Our Half Term Ski Safari Trip to the Aosta Valley

Our Half Term Ski Safari Trip to the Aosta Valley. Photo: The-Ski-Guru. Piste 6 at La Thuile.

Our Half Term Ski Safari Trip to the Aosta Valley

So this was the time of the year, when we go with two family friends driving to the Alps. This is our half term ski safari trip to the Aosta Valley.
I am super lucky to have a place in the Alps and being able – now again – after the pandemic, to go back all year round. We left a bit earlier than usual, waking up at 1 AM to leave at 2.15 AM, as I have booked our crossing with Eurotunnel a bit late. Rates where too expensive to leave at 6.20, so we tried a 5.20 AM departure.
Tired kids in the car. Our Half Term Ski Safari Trip to the Aosta Valley
Tired kids in the car. Our Half Term Ski Safari Trip to the Aosta Valley
It was not bad at all. But, after the first day of driving, done by my husband, we were exhausted. I don’t drive but I do the copiloting- if that is a word! And try not to fall asleep during all the trip. The idea is to keep my hubby awake!
No-one was at the Eurotunnel terminal and we left one hour early. The weather was good and we did it to Chaumont, to our first pit-stop by 1.30 PM, local time.

Will the Green Pass be the new normal on the South Tyrolian and Aosta Valley lifts this coming season?

Alto Adige - Trentino. Photo Iuliia Boiun- Unsplash. Will the Green Pass be the new normal on the South Tyrolian and Aosta Valley lifts this coming season?

Will the Green Pass be the new normal on the South Tyrolian and Aosta Valley lifts this coming season?

 

The coming 2021-22 ski season might bring the use of the Green Pass to get on the lifts of Sudtirol and the Aosta Valley.

 
This is what it looks like at the moment. It is at least, as per what I’ve read on Neveitalia and as reported by ANSA, La Stampa and the portal Trentino.
Alto Adige - Trentino. Photo Iuliia Boiun- Unsplash. Will the Green Pass be the new normal on the South Tyrolian and Aosta Valley lifts this coming season?
Alto Adige – Trentino. Photo Iuliia Boiun- Unsplash. Will the Green Pass be the new normal on the South Tyrolian and Aosta Valley lifts this coming season?

The case of Alto Adige. Will the Green Pass be the new normal on the South Tyrolian and Aosta Valley lifts this coming season?

 
In Alto Adige (Sudtirol), the president of Dolomiti Superski wants to impose the Green Pass. Dolomiti Superski is a big carrousel of interconnected lifts that is located east of the Autopista del Brennero. It comprises 1,200 km of pistes, including Alta Badia, Val Gardena, Cortina d’Ampezzo, Val di Fassa, Val di Fiemme, Kronplatz, amongst others.
 
Helmuth Sartori, the president of Dolomiti Superski supports this motion. He said: “We support political efforts to introduce the Green Pass as a pre-requisite for access the ski lifts.” This was at the assembly of the Association of South Tyrolean cable car operators held in Bolzano. “Winter 2020/21 could have been a record season, considering the early snowfalls and the optimal Easter date, it will instead go down in history as a total failure – added Sartori – and we can no longer allow another to occur a situation of this kind”.
Alta Badia. Gruppo del Sella. Photo: IDM Südtirol- Alex Filz- Alta Badia. Will the Green Pass be the new normal on the South Tyrolian and Aosta Valley lifts this coming season?
Alta Badia. Gruppo del Sella. Photo: IDM Südtirol- Alex Filz- Alta Badia. Will the Green Pass be the new normal on the South Tyrolian and Aosta Valley lifts this coming season?
 
More than 360 million euros in turnover is missing. Companies that did not have been operating during the summer have been without income for 20 months. They are fighting for economic survival. All these solutions have to be looked in advance for the 2021/22 season. Sartori wants that the legal framework is set up in advance.
 
South Tyrolean lifts engineers estimate that lift capacity can be reduced to 80% in closed cablecars. This was reported on the online portal Trentino. They agree to the Green Pass and other measures such as obligation of use of masks and providing desinfectant gel. They want to act now to plan security in advance to the season.
 
