Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Alpe d'Huez France; Second Stop in 2009

After 25 years of European ski trips you would think Ski Masters would run out of new places to go. Not so. For 2009 Claudeen Lyle has added Alpe d'Huez to the itinerary. I can't pronounce it but it sounds like a wonderful area. Here is the scoop on the place, compiled from web sources:

Alpe d'Huez is often overlooked when people think about French resorts, which is a shame as it has all the attractions of doorstep skiing in modern apartments combined with a picturesque old town.

These two areas drift seamlessly into one another with lifts going up in a 360-degree pattern, while a clanking people mover, like a string of dustbins dangling from a wire, connects through the middle.

Alpe d'Huez sits at the top of the most famous stretch of road in the Tour de France, 21 hairpin bends over 14km (9 miles) at a height which tends to counter the effects of the south-facing slopes.

The 245km (152 miles) of runs go up to a glacier and down to a couple of old villages, with much in between for everyone from ski-together families to experts.

Mountain facts
· Resort elevation: 1,860m (6,100ft).
· Top elevation: 3,320m (10,890ft).
· Base elevation: 1,120m (3,670ft).
· Number of lifts: 84.
· Number of runs: 123.
· Average annual snowfall: 7.6m (26ft).

Where in the world?
Alpe d'Huez is situated in the Grandes Rousses mountains in the French Alps, high above the Oisans Valley.
Hit the slopes
The main slopes run in a long line across the resort, the bottom runs ideal for beginners. But go higher and you can find far more - the Sarenne run from the top of the glacier, at 16km (10 miles) the longest black run in Europe, or the off-piste terrain from the glacier which funnels through the legendary Tunnel on to the front face and more steep powder.

Intermediates can cruise for miles, taking long sweeping runs down to the villages of Vaujany, Oz and others. Even only moderate skiers can take the gondolas which criss-cross the slopes, leading to a feeling of achievement. The Signal and Signal de l'Homme areas, almost self-contained, are good for family excursions.

The lift pass also includes skiing in Les Deux Alpes and Serre Chevalier, trips frequently arranged by package tour reps.

Beyond the slopes
Your lift pass also includes entry to the magnificent outdoor swimming pool and Olympic-size skating rink, as well as the exceptional sports centre with indoor and outdoor pools, tennis, squash, climbing wall, golf range and more. You can parapente (parachute off the mountain with an instructor), and try ice driving along with more usual pursuits such as tobogganing.
Resort Facts
Green Runs (Beginner): 31%
Resort Height (m): 1860m
Blue Runs (Easy): 26%
Total Piste: 245 km
Red Runs (Medium): 28%
Lifts: 84
Black Runs (Hard): 14%
Ski Pass (approx.): 192 Euro

Tennis, Squash, Gym, Aerobics, Swimming, Shooting Range, Climbing Wall, Concerts, Cinemas, Library, Museum
Ice Rink, Curling, Walking Paths (cleared), Tobogganing, Snow-shoeing, Microlight Flights, Sightseeing Flights, Ice Cave, Off-Road Vehicle Tours, Hang-Gliding, Paragliding, Ice Driving School, Snowmobiles, Quad-Bikes

About the Resort
"Alpe d'Huez has been growing, since 1936, at 1869 meters above sea level Grandes Rousses massif south face. The Pic Blanc, reaching 3330 meters at it highest point, offer an impressive and reviving panorama, ranked 3 stars in Guide Michelin.
At 1 hour from Grenoble, and only 4 hours from Paris or Geneva, Alpe d'Huez is a multiple activities area to share between family and friends.
In addition to its sportshop, ready-to-wear shops, grocery stores, bars and restaurants proposing, for some, Oisans specialities : crozets, farcis, ganafles, gratin dauphinois, triees, caillettes, and more, Alpe d'Huez has equipped itself with structures completing the site and giving to holidaymaker indoor or outdoor, sport or cultural activities.
For the day after you have finished skiing there are a number of restaurants and bars to keep you entertained throughout the night whatever your taste in cuisine or night life!" - Alpe d'Huez

For snow report, click here.