Chambery is a great airport to fly into for the Three Valleys in the heart of the French Alps the airport is a great alternative to Geneva airport and you can reach many of the best known ski resorts in France.  From Chambery airport Chalet Kimberley is only 1.5 hours in transfer time so is a great alternative to Geneva, Lyon and Grenoble where the transfer time from these airports is at least 2.5 to 3 hours. 

More tour operators and schedule airlines are using Chambery.  In the ski season you can fly from 9 UK airports on a schedule flight.  Also there is no city to go through when leaving the airport you are straight out onto motorway networ to the Rhone Alpes.

That is why VNCI airports who manage Chambery airport has invested and continues to invest a reported €10m over the next few years.   Currently, the airport terminal has been completely renovated and redesigned to enhance passenger flow with better baggage management for departing passenger which will in turn reduce waiting times.  The customs ad security areas have ben reorganised with expansion in the boarding areas.  Duty free shops have extended and are now in a different area.  All toilets have been renovated to improve passenger comfort.

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Great news as there are now 4 new routes this coming season into Chambery from London Stansted, Manchester, Norwich and Doncaster.  The flight into Chambery commence on the 16 December.

British Airways are flying into Chambery from London City and Flybe are flying from Cardiff, Birmingham, Doncaster, Exeter, Manchester, Southampton and Norwich.

We have all flight info our our Travel page.

Ski Powder Pigs are exhibiting at this year’s Telegraph Ski and Snowboard Show at Battersea Evolution, Battersea Park.  mini-logo-5-h78_1

Held this year over the half term holidays, 27 – 30 October, this is a great family day out and includes, a 50ft snow kicker, pro-rail jam, live music, live comedy, authentic alpine food, boot fitting clinic, Eis Haus experience and lounge, ice skating, kids’ corner, Freestyle comp and much, much more.

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foodThere are many brand exhibitors so you can check out the latest clothing and gear.  There are many experts on hand to give advice on biomechanics, mountain talk theatres, specific country areas featuring many resorts from those countries, tech and innovation zone.

Ski Powder Pigs Stand 616 is to be found in the Independent Chalet area where small independents are exhibiting their accommodations.

Come find us……

Are you excited about the new Winter Season?   We at Ski Powder Pigs are always looking forward to the new Winter Seasons and we that in mind we are offering one free space when the Flyer is booked for one group.

What is fab about a catered chalet holiday at Ski Powder Pigs is that  a group consisting of family and/or friends can come together and enjoy the most attentive and flexible service that we have become renowned for at Chalet Kimberley.  Let us take away the stress – we will cater, clean, advise, organise, pamper and host you affording each and every guest the best holiday experience.  Added to that you can experience all of this in the largest linked and the most totally awesome ski domain in the World that is the Three Valleys.

 

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If I didn’t run a chalet I’d love to experience a chalet holiday at my most special time of the year – Christmastime.  Of course the most obvious reason people love to holiday in a catered chalet in the beautiful Three Valleys over the Christmas holidays is that it looks like what we all imagine Christmas should look like right from when we are young.  The picture in our imaginations is of white iced capped mountain tops, pretty snow covered pine trees nestling around wooden chalets their internal lights twinkling in a dusky night sky.

Catered Ski Chalet Accommodation in the Three Valleys

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Then the company you keep who come together to join in the celebrations of this festive time of year.   It may be a family group or a group of friends all under the same roof, sharing a cosy abode, being wined and dined and enjoying daily mountain pursuits in a most beautiful environment.  Vacating the normal routine of daily life is a special thing but at Christmastime this vacation of the ‘norm’ holds a greater warming experience just because of the festive activities and the hope of peace held strong in the hearts of everyone particularly during this time of year.

Christmas-Banquet-Table-15Of course, being away from home over Christmas you may think that you will not experience a traditional Christmas.    Holidaying  in a catered chalet in the French Alps doesn’t mean that at all.  On the contrary, lovely traditional ski chalets offer warm and cosy living spaces with roaring log fires, candlelight, great festive themed sustenance with all the trimings, beautifully decorated Christmas trees, crackers, presents, festive tunes, super festive activities in the main resorts for your entertainment and great service by your chalet hosts.

What more could you ask for to experience a most memorable Christmas holiday in a Winter Wonderland ?

 

How about turning your yearning for that early season mountain adventure on empty pistes with great early snow into a reality?

This coming season we are teaming up again with TDC Ski Development Centre in Meribel to offer early season ski clinics aimed at good skiers who want to ‘tune up’ before the season starts.  The course will be run in Val Thorens and we have two weeks available – week commencing Saturday 26th November (Val Thorens opening week) and  Saturday 10th December 2016

tdcski_logoThe course will run for 5 x 3 hours morning sessions and will include video analysis each morning before the tuition.  The course will be run by BASI4 qualified coach.   It will be aimed at red/black run skiers and will incorporate an all mountain course including piste performance, variable terrains and can be tailored to the group’s requirements.  The course will be run for a minimum of 4 and a maximum of 8 per group.

