Resort Tips & Information Ellis Brigham Gear Guide Skiidy Loves
YOUR WINTER starts here
24 specialist shops nationwide 2 inspiring mail order catalogues
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Resort Guide . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
Once upon a time a couple of professional ski bums (ski bums holding down jobs that is...) met on a chairlift in Avoriaz and started skiing together. They worked out that they shared Bristol roots, mutual experiences and friends. As they began to get a bit older they thought that having a business in the Alps would help them enjoy the glorious mountains for many years to come. Afraid of the concept of joining the rat race and the daily commute, and having spent many seasons working in logistics and client services for various ski companies and tour operators across Europe, Skiidy Gonzales was born.
Allow us to introduce our favourite three resorts
Our very experienced and capable operations team, coupled with our continued investment in IT systems focused on helping us operate efficiently, means that our passengers are assured that we can cope and deliver services better than anyone, regardless of what the winter may throw at us. This year we continue to lead the field with a new website, a new fleet of vehicles and some exciting new technology to help our drivers. We have also produced our first magazine to let you know a little bit more about us, to tell you a few things we like, to introduce you to some of our mountain friends and for this year, to give a little more focus and information on our home resorts of Morzine, Les Gets and Avoriaz.
Useful information about our transfer service
Eat, Drink, Ski and be Merry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Your essential guide to drinking and dining
Ellis Brigham Gear Guide. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 For skiers, snowboarders and children
My Job . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Behind the scenes at Skiidy Gonzales
Winter Olympics Trivia. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Test your knowledge with our quiz
Skiidy Loves . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Five things that inspire us
The Retro Revolution . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
We are looking forward to helping make your holiday a great one. Don’t forget to spot the Sombrero!
Why we’re all wearing onesies
Justin and Roland and Alison
Ro’s Alaska Adventure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
Meet the team...
Heli-skiing, waist deep powder and down days
Fancy an Alpine Home? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
‘I’ve been on the Skiidy team since the very beginning and it’s great to work for a well respected resort business that I’ve seen grow over the years. We’ve got a really great team in the office, in the vans and at the airport, and all the wonderful guest feedback we receive each winter makes all the hard work worth while!’
Director / Airport Manager ‘There’s nothing I enjoy more than solving all the logistical problems that a busy transfer day can throw up. When the arrivals and departures board at Geneva starts to turn red with delayed flights, that’s when my work really begins! It’s also great to live in a town where the seasons are spectacular and the locals are very friendly.’
Director / Head of Operations & Recruitment ‘Putting together a team of experienced, knowledgeable and friendly drivers each winter season is really important to Skiidy Gonzales and we’re delighted to welcome back so many familiar faces each winter. Living at the heart of one of the largest ski areas in the world attracts all types people and allows us to build a strong and valuable team who will enjoy the Alps’ At Skiidy Gonzales we really like to hear your feedback, please get in touch if there’s something you’d like to share! firstname.lastname@example.org
Let ECSUS Designs give you a hand
Geneva Airport Guide . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 To make your journey less stressful
Summer in the Portes du Soleil . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 Why not plan your return? The Skiidy Gonzales Magazine is published by, and remains the property of Origami Media Ltd on behalf of PSB Projects SARL. Any correspondence and advertising enquiries should be directed to email@example.com or visit www.origami-media.com All paper used in the printing of this magazine is obtained from sustained forestry. Please recycle this magazine when you are finished with it, or pass it on! Copyright – Origami Media Ltd All material in this magazine is strictly copyright and all rights are reserved by Origami Media Ltd. No part of this publication may be reproduced in whole or in 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, PSB Projects SARL / Skiidy Gonzales cannot be held responsible for editorial errors. Design and reprographics by Cuttin Edge Solutions Ltd www.cuttin-edge.co.uk / firstname.lastname@example.org Printed in the United Kingdom by The Magazine Printing Company.
