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Whats Inside...

Welcome to the 3rd edition of the Cool Bus Onboard Magazine! This year we have concentrated on packing the magazine with as much useful information as we can. To this end you will find six different sections inside covering all of the main resorts in the Tarentaise. In each you should find all you need to know about the resorts, what's new, where to go for food, drinks and other activities and what's happening throughout the season.

2 - Give Up The Day Job 6 - La Plagne Resort Guide 9 - Les Arcs Resort Guide

We really hope this will help you to get the most out of your holiday. Please feel free to take the magazine away with you so you can use it as a reference during your stay. If you do visit any of the establishments mentioned, don't forget to tell them where you found their details!

12 - History Of The Tarentaise 14 - La Rosiere Resort Guide 18 - Sainte Foy Resort Guide

On top of this we still have our usual selection of top drawer articles covering a variety of topics ranging from mountain biking to boozing to history. There's even a section at the end to keep your kids quiet for a few minutes while your onboard. Something for everyone!

20 - Tignes Resort Guide

Have an awesome holiday with bucketfuls of snow and we look forward to seeing you on the way home or again next winter!

33 - Cool Bus Competition

25 - A Week Of Cool Bus At The Mavic Trans-Provence 30 - Val d’Isere Resort Guide

34 - Are We Nearly There Yet? 36 - Après Alcohol 37 - 3 Vallées Resort Guide 40 - Working For Cool Bus

Credits Editor Lauren Little For the online booking of airport transfers with instant confirmation please visit our website -

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Contributers Jemma Harrison, Bryan Watt, Rob Forbes

Front Cover Photo By Andy Lloyd Design Ryan Mitson

Copyright Cool Bus SARL - All material in this magazine is strictly copyright and all rights are reserved by Cool Bus SARL. No part of this publication may be reproduced in whole or part without written permission of the publishers. While every effort is made to ensure all prices and data are correct at the time of publication, Cool Bus cannot be held responsible for editorial errors.


Owner of Bar Mont Blanc in Vallandry, Les Arcs It was on a chance visit to Vallandry that Tracker and his soon-to-be business parter skied past a boarded-up hotel. A cracking location at the end of one of the most popular runs in Les Arcs, coupled with a lively atmosphere, good food and great drinks meant it soon became one of the most visited bars in the area. A success story, surely? Not without blood, sweat and tears.


Like most people do, I got disillusioned with the 9-5 back home. So I threw it all up in the air and fled to the snow to work seasons. I did anything from ski guiding, bar work, resort managing and repping. Looking back now, it’s very easy to ‘do a season’. Running a business in France is a different story! It's hard yards and a lot of sacrifices along the way. The red tape surrounding anything you want to do is unbelievable in France. It’s been a crazy journey with problems including violence, xenophobia, court cases, harassment, near bankruptcy, floods, fire, car crashes, coach crashes, a knife siege, burglary... but that was a bad week! If you didn’t laugh about it, you’d cry. The most bizarre problem I encountered has got to be getting fined for accidental ‘cheese fraud’ once. It turns out the French Police are quite specific when it comes to how much Reblochon goes in to the classic Tartiflette dish. Even so, you have to decide what matters more to you and take the plunge. Skiing in some of the world’s best terrain, the freedom of running your own business and getting to wear shades every day is what counts!


Look around you at work and imagine yourself in 10, 20 or 30 years. Ask yourself if that's where you want to be. If yes, fine, you're lucky. If not, then any move no matter how risky is better than the alternative, or as C.S.Lewis put it :

“ Make your choice adventurous stranger Strike the bell and bide the danger Or wonder, till it drives you mad, What would have followed if you had ”.



Owner of mobile massage business “Massage Me” based in Les Arcs

The draw of the mountains came quick and strong for Anna and her husband Rich - after falling in love with the Nancroix valley they took a spur of the moment decision to buy a place. Once there, the inevitable “oh dear what do we do now” came along. Massage Me was born.


When there’s a mortgage to pay, it’s amazing how entrepreneurial you become. Having always worked in the sports industry back home, I knew a bit about massage and how vital a good one is for performance, rehab and relaxing. So I did some research to make sure there was a demand, got the relevant qualifications and got my head down. It took a lot of leg-work initially and there were moments of 'why am I risking this' but the positives have always outweighed the negatives for us. If they didn't we would move on. That said, we’ve had our problems. Obviously the language barrier is a biggie. But again though, if you put the effort in, it is something that can be overcome. Also it's very seasonal work which comes in waves, therefore you need to be prepared for the quiet times. Finding your market in the summer is always tricky. Ultimately though, waking up in the mountains every morning is something we’re grateful for every day. We love both the winter and the summers, there’s so many outdoor activities it’s impossible to be bored.


Do your research first and have a clear picture of what you are going to do in all seasons, and not just the winter. Oh, and pack a few boxes of Dairy Milk.

La Plagne Resort Guide

The 2014 Annual Report on Snow & Mountain Tourism lists La Plagne as the most popular ski resort in the world! Part of the huge Paradiski area, linked to Les Arcs, La Plagne also forms one of the largest ski resorts in the world. The resort is made up of a number of high altitude, purpose built, ski in/ski out villages plus a few smaller traditional farming villages including Champagny-en-Vanoise, Montchavin-Les Coches & Montalbert. All of these provide us with hundreds of kilometres of on and off-piste skiing, some great restaurants and bars and many more off-the-slope activities. What more could you want?




In Plagne 1800 you’ll find La Mine Bar ( which, as the name suggests, has a mine theme! The bar is decked out with old lights and mining tools in an English pub style which is kind of a novelty in these parts! It’s a really cosy, dimly lit place, as you’d expect from a mine. Spitting Feathers ( has fast become the place to go in Plagne Bellecôte not least because the guys there provide a shuttle service to pick you up and drop you back to your accommodation!

If you’re in Plagne Centre, the resorts busiest village for nightlife, be sure to check out Igloo Igloo ( in Galerie du Pelvoux which provides tasty cocktails and a funky atmosphere, think penguins and polar bears in an Igloo shaped room! Also in Plagne Centre, popular with seasonnaires and young holidaymakers alike, British run Scotty’s Bar ( is the kind of place you go for après and end up leaving in the early hours of the morning… 6



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D O O F N I A T N U O M Le Plein Soleil ( on the pistes of the Montchavin-Les Coches sector, this cosy restaurant has long been a favourite for mountain food stops. With both traditional French food and French/German Alsace influences, notably the Strudels, it’s well worth a visit. At the bottom of the half-pipe just above Plagne Bellecote is Les Chalet des Colosses restaurant. Known for its good old British post box and varied international menu, it’s a good spot for lunch on the terrace which over looks the Bellecôte snow front. On the pistes above the village of Champagny, right on the edge of the resort of La Plagne and overlooking the pistes of Courchevel, you will find an excellent self-service restaurant with adjoining snack bar called Le Roc des Blanchets. The food and the views are pretty impressive.

La Plagne Resort Guide

EVENING FOOD Up in Plagne Soleil the best restaurant in the whole resort in most peoples opinion is Au Coin du Fer although perhaps foie gras and bone marrow is not to everyone’s tastes… In most French ski resorts there seems to be a restaurant called Le Refuge and La Plagne is no exception. Serving traditional and local dishes, the one in Plagne Centre is an excellent choice with a friendly, welcoming atmosphere. Le Grizzli is another favourite for French specialities in Plagne Villages. Over in Montchavin-Les Coches, in the lower village of Montchavin you will find the Hotel de Bellecôte ( which has a superb restaurant that is popular with locals and holidaymakers and is known for its local dishes.


ESF ( is the largest ski school provider in La Plagne. Oxygene Ski School ( is also a favourite in these parts too. Olivier at Evolution 2 ( in Montchavin-Les Coches speaks excellent English and will provide some great off-piste guided adventures should you so wish. El Pro ( is a small independent school in Belle Plagne which has been established for 20 years. If you’re over in Plagne 1800, Reflex Ski School ( guarantees no more than eight people per group.



