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WORLD ELEVATED SKI EXPERIENCES BY GABRIELLA LE BRETON

A GOOEY BAKED CAMEMBERT—oozing over crisp bread, earned by navigating Chamonix’s legendary backcountry trail, the Vallée Blanche (white valley) on the flanks of Mont Blanc. Snuggling up in front of a fire in a cosy mountain hut and dancing in your ski boots to cheesy tunes as the setting sun gilds the endless landscape of peaks and glaciers encircling you. These are just snapshots of what one comes to expect when skiing in Europe, the cradle of recreational skiing. The Alps deliver jaw-dropping scenery, authentic mountain villages, and vast ski resorts, many of which encompass several villages and some of which span several countries. Croissants for breakfast in France, fondue lunch in Switzerland and apéritifs back in France – c’est normale. Skiing in Europe is as much a cultural and social experience as a sporting endeavor; the priority tends to

be lunch (particularly in France), followed by après-ski (especially in Austria) and looking stylish (Italy). In the glossiest resorts, such as St Moritz, Courchevel and Villars, skiing lags behind shopping, lunch and spas in popularity. Indeed, to the hardy North American skier, skiing in Europe can seem more like a way of traveling between mountain restaurants for coffee, lunch and après than "earning your turns". However, that's not to say that Euro-skiing is easy: the Alps are veritable giants, striding through France, Switzerland, Northern Italy, Austria and Slovenia. Their jagged peaks puncture the sky above while their sheer flanks offer skiing on dizzyingly steep pitches before softening into gentler, wooded slopes. Alpine topto-bottom runs typically start on a lofty, exposed peak, bringing you down open bowls and glacial valleys to pass through fragrant pine 15

Possibilities Issue 4 by SatoVacations  
Possibilities Issue 4 by SatoVacations