 

Continue reading “Will the Green Pass be the new normal on the South Tyrolian and Aosta Valley lifts this coming season?”

Our trip to the mountains for our summer holidays.

Our trip to the mountains for our summer holidays.Photo: The view just in the entrance to Lago d'Arpy- the view of the Catena di Monte Bianco.

Our trip to the mountains for our summer holidays.

After such a hectic year with Covid, and thinking that travelling should be easy by now, we got to know we were wrong. At least, we managed to do our trip to the mountains. Here I will recount how it went on our summer holidays.

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

Preparations. Our trip to the mountains for our summer holidays.

We had mixed messaging from the UK government, that we could travel and then not. This topped up with the Italian and French governments changing their minds weekly.
Getting onboard the Eurotunnel from Folkestone to Calais. Our trip to the mountains for our summer holidays.
Getting onboard the Eurotunnel from Folkestone to Calais. Our trip to the mountains for our summer holidays.
The last week before travelling, when I’ve thought that we were going to get finally away, we had to do the following. First, if double vaccinated, the French were allowing us to come in without quarantining. This was the same for the kids of fully vaccinated adults. The only thing that was not clear is if our boy of 12 needed or not a further test. Just in case, at the last moment, we went to get an antigenic test at a drive-through at the O2 in Greenwich. There was a line on the advice stating that self-administered tests did not count. At least, we could use antigen tests for both Italy and France.
I’ve bought a series of tests for the whole family for France and then for Italy. I was afraid of not being able to use one for both destinations, as we were sleeping over in France. Then France changed the advice that those needing tests from the UK, they had to have their test up to 24 hours prior travelling. So only my eldest son (maybe) required a test to travel into France.

Continue reading “Our trip to the mountains for our summer holidays.”

Our Christmas holidays in the mountains with the kids and our dog! Courmayeur, Aosta.

The boys waiting for the funicular of Val Veny to take us back to Courmayeur. Photo: The-Ski-Guru.

Our Christmas holidays in the mountains with the kids and our dog! Courmayeur, Aosta.

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

So now that we are happy homeowners of a lovely flat in the mountains, we’ll be there on every possible occasion. To do it cheap and more environmentally friendly, we drive with a full car going through the Eurotunnel and sleeping over in Chaumont on our way up, staying at the Ibis Chaumont Centre Gare, and in Reims coming back.

And as leaving your dog in care in the UK is super expensive, more in Christmas, we decided to take him with us and try our ski holiday with a dog! We have already travelled with him when we went to equip the flat in October, and I’ve realised, that if Ozzy had his sleeping crate, he is fine. That is his safe place. So, I’ve ordered one in Amazon to be delivered in Italy. That made the trick.

We arrived in Morgex with some foul weather. Still so pretty that we went out every day! Our Christmas holidays in the mountains with the kids and our dog! Courmayeur, Aosta.
We arrived in Morgex with some foul weather. Still so pretty that we went out every day! Our Christmas holidays in the mountains with the kids and our dog! Courmayeur, Aosta.

When we go and stay over in a hotel, there is no way that Ozzy will stay happy at a hotel room, even with his best filled bone. He starts crying first and the noise turns into a bark- therefore that is not an option! We have learnt to go to eat in two halves. Usually my husband and my eldest take Ozzy for a walk and I have a quick dinner with my youngest, and then we go to the room and stay with Ozzy while they have dinner. Same in the morning for breakfast. It is not ideal, but that seems to work fine for us.

The trip to the mountains is always amazing. I was expecting it to be much busier, as we’ve left the day after school broke up, on 21st December. I was glad to see that the route was pretty empty, even if France was having transport strikes at the time.

We arrived in our home in Morgex, just 10’ down the road from Courmayeur, in the Aosta Valley, with good light and with time to bring all the goodies we were bringing to the flat to finish decorating it. As the car was really full, we will need to bring more boxes in our next February trip.

Continue reading “Our Christmas holidays in the mountains with the kids and our dog! Courmayeur, Aosta.”