Course des Dahus : 2nd January Night ski m ountaineeri ng race star ting in Monta lbert Bobsleigh & Ske The World C leton World Cup 26th Ja up B nu Olympic trac obsleigh event is to be ary k and promis held on the es to be a th rilling watch Red Pom Po m Night – NYE Every year th eN more spectac ew Years Eve festivitie s get better ular in Plagn and e DJs and dan cing until th Bellecôte with firework e early hours s, of 2015 Mix Mounta in Festival : 26th – 30th Four days o January f live music, DJ’s, BBQs, dancing and m ixing compe cocktails! If titi you love mu Mix Mounta sic then you ons, in ’ll love Ice Climbing Wo Technical an rld Cup : 5th – 7th Feb ruary d Speed Ice Climbing co Champagny mpetition in -en-Vanois e. Shredding w ith Kevin Ro lland : 11th Local La Pla &1 gne legend, Champion fr 2th February medal winn eeskier and er provides Oly a showcase along with o of freestyle mpic ther pro fre sk ill estyle skiers Colosses ch . Head to th air lift to w e atch Mardi Gras C arn Held in Cham ival : 17th February pag day with stre ny-en-Vanoise the Mar di Gras is a et parades, fun face-painti loads more ng for the k entertainme ids and nt Born To Be S how : 6th M arch On the snow front in Plag ne Centre th impressive ere is an torchlit desc e n t, fireworks after party and a music filled Easter Fun : 5th Easter egg h April unt around La Plagne, th chocolate an ink chocolate d hot choco , late

La Plagne Resort Guide

O D O T F F U T S R E OTH If there's one thing you must do whilst on holiday in La Plagne then its visit the Blacksheep Igloos ( ) up above Plagne Villages. You can choose to stay the night or just eat a traditional fondue meal in one of the fully equipped 'restaurant' igloos. Prices start at € 49 for the evening meal or € 99 for the evening meal and a night under the stars in a fully equipped (think comfy cushions, furs, voluminous sleeping bags and candles) 'bedroom' igloo. New this year is their "Hot Igloo" which is essentially a heated dome complete with its own balcony and wood burning stove.

Rent a Blacksheep Campervan for your next road trip From just €69 per day Departure from Lyon & Bordeaux, France

Need an adrenaline alternative to skiing or snowboarding? How about a different form of snow sliding? Plagne Bellecôte and Plagne Centre both have ‘parks’ specially dedicated to sledging. The Eldorado and Colorado parks are open most afternoons and cost €10 for two runs. The Grotte de Glace ( or Ice Caves on the Bellecôte glacier are a little more chilled, literally! Check out ice sculptures and more, high up in the mountains.

Enjoy your next European Road Trip


La Plagne has an Olympic Bobsleigh track and you can have a go! If you enjoyed the film Cool Runnings then you’ll love the Bob Experience! Try hurtling down this 1.5km long track that has 19 G-Force filled bends…

Thanks to La Plagne tourist office for the photos.






Visit for more information or to book online Call +33 (0) 9 51 38 88 15 Email Find us on Facebook - /Blacksheep

Les Arcs Resort Guide



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Les Arcs is one half of the huge Paradiski area which also includes La Plagne, linked together by the world’s first double-decker, 200 man cable car, the Vanoise Express. Les Arcs also boasts one of Europe’s longest pistes (8km and over 2000m of vertical descent) from the top of the highest lift in resort, the Aiguille Rouge to the hamlet of Villaroger. A mixed black and red run near the top means it starts off pretty seriously depending on snow conditions but it’s worth doing if you fancy a leg burning challenge. The resort is made up of five high-altitude areas plus a couple of lower-level traditional farming villages that all have lifts running from them and pistes back down. The higher villages of Arc 1950 & 2000 have ‘ski-through’ high-streets and along with Arc 1600 & 1800, are pretty much pedestrianised. The majority of accommodation in these villages is ski-to-the-door so there’s no hiking around in ski boots and if there is, it won’t be too far. Loads of amenities in Les Arcs’s villages means you can always get hold of things you might need. The quietest of all these is Villaroger where there are only two restaurants and no shops. Not to worry though, you can easily ski over to Arc 2000 during the day to get what you might need. Staying in the Peisey-Vallandry area on the right-hand side of the resort means that access to La Plagne is quick via the Vanoise Express.

DRINKS Bar King Mad ( or BKM as it’s affectionately known is the seasonnaire bar of choice in Arc 1800 (Place de Villards). Excellent food & cocktails, DJs and Shot Roulette… Say no more! Actually, apart from happy hour(s) where buying 4 pints gets you a free pizza! At the other end of Arc 1800 is Chez Boubou’s, a popular and often rowdy little bar which attracts French locals and seasonnaires alike. Bar Mont Blanc ( can be found next to the piste in Vallandry just below the bottom of the Grizzly lift. Whether it’s something on Sky Sports you just can not miss, a game of pool, an apres beer on their sun deck or live music that you’re after, The Mont Blanc is where it’s at on this side of the hill! Down in the valley resort of Bourg-Saint-Maurice, the home of the Cool Bus, you can find the popular and lively bar/restaurant of Bazoom. Located right opposite the train station and open early until late, Bazoom is a great place to grab a coffee by day or party by night with live music nights most weeks. Its also ideally positioned for a quick beer before boarding the Ski Train back to London! Over in Arc 1950, Chalet Luigi ( is a restaurant, bar and nightclub all in one. Party the night away or just have a few quite beers and a game of pool early on.

Les Arcs Resort Guide


Like a good burger? Then La Vache (situated at the bottom of the Parchey chair lift) is a must visit either at lunch time as it is ski in/ski out or of an evening if you’re staying in Plan Peisey. Of course, there are not just burgers on the menu, we recommend trying the Falafels and Thai Curry if it’s on the menu. If meat is not your thing then the veggie burgers here are a winner too! The place is always busy (which says it all) so it’s maybe an idea to book. There’s a large, (hopefully) sunny terrace overlooking parts of La Plagne or sit inside in front of the fire. Bulle Café ( is a great place to grab a snack or a full blown fresh fish platter, just whatever takes your fancy really! Situated underneath the Arcabulle chair lift in the Arc 2000 sector, it’s right on the piste and is a dome shaped structure which you can’t really miss unless skiing with your eyes shut! Le Sanglier qui Fume (, located underneath the Mont-Blanc chair lift just out of Arc 1600, opened last winter and has fast become the place to go for lunch and more sophisticated late afternoon/après drinks with tasty bites to choose from on the menu to go with your well earned wine and beers at the end of a hard days skiing. It’s just a short ski down to Arc 1600 or the Funiculaire although depending on the light (just the light of course) it may be quite tricky!


L O O H C S I K S New Generation Ski & Snowboard School ( in Vallandry is a British run, award winning (Snowvole Ski School of the Year 2013) school that provides group and private lessons for children and adults of all abilities. You can also choose an Adventure day to explore more of the Paradiski area or book a ‘Developer’ session if you’re at an intermediate or advanced level. These days, most French ski resorts have an Ecole du Ski Francais (ESF) and as opposed to years gone by, most have English speaking instructors. It is worth bearing in mind that group lessons can often be large in number, especially during peak weeks of the holidays. Another French ski school growing in popularity in most resorts is Evolution 2. As with the ESF (, Evo 2 ( go beyond the normal ski and snowboard lessons as they have fully qualified high mountain guides if you are looking for an off-piste, wilderness adventure. In Les Arcs you can find a branch of both ESF and Evo 2 in nearly all villages across the resort. Fancy a new challenge? Try learning to Telemark with the Ecole du Ski Internationale (

EVENING FOOD In Arc 1800, BKM has to be mentioned again for its food which is served pretty much all day. Burgers, Chilli Nachos, Pizzas are all good as is everything else really! Up in 2000 the Kilimanjaro ( is popular for evening food and serves up local speciality dishes. Chez Eux has a similar sort of menu. In 1950 Brasserie Le 1950 is tipped for good food with a sleek and typical ‘brasserie’ interior, located within the Manoir Savoir residences. Chalet Luigi ( is popular with families and offers lots of pasta as the name suggests. Situated on the Marmottes piste as you enter the village, it’s a good place for lunch or dinner.

Les Arcs Resort Guide


O D O T F F U T OTHER S The Rodeo Park is a 3km toboggan run at 2000m! It’s open to kids and adults over the age of 12 years with a valid lift pass as it starts just below the top of the Transarc and Arcabulle lifts. Grotte de Glace (120m long ice caves) at the top of the TransArc bubble is a cave full of icy sculptures. Brrrr! Brand new 3800m² Centre Aqualudique in Arc 1800 will have an indoor and outdoor pool, water fountains, spa area plus loads more! It’s newly built for the 2014/15 season, is free to kids under 6 and has a three lane slide for kids and adults! The Outdoor Ice Rink in Arc 2000 is chilly fun for the family.