Front cover image © www.stephane-godin.com
A few seasons later, we now offer ski transfers to more resorts than ever across the Savoie and Haute Savoie, whilst sticking to our original aims of creating a friendly company with great operations and consistently high levels of customer care. We operate one of the largest fleet of minibuses in the French Alps and provide great value private transfers or, on certain routes, our ever popular shared services, offering the lowest waiting times in the game.
Comings and Goings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
guide to... Morzine A bustling French ski resort with authentic Savoyarde character and charm sits alongside excellent village facilities and a friendly local community. Morzine is unlike any other ski resort we’ve visited or lived in, which is probably why so many skiers and snowboarders return year after year. You’ll no doubt already know about the resort’s excellent links into the huge 650km Portes du Soleil ski area, but that’s not all Morzine has to offer. As a traditional working farming village, Morzine has retained its authentic charm, which means you’ll stumble across beautiful old buildings as you wander around the village or see cows being herded down the main street. There are also great resort facilities, such as the indoor swimming and spa complex, the new Pleney lift station and the Skoda Arena, home of the mighty Morzine, Avoriaz & Les Gets Penguins, our local ice hockey team. You’ll find our tips on what to do and where to eat and drink in Morzine throughout our magazine.
Les Gets An attractive resort centre nestled into the valley between two high mountain peaks, making the most of its beautiful but convenient location. Just like its neighbor Morzine, Les Gets started life as a rural farming village but it wasn’t long until an enterprising local spotted its potential as a ski resort. Mont Chery sits on one side of the village, offering a self-contained mountain experience that usually involves loads of snow and stunning views of Mont Blanc. On the other side you’ll find the Chavannes network of lifts that connect Les Gets with Morzine. In the resort centre there are loads of family friendly facilities including nursery slopes and an outdoor ice rink, alongside some very chic clothing and interiors shops. Similarities have been drawn between Les Gets and the ultra plush resort of Megeve, but we find the village to be smart but unpretentious and stylish yet friendly. We’ve selected some of our favourite Les Gets haunts for you later in the magazine.
60 minute massage 75€ pp 45 minute massage 60 € pp 30 minute massage 45€ pp 2 or more consecutive 45 minute massages - 55€ each 2 or more consecutive 60 minute massages - 70 € each An entire evening of indulgence for just 199€ (3.5 Hours) Let us massage away those aches and pains in the comfort of your accommodation.
Deep Tissue Massage
*Hot Stone *An additional 15€ per treatment
Book now: +33 (0) 667 52 49 36 www.morzinemassage.co.uk Morzine
St Jean d
High altitude, fully pedestrianised and with one of the best snow records in Europe winter after winter, it ticks all of our boxes for a great winter holiday. Developed during the sixties and seventies by French Olympic legend Jean Vuarnet, the architecture of Avoriaz is bold, unique and functional. Wood sourced from local forests is used to clad the striking buildings, all of which have sunny aspects and superb views. As the highest resort in the Portes du Soleil, Avoriaz is pretty snow sure all season long and is the perfect base from which to explore the wider Portes du Soleil. In recent years Avoriaz has expanded to include new luxury residences, restaurants, bars and the popular Aquariaz water park complex, which you’ll find right in the centre of the resort. Avoriaz is also home to some of the best off-piste action you’ll find anywhere in the European Alps, so point yourselves in the direction of the Fornet bowl and the Hauts Fort for liftaccessed powder fields. Avoriaz has many highlights and we’ve picked out some favorites for you in this magazine.
Comings & Shared Vs Private Transfers We offer two different transfer options between Geneva and Morzine, Les Gets and Avoriaz. Shared minibuses carry up to eight passengers who are grouped together with other travellers whose flights land at a similar time to yours. You’ll have a maximum waiting time of an hour from your arrival time while you wait for your fellow passengers, but usually you’ll only wait for around 20 minutes. Our shared transfer service runs at any time of day throughout the winter season. Private transfers give groups of up to eight passengers the exclusive use of a minibus for their journey to or from resort. You won’t wait in the arrivals hall and your driver will take you straight to your accommodation. Booking a private transfer is often more cost effective if you’re part of a large group arriving on the same flight.
