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A snowHead
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Location: snowHeadLand
Resort: St Sorlin D'Arves
Country: France
Domain: Les Sybelles
Author: Colin B
Date: 11th - 18th February 2006 & 10th - 17th February 2007
Our holiday: My 10 year daughter, myself and her mother (my ex). An experiment in keeping my daughter happy which worked out OK.
Website :
Basics : It's in the Maurienne Valley, 2006 - I drove down taking it slowly with overnight stops in Troyes and virtually on the doorstep in Aiguebelle avoiding Saturday traffic and gaining an extra days skiing 2007 - Similar to 2006 but stayed in the valley town of St Jean de Maurienne and caught the bus up after my awful descent the previous year.
Lift system : Les Sybelles is a huge area of 310 km. However there aren't really any fast chairs and there are quite a lot of drag lifts. The link run out of St Sorlin was very bare and bumpy at the start of the week (and closed at the end) and links out of Le Corbier and La Toussuire relied on drag lifts which got very congested. Although it was half-term week the lifts in St Sorlin itself coped well without any horrendous queuing (2007 was busier than 2006 but queues were tolerable).
The terrain : Blacks are virtually non-existent and there are not too many reds either (and some of these were closed). The blue runs from the top down to the village were good and must have been around 5 km I would guess. At the end of the week Les Blanchards was fantastic with at least 18 inches of fresh snow and virtually no one else on it (perhaps it was the fearsome drag lift which lifted me off the ground which put them off). Longe Combe back from the other resorts to St Sorlin has a great reputation, it was included in a list of "best runs" in Dail Mail Ski & Board last year although it was very bare the couple of times I tried it.
The snow : 2006 - For the first half of the week it was pretty bare and icy as there hadn't been any snow to speak of for 3 weeks. Then it snowed virtually non-stop for the second half. 2007 - Snow was as OK as anywhere in France. Snowed before we got there and another 2 days whilst there.
Off-piste : Not my bag but some of the pistes had 18 inches of fresh snow and were virtually untracked at the end of the week. Higher up was closed due to avalanche danger at the end of the week. 2007 - Quite a lot of off piste activity during the week although there was a death in an avalanche in the next resort of Le Corbier that week also.
The resort : The village is full of character, quite small with plenty of old traditional buildings. Most of the newer ones are also pretty sympathetic. A few restaurants and bars but nightlife seemed pretty sleepy, not for party animals.
Food : Ate in most of the time but tried La Table de Marie which was very popular and lively and served up mainly traditional Savoie fare which was pretty good. Had a couple of lunches in La Bergerie at the top of one of the chairs which served a good spag bol.
Accommodation : The apartment we rented was excellent and the locals we rented it from were lovely. It had tremendous views of the mountain and pistes and was in a good location. In 2007 I also tried out the wood burning stove in the apartment which was very cosy and dried our clothes off well.
Costs: Far cheaper than the more popular resorts. I booked my apartment directly with the french owners and for half term it was only 600 euros (and would have slept 6). It wasn't your usual french box , it was around 50 sq m on 2 floors in a pleasant small development. A 7 day area pass was around 175 euros. The ex had ESF lessons which seemed pretty good and were only 88 euros for 6 days. Prices had not increased much in 2007 and my daughter and I had private lessons with the ESF which were good value given my daughter's progression
Conclusion: A great place, not swamped with Brits. Not particularly challenging best suited to intermediates. I've been 2 years now, maybe time for a change next February though.

St Sorlin D'Arves Resort Report Feedback Thread

Last edited by A snowHead on Tue 20-02-07 19:23; edited 1 time in total
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