1 0 WHATS HAPPENING? 6th Edition of the Festival de Cinema Europe 13th to 20th December an des Arcs The winter se ason has bare ly kicked off Arcs’ most im but possibly portant show Les case is the Eu Festival for w ro pean Cinema hich Cool Bus are the Offic Supplier! ial Transport Mini-Drone Fl ight Challeng e 15 Learn how to fly the newes th December t and coolest action sports ‘toy’ in the wor Manoir Savoie ld. You could even win on e! Head to at 5pm Astronomy Ev ening 17th D ecember Hopefully the night will be clear and the shining bright stars w so the most of th that astronomy enthusiast ill be s can make e evening. 3D presentation in English an s will be give d French. n

Children’s Ch ristmas Ball 2 5th A chance for the kids to dr January es s up and and Christmas wit celebrate h others kids aged betwee years. n 3 and 12

Big brand new news for 2014/15 – the snow front in Arc 1800 has been transformed into a fun park on snow with a leisure area that is guaranteed to keep the youths happy, and adults too! A new bubble lift called the Villards (which has replaced the chair lift of the same name) which is set to run until 7.30pm every evening, services a luge track (dedicated sledge run for young thrill-seekers), a beginners area and ‘discovery run’ with gentle slopes for those less confident and an Aqualudique Centre. All this with a fully integrated sound and lighting system! More changes are to follow in Les Arcs for the 2015/16 season, infact the work is on-going with even more new lifts to come!

Thanks to Les Arcs tourist office for the photos.

Red Bull Line catcher 17th – 24th Januar The most extr y eme backcoun try ski event ever! The Line in the resort catcher now , certainly attr the world’s be acts some of st freeride sk ie rs and gets in recognition fo ternational r its gnarline ss! Finger’s cr weather this ossed for the year, last year there was de little snow co emed to be to verage. o 6th Edition of the Gavaggio Monster Cros 17th – 20th s (GMX) February A ski-cross ev ent open to al l children unde 16, a lot of ti r the age of me goes into building a su for the GMX. per fun course Xspeed Tour 25th February Organised by the fastest descen dude who holds the record t of the flying fo kilometre (21 r the Xavier Cousse 2.60km/h) au, this even t gives you th skiing as fast e chance to tr as you can on y specially prep and there are ared slopes demos on how to do so. 2nd Edition of the B&E Invita ti Twenty of th e world’s best onal 12th – 13th March freestyle skie a specially bu rs co ilt super-park just above Arc mpete on 1800. Ride’n’Golf 1 6th April It is spring so there could w ell the course co uld be covere be only a little snow or d but if you li skiing this ev ke go ent promises to be fun none lf and theless.



Tarentaise ou probably don’t know this but the Tarentaise Valley, the home of Cool Bus and the ski resorts of L’Espace Killy, Paradiski, La Rosière and Sainte-Foy, is steeped in history dating so far back it was barely recorded! Nowadays the "Vallée de la Tarentaise” lies in the department of the Savoie, in the Rhône-Alpes region of France and is the valley of the Isère River.

The 2nd Punic War is the most relevant to us as it involved him marching his armies from Iberia, over the Pyrenees and the Alps and into Northern Italy. He is said to have reached the Alps around October time, just as winter started to set in, with an army of tens of thousands of men and 40 war elephants! His route apparently took him through Albertville (which is officially the start of the Tarentaise Valley), a town which we drive through in the Cool Bus en route to all of the resorts we service. Hannibal’s journey inevitably then followed the valley, through the modern day named towns of Moutiers, Bourg-Saint-Maurice then up past Séez before ascending through the Petit Saint Bernard Pass which makes up part of the La Rosière ski area where

he majority of visitors have no idea how much history this area holds, to most it is simply a valley that is home to some of the biggest and most well known ski resorts in the world. It turns out there is a lot more to it than just skiing so here comes a low-down on how the area ended up where it is today. We’ll try and cut a very long story short. Let’s start at the beginning which was a long time ago…

annibal Barca (297-183/182/181 BC) was a military commander of the Punic/Carthagninians during the 2nd Punic War. The Punic Wars for anyone (probably most) who doesn’t know were thought to be the largest wars of their time and were a series of three that took place between 264BC and 164BC. They were fought between Rome and Carthage in an attempt to gain power and land within the Western Mediterranean.

the Italian border lies. It was on this ascent that a battle is thought to have taken place when a group called the Centrones who had befriended and guided his army for two days up the valley, turned against the Carthaginians. It is said that Hannibal had been concerned they were not faithful to his cause from the outset and was therefore prepared for a fight. It was costly for Hannibal however, and he lost many men and elephants. Eventually, he and his remaining men did defeat the Romans on the battlefields of Italy but did not take control of the city of Rome which was the intended target. His journey through the Alps thoroughly depleted his army and he lost many of his siege engines and elephants and therefore eventually proved too weak, falling at the very last hurdle.

any years later, around XVIIIth century, elephant bones are said to have been found near Sèez close to a now popular mountain bike and walking trail, aptly named ‘Elephant Trail’. It’s cool to think that such history has taken place here, on the trails we ride, the pistes we ski and the roads we drive. Although there are conflicting reports about where Hannibal’s route did go, this seems to be the most conclusive although some wonder why he made such a detour so far north and through such treacherous terrain. Maybe no one will ever know but we will believe it until it’s proven otherwise!

lthough we’re concentrating more specifically on the local Tarentaise area here, it’s definitely worth mentioning a little history about the larger region of the Savoie or Savoy. Up until 1792, the area (which at the time stretched as far south as Nice and included all of what is now the French Alps) was largely self goverened. It was briefly occupied by the French from 1792 then shortly after fell back to the Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia in 1815. Following the signature of the Treaty of Turin in on 24th March 1860, the Savoie and Haute-Savoie was annexed by France again, where it has since stayed.

oll on another 60 years and the ski resorts of the Tarentaise started to develop. The first drag lift appeared in Val d’Isere in the 1930s which was then followed by a cable car. It’s thought that the rest of the valley followed suit in order to stop its decline. Young locals were moving away to find work as there were few prospects in the area due to a slump in the mining and agriculture industries. It wasn’t until 1961 though, that La Plagne (Centre) installed two drag lifts and then in 1968 Les Arcs was born in the form of Arc 1600, the first village in the resort to get a lift. Tignes was developing at this time too, during the 1960s, and its architecture reflects that. It was all the rage back then! Back to Les Arcs and in 1974, Arc 1800 was opened and 2000 followed quickly afterwards in 1979. It wasn’t until the 80s that much more of La Plagne’s villages came about and then the two resorts were eventually linked by the Vanoise Express cable car (which cost €15 million) in 2003.

Champagny-en-Vanoise was going to be joined to Courchevel but instead was attached to La Plagne in 1969.

A Doctor from the Alsace, Frederic Petri, came to the area with his Austrian ski instructor in the 1920s and discovered the area from a skiing point of view.

In 1973 the mines of La Plagne finally closed but not before 140,000 tonnes of lead and 360 tonnes of silver were extracted.

The church in the village was built in 1664.


to ri

c facts

L’Espace Killy is named after triple Olympic Champion Jean-Claude Killy who grew up in Val. He has a lot of history behind him too.

The original village of Tignes was drowned and the dam was completed in 1952.Those visiting the resort will drive over the dam, ask your driver to point it out. Considered one of the largest in the world, the Frescos or mural of Hercules were painted on the dam in 1989 by Jean-Marie Pierret. Tignes was the freestyle venue at the 1992 Albertville Winter Olympics.

The ski station was built in the 1950s. Linked with La Thuile in Italy in 1984. The famous St Bernard dog took its name from here. The Redoute Ruinée is the name of the fort on the pistes that you will inevitably ski past. It was built by the French in 1890s after a German land gain in an effort to strengthen borders. Attacks were also made on the fort by the Italians during WW2.

The Vanoise Express crashed into its docking station on the Peisey-Vallandry side during tests before it opened in 2003. Apparently the pilot “didn’t see it coming,” and it crashed whilst travelling 10 times faster than its proper docking speed! Régis Rolland brought snowboarding to Europe and is thought of by many as one of the main pioneers of the sport in the 1980s. He became a ski instructor in Les Arcs in 1981 and started snowboarding in 1982, then appeared in the iconic Apocalypse Snow movies thereafter.

La Rosiere Resort Guide



A novel place in stay in the Tarentaise valley because of its links to Italy, La Rosière is a high altitude village (1850m) that gets a lot of sun due to its south-facing position. Built in the 1950s, it is a purpose-built resort although it holds a lot of war history - near the Col de la Traversette you’ll ski past the old border fort which was built to keep out the Italians and Germans many years ago! As for the skiing, La Rosière alone is a relatively small ski area, perfect for beginners because of its gentle slopes, beginner areas and plateaus. Intermediates and advanced skiers will definitely want to buy the Espace San Bernardo pass because there’s more challenging terrain over the border and down towards La Thuile. You can also find some good areas of off-piste which don’t get tracked out as quickly as they would in other more popular resorts.

