read already my Must-Read Guide to Courmayeur. Courmayeur is on the other side – the Italian side, of the Mont Blanc or Monte Bianco).
2) Chamonix in winter is famous for its freeriding and lots of activities for non-skiers. Plus Chamonix is not only for the daredevil! It offers activities and variety of slopes for all levels.
Ski de Randonnée in Chamonix. Photo: Christophe Raylat. OT Chamonix. Must-Read guide to Chamonix.
Ski de Randonnée in Chamonix. Photo: Christophe Raylat. OT Chamonix. Must-Read guide to Chamonix.
3) Chamonix in summer is amazing, and you can tell that a favourite spot for visitors. There are lots of incredible sightseeing tours to take. And wide range of outdoor activities for all.
4) Chamonix is a year-round destination and a lively Alpine city. This is not a purposed-built resort, people live here all year. That makes the vibe of the place!
Architecture in Chamonix. Photo: Salome Abrial. OT Vallée de Chamonix. Must-Read guide to Chamonix.
Architecture in Chamonix. Photo: Salome Abrial. OT Vallée de Chamonix. Must-Read guide to Chamonix.
5) Chamonix’s heritage. You can find it through its art, culture, architecture and cuisine.
6) Very close to the highway. Chamonix is one of the easiest towns to reach .
7) Chamonix offers a wide variety of accommodation for all budgets. So, it is not only for the rich and famous!

History of Chamonix. Must-Read Guide to Chamonix

Chamonix has a long and fascinating history. Starting from the first explorers to the golden age of winter sports.
The town has an amazing cultural and architectural heritage.
Architecture in Chamonix, painting at the Office of the Mountain Guides. Photo: Salome Abrial- OT Vallée de Chamonix. Must-Read guide to Chamonix.
Architecture in Chamonix, painting at the Office of the Mountain Guides. Photo: Salome Abrial- OT Vallée de Chamonix. Must-Read guide to Chamonix.
You can book one of the weekly guided heritage tours. In these you can discover the architectural diversity of Chamonix. Baroque churches to Protestan chapels. Hotels and palaces from the “Golden Era” to “Art Deco” facades. From traditional farmhouses, to colossal villas passing through chalets contrasting with modern buildings.
1741: Two English men Windham and Pococke discovered “Chamouny” valley and its glaciers. The population at the time was living on farms. These two men lead the first touristic exploration climbing the Mer de Glace glacier.

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The MUST-READ Guide to Lech

Lech Zürs Tourism - Arlberg. Photo by Sepp Mallaun. Must-Read Guide to Lech.

Your MUST-READ guide to Lech am Arlberg

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Lech is one of these famous resorts in the world that should be in your bucket list. A typical Austrian Alpine village, in the end of the road (at least in winter), at first you arrive, and you think there is a road through it, but you need to see what is on each side of the road. The town is small, as the local law does not allow it to expand- which is great as you feel in a quaint town. Lots of dotted houses and hotels are around the main road and into the sides, pretty much all are near the lifts. The furthest in the valley are around 600 meters from the lifts, but there are free buses to go back and forth.

The Omeshorn towering the picture perfect town of Lech - Lech Zürs am Arlberg by night by Felder- Lech Zürs Tourismus. Must-Read Guide to Lech.
The Omeshorn towering the picture perfect town of Lech – Lech Zürs am Arlberg by night by Felder- Lech Zürs Tourismus. Must-Read Guide to Lech.

Buses also connect you hourly with St Christoph and St Anton. But you can also access them via the Flexenbahn gondola since the season before last. The Flexenbahn links Zürs and Stuben/Rauz. Skiers and boarders can go anywhere in the Arlberg on skis and snowboards. The ride takes 6 minutes with panoramic vistas from the gondolas, to the Klostertal valley and St Christoph. The addition of the Flexenbhan made the Arlberg the largest ski carousel in Austria and one of the 5 largest ski areas in the world. On top of the Flexenbahn, three other cableways have started operations on the winter of 2016/17 – the Trittkopf cableways I, II and the Aldonabhan cableway II have cemented the Arlberg as a bucket list destination.

Getting there:

You can easily get to Lech from the main airports in central Europe, such as Zürich (196 km) in Switzerland, Munich (248 km) and Friedrichshafen (128 km) in Germany, Innsbruck (120 km) and Salzburg (294 km) in Austria.

You can take the train from these airports and go to Langen am Arlberg train station, which is 15 km from Lech (if coming from Zürich or Friedrichshafen) and take a taxi from there or the local bus – check the times, the buses runs once an hour or every two hours, depending the time of the year.

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Zermatt Must-READ Guide

Zermatt Village - Photo copyright: Leander Wenger - Zermatt Tourist Board. Zermatt is a high-altitude resort that will not suffer much in the future with less snow thanks to its altitude. What does Climate Change will mean to a Mountain Nation such as Switzerland by 2060.

Zermatt Must-READ Guide

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Zermatt’s History:

Zermatt is all what you have thought of and more….it is a chocolate-box village – quintessentially Swiss, that have been hosting guests for many years – mainly those trying to reach the peak of the Matterhorn. The area had human traces from 8,000 to the 1,800 BC with the “Schwarze Tschugge” shelter at Schwarzsee, a cup-marked stone at Ofenen, above Zmutt and a stone axe blade from the Theodul Pass. The Theodul Pass was used as a crossover and trade route for the Romans for finding coins and the Romanised Celts.

Zermatterhof in Dorfstrasse - Old Zermatt.
Zermatterhof in Dorfstrasse – Old Zermatt.

On the 8th century the Alemannic took possession of Upper Valais and German replaced Latin. But speed the time forward to 13th August 1792 when Genevese scholar Horace Bénédict de Saussure climbed the Klein Matterhorn. From the Theodul glacier, he determined the height of the Matterhorn to be 4,501.7 m (today 4,477.5 m) using a 50-foot-long chain spread out on the glacier and a sextant.

In 1813 the Breithorn is the first four-thousand-metre peak to be climbed.

In 1839 Zermatt surgeon Lauber opens the first inn (hotel Cervie) with three beds. Today is Hotel Monte Rosa.

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