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The accommodation will be provided at Chalet Kimberley which sleeps 15 people in en-suite room and is located in Le Bettaix a typicaly Savoyard village just below Les Menuires/Val Thorens.

Ski Powder Pigs

The package will include a full breakfast each morning with cooked option, afternoon cake at the end of the ski day, 3 course dinner with wine (for 6 nights, 1 chalet night off but the chalet can provide a 2 course meal with wine that evening for an extra €20 per head), use of the hot tub and free WIFI and transport to Val Thorens once in the morning and a return to the chalet once at the end of the afternoon.

Information regarding travel and transfers is offered on our website and the early season ski clinic package price is £499.00 per person.

To make an enquiry/booking please e-mail info@skipowderpigs.co.uk or telephone Kim or Graeme on 0044 770 212 3883.

 

 

Since reporting back in May that work had started on the new hi-speed chairlift in Le Bettaix I can now tell readers that all the new pylons are in, the start and end stations have bee constructed as well as lift operators’ offices.  The start (officially) is the other side of the river – so on the right side and the end station is just by where the green (Violette) meets the blue (Gros Tougne).  How fab this will be for putting Le Bettaix really and trul on the map.  This truly pretty typically Savoyard village will hopefully now develop with it’s own restaurant/bar(s), a small grocery shop and perhaps a gift shop and we hope very much that ESF decide to bring a small office down to the village so that lessons can start from the village instead of having to get to Les Menuires to start.  Having said that, we don’t want to be the next La Tania – the village needs a little more amenity and we have a large contingent of self caterers so a grocery shop would be good.  Also the amount of accommodation has grown and other amenities would be good for those who don’t take part in snow sports but just like to holiday in a winter alpine resort. So come on all you investors with innovation – lets see what you come up with !

LIFT

Three Valleys = Le Bettaix new lift works

Then what other fab news for this awesome area that is the Three Valleys – well there is a new piste that is currently being created off the Montalever lift in the Bruyeres sector of Les Menuires.  It will cross the road by a bridge and head down passed Refuge Chez Pepe Nicolas to join the Boulevard de Cumin so that you can then access the Plan D’eau lift which was new last season.

PISTE

Three Valleys – new piste in Bruyeres Sector of Les Menuires

The lift companies strive constantly to keep updated, maintained and create our fab lift system and pistes – this is good news for all of use – tour operators, the resort and the tourists that visit this amazing ski destination.  Long may the Three Valleys thrive.

It’s finally arrived a new 4 man hi-speed chairlift in Le Bettaix in the awesome Three Valleys ski domain.  We’ve been waiting 9 years for this privilege so this is great news for the village and for the whole of the Three Valleys ski domain.

Lift Station being demolished

The village of Le Bettaix is a typical Savoyard hamlet, very pretty with the River Doron running right through the centre. It’s more tranquil than the main resort of Les Menuires but will now benefit from a hi-speed lift dropping off in the heart of the main resort – what a perfect mix.

Taking down old pylons

The lift company in the Belleville Valley, Sevabel, invest much into the lift system as do the other two lift companies across the Three Valleys thereby keeping it up to date, accessible serving all four corners of this incredible ski domain.

The work is coming along very nicely – old ski lift pylons ad ski lift station have been taken out, new chairs and other parts of new lift have been dropped in by 2 very busy helicopters.  Large diggers have now moved in and started to chisel out the land up alongside the piste.  Lots of movement around the site, pile driving and surveyors testing the land.

Helicopters bringing in the new chairs

This new lift with boost the village with new investment coming in giving Le Bettaix a new lease of life with hopefully a restaurant/bar, maybe a small shop, perhaps a ski school sub-office. It’s all very exciting.

The new Le Bettaix lift will be delivered for the commencement of season 2015/2016.

Well at last, we’ve only been in the Three Valleys for 9 years and for all that time we’ve been waiting for the new Bettaix lift to be installed – and now it’s happening.

Four days ago Sevabel began demolishing firstly the pilot hut at the top of the Bettaix lift.  Next all the pylons were extracted and taken away.

Demolished Pilot hot at top of Le Bettaix lift

Then on Wednesday all day lots of helicopter action – two craft up and down from Le Bettaix to the top of St. Martin 1 lift to collect the 3 man chairs and attachments and bring them back to Le Bettaix to store on racks, ready for connection to new cabling and pylons for the new Bettaix lift.

Helicopter work bringing new chairs to store.

Quiet now in the village ready for the next tranche of works – we guess the next stage will be drilling holes for the new pylons.

Looks like the new start point will be the other side of the bridge – bit less of a walk then.

Then the route of the new lift is a bit of a mystery still, save to say, that it will go directly into the main resort of Les Menuires but we are guessing slightly above the resort centre somewhere on the Gros Tougne (the blue run back to Les Menuires).