G E T YO U R FA C T S Linked with the Ita


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150km of pistes 19 lifts in La Rosiè re area which rises to 39 in the whole Espace San Bernar do Skiing from 1176

m to 2640m

D O O F N I A T MOUN When staying in La Rosière a trip over to La Thuile in Italy for lunch is a must. Even though it’s only a couple of chair lifts away, La Thuile is a proper Italian village and serves up completely different food and wine to the traditional French resorts nearby, think heaps of home-made pasta, proper pizza and Tiramisu plus a shot of Limoncello to wash it all down. Expect to be stuffed on your ski back to France!

Part of the Espace San Bernardo area which is predominantly m ade up of red runs so excellent for intermediate skie rs Resort opens 13th December 2014 an d closes 25th April 2015 Brand new 6-seat er Plan du Repos chairlift for 2014/15 Lift pass price - €1

94/6 days (Espac

e San Bernardo)

Nearest airport – Chambéry (123km ) but most popula Geneva (165tkm) r

Try La Clotze next to the Chalet Express chair lift for a convenient lunch on the mountain and also Maison Neige ( for a special dining experience in an old military barracks, right out in the middle of nowhere. Maison Neige is a ski lodge with 12 bedrooms but the restaurant is open to all and has a warm fire-filled atmosphere and awesome views over the snow. Maison Carrel ( is worth a visit too for its beautiful interiors. In our personal opinion, some of the best pizza ever tasted comes out of the snack stop Pizza Al Taglio ( in the village which serves excellent deep-pan pizza slices, whole pizzas plus other fast food options and if you’re lucky. The nice Italians in there may give you a free slice to try too. This is a friendly, convenient and fast place for lunch or dinner. Back over in La Rosière be sure to try L’Antigel ( situated off the Tetras piste. It is thought of by most as the best mountain restaurant in the area. Le Plan du Repos ( up there in the wilderness (at 2100m) has spectacular views of the surrounding mountains. It is possible to walk here from the village of Les Eucherts as it’s located on the piste just above.

La Rosiere Resort Guide

DRINKS Not renowned for its nightlife like nearby Val d’Isere for example, La Rosière is a quieter destination for a holiday but there is a good little selection of bars and a nightclub or two should you want to ruin your next mornings skiing… Le 1850 opposite the Tourist Office in the village centre is a cosy little bar which serves tapas to enjoy with a good glass of vin. Free WiFi is on offer and there is often live music too. Over in Les Eucherts village, Le Skifood which is located within Les Balcons residences is a popular spot. There’s a games room too so you can enjoy a game of pool with your beer or whilst waiting for a snack or a take-out pizza. For late night partying, also in Les Eucherts, is the Moobar Night Club. Open for après and onwards into the night, this large space turns into a ‘disco’ with DJs and is open until 4am. As well as being a great place for some quick ‘pub grub’ Le Comptoir ( can be a lively bar of an evening. There may be a DJ playing après-ski too.

EVENING FOOD There are some lovely restaurants in town whether it’s traditional French mountain specialities, local cuisine or just a burger you’re after. Talking about burgers, Le Comptoir ( is a good choice and is super child-friendly. There are always a few establishments in French resorts that are known for their cheesy delights and in La Rosière for these you should head to the La Turia, Le Genepi or Les Marmottes. If you’ve eaten too much Tartiflette at lunchtime and just need something light or you simply just want a crêpe then Crêperie Le Pétrin is the place for you as that’s all you can get! Sweet or savoury, eat in or take out, they are delicious!

Finally, as with its Val d’Isere namesake, Le Petit Danois ( claims to be ‘No.1 party bar in La Rosière’. It is certainly one of the busier après and evening watering holes in resort. There’s live music every Monday, Thursday and Friday, food served all day and its open until 1.30am every morning. When the sun’s out, there could be a BBQ on the go too!

SKI SC Elite-Ski ( is a British run ski school in the resort that can provide private lessons and then group lessons through the ESF ( There is also an Evolution 2 ( and of course, you can book directly through ESF La Rosiere too.


La Rosiere Resort Guide



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Snow shoeing and local area hikes are popular in and around La Rosiere as there are a lot of pretty chapels, landmarks and history. Check out our article on the history of the Tarentaise Valley in this very magazine! Tarentaise Tours ( will organise day trips to a variety of interesting sites and much more for that matter!






Thanks to La Rosiere tourist office for the photos.

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For après-ski activities that don’t involve drinking, La Rosière has bowling, ice-skating and the Ruitor Cinema showing English speaking films (occasionally) so there’s no shortage of stuff to do. Most of this is located in Les Eucherts village on the right-hand side of the main resort and only a short (free) shuttle away.



La Rosière is a great place to stay with a family and whether you have family members who don’t ski or just fancy a day off the slopes then there are loads of non-skiing activities in resort.

When you ski down the Escargots run into La Rosiere you’re actually skiing on the main road from France to Italy - Le Col Du Petit St. Bernard. Don’t worry though, it doesn’t see much traffic between December and May!







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Extreme Knitting


Sainte Foy Resort Guide





At Chez Léon, the best place to eat is on the terrace which overlooks the monstrous mountain of Mont Pourri. Warm up with a traditional dish like tartiflette, or go for gratins or lasagnes cooked in a wood oven. Brevettes is next to Chez Léon at the top of the first lift out of Sainte-Foy and offers a rustic atmosphere in a busy setting, you can’t be in a hurry during the lunchtime rush! For a quick bite and conveniently located at the top of the Arpettaz lift is the Fogliettaz Snack Hut which serves up hot food like paninis and good hot chocolate. It’s handy if you’re feeling the need for a sugar hit on the hill too.














L’Iceberg ( is conveniently situated near to the ski school and is a popular après ski bar. Serving delicious snacks too, it’s the type of après establishment that you can ski straight to and end up dancing the night away in your ski boots! You may even get carried away with the karaoke… L’à Coeur is relatively new on the Sainte-Foy scene and is already proving popular for après and evening drinks with a good happy hour and tasty food.




Sainte Foy Resort Guide

EVENING FOOD For a small resort, Sainte-Foy and its surrounding villages are full of excellent restaurants. The first on the list has to be Le Monal ( which is situated in the lower, original village of Sainte-Foy Tarentaise. An institution for 130 years, this restaurant serves traditional dishes with a twist and has a substantial wine cellar. Chez Mérie is also located out of the ski station itself in the hamlet of Le Miroir but is well worth a visit. Back in resort, La Grange is an oldy-worldy, traditional Savoyard establishment, think old stones and wood fires. Try the pan-fried Reblochon with almonds…

L O O H C S I K S For such a small resort Sainte-Foy has an abundance of ski schools to choose from and they are all within walking distance of all accommodation in the village. Your typical French ski schools in the ESF ( and Evolution 2 ( feature. There’s also Snocool ( who are a smaller operation, with English speaking instructors, who offer a few different options like freestyle courses for example.




Relax and unwind in Sainte-Foy at the Ô Pure Spa which is a serene place to escape from the hectic slopes and the cold of the winter. In fact, there is a special winter treatment called the ‘Grand Froid’ for face and body with warm oils, alternating stretches and deep movements for intense muscular recuperation. Mountain Equilibre ( is an English run company offering exercise sessions off the piste including reflexology, pilates and massage. Contact Sarah on +33 (0)687 82 33 36 for more info and bookings. For the whole family, Igloo Outings can be arranged through with Snocool. are an excellent choice for all things mountain based. Snow-shoe walks, ice-climbing initiation, bobsleigh initiation and chopper flights around Mont Blanc are just a few of the possibilities on offer to make your stay even more memorable.


Thanks to Sainte Foy tourist office for the photos.



Tignes Resort Guide



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Each ‘village’ in Tignes has its own little scene and there are busy bars in whichever part you are staying.


Starting in Le Lavachet there are a few to choose from. Just up from Tignes Spirit shop, So Bar is a cosy little place serving quality spirits and wines and with a dart board made out of YES snowboards it’s definitely cool. TC’s ( which is just a few doors up from So Bar, is really popular amongst seasonnaires and young holidaymakers and is guaranteed to be a messy affair.

Onto Tignes Le Lac and the first place of choice amongst many is The Loop Bar ( which has a great après atmosphere which continues late into the night. There’s always something going on here and the live music they provide is probably the best you’ll find in resort. The Alpaka ( is a comfy cocktail haven for après. Kick back and relax on the sofas. Monday is Champagne night! High up in Val Claret is the Coulior ( which has had a refurb and is a bit more swanky nowadays. Carefully selected wine and good beers on draught too. Open until 4am are the Melting Pot and Blue Girl nightclubs in your typical French style! Down in Tignes Les Brevières head to The Vault for après drinks and the rest! Open until 1.30am expect lots of live music, karaoke, quiz nights, BBQ evenings and much more!