Travelling With Children We provide age appropriate child seats free of charge for all our passengers when they are booked in advance. It’s important that you tell us the exact ages of any children in your group so we can provide the correct car seat for them.
Arriving in Geneva As you enter the arrivals hall in Geneva, look for the sombrero. That’s right – your Skiidy Gonzales driver will be wearing a great big sombrero hat so you can find them easily. They’ll also be carrying a board with your name on it. On Saturdays and Sundays there’ll also be a desk in the concourse just left of the arrivals hall. Turn left and look for the Tekoe café (it’s bright green and fairly unmissable), the Skiidy desk is just next door. There you’ll find Airport Manager Roland or one of our airport reps. If at any time you have any problems locating your Skiidy Gonzales transfer driver, or our desk in the arrivals hall, please call our office on +33 (0) 4 50 37 36 85.
Home Time As a rule of thumb, we’ll collect you from your holiday accommodation in Morzine or Les Gets three and a half hours before your flight departure time. If you’re staying in a different resort, refer to your booking confirmation for guideline pickup times. We’ll confirm the exact collection time in a text message, which you’ll receive before 5pm on the day prior to your departure transfer. The text message will also confirm the number of passengers and the accommodation from which we’re scheduled to collect you. We recommend that you’re ready to meet your driver five minutes before the confirmed pick up time. It’s really important that you let us know of there are any changes to your return flight as soon as possible by calling the Skiidy Gonzales office. You should also call us if you don’t receive the
Goings! confirmation text message on the day before your departure. If it’s snowing, or if we’re expecting snow on the day of your departure, we may arrange to pick you up earlier to ensure you make it to the airport in time for your flight. This can also be the case during school holidays too. You’ll find our guide to Geneva Airport for your homeward journey on page 25 of this magazine.
Other Resorts You may be travelling to Morzine, Les Gets or Avoriaz with Skiidy Gonzales this winter, but we also operate airport transfers to the following resorts too: Flaine, Les Carroz, Val d’Isere, Tignes, Les Arcs, La Plagne, St Foy, La Rossiere, Meribel and Courchevel – other resorts are also available on request.
Our Drivers In case you find yourself wondering where they come from during your snowy journey up the mountain, many of our Skiidy Gonzales transfer drivers have been on the team for years. Our recruitment process for new drivers is extensive and all of our team undertake advance alpine driver training on local mountain roads before the season begins. We’ve also developed a unique ‘Skiidy App’, which our drivers use to geo-locate their passenger’s accomadation. As you’ll see, there are hundreds of chalets in each resort and we’ve geo mapped every location so our drivers can find you easily. We also pump our drivers full of local knowledge so you can ask them as many questions as you like during your journey – the stranger the better!
Eat, drink, ski and be merry!
We’ve got every type of skier or snowboarder on the Skiidy Gonzales team. With more than 150 winter seasons in the local area under our belts, who better to recommend the best local watering holes and eateries? The all day, every day type The anticipation of first lifts (again) means you’ve already tucked into the chalet breakfast buffet before most people’s alarm clocks have gone off. You spent some serious time planning today’s route before bedtime, and now the clock is ticking. If you’re going to complete the full Portes du Soleil circuit (again) then you need to get moving. If you’re less interested in the cheese varieties of the Savoie, and view your mountain lunch as the quickest of pit stops, then we’d recommend:
A takeaway lunch meal deal from La Bonbonniere in central Morzine, en-route to the lift station. Their sandwiches are delicious and the bread isn’t the sort that squashes immediately in your backpack. From €7 including a sandwich and a drink. A pasta pot from the Carrefour in the centre Avoriaz. Ski right to the door, load up with snacks, and ski out again. Picnics on chair lifts have never been so easy.