Spot on: Gran Baita Hotel – Courmayeur

Gran Baita Executive room with outside pool with jacuzzi. Photo: Gran Baita Hotel Courmayeur. Aiguille du Midi vs Punta Helbronner – which one you should do?

Spot on: Gran Baita Hotel – Courmayeur

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

The Gran Baita Hotel is a four starts hotel, part of the Alpissima group of hotels in the Aosta Valley. It is located in Courmayeur, 15 minutes from the Armani funicular, 10 minutes from the Via Roma, the elegant pedestrianised shopping road in Courmayeur, and five minutes-drive with a free hotel transfer to the Dolonne gondola.

It is located in a quiet and elegant neighbourhood in Courmayeur, with amazing vistas of the Mont Blanc chain, and the characteristic Dent de Géant peak. I totally recommend it as a lovely hotel to go for your ski or summer holidays.

Restaurant of the Gran Baita. Spot on: Gran Baita Hotel – Courmayeur
Restaurant of the Gran Baita. Spot on: Gran Baita Hotel – Courmayeur

Decoration is all in the Valdostan style, with lots of wood and cosy interiors. The hotel has 54 well-appointed rooms, many of them with balconies offering magnificent views of the Alps, as Courmayeur is located just by the Mont Blanc and the views everywhere you look at, are amazing! From the regular rooms, many of which are being renovated for the next winter holiday, to the Executive Rooms, with a wooden rustic-chic feel and mini private outside pools with jacuzzi, you have a choice for your stay. Some of the rooms are connecting, to house families. I’ve recently stayed in Room 222, that does not look towards the pool, but has a lovely feeling, with two balconies, and you can see the Dent de Géant while in the balcony. Completely loved my room. Travelled with my mum and she said she wants to buy it!

The in-house restaurant is lovely decorated in wood with oozes cosiness and offers local and international dishes.  La Sapiniere, is their newest addition, a stübe, typical from the Alps, serving Valdostan cuisine in a super cozy ambiance. The American bar has a welcoming fireplace and a spacious terrace with amazing views of the Mont Blanc and the surrounding mountains.

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A trekking day with the family in Cervinia.

The sky allowed us to see for a bit the Monte Cervino, later the clouds covered it. Photo by The-Ski-Guru.

We were lucky this summer to stay for a week in Courmayeur, and we had a couple of days out going on different trekkings. I’ll write about our week in Courmayeur later. We decided to visit Cervinia one day with the family. From Courmayeur to Aosta, you have 40’ through the national route or 30’ through the A5, and then you continue to the east and for half an hour to the north through a windy road you arrive to Cervinia. All in all is about 1 ½ hours away.

 

Arriving into Cervinia through the last tunnel. Photo: The-Ski-Guru. Family day in Cervinia
Arriving into Cervinia through the last tunnel. Photo: The-Ski-Guru. Family day in Cervinia

Arriving in Cervinia

The first thing you start seeing on the road is the majestic Matterhorn, which is called Monte Cervino in the Italian side. The Matterhorn/Cervino is surely the most photographed and known mountain in Europe, not the tallest- that is the mighty Mont Blanc (just between Courmayeur and Chamonix)

I have been a couple of times in Zermatt now (and will write a must-read guide soon), but the first thing that called my attention, is that the Cervino’s peak seems much bigger on this side. This is, I was told, because you are at a higher altitude in Cervinia than in Zermatt, so you are just more near the peak.

The boys with the Monte Cervino in the backdrop. A trekking day with the family in Cervinia.
The boys with the Monte Cervino in the backdrop. A trekking day with the family in Cervinia.

Continue reading “A trekking day with the family in Cervinia.”

A mysterious skier who has resurfaced from the Matterhorn Ice has been identified thanks to Facebook.

Monte Cervino/Matterhorn, where Henri Joseph Leonce Le Masne was recovered and finally identified thanks to Facebook.

Story from Corriere de la Sera. – A mysterious skier who has resurfaced from the Matterhorn Ice has been identified, thanks to Facebook. He has disappeared in March of ’54: he was called Henri Joseph Leonce Le Masne, a 35-year-old Frenchman. He was identified with a DNA test. His niece Emma, who lives in Paris, replied to the Italian police’s Facebook appeal

The skis that were recovered with the Ice man that came from the cold.
The skis that were recovered with the Ice man that came from the cold.