Tignes Resort Guide

In Le Lac Rendez-vous is a Savoyard speciality eatery which also serves good steaks. Tignes Cuisine ( is a great little take-out where you can grab some Asian delights. The noodles and Thai curry are choice! They will even deliver to your door if you’re too shattered after a day on the hill. Le Brasero ( in Le Lavachet is a good spot for food and chilled après drinks and its right next to the main bus stop in the village so location is good for those not staying in this area. Prawn cocktail, mussels, ribs and Caesar salad make up a tasty and less typically Savoyard menu. Thought of by many as one of the best restaurants in the area, La Ferme des Trois Capucines ( is part of a working farm which adds all the more traditional Savoyard charm, you can even have a random peek at the pigs in the barn through the window inside the restaurant! The menu is not overly varied but some of the cheeses for those traditional French mountain dishes are made onsite at the farm. The steaks and snails are a must-try too. Also in Lavachet, Le Bouchon Montagnard ( serves good meat dishes, notably beef and duck and is very ‘local French’.


If you’re in Val Claret or fancy getting the bus up there to eat of an evening then head to Saint Jacques which may set you back a bit, but is well worth the cash in our opinion. It’s been a favourite with locals for a long time, maybe because it has such an extensive Belgium beer selection!

In Val Claret, right at the bottom of the slopes is Le Dahu ( which is a good stop for lunch. With a big (hopefully sunny) terrace at the top of the Chaudannes chair lift from Tignes Le Lac, Lo Soli is a self-service restaurant offering Savoyard specialities and also has a warm and cosy inside dining area. L’Alpage is also at the top of the Chaudannes lift and is a big stone, chalet-esque building where you can eat gourmet regional dishes.



You can’t get much higher in altitude (3032m) than the Le Panoramic (, a restaurant on the Grande-Motte glacier which is a real culinary treat, the stunning panoramic views are a definite bonus too. It’s pretty cool to see all of the friendly staff decked out in their traditional Savoyard berets! There is a snack bar too for those on-the-go.


Perhaps different to nearby resorts, Tignes has a genuine snowboard vibe and there are a couple of really good, snowboard only schools here so it could definitely be the place to learn. Fresh Snowboarding ( is the place to start with their innovative approach to teaching the sport. Private lessons (1-2 people) start from just £60. Or you could ‘join the Rebel Alliance’ with Rebel Alliance Snowboarding ( who run operations in both Tignes and Argentina with English speaking instructors. The guys here specialise in performance courses and freestyle and off-pistes sessions.

Back to skiing and there are plenty of schools to choose from. New Generation Tignes ( is a British run ski school that offers high quality tuition. TDC (The Development Centre) also offer a wide range of instruction from Group lessons through to individual off-piste coaching - BASS ( provide instructors with the highest level of qualifications to satisfy your every needs on the slopes.

Tignes Resort Guide



TIGNESPACE ( is a new sports centre in Le Lac which, amongst other things, offers awesome climbing facilities. Different sections of the wall are reserved for different levels with a sixteen metre high wall for the pros! The Lagoon Centre is a popular indoor swimming pool ‘complex’ that is located in Le Lac, right opposite the Maison de Tignes and next to the Tovière lift. A wellness centre, gym and fitness suite together with the swimming pool, water slides, bubble pools and water jets here and there means both kids and adults can enjoy some aqua fun. Also in Le Lac there’s Jack’s Bowling Alley which is actually in the bar/nightclub of Jack’s just next to the sports centre.

If you’re looking for something very different to add to your winter holiday experience then it can’t get much cooler than Ice Diving! This can be organised by Evolution 2 Tignes ( and involves lowering yourself through a hole cut out of the frozen Lac de Tignes, with an instructor by your side, in order to marvel at the underwater ice formations below. Day or night dives are available from €80. Sounds blooming freezing!

Eloize Circus : 24th December & 31st December This is a free show that is not to be missed as the impressive performers show off their acrobatic skills to thousands on the snow front of Le Lac. Promises to be quite a show!

1 ? G 0 N I N E P P A H S WHAT

NYE Fireworks : 31st December If you’re in Tignes on New Year’s Eve then you won’t really be able to miss the fireworks but it’s worth heading to the snow front in Le Lac to take the experience in properly and welcome the New Year in, in style!


French Moguls Cup : 3rd & 4th January Watch the best in the world tackle a bumpy strip of moguls, specially made up in Val Claret. Your knees hurt just watching but it sure is impressive

Ever tried bungee jumping? More to the point, ever tried bungee jumping on skis? Thought not because this is pretty new to the world! We must say that first of all the ‘Bun J Ride’ ( has to be seen to be believed! Located at the top of the Merles chair lift on the Lac blue run, the Bun J Ride features a 30m long ‘runway’ kicker which you simply ski, snowboard or, wait for it…sledge off! Catapulted into the snowy void and then lowered down to the ground on a zip wire, the whole experience sounds a bit tame to us. Not! There are too many music events to mention that happen throughout the season in Tignes. Be sure to pick up a programme of events from the Masion de Tignes or out and about around town on your arrival in resort.

Thanks to Tignes tourist office for the photos.


SFR Freestyle Tour : 8th-13th March Currently the largest freestyle competition in Europe and this event in Tignes is on the World Cup calendar this year so the world’s best will be here! It is however an ‘open’ event and amateurs (adults and juniors) can sign up. There will be both Half-pipe and Slopestyle disciplines The BRITS : 21st – 28th March One of the biggest events on the British freestyle calendar, held in Tignes! Disciplines include Slopestyle, Snowboard/Ski Cross and Half-pipe amongst other competitions. Open to amateurs too so have a go if you think you’re good enough!

ing An Uplift



There is no doubt that the Trans-Provence is one of Europe’s if not the world’s most exciting, passionate and toughest multi-day mountain bike events. Founded in 2009 by English turned Frenchman Ash Smith (he and his family now live at Trans-Provence HQ in Sospel) this week long race covers around 300kms of singletrack in the Southern French Alps. Starting at Camp Zero in Clamensane near Sisteron the race then heads south-east through six days of racing to finish on the beach in Menton on the Côte d’Azur. Entry into the race is by no means guaranteed and is limited to eighty competitors. These days, racers are eventually hand picked based on their experience, ability and passion within the sport. The race attracts some of the worlds highest ranked pro and amateur mountain bikers to compete against each other but also work together to both survive and enjoy some of the toughest terrain they’ve ever ridden. Cool Bus have been involved since the very beginning and act as official transport suppliers providing both vehicles and drivers. The race itself has been widely covered in the mountain bike press but here we give you a workers perspective!

CAMP ZERO Make no mistake, working the Trans-Provence is no holiday! Cool Bus staff might hold the official title of Driver but the work involves an awful lot more than that! It all starts 4 days before the racing begins when a convoy of Cool Buses leave our base in Bourg-Saint-Maurice to travel down to Camp Zero, four hours south. At the same time a convoy of vans drives up from Sospel with all the tents and equipment needed to make the travelling circus that is Trans-Provence. Everyone converges at the campsite late in the evening, the whiskey is opened and stories, tales and banter between staff old and new commence. The next morning after a few gallons of coffee we start building Camp Zero. This consists of over 100, one-man pop up tents for competitor and staff ‘bedrooms’. Five ‘event’ shelters are erected which are used mainly as recovery and chill-out areas plus a media/charging hub. Throughout the racing week we assist in the packing up and rebuilding of this entire camp (housing 80 competitors and 40 staff) along with all the luggage, catering facilities and event equipment on a daily basis. Its the job that just keeps giving!



Over the following two days drivers are tasked with collecting the racers from Nice and shuttling them to Camp Zero. There is always a buzz of excitement and trepidation at the airport and the journey back offers a chance to catch up with racers who have taken on the challenge of the Trans-Provence in previous years.

Once the final transfer vehicle makes it back and everyone has had their evening meal (which is provided by the best catering team around) rules, regulations, hints and tips are shared between Ash and the racers and with that it’s then time to retire to that small blue tent which will be home for the next week!

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The alarm sets off at 5am followed by the deafening sound of tent zips as everyone gets up and ready for the day ahead. First stop is always the kitchen tent, where the cheery catering team have been preparing breakfast for us since the wee small hours!

The most important task we perform from a racers point of view are the daily uplifts. The race route involves a total of 15,000 metres of height gain. The racers themselves will pedal up 10,000 metres of this but the remaining 5000 is achieved by loading bikes and riders into our vans and shuttling them up into the mountains. Each rider is allocated a specific uplift time and vehicle and there are two waves of forty. First the rookies who are full of nerves and apprehension. We do our best to gee them up with good tunes on the stereo and words of advice and encouragement then it’s go time! Back down to pick up the next lot. The atmosphere in the second wave is always very different as the pros and those who have raced before know what to expect and there’s usually loads of banter with the tunes cranked up to the max to get them revved up for high octane racing! Day 1 involves two such uplifts with the second one taking racers from the bottom of the now legendary “Donkey Darko” trail towards the evening camp. The size of the competitor’s smiles at the end of this stage is unbelievable! One of todays highlights from a staff point of view is this evenings campsite in the small village of Prads-Haute-Bleone where the ground is perfectly flat! When you’ve got over 100 tents to put up every little bit helps!