If you’re doing the circuit and you’re already in Les Gets by lunchtime, then you’re winning (providing you’ve been through the other resorts of course!). Celebrate with a quick trip into La Rossitaz at the top of the Rosta chairlift in the Ranfolly bowl, where the food is delicious, the service speedy and the prices reasonable. Apres drinks are likely to be of the exhausted but celebratory kind. Head to Bar Robinson (Robbo’s if you’re after some local cred) in central Morzine, Bar Bush in Les Gets or Le Tavaillon in Avoriaz for bragging opportunities and a short stumble home.
The afternoon skiers, late night drinkers The five hour Portes du Soleil lift pass was created for you lot. The Côtes du Rhône, which tasted so delicious with last night’s vat of fondue, has caused a foggy head this morning. Or perhaps you had five too many Jagers by accident in The Cavern? If you’ve missed your chalet breakfast by a good few hours, then we’d recommend:
A bacon sandwich from Dotty’s Coffee in Morzine, with a fruit smoothie accompaniment. Whether they’re a hangover cure or a stomach-lining mission (or both!), they don’t disappoint. You’ll be ready to face the Super Morzine in no time.
Pomme du Pin in the Lindarets bowl is a real locals favourite, firstly because it’s really easy to get to from both Avoriaz and using the Ardent telecabine, and secondly because three fairly quick chair lifts sit in the same bowl. If you’re the ‘one run, one vin chaud’ type, it’s perfect!
If the sun is shining and you can make it to the top of the Pleney, Le Vaffieu (hop on the Belvedere chair) is the perfect spot for people watching and tan topping. Once you’ve recharged your batteries, it’s just a short slide down Pleney Piste B to Le Tremplin for Wednesday and Friday night’s après parties.
Apres drinks are more of a warm up (if you’re reading this in January, then consider that quite literally!) than a cool down so head to the Crepu in Morzine, Big Foot’s Bar in Les Gets or Shooters in Avoriaz for crowded party pubs with live music.
ERF T N
It’s your mission to sample as many local foods as possible in as many different places as possible, even if the waistband of your sallopettes advises otherwise. Your annual winter holiday is also a culinary tour, trying both new restaurants and old favourites – sometimes all in one day.
The food tour on skis
www.counterfeit-clothing.com Indulge bleed.pdf
If you can get a table, La Paika just off the Perrieres and Turche piste in Les Gets is a foodie’s delight, especially during spring days when you’ll smell the enormous outside grill as you ski down to the restaurant. We’d recommend passing by early and booking a table. There’s a small chance that at some point during your winter holiday you’ll tire of cheese, lardons and bread. After a day sampling the delights of Mont Chery, head to the Bombay Ski Club in Les Gets, just opposite the Mont Chery telecabine and homerun, for an authentic balti and a menu graded like ski runs – green for mild, black for hot! La Rotonde in Morzine has had a rather drastic facelift since last winter and under new management, everything has been seriously upgraded. Foods and wines are all delicious and there’s a great atmosphere. It’s unlikely that you’ll fancy the bounce around kind of après after your food tour on skis, so head to the Bec Jaune Brewery in Morzine for beers brewed on site and a delicious, nourishing menu in case you find yourself hungry again.
Winter For over 80 years family owned mountain sports chain Ellis Brigham have been first to stock some of the most important innovations in mountain sports technology. Whether you’re a holiday skier, a backcountry snowboarder or something inbetween, who better to recommend the kit you’ll need for every eventuality this winter?
£370.00 This is the board of choice for any rider that wants a single board that they can do absolutely everything on. It’s built around an advanced blunt tip and tail shape with the unique Freestyle TBT profiling. The core is poplar wood with hardwood reinforcing for more pop and power without making it overly stiff. Tri-ax glass layers improve response and the high-grade base tops it all off. One of the best mid price boards on the market
The Thirty Two Lashed has been a best seller for years and with team rider influenced design it’s a difficult boot to ignore. This season at The Snowboard Asylum we have the exclusive Danny Larsen Lashed gracing our shelves. Produced in a very limited run, the Larsen Lashed shares the same DNA as the standard Lashed, however what sets it apart from the crowd is the signature colour way and Nordic influenced design from the pen of Danny Larsen himself.
