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|Resort: La Rosiere
Domain: Espace San Bernado
Author: Frosty The Snowman
Date: 19-26 Feb 06
Our holiday: 9 Adults , 9 kids all between 8-11 yrs old, 1 child has cerebral palsy
Website : http://www.larosiere.net/uk/
Basics : On the French side of the Italian border. In the Tarentaise Valley on the opposite side to Les Arcs 2000. We flew into Lyon with a 2.75 hr transfer. Touchdown to coach departure-55mins.
Lift system : 2 new high speed chairs have helped to drag the resort into the 21st century. Why they did not install a cover on the main Roche Noire chair is a mystery as a cold in your face wind is often present. A fairly long drag links into the Col du Petite San Bernard area where there are some excellent covered chairs and some superb skiing. The resort would really benefit from another high speed covered chair up to the Fort as this is widely used and can become monotonous. The area used to be dominated by drag lifts but these can now be avoided if you require. The La Thuile system is perfectly adequate with all the main lifts being high speed chairs, with the exception of a gondola.
The terrain : Most of the runs in La Rosiere are on one side of the mountain with a fairly constant pitch and are nearly all fairly easy reds. All are fairly interesting but my favourite is Blanchot which is always deserted but offers great bends and contours. The main fault with this side of the mountain is that the Choucas piste, which is the main returning piste from the Italian side. Choucas crosses 8 other pistes and a drag lift and unless you are careful can result in collisions.
Green pistes are handy for the learners at resort level and there is a lovely easy fun run called Le Foret in and through trees.
The 2 main lifts are well placed for the 2 main blue runs: Tetras runs from the top of the Roche Noire chair back down to La Rosiere and is an excellent first run of the day confidence builder. 5 Piste go from the top of the Roche Noire with the Chevreuil black being the trickiest with a steep mogul section at the top. Another lovely blue, Gelinotte, runs from the top of Les Eucherts Express back down to the Hamlet of Les Eucherts.
The jewel in the crown of the La Rosiere side are the 2 runs that end up at the lowest point of the resort. Marmottes runs from the Roche Noire top down to the Petite Bois and drops about 800 metres down a very nice red. The run from the Roche Noire top down to the slow Ecudets chair is about 1150metres and can be done by either black or red in the mid section. The Fontaine Froid red is one of the nicest runs I have ever done. All though trees, it bends through various pitches and fun curves, an absolute cracker wither a lovely drink stop at the bottom to prepare you for the slow chair up. Great fun can be had on "Foret" through the trees back to resort, and you just try getting the kids OUT of the snowpark. Superb skiing for the better intermediate off both the lift in the Col, and some stonking blacks through the trees down into La Thuile. Black 5 and red 6 being my favourite way down.
The snow : For 4 days before we arrived the whole domain had heavy snowfalls. On our first morning we had brilliant sunshine. The snow was magnificent but the off piste was a bit battered in La Rosiere by stong winds and warm temps on the first day. Higher up in the more secluded Col area even I managed a little of piste and the snow was simply fantastic. The pistes were in magnificent condition apart from the at the end of the 4th day (of consecutive sunshine) & 5th day (strong winds and poor viz), where theybec\me a little hard packed in places. The right conditions and some good grooming saw them perfect again on the 6th and last day.
Off-piste : There are loads of off piste opportunities in the domain. The hardest and the easiest are in the Col area where the easy stuff that our party did was moth convenient and safe. La Rosiere is very lucky with avalanche danger, but the Col is first to close when the risk is high. No need to say where the off piste is, just go there and look to the side of the piste. Our party had loads of fun messing about in this area, but if you want the serious stuff then hire a guide. Heliskiing is available but the one in our party that fancied it was having too much fun without the whirlybird. Strong winds and highish temps had left lots of snow off-piste back in La Rosiere but it had wind blown crust on the top and was not pleasant.
Ski School Evolution2 We had experience of David last yr and booked him again this. I will say no more than all the kids loved him, looked forward to lessons, and they all improved dramatically. We gave him 8 kids of varying abilities for 2.5hrs each morning. The cost was â‚¬100 per child. After the first morning he suggested splitting them into 2 groups of 4, with one better than the other. He then alternated the groups for 2 days each and then took them all again on the last day.
The resort : The village itself is fairly basic, If weather was atrocious and all was closed then there is little to do. What it does have is a wonderful setting, on a ledge of a bend in the Tarentaise valley. The views are spectacular. The local workers have to be the friendliest I have ever met whilst skiing facilities, whether it be instructor or bus driver. We had with a boy with Cerebral Palsy and he can ski as long as he is held from behin=d bu a strong skier. This worked amazingly well. One day he â€śhit the wallâ€ť and arrived at the â€śoffâ€ť bus stop with his mum just as the bus arrived. The driver motioned for them to walk 50 metres to the â€śonâ€ť stop, When mum srated to walk to the stop he saw that the boy was tired and stopped the bus, jumped out of his se3at and helped them on to the bus, seeing them to a seat before continuing. This type of attitude was reflected throughout resort. There is a nice selection of good eating houses but Apres does not seem lively. One of its great plus points, and why we chose to return is the quietness of the slopes. Perfect for those with families who donâ€™t want to live with the fear of collision all day. 9 adults, 9 kids, and not one collision. Larosiere is also quite an attractive village.
Food : In La Rosiere there are 2 mountain eateries, Traversette, and Plan de Repos, both of fairly good value and very good grub. At the base of the slopes in LR there is McKinleyâ€™s (formerly Le Petite Relais) and One next door (?) both again have similar food. Best food IMHO is Lâ€™Ancolie which is a short walk from the base of Les Eucherts chair. Great grub and a lovely terrace. In the Col, Roxi's ( a little unorganised) and The San Bernado Bar (soup & pannini) are both great value. Lo Riendet on piste 7 is supposed to be excellent but we never made it. Top oâ€™ the pops however is Le Rascard which is in La Thuile which serves the best pizza in the world (7 pages of pizza). Can be tricky to find but worth the effort. Lunch for 10 inc drinks â‚¬130. O superb little Italian Restaurant.
On our chalet staff night off we ate at Le Petite Danois in LR. Again very good value â‚¬8-10 for a dish or pizza.
Accommodation : Chalet Quatre Saison with www.skiolympic.co.uk. First stop on the ski bus so always empty. Lovely chalet, a little dated in place but a very authentic feel about 80 metres to the bus stop. Bus every 15 mins, Very punctual. The best staff and food we have ever had. This is praise indeed as we have had some wonderful staff & nosh. Charming, friendly, helpful, and all superb at their jobs. Danny a qualified chef gave us some wonderful 3 course meals. These were NOT your bog standard Spag Bol but quailty meals, wonderfully cooked by an experienced chef.
Costs: ÂŁ494 per person including flights and transfers. Full chalet booking included shared room discounts, and erly booking discounts
Conclusion: All 18 agreed that this was our best ski jolly ever. Everything was in our favour: The right resort, the weather, the chalet and staff, the ski school, the tourists. La Rosiere is not without its faults, but for a family holiday it can be simply magnificent.
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Last edited by A snowHead on Tue 9-05-06 8:58; edited 1 time in total