"Some mornings you'd wake up to race, feeling like death. If it wasn't for the morning shuttles, joking with your mates, coupled with some decent music coming from Cool Bus FM, things would have been a lot tougher. I can't even start to imagine the amount of hours/kilometres driven that week from Bry and the rest of his guys. A logistical nightmare of a week, handled with ease. I owe you guys a beer when I head back out this winter!" - Joe Bowman, Steel City Media Photo By Duncan Philpott


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Racers ride out of camp straight into a huge climb over the mountain to Val d’Allos. The quickest gets over in approximately three and a half hours, the slowest around seven... Today they will gain 1475m of vertical and a large chunk of that involves bike carrying! Ouch! We pack up the vans and three Cool Buses with trailers go straight to the midday uplift from La Foux d’Allos to the Col d’Allos. The other vehicles go to the next campsite and start popping up tents. Standard! Back in camp in the evening and Massage Me ( are pretty busy!

Photo By Duncan Philpott

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Villars-Colmars to Guillaumes

Col des Champs! This has to be one of the best uplift roads in the world. The challenge of getting a Cool Bus and trailer up this is brilliant and we love it!… Really tight hairpins one after the other, coming on relentlessly. Above the treeline the landscape suddenly turns lunar and the views from the Col are incredible. The top of the Col marks the boarder between the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence & Alpes-Maritimes French departments. Once camp is set up in Guillaumes we’re back out in the vans to do a late afternoon uplift to the final stage of the day. Another great route to drive with hairpin after hairpin on the narrowest of roads with views over to the ski resort of Valberg. Could this be one of the best driving days ever?!

“During the gruelling 6 day Trans Provence race, it is always a lovely surprise to see the Cool Bus gang pull up to the bottom of the trailhead with their bike trailers, as that can only mean one thing - we're getting a lift & we don't have to pedal up another monster mountain! They're like these quiet, helpful, guardian angels, arriving just when you feel you cannot go any further, swooping your steed from you, lifting and securing your bike onto the bike rack, when you're struggling to even hold up your hydration pack, and then when you've fallen into a deep sleep on the drive up, they're sure to revive you with some good tunes to get you through the rest of the day. When you do make it back to camp, they're always keen as to cheers you with a cold one. All I can say is Thank God for Cool Bus!” - Anka Martin (2013 Trans-Provence Ladies Champion) Photo By Sven Martin

mes to Guillaauldeblore V After the challenges of the previous days driving, the uplift up to Valberg is a nice cruise. Once the vans are loaded its back through Valberg and onto the campsite at Valdeblore but not before stopping in the village of Beuil to refuel vehicles, drivers and camp crew with diesel or coffee depending on your preference. Back on the road we drive past Roubion, a beautiful village perched on the side of a mountain that the race passes through. We also pass some of the racers (to a chorus of horn honking) who are pedalling up the road to the next stage. It’s a busy one today and again, we have to uplift at the end of the day to get all the racers back to camp in time to get a wash and a recovery drink before dinner.

Photo By Duncan Philpott

5 Y A D One Cool Bus goes out at 5.30am to give the media team an uplift so they can get a head start on the racers. All the camp crew hurriedly get everything packed up, leaving three Cool Buses free to head straight to the midday uplift from Lantosque. The convoy of vans with the tents and equipment drive up the Col de Turini. This is a stage in the Monte Carlo Rally so naturally its a pretty amazing drive! We arrive and set up at a campsite just outside of Sospel. As the racers roll into camp you can clearly see the effect of five days of tough racing - only one more day to get through.


“Racing the Trans-Provence is quite epic and you never have too much energy. We start everyday with a shuttle by the Cool Bus team, this is the beginning of the journey and it’s the last safe place before going into the wild! I really appreciate this moment with cool music, scenery, comfortable drive and some chat with the riders and drivers,” - Jerome Clementz (2013 Enduro World Champion) Photo ByJérémie Reuiller


“To me Trans-Provence is a once in a life time event, everything from the tracks, the staff and the competitors are all unique in such a special way it must take Vishnu (Indian God with a shed load of arms) or 40 odd staff to organise it. Genuinely one of the best weeks of my life, everything ran like Swiss clockwork if thats a saying and I think everybody including the staff and riders had a great time. The guys at Cool Bus are pretty cool to, not only did they have a plethora of rap music to listen to, I must of fell asleep 3 or 4 times in the shuttles and not once did I wake up with obscenities drawn on my face. Top job guys!”

Sospel to Menton

The final leg! Again, racers ride straight out of camp and climb up under their own steam to the first stage of the day “Ze Holy Trail”. We break camp and three Cool Buses with trailers head into Sospel to uplift while the other vans head straight to Menton to build camp for the last time. This year, for the first time since the Trans-Provence started in 2009, the drivers and camp crew actually manage to get to the finish area on the beach at Menton to celebrate with everyone. High fives and hashtags all round!

- James Stock (SB Gravity Team) Top Brit, 1st Amateur and 5th Overall TP 2014

Then it’s back to the campsite to get ready for our last dinner together and the all important prize giving. With a few sore heads the following morning, there's the pack down of camp to look forward to and a full day of transfers to Nice Airport but rest assured, everyone will be heading home with stories from the adventure of a lifetime.

Photo By Sven Martin

And with that, it’s time for us to hit the beach! A massive thanks and congratulations to everyone involved in this and previous years races whether working or racing, it’s always a pleasure for us to be part of this great event. Oh and if you’re interested the Mens race was won by Francois Bailly-Maitre with world enduro champion Jerome Clementz in a close second. The victor of the womens race was Ines Thoma followed by Anka Martin.



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.... r a e y t x e n n o Roll Fancy A Mountain Bike Mini-Adventure? If you’re interested in experiencing some of the best mountain biking the French Alps can offer you can find details of a variety of trips on our website We offer uplifts and day trips to a host of incredible trails in the Tarentaise valley and beyond in Italy and Beaufort. Videos of some of these are also available on our Vimeo page - Trips run from June through to October.


Val d’Isere Resort Guide


Right at the very end of the Tarentaise valley, Val d’Isere is one of the most well-known ski resorts in the world. Along with being part of the huge Espace Killy area, linked with Tignes, Val has a reputation like none other for its world class accommodation, après-ski, fine restaurants and shops. The skiing is pretty good too!


DRINKS Dicks Tea Bar ( is an institution around these parts! The debauchery has been in effect since 1979 in Val and the place is still as popular as it always has been. Late nights, lots of alcohol, loud music and dancing are the norm. Don’t expect to feel well on the slopes the day after a night here… Le Petit Danois ( sells itself as the No.1 party bar in Val and lives up to that name by providing après-goers with live music 6 nights a week and a free shot for every drink bought between 4-7pm… Er, DANGEROUS!


A range of accom modation from budget apartmen some of the wor ts to ld’s most expens ive chalets Skiing from 1500 m up to 3450m 146km pistes in local area with 30 0km in Espace Ki lly 15 green runs, 32 blue, 21 red, 13 black & 1 snowpa rk Opens 29th Nove mber 2014 and closes 3rd May 20 15 Lift pass price €250/6 days fo r just the Val d’ sector or an extr Isere a €10 for the Es pace Killy. No br ainer! Nearest airport – Chambery (145 km) but most popular Geneva (175km)

Saloon Bar ( underneath the Hotel Brussels is a popular bar on the snow front that you can ski straight to. If you’re so up for après that you don’t have time to get rid of your skis back at the chalet then no need to worry, the Saloon will take them in and look after them for you, rather like a cloak room in a nightclub back home! Sweet! Café Face ( La Folie Douce’s presence down in the village of Val is a well-priced spot, with chilled music to start après and getting livelier until closing at 2am. Regular DJ nights are on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

Val d’Isere Resort Guide


If your main priority, alongside skiing of course, is good grub (we fall into this category) then Val d’Isere is definitely the place to come. You cannot expect to pay ‘normal’ prices for food here because, well it is Val d’Isere after all, but that shouldn’t put you off because it is definitely possible to get your money’s worth. There are options for everyone – plenty of ‘snack shack’ style establishments, posh burgers that won’t break the bank all the way up to Michelin starred tastiness.