Before it was one slow 2 man chair from Le Bettaix descending up just above Levassaix.  Then you had to ski down a track and down to the Tortalet lift.  Tourists didn’t much like that little ski because it was generally well used and mostly hard packed and/or bumpy with lots of beginners straddled across it.

Now look at us fab fast 4 man detachable chairlifts straight out of the village into the main resort – a hub which feeds straight into the heart of the largest linked ski domain in the World that is ……  The Three Valleys/Trois Vallee.

So as snow-sports become even more popular and cool footage in films in magazines and on social media are more numerous; joe public is becoming more experimental and adventurous in the alpine playground.

When I first started out skiing was a pastime for the rich and famous and snowboarding wasn’t even invented.  It was much about embracing the wonderful alpine environment and culture as anything else.  As time moved on and as more people discovered this amazing sport so fashions both in terms of clothing and the actual equipment used to get down the mountain changed – from stretchy ski pants and mountain jumpers to fluorescents. Two metre long and think skis were replaced by carving skis which made descending for the holiday skiers efforts.

Snowboarding found it’s way into the market place and was seen as very cool, if a little strange having both feet bound to a thick board which was best manoeuvred in powder snow.

Various disciplines of fast competition skiing was brought to us by sports channels on the TV and snow sports became so popular that there is now a Winter Olympics every 4 years.

Pushing the parameters for more and more snow sports enthusiasts is great for the industry and back-country skiing/riding has  taken over the last few years.  Those doing so need to make sure they equip themselves with all necessary tools and safety gear.

There are many brands on the market offering safety equipment for back country including air bags, aqualung systems, shovels, transceivers and probes.

Three Valleys Off-Piste Skiing

It is all well and good buying this specialist equipment, which can be very expensive, but the most important thing is to learn how to use it. There is no use having ‘all the gear – with no idea’ !

There are many avalanche safety courses available and it is prudent to book on one of these if you intend to venture into the back country.  There are also many off-piste trails, glaciers and tree routes in the French Alps.

Quite an expensive past-time but there is no price on your life!

Sporty types who take their summer holidays in the French Alps have been doing so for many years in the Portes des Soleil, a selection of 13 resorts within the French and Swiss Alps, between Mont Blanc and Lake Geneva.   The resorts open in summer offering many alpine activities for holiday makers and the resorts are busy.

However, for sporty types looking for an amazing environment yet untapped by such an influx of summer holiday makers, where extensive and amazing alpine activities are on offer – the Trois Vallees (Three Valleys) has it all.  Well known indeed as a winter destination as it can still boast that it is the largest linked ski domain in the World, it is largely unknown by the UK market as a summer destination.  Such a shame since it has a selection of varied resorts some which have grown around long established mountain villages and some which have been purpose built for the ski industry. 
Each has it’s own individuality with traditional restaurants, atmospheric bars, interesting gift shops and quaint coffee shops.  At various times in the summer months markets and gift fayres are set up in the streets for tourists to browse around and purchase some of the locally made products from the area.
Chez Pepe Nicholas on the way to Val Thorens
More importantly for those sporty types are the array of alpine activities on offer.   Lifts have special attachments for taking mountain bikes up the mountains and once up there the bike trails are virtually untapped where you can cross from one valley into another.   There are also mountain bike trails and rides at lower altitude around lakes and along rivers.  
Les Menuires
Road biking is also popular in the resorts of the Three Valleys and there are many a Col nearby which will be of interest to hardcore road bikers made famous by the Tour de France.
Along the valley floor those sporty types can try their hand at kayaking or white water rafting where you can arrange full instruction and hire of all the necessary equipment.
White water rafting
Walking up in the high mountains is a very popular pursuit where you can sample many mountain refuges offering varying sustenance from very basis to a more sophisticated repas. 
Refuge Plan de Lombardie
For those who do not wish to through themselves down a mountain on a bike with fat wheels, or experience the thrill of the white waters or any other extreme summer mountain activity, there are many more relaxing ways to enjoy your summer holidays in the Three Valleys.  
There are leisure centres offering the most amazing treatments, which spas and swimming pools. There are great golf courses in the Three Valleys.  You could perhaps, ride up into the mountains on your own horse for the day with a picnic on board or simply sit with a good book and enjoy the brilliant alpine summer weather and listen to ………. nothing !
Sit back and …. breathe in Les Menuires
For the children there are activities abound to keep them interested, thrilled and happy.  Basket ball, volley ball, football, archery, trampolining, swimming, mini mountain biking, suspended mountain activities; including rock climbing, via ferrata, zip wires all under the instructions of guides.
Mountain Adventure in Les Menuires
So you see, the Three Valleys has so much to offer that yet is unexplored by the UK tourist and it is time to find it and try something different – you will be amazed !