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Location: snowHeadLand
Resort: Valmeinier 1800
Country: France
Domain: Valmeinier/Valloire
Author: oasis13

Date: 24-31 January 2005
Our holiday: This was a school ski trip for 50 students
Website : http://www.valmeinier.com/
Basics : We flew to Lyon and had a 4 hour bus journey to get to Valmeinier - we got there at about 11 o clock at night.
Lift system : On the Valmeinier side of the valley nearly all of the lifts were express chairlifts - we never experienced any big quees. There were a couple of older charilifts. On the valloire side of the valley there were some very good lifts but also quite a few drag lifts. These were not ideal for beginners. It wasn't that easy to get to Valloire from Valmeinier.
The terrain : The Valmeinier side of the valley had mostly blue pistes which were great for beginners and it also had a few trickier red pistes. Not one black piste at the Valmeinier side though. The red run into Valmeinier 1500 was great fun! The Valloire side was much bigger and had a bigger variety of pistes - featuring a few tricky blacks. There were a few green pistes which i didn't enjoy, they were narrow and not very steep at all - sometimes poles were needed to keep going forwards! Apart from that, they were in good condition and graded accurately. It was my first time skiing, and i found the resort great. My friends who were in the advanced group also enjoyed it immensly.
The snow : It snowed solidly for the first two days which made it hard to ski, but for the last 4 days we had clear blue skies with loads of fresh powder! It was very cold - normally between -10 and -25 degrees!
Off-piste : We didnt go off piste but we saw plently of people doing it and it did look good. The masses of snow we had probably aided it. There were lots of great off-piste oppurtunities just next to the piste also.
The resort : The village of Valmeinier 1800 is purpose built and very boring if you're looking to party. The advantage is that most hotels can be skiid to and the lifts are central.
Food : There werent very many mountain restauraunts - nothing compared to Austria anyway. They looked quite good, but we didnt actually eat at any of them.
Accommodation : We stayed at the hotel 'Les Carettes'. Its major plus point was the location. It was on the side of the piste so in the morning we could just ski straight down to the lift and in the afternoon we could just ski straight to the hotel. The rooms were basic but adequate and the food was okay. We enjoyed the ping-pong and pool tables!
Costs: Ski pass for the whole area is £100. Everything in the supermarket was very expensive apart from Volvic water which was amazingly cheap! 80 cent for two litre bottles!
Conclusion: I really enoyed the holiday and the snow made the skiing amazing! The village was a bit boring - i would recommend Valloire over Valmeinier.

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