L’Avancher ( is the place to go on chalet night off or for a treat serving quality French bistro cuisine and local speciality dishes mainly involving lots of cheese. Located in the centre of Val in the Galerie des Cimes, there’s a really quirky eatery called Dans les Jardin des Alpes ( where one could be fooled into thinking that they are dining a l’exterior because of the garden under the stars theme. You can pick up a tasty 900g sandwich called Le Hunger Breaker from the sandwich bar which will set you back just under €10 or grab something from the delicatessen for dinner.

La Taverne d’Alsace located within the Kandahar Hotel ( is a local favourite even with Jean-Claude Killy, the legend of whom the resort L’Espace Killy is named after! If it’s good enough for him, it’s good enough for us! La Taverne which translated means “pub” does definitely have that old pub feel and is warm, cosy and comfortable. Plus the food is a mix of French and German with the Alsace connection - think Duck Shepherds Pie, Veal Ribs or maybe Calf’s Head perhaps (?) and Alsace specialities such as Sauerkraut with varying accompaniments. Le Perdrix Blanche( is a long-standing favourite for their seafood and oysters in particular but also their fine meat dishes. The first and very obvious suggestion is La Folie Douce/Fruiterie ( which is pretty much world famous for its during/après-ski party on the piste. A large building with an even larger terrace includes two restaurants, the best (and most expensive) is La Fruiterie which takes inspiration from old mountain dairies and the second, is called Nuvo Self which is probably one of the ‘trendiest’ self-service establishments in the Alps - it does have a DJ booth! La Folie Douce is the collective name for the restaurants and the bar/terrace which is just one big lively, happy place! It’s not the type of place you go for a quick lunch or one drink really, it’s like a little trap of good food and lots of alcohol. You can eat from 12 noon and the bars stay open until 5pm (they only close because there is so much carnage that everyone has to be ushered off the mountain before the pisteurs can go home) and in-between, there’s dancing on the tables and spraying of champagne guaranteed! La Folie Douce is located at the top of the Daille cable car and is also accessible for those who don’t ski, as you can buy a return pass for that lift alone for around 10 euros.


Another couple of restaurants on the hill in Val worth visiting include La Peau de Vache ( which is half way down the famous La Face run above the town. Its burgers are something special and the place is also known for its welcoming, friendly host. You can’t miss Le Signal ( as it’s a strange looking wooden cube-like building, so why not head there for lunch? Decorated with a freshness in comparison to most French mountain restaurants, this great mountain top restaurant is right near the glacier and can be accessed by foot from the cable car. It’s pricey but worth it for the location, service and a varied different menu. Les Tufs ( is a dining experience right on the slopes, located at the bottom of the Funival just a stroll up from the Telecabine de la Daille. The décor is clean in a ‘neutral chalet’ style and the terrace is a lovely spot for lunch when the sun’s out. Pizzas start at €14 and there is a reasonably priced ‘Tufs’ menu for €21.



Val d’Isere Resort Guide

Because of it’s influx of British holidaymakers in the winter, Val has a plethora of English speaking ski schools to choose from. Leading Edge Ski School ( is a new, British-run establishment and the guys there offer friendly tuition, aiming to give you the best experience on the mountain. Whether you’re a total beginner or you want to explore the nether regions of the Espace Killy, Liam or Chris can help.



Probably the most well known ski school amongst Brits is BASS the British Alpine Ski & Snowboard School ( with 25 successful years teaching in the Alps. Their school in Val offers individual lessons and courses to brush up freeride skills and more. Progression Ski and Snowboard School ( is ‘Val d’Isere and Tignes leading ski & snowboard school’ and they offer the full range of lessons in both sports plus heli-skiing options, telemark instruction and corporate trips.


Thanks to Val d’Isere tourist office for the photos.



Val d’Isere is obviously skiing mad although there are lots of other activities on offer. Perhaps most non-skiers might like to head to the sofas and sunloungers of the bars and restaurants overlooking the snow front but there is more to Val than partying!

As you come into the town itself, look out for the Val d’Isere Ice-Driving Experience on the right. It’s a specially made driving circuit (sponsored by BMW) where you get to slide and skid around in their 4x4 vehicles on the snow. Everyone loves a good skid! Although definitely not whilst travelling in the Cool Bus..! There’s also Ice-Karting, a driving simulator and you can even have a go at driving a piste basher!

1 0 ? G N I N E P P A H S T WHA DAY

The newly up-graded, indoor Aquasportif Centre in town, just next to the massive L’Olympique gondola lift is a really impressive building that includes all sorts of alternative activities for both adults and kids. Obviously there are pools, spas and wellness areas and a great big climbing wall. There’s a gym and a weights room if you really want to beast yourself whilst on holiday! Try the golf simulator if you’re a fan, it’s the closest thing you’ll get during winter in Val d’Isere!

FIS Mens Alpine World Cup : December 12th-14th & FIS Womens Alpine World Cup: December 19th-21st The standard is set for another season of World Cup skiing 22nd Classicaval Music Festival : 21th – 23nd January and 10th – 12th March For over twenty years now, people have been enjoying this classical music event in a wonderfully magical location Dynastar Trophy Nights : 13th, 20th & 27th February Floodlit Giant Slalom and X-Country ski races. Compete to win a pair of Dynastar skis Frost Gun Invitational : 10th – 12th February – Freestyle Big Air competition on the Bellevarde Face 3rd Annual Yoga Festival : 1st – 3rd May – A mountain-top yoga event organised by an English company with yoga teachers, yogi and yogginis from all over the world


*Offer valid for all new reservations made directly in store on presentation of proof of travel with CoolBus 2014/2015

OUR DR IV Can yo ER EMILY HAS u help her fin GONE AND GO d her w T ay to t LOST AGAIN! he Ski Resor t ?





Our driver Wallace absolutely loves a Geography quiz. Can you help him out with these questions that he’s stuck on? (Answers on the last page - no Googling!) 1. How many countries can you name that begin with the letter S? There are at least 25! 2. At which Pole would you expect to find Penguins? 3. What is the highest mountain in the Alps? 4. What is the longest mountain range in the world? 5. Name the worlds 5 Oceans. 6. How many countries can you name that begin with the letter U? There are at least 6! 7. Name the 7 Continents! 8. What is the longest river in the world?


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Our Manager Bry has misplaced some of our vans. We seem to be missing a few. Can you

have a flick back through the magazine and see how many you can find?

Our Editor Lauren has gone and dropped all her words on the floor again and they’ve all got mixed up. Can you help her out and pick these words out from the grid? snowflakes tindy kicker snowboard coolbus triplecork chairlift alps plough toboggan

zigzag halfpipe method powder ice backflip mountains ski winter piste


a s u sign

Our designer Ryan is really struggling for new ideas for next years vans. Can you help? Colour in the blank van below and show us what you think they should look like. Post the finished article in to us Cool Bus 19 Allee de Rochefort, Bourg St. Maurice, 73700, France and we'll award the best ones a free Cool Bus T-Shirt!

! s u B l o


ress, d d a , e r nam e. Name.................................................. Age.......... u o y e z nclud t-shirt si i o t t Address............................................................... forge limit!) and t ’ n o D e ............................................................................ no ag ( e g a T-Shirt Size........................................................

3 Vallées Resort Guide

Les Trois Vallées is first and foremost the world’s largest ski area and is made up of eight resorts: Courchevel, La Tania, Méribel, Brides-les-Bains, Les Menuires, Saint Martin de Belleville, Val Thorens and Orelle. There are obviously some big names in there as well as some you may not have heard of before but they all certainly offer excellent skiing and there is something for everyone in this world famous resort.



There is so much to say about the area that we could write a whole magazine on it. Instead we’ve condensed the important bits into a short 3 Valleys guide for your reading pleasure.






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Amongst the many villages of the resort there are certainly those that have more of a party atmosphere. Courchevel and Méribel are known for their active nightlife and more expensive drinks. Prices seem to increase in line with the altitude of the bar, for example, Courchevel 1850 is generally more expensive than 1650, so let’s start at a lower altitude! The Drop Inn is a bar located in the basement of a Pleisure Holidays chalet in La Praz. It’s open to everyone and serves up well-priced drinks and proper toasted sandwich snacks, a rarity in these parts! In 1650 there is the popular Rocky’s and The Funky Fox both of which are great spots for après and later into the night. In 1850 for an expensive cocktail or bottle of champers, head to The Caves (, their drinks selection and prices won’t disappoint if you’re looking for a lavish evening. There are Parisian cabaret acts for entertainment too! Over in Méribel the Rond Point ( or ‘The Ronnie’ as it’s affectionately known, is a popular après ski destination which can be reached straight from the slopes, on foot or by bus. There’s a huge new terrace and many an evening can be spent dancing on the tables! Le Pub is a British-run place in the centre of town and is a firm favourite for lively après and music. Jack’s Bar( is the place to go for toffee vodka if that’s your thing! Val Thorens has the ‘Highest Pub in Europe’ in The Frog and Roastbeef ( which is also the only English pub in town and the prices here aren’t so bad. The small village resort of Saint Martin de Belleville is certainly a little quieter than most although there are still bars and a couple of nightclubs to enjoy like Le Joker and Le Billig.