Salomon X Pro 100
From the first time you slide your foot into the X-Pro, your feet will experience a new level of comfort. Salomon’s 360º Custom Shell now extends to the top of the cuff for more comfort around the calf and a personalised fit to the foot in just 20 minutes. Combine this with an entirely new liner concept called MyCustomfit 3D which is pre-shaped on a 3-dimensional form around the ankle and foot and fully thermo formable to accommodate any anomalies on your foot, and you’ve got yourself comfort like never before.
NOW Select NOW burst onto the snowboard binding market last season with world’s first skateboard influenced binding, the IPO. The all-new NOW Select takes the award winning design of the IPO and evolves it even further. A total overhaul of all the components includes all new 3D ankle and toe straps that custom mould to your boots straight out of the box for superior riding comfort
£175.00 The CLWR Original… Stockholm urban style with full snowsports performance. Oxford nylon outer with fully taped 10k/10k waterproof/ breathable protection and low bulk 40g insulation. Features 3D hood, mid thigh cut with fish tail, underarm venting zips, removable snowskirt with pants snaps, inner cuffs with thumb loops, four big outer pockets and secure zip pocket under front flap.
CLWR Truss Jacket Womens
Armada ARV Ti Armada are one of the most freethinking and exciting ski companies out there, and their new ski, the ARV Ti definitely fits this profile. They have a mid-wide waist for versatility, the core is stiffened with two titanal layers for extra grip and response, and the nose uses a big rocker for all mountain performance. Very user friendly and very progressive. 12
This big puffy style winter warmer battles the cold from the high peaks to the high street. Soft nylon outer with 10k/10k waterproof/ breathable protection and high loft insulation. Features 3D hood, underarm venting zips, removable snowskirt with pants snaps, inner cuffs with thumb loops, big cargo pockets and secure zip pocket under front flap.
Tokyo-based Goldwin makes its debut in the UK this season, exclusively at Ellis Brigham. Employing the Science of Kigokochi, the elements of lightness, stretch, warmth and design are brought together in a perfect combination to deliver skiwear of the highest performance that is effortless to wear. The invisible elements work hard to make sure you can enjoy long, warm and comfortable days on the mountain. And aesthetically you’ll enjoy effortless alpine style.
£519.99 Patagonia has been making clothing for those living and working in the mountains for the past 40 years and of any brand, is the custodian of the heart and soul of outdoor sports. This jacket is from their new snow collection and does what it says on the tin... it’s simply the best outerwear for riding big bad backcountry steep and deep. Built tough but light in 3-layer GORE-TEX New Pro fabric delivering new best in class levels of rugged waterproof & breathable protection. 13
Snowpulse Ride 22L Removable Air Bag system
Airbag rucksack systems have been the big news of the last few seasons, offering improved safety margins to those venturing into the backcountry. The Snowpulse R.A.S (Removable Airbag System) is undoubtedly one of the most versatile systems available as the Airbag system can be completely removed and placed into another compatible pack, enabling the user to select the ideal backpack depending on the activity, without the need to fork out on the Airbag system for each pack! Utilising a single Airbag that deploys around the back of the head, neck and shoulders, the system is super simple, safe to operate and easy to repack for re-use if it has been deployed.
Ortovox 3+ Transceiver
Resplendent in its new Black Phantom livery, the Ortovox 3+ Transceiver has been revised enabling this technical marvel to offer an even simpler user experience whether the victim or the rescuer in an avalanche situation. Featuring Ortovox’s Smart Antenna Technology with intelligent position recognition, the unit automatically selects the best transmission antenna enabling the victim to be found faster. New features include a revised On/Off switch, optimised acoustics which are louder and easier to interpret, more stable ranging and it also now features a built-in Recco Reflector so professional rescuers can quickly find avalanche victims. This back-up technology has been adopted and used by more than 700 ski area and rescue teams around the world.
