Resort Report - Avoriaz
by Trudy Lymer
We spent a lovely week in Avoriaz, plenty of pistes, and enough snow (unlike other resorts at the same time). The snow, although not plentiful, was adequate for lots of piste skiing if we stayed high, and, as the area is so vast, this was easily managed. Unfortunately, there was not much off-piste to be had, and the avalanche flags were flying all week.
The runs are varied and are graded somewhat lower than in other resorts, in fact some of the blues would have been blacks in other places. Even I enjoyed the blues (I always say, "I'm not going down one of those horrible blue paths"), but these were certainly not blue paths, some were steeper and mogully (is there such a word?) and others gentle and wide.
I would say that there is plenty to suit all grades of skier here. In fact we made friends with some beginners who were having a whale of a time and can't wait for the next time. John particularly enjoyed the steep moguls, his favourite being the very famous Swiss Wall.
On this occasion we chose a self catering holiday as most of the accommodation is such, and really enjoyed it. We had been advised by others that the Falaise area was the most convenient to stay in (because Avoriaz is a car free resort and this is the nearest to where the transfer coaches stop), and indeed it was, but the skiing is probably convenient from everywhere as a drag lift and a chair lift go right through the main street.
As a non-French speaker, I was unaware that Falaise means cliff, until one day I was on a chair lift and looked to the left and saw our apartment block perched on top of the biggest cliff in the world (well it looked like it to me). I had to remember when looking from the balcony just how high it was (hope the woodwork is good!!) from above it didn't seem as high.
Lunches are well provided for, with everything from a small snack to a wonderful meal (we passed on the latter - skiing was awaiting us). The prices were fairly reasonable and the new "camel back" type of rucksack was well used for drinks (saves having to stop for re-hydrating when it's very hot).
Avoriaz (a very original resort in the alpine zone) was purpose built to blend in with the mountains, and it certainly does. From a distance it is very hard to spot and I thought that this blending in with the environment very good, but others are not so keen as, actually in the resort, it appears a lick of varnish wouldn't go amiss. It's a personal choice.
I certainly enjoyed the holiday and I think John did (he didn't complain too much about waiting for me!!). But I won't mention the times I waited for him - or did I? (It's up to you to decide).