3 Vallées Resort Guide

Most people staying in Meribel and Courchevel are likely to be in catered chalets so it’s really only the chalet hosts night off that most will eat out. On this night (probably Tuesday or Wednesday, maybe Thursday) it’s definitely important to book a table. During school holiday weeks it’s probably advisable to do this sooner rather than later in your stay. In Méribel, head to L’Igloo which serves up good burgers and pizza and is well-priced. Another that falls into the well-priced category is the Lodge du Village ( which is slightly out of town in Méribel Villages towards La Tania. It’s lively with après so is the ideal place to spend the whole evening in your ski boots and be able to dine on a tasty sandwich. La Gallette is a small place in the centre of town and offers some pretty tasty savoury pancakes. For more expensive options there’s Aux Petit Oignons ( in the direction of the Altiport at 1600m. This little onion is still in the mid-range price bracket with mains at around €20+. For a special treat, try La Grand Coeur ( which has starters from €29! Staying in Courchevel, one of the most expensive ski resorts in the world, it can be difficult to find a table in the cheaper places to eat. Don’t get caught short if you’re on a budget, book in advance otherwise you may have to eat in the 2* Michelin Star restaurant – Chabichou ( and you pretty much can’t get a plate of food for under €75! For Savoyard specialities, as the name suggests, the Petite Savoyarde in 1650 or Moriond as it’s now known, has a traditional menu of main courses from €13. Elsewhere across the resort, La Ferme de Reberty ( in Les Menuires has always been a ‘ferme’ favourite but is really only accessible if you’re staying in Reberty village or if you’re skiing past during the day of course. John’s American Restaurant further up the valley in Val Thorens doesn’t have the most original name but is a very popular Tex-Mex place serving up some great steaks. Le Montagnard ( has to be the go-to in St. Martin de Belleville and La Bouitte ( has a unique style.

Thanks to Val Thorens and Les Menuires tourist offices for the photos.


MOUNTAIN FOOD Chalet de la Marine ( in the Val Thorens sector of the 3 Vallées is a large, picture-perfect chalet on the blue Dalle piste off the top of the Cascades chair lift. It offers a huge terrace over looking the slopes and a large, varied menu for lunch. Choose from the traditional restaurant or the self-service bistro. A traditional spot for lunch in an old farmhouse is The Bergerie situated on the Bellecôte piste on the slopes of Courchevel 1850. The Bel Air ( above 1650 is good value for mountain food in these parts. In Meribel, lunchtimes are popular at La Folie Douce ( which is the newest addition to it’s collection of restaurants in the Savoie. In the 3 Vallées you’ll find it at the mid-station of La Saulire bubble which makes it convenient for skiers and non-skiers alike. After lunch here you can join in the late afternoon debauchery in the bar! At the foot of the slopes in Meribel 1650 there’s the Télébar Hotel which houses the cutely named Cookie’s Club ( where you can sit on the south facing terrace and eat well for not too much cash. Ski in, ski out, that’s what you want at lunchtime!

3 Vallées Resort Guide


: “Colour Me Rad” 5km Race 18th January ribel where people seem to This is a fun 5km race in Me der all over each other... throw coloured paint pow . Sounds like it’s worth seeing : ational Ski Championships British Armed Forces Intern ry 29th January – 8th Februa compete to be the best on y the as ops tro Support our m descend on the resort of the slopes. Thousands of the ek event. Meribel for the near two we als : FIS Alpine Ski World Cup Fin rch Ma 18th – 22nd t the Meribel sector. The firs On the Roc de Fer slope in and e been hosted in France time that the Finals will hav t pretty impressive and fas it promises to show some 0 spectators are expected downhill skiing. Some 70,00 ort and 85 million are throughout the week in res wide! estimated to watch world Festi Val Tho : 25th – 27th March re pistes of Val Thorens. The Free music festival on the m ng tunes’ with music fro promises to be some ‘bangi re. hno, House Trance and mo genres such as Electro, Tec du takes place at the Chalet Literally banging! This all chalet on the slopes. Thorens, Europe’s largest ionships : French Snowboard Champ 5th April 10 in the snowpark between The French elite compete to this is one you can ski to am & 3pm in Val Thorens so watch. 3 Vallees Enduro : Sunday 7th April ms of three. The 3 Vallées Open to all - compete in tea is in its 12th year and has Enduro is a fun event which ur largest gathering of amate so far become the world’s s ley of discovering the 3 Val skiers. It’s all in the name ne. t it is accessible to everyo and to endorse the fact tha Check out more at www.les3 otechnic Art : International Festival of Pyr 19th April nds of pounds worth of Watch hundreds of thousa ir glory! Teams from around fireworks explode in all the e against each other with the world come to compet on lly a spectacular show and routines to music. It is rea ain unt Courchevel with the mo the white of the pistes of . backdrop, it’s worth a watch

SKI SCHOOL You won’t be short of ski schools to choose from in The 3 Vallées that is for sure, but you need to make sure you book lessons with a school that is close to your accommodation especially if you’re a beginner, otherwise it could be a mission to get there first thing in the morning. English speaking ski schools who service Meribel, La Tania and Courchevel include Parallel Lines ( and BASS ( who are both well established and offer the full range of lessons and courses. On a smaller scale but no less professional is Ski Marmalade (, if ever there was a name that stuck! An all British line-up of instructors, these guys cover the resorts mentioned above too. In Val Thorens and Les Menuires there’s the French/English speaking Prosneige ( who have some rave reviews to be found online. Whilst working as part of the ESF, David Mitchell ( is Val Thoren’s only native English speaking instructor and he can provide private lessons with himself or if you’d prefer, he can arrange group lessons for you through the ESF so you don’t have to worry about getting lost in translation!

OTHER STUFF TO DO Scattered around the area of The 3 Vallées there are plenty of Spas and wellness centres to ease those ski legs. In Saint Martin de Belleville head to La Bèla Vya to enjoy mountain inspired treatments using milk and honey. Ever tried mountain biking on snow? Like doing skids? Roc n’Bike in Les Menuires provides the chance for everyone to try it and there’s 8km of piste to ride. Head to La Croisette and sign up in order to learn how to slalom and of course, brake! You can learn to fly in Courchevel! Or you can just go on what promises to be one of the most beautiful flights you’ll ever take. The specially designed small snow plane will fly over Courchevel and the rest of The 3 Vallées and views of Europe’s highest mountain, Mt. Blanc promise to be stunning! The airport in Courchevel 1850 is very unique in its altitude, it is in fact the highest International mountain airport. There are a good few companies that offer plane flights, helicopter flights and even parachuting but we recommend getting in touch with Aéro Club Courchevel ( for flights and lessons with prices starting at €150 for a 3 person voyage, it’s not too expensive. Air Mauss Parachutisme seems the go-to for parachuting, they will entice you out of the door of that plane if it’s the last thing you ever do!


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1. How many countries can you name that begin with the letter S? There are at least 25! - Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Slovakia, Suriname, Spratly Islands, Saudi Arabia, Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Kitts and Nevis, Seychelles, South Africa, Senegal, Saint Helena, Slovenia, Sierra Leone, San Marino, Singapore, Somalia, Spain, Saint Lucia, Sudan, Svalbard, Sweden, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands Syria, Switzerland, Sao Tome and Principe, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Swaziland, Serbia and Montenegro




2. At which Pole would you expect to find Penguins? - South Pole 3. What is the highest mountain in the Alps? - Mont Blanc - 4,810 m (15,781 ft) 4. What is the longest mountain range in the world? - The Andes - about 4,350 miles (7,000 km) long 5. Name the worlds 5 Oceans. - Arctic, Atlantic, Indian, Pacific and Southern 6. How many countries can you name that begin with the letter U? There are at least 6! - Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Uzbekistan 7. Name the 7 Continents! - Africa, Antarctica, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America, South America 8. What is the longest river in the world? The Nile - 6,695 kilometres from its source in Burundi, along the White Nile, to its delta on the Mediterranean Sea.



Many riders use our bikes to go far off into the wilds. And that’s why we build them to come back.






Miguel Porteous - Planks International Team

Shred on.


Cool Bus Onboard Magazine Winter 2014/15  
Cool Bus Onboard Magazine Winter 2014/15