Megève, FR 02/04/16

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Megève, FR 02/04/16

Postby jamesdeluxe » Sat Feb 06, 2016 1:49 am

The next stop on our Savoie Mont Blanc whirlwind tour is Megève, which was developed in the 1920s around a gorgeous medieval village. Reportedly, the mega-rich Rothschild family was upset that the French didn't have anything to rival Switzerland's St. Moritz in the winter wonderland department and voilà: France's very first purpose-built ski resort. For decades, it was the go-to hideout of the aristocracy and while the 3 Vallées' Courchevel long ago took over the title of the country's "top resort" (whatever that means -- the ski area with the most Michelin restaurant stars?), Megève is still where the discreet big money goes. Calling it an old-world Sun Valley is about the only ballpark comparison.

We arrived in the midst of a storm and skied all Wednesday afternoon, until almost 5 pm. Because of the pounding snow, it didn't make sense to go to the higher elevation above-treeline part of the ski area, so we stayed "local" in Megève on the twisty trails through the forest. The 6+ inches of fresh snow that had already fallen felt great after the hardscrabble encountered the previous afternoon on the upper part of La Clusaz. We were accompanied by a local instructor named Christian who had us howling the whole afternoon with humorous anecdotes and his deep well of Megève-related trivia.

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Heading back to the hotel:
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One of numerous mentions of local folk hero/ski superstar Émile Allais:
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A couple hours later, we walked through the atmospheric pedestrian village on our way to drinks and dinner at an excellent crêperie, of which there are many:
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The Town Square

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Megève is the perfect place to find the $2,500 winter coat that your wife has had her eye on:
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Next morning on the way to the lift:
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Check out this 1980s Poma gondola in which three passengers in front face forward and three people in back face the rear.
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Then you cross the valley in this new tram:
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And it's time to ski:
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We eventually made it over to the highest part of the interconnected ski area, Mont Joly, where there was lots of untouched snow. You'll have to trust me on this because my wife bolloxed up most of the photos she took of me in knee-deep untracked.
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Re: Megève, FR 02/04/16

Postby Tony Crocker » Sat Feb 06, 2016 3:00 pm

jamesdeluxe wrote:Check out this 1980s Poma gondola in which three passengers in front face forward and three people in back face the rear.

The relatively new gondola out of the Hilton at Niseko Village works the same way. It was the nicest lift there IMHO and one of very few where you didn't have to drag fat skis inside because the ski holder slots on the outside were too narrow. I'm guessing this might be an issue many places in the Alps too.

Nice to see James is finally getting the goods after a tough start.
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