There is a woman, Emma Nassem, who is driving through the streets of Paris; it is the beginning of July, a month ago. Suddenly the radio hears about a strange cold case, an almost impossible mission attempted by the Italian police, which on its most popular Facebook page, Agent Lisa, launched an appeal on June 29: “Help us to give a face and a name to the skier found in 2005, at 3,100 meters above sea level, on the Matterhorn, in Valle D’Aosta ». Here, we will say, what are the social media: a post that in a few hours becomes viral made the record of shares and rebounds throughout Europe.

Continue reading “A mysterious skier who has resurfaced from the Matterhorn Ice has been identified thanks to Facebook.”

Taste of Courmayeur will start on January 26th and go through the 28th at the Courmayeur Mountain Sport Center

Taste of Courmayeur is starting this coming weekend! Photo Credit: Taste of Courmayeur and Centro Servizi Courmayeur

From January 26 to 28, the Italian resort of Courmayeur hosts an amazing gourmet event: Taste of Courmayeur where people have the chance to sample the best delicacies from the Aosta Valley and Italy as a whole with a beautifully scenic backdrop, enhanced by lights and music.

Taste of Courmayeur - 26-28 January 2018 at the Courmayeur Mountain Sports Center.
Taste of Courmayeur – 26-28 January 2018 at the Courmayeur Mountain Sports Center.

For this year’s event at the Courmayeur Mountain Sport Center, six renowned chefs will prepare their most refined and delicious dishes in a special tasting menu. The 24-course menu will be accompanied by a rich programme of activities – it’s a gourmet dream for foodies, a great festive occasion, and a unique opportunity to attend food and wine tastings and workshops with top chefs. The three-day festival aims to make haute cuisine accessible to everyone – each of the 24 dishes is priced between €6 and €10, with good-quality wine and beer as an accompaniment – and there’s also a kids’ area for young foodies.

Continue reading “Taste of Courmayeur will start on January 26th and go through the 28th at the Courmayeur Mountain Sport Center”

Courmayeur is opening the ski season this Saturday 25th November

Courmayeur is opening the ski season this Sunday 25th November. This is a partial opening on the Checrouit side of the mountain with the following lifts:

-Funivia Courmayeur (tram)

-Telecabina Dolonne (cablecar)

-Telecabina Checrouit (cablecar)

-Seggiovia Maison Vieille (chairlift)

-Seggiovia Gabba (chairlift)

-Seggiovia Bertolini (chairlift)

The trails that will be opened are Internazionale and Lazey.

There is a unique rate for this Saturday 25th of 25 EUR. Note that this rate does not include access to Skyway.

Photo: Gughi Fassino – Courmayeur Mont Blanc Tourism Office

Lifts for this opening date have to be purchased at the Telecabina Dolonne on or before this Friday 24th November – the ticket office opens from 9:30 till 12:30 and from 14:30 till 18:00.

More trails and lifts will be opening soon!

More information at http://www.courmayeur-montblanc.com

http://www.courmayeurmontblanc.it/lang/EN/homepage

The Armani Funivia takes passengers to Plan Checrouit from downtown Courmayeur- Photo: Gughi Fassino

Photos Courtesy of Courmayeur Mont Blanc Tourism Office – 

Featured Image: Photographer Gughi Fassino

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You can read how the Panoramic Mont Blanc lift fell to the ground.

Welcome to this blog – all things Mountains!

Photo credit: Antonio Furino - Courmayeur, Courmayeur - Ski Italy, Ski Aosta, Mont Blanc, Italy at its Peak. Courmayeur Mont Blanc Funivie is opening two new slopes with amazing panoramic views.

Photo Credit: Antonio Furingo – La Suche – Courtesy Courmayeur Tourism Office

The idea behind this blog is to put all the news we think are interesting about the mountains all year long – now getting ready for this winter! We like to post inspiring pictures and blogs that will help you dream and plan your perfect vacation.

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