Kevin and I celebrated our 14th Wedding Anniversary this week with our first day of skiing and a ski lesson. Our last time on the slopes was on our 10th Anniversary in Val Thorens just up the road and before that was New Zealand in 2014 for 2 days and then 20 years ago so we are pretty rusty. We had already picked up our rental ski equipment so headed up the funicular to the slopes, it is both French and English school holidays this week so it is pretty busy. The sun is shining and it is clear blue skies as we ascend on the chairlift for the first time. However, we are accidentally on the wrong lift 😳 so we do not get the short easy blue to start us off but a longer one from the top of the longer lift. However, we soon find that the blue runs here are really well cared for, despite no snow since 17th January and they are wide, well sign posted, not too tricky plus when we set off we had it mostly to ourselves.
The majority of the runs in Les Arcs are intermediate blue runs and Arc 1600, which we reach on the funicular is joined by lifts to the three other resorts of Les Arcs at 1800, 1950 and 2000, plus several others at La Plagne and beyond. We are here for two weeks and it is clear we have lots to explore. We expected to stay pretty local in 1600 and take a steady start to our skiing. However, we then meet Jean-Christophe “JC” our instructor at 12 and for the next two hours he pushes that comfort zone of ours right out of shape and he whips us right up to Arc 2000 to the most fabulous views via two lifts then across the valley on a third lift and back down to Arc 1600 two hours later, hot, sweaty, but exhilarated having made a week of progress in that time compared to what we would have done on our own.
The next day is the day we have been waiting for for some weeks when Kevin’s daughter Alex and nephew Sean arrive. We are up early for our routine of long dog walk at first light, breakfast, shower, change and funicular, so we get in a couple of runs before their arrival at lunchtime. We pop back and fetch the girls for a full reunion and we are all so glad to greet them at Arc 1600. The team is reformed! Back in 2008/2009 when we sailed across the Atlantic, Alex was only 14 and too young to fly on her own. A great solution was found via her cousin Sean flying out with her. Sean himself only turned 18 with us in Tenerife on his first trip out. In this way, during our year away Alex managed to spend 10 weeks with us in the Canaries, Caribbean and US and the four of us made life long memories together. So it is wonderful to have them both join us together this week. Though they are a little older this time and less malleable as they have refused to write the blog for me like I made them do last time 😂🤭
Sean and Alex’s first afternoon was filled with getting fitted out with ski gear and catching up. Later, we got to watch all of the instructors doing a torchlight procession down the mountain at 18:30 complete with open air disco on the snow and strobe lighting. There was quite a crowd and a great atmosphere as we saw the patriotic red, white and blue LEDs winding down the mountain in the dark. Though Kevin was regaling us on how using LEDs was a cop out and he did the same with a flaming Roman candle years ago on his first ski trip 😂 We did have fun though watching all the instructors gathering in the bar prior to the run, trying to read their name tags and work out which was Roland, Alex and Sean’s instructor for the next day. A couple of the younger instructors spotted the attention and I think were rather disappointed not to be teaching the gorgeous Alex and Sean when we explained the reason for interest 😉😃
This morning we met for Sean’s first ever day of skiing and Alex’s first in 20 years, since she, Kevin and I went to Aviemore on her 9th birthday. Kevin and I provided some rudimentary lessons on putting on skis and snow ploughs until their instructor Roland arrived at 12 (only lunchtime lessons were left available on this busy week). As they went off Kevin and I retraced our steps from our lesson up to Arc 2000, this time getting to stop for photos of the view 😍.
When we all met for lunch after their lesson Sean and Alex were exhausted from having to walk sideways up the hill to do their first snow ploughs for the first hour of their lessons in the strong sun. However, they had progressed to the chairlift by the end and when they went out with me after lunch for a couple of runs did really well. Sean, very impressively for his first day, made it all the way down the green run without a spill, despite having to navigate 15 tiny tots sprawled all over the slope on their lesson. Alex managed the whole day without a fall, despite a 20 year gap. However, Kevin and I know how to motivate these foodie Penney’s and we have told them about the fabulous restaurants up on the slopes on the blue runs, so there is some serious concentration going on to improve their skills 😋😂
After skiing we head into Bourg-Saint-Maurice to see the Thursday parade and start the first of Alex’s cheese missions to have fondue. The parade was slightly underwhelming consisting of only three figures though their costumes were fantastic, however the terrine and fondue apparently made up for it. The perfect end to a really great day 😍
2 thoughts on “First Days Skiing 😁⛷ – Bourg-Saint-Maurice, Savoie, France”
Sounds so fabulous Jo. Doesnt it feel wonderful to be so fit and active. Living your best lives. Keep on adventuring. Lots of love Shelke. Thanks for sharing these wonderful adventures.
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Thanks Shelle, we do our best 😍 Everyday we realise how lucky we are to be doing this. We fully intend to make the most of it whilst we are able. Best wishes Kev & Jo xx