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A snowHead
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Location: snowHeadLand
Resort: La Tania

Country: La France

Domain: The 3 Valleys

Author: magic_hat

Date: 15th - 22nd March 2008

Our holiday: A group of 10 people - mixed ability and mixed disciplines.
We were: 2 advanced skiers, 2 advanced intermediate skiers, 1 intermediate skier, 1 complete beginner skier, 1 good intermediate boarder, 1 basic intermediate boarder and 2 beginner boarders.

Website: has everything - weather reports, webcams, advice, tips etc etc.

Basics: Flew from Manchester to Chambery and then a short and easy 1.5 hour transfer to La Tania.

Lift system: Excellent lift system - fast, easy access to anywhere within the network and no real queues to speak of while i was there.

The terrain: We stuck to the Courchevel area lift pass and found the slopes here enough to entertain us for a week. Slopes range from difficult blacks, mogully reds through to long, lazy, tree lined blues. There was also a StopZone (with a speed gun to measure how fast you're going), a SnowCross (a mini, winding, banking track), a SnowPark, 2 Fun Areas and an off piste bowl/natural half pipe thing.

The snow: It snowed the first two days, then glorious sunshine the next three days, then snow the last day. Conditions were close to perfect, with about half a metre of powder on the last day!

Off-piste: Plenty of off piste opportunites - ranging from "safe" off piste (like i try and do) right through to the hardcore stuff with shovels etc.

The resort: The village of La Tania does what it says on the tin. It's cheaper than staying in any of the Courchevels, but has everything you would need on a skiing holiday. Bars (with Happy Hour at the Ski Lodge selling Vin Chaud for 2€50), restaurants, a cash machine, general store, etc etc. It's not chocolate box, but has been sympathetically designed and built.

Food: We ate lunches in La Tania a few times - Snow Food and the Creperie at the foot of the main slope both do good, reasonably priced food (e.g. 8€ for a pizza at Snow Food and 4€50 for a gallette at the Creperie). I also lunched at the Ours Blanc in 1650 (at the foot of the slopes) a couple of times - their Goats Cheese and Honey Panini is awesome (and only 6€). Didn't eat up high in the mountains at any point, mainly because he tended to head down to meet people from lessons etc, but also because we saw some of the prices on the menus!

On the Chalet staff night out, we ate at Le Farcon, the Michelin starred restaurant in la Tania. Thoroughly recommend it, very good food. Excellent in fact. They do an A La Carte menu, or two set menus (48€ for 5 courses or 95€ for about 12/14 courses). I had the biggie and it was fantastic.

Accommodation : We stayed in Chalet Chardon, owned and run by Ski Activity. It's joined with Chalet Mouflon next door (a couple of our group were in here). Chardon is a fairly basic chalet, but has everything you need for a skiing holiday. There's no TV, no jacuzzi or sauna and the rooms are small and simple, but who cares? I was warm, comfortable, fed good food and unlimited wine and had a big lounge to chill out in. The chalet hosts (Bern and Elizabeth) were helpful and friendly and introduced a couple of us to the joys of tobogganing down a blue run on just a piece of small plastic sledge. Thankfully they recommended we wear our helmets.... good job really.

Lessons I didn't actually have any lessons, but a few people in my group did so i thought i would write a bit about them. One girl prebooked her beginner Ski Lessons on the internet with ESF. She had never even stood on a pair of skis and ended up in a group with a big fat man (who was out of breath just putting his skis on) and a middle aged german lady. She advanced a lot during the afternoons practising with her husband, so felt that the lessons were a bit like Groundhog day.

The others in their group all booked their lessons in resort with ESF. They booked SnowBoarding lessons for 4 and each paid 160€ (I think). ESF initially put them all in the same group but one was quickly dropped to a beginner group. Another person was blatantly too good for the group and he asked to be moved up - ESF explained that because La Tania is only a small resort, the ski school does not always run Advanced Snowboarding lessons and would not run a course just for him. His options were to stay in the group he was in (which was useless as he was learning nothing) or he could have a private lesson. One. He argued and complained and got his money back. I think the lesson here is to prebook to make sure you get what you want, and consider travelling to Courchevel for your lessons where you may get more variety and better groupings.

Costs: Chalet plus flights plus transfers was £540 each. Ski/Board Carriage was £15. Lift pass was 168€. Happy hour at the Ski Lodge was 4-6pm with beers at 2€. Lunches worked out at about 7€ each on average a day (but eating on the mountain was a LOT more).

Conclusion: A brilliant holiday, I loved it. Great snow, great skiing, brilliant. I want to go back tomorrow.

La Tania Resort Report Feedback Thread

When was the last you heard of someone on their deathbed saying "I wish i hadn't wasted that much money on skiing holidays"?
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