Bandit Avalung Package This slick package from Black Diamond lets you carry all backcountry safety essentials in a sleek low profile pack. It combines their Bandit Avalung* pack with a BD Quickdraw Super Tour probe and BD Deploy 3 shovel. *The Avalung provides the user with the potential to breathe fresh air directly from the snowpack, buying you precious time if buried by an avalanche. Additionally by diverting exhaled air away from your fresh air intake zone the Avalung prevents suffocation through carbon dioxide contamination, considerably extending the time searchers have to locate you. 14
Quite simply MSR’s most aggressive snowshoe, the Lightning has been conceived to travel from one point to another pretty much regardless of what lies in between! Equipped with Torsion 2 Crampons which feature split teeth designed to distribute the forces more easily on rugged terrain, this in-built flexibility boosts traction by maintaining more continuous contact with the snow surface for a more secure, confident traverse. In this rapidly growing sport MSR are definitely at the forefront of both performance and safety.
Quiksilver Boy’s Flakes Print Jacket - £85 Boogie Pants - £70
Roxy Girl’s Mini Jetty Jacket - £80 Lila Pant - £75
The eye-catching print on this little boy’s snow outfit is made from Quiksilver’s own snow proof fabric and highest rate insulation. Features include a removable hood with removable faux fur trim, snow skirt, critically taped seams, jacket to pant connecting loops, chest pocket, sleeve lift pass pocket, adjustable cuffs and waist tabs and a fixed bib with adjustable braces. Available for ages 4 to 6.
This cute mini-me outfit comes in in Quiktech 5k snow proof fabric with lovely warm QTI 3 insulation. Features include critically taped seams, fixed hood, snow skirt, adjustable cuff tabs and grow system, adjustable waist tabs and braces. Available for ages 4 to 6.
Topping off the cool look is a pair of Scott Agent goggles at £15. They are designed specifically for small children and toddlers with a helmet compatible, soft flexing and comfortable frame. An anti fog lens coating and amplifier lens increases vision in low light and also adapts to sunnier days. Both children are wearing the Scott Keeper Helmet £54. A light weight junior helmet with great performance and unmatched comfort. The micro adjuster allows for an optimum secure fit keeping the little one’s safe on the mountain.
we also Oakley Splice Simon Dumont £140
like... Salomon Xtend 10 Green £110
Barts Maria Beanie £19.99
Smartwool Wmn’s PhD Ski Light Sock £19.99
Icebreaker Bodyfit Oasis Crew £59.99
Meet James Geen Operations Manager
“We carry up to 2600 passengers during our busiest weekends and there are usually eight or nine of us in the office controlling operations from resort end. Our team at the airport are the front line and we’re in constant contact with them to make sure everything runs as smoothly and efficiently as possible. It’s fair to say that things can get a bit noisy at times! The best part of my job is when the last bus is on it’s way from the airport to resort on a Saturday evening, and I know we’ve got everyone where they need to be. There can be no more surprises, and everyone can enjoy their holiday! The hardest part is waking up in the morning and seeing 30cm of unexpected fresh snow. Rather than getting excited, I start calling up drivers and clients to get them on the roads earlier. The weather is the one factor that we can’t control but we’ve always got systems in place to deal with it. Although the majority of holidaymakers arrive in Morzine, Les Gets and Avoriaz on a transfer minibus, during the Christmas
Meet Katie Brown Driver
“During my first season in Les Gets a few years ago I totally fell in love with the area and decided not to leave. It happens to a lot of people! This is my third winter season as a driver for Skiidy Gonzales, and I’ve also worked two summer seasons too. I’m part of a really great team, and even on the busiest days we all work well together. Many transfer drivers would tell you that the worst thing about their job is the early airport run. I suppose it’s not everyone’s idea of fun to get up at 2.30am to defrost your van! For me it’s the opposite. The views over the mountains as the sun rises are sublime, and not everyone gets the chance to see it. Saying that, at 2am when it’s -17 degrees outside, I have to run my van for an hour to stop the fuel from freezing. I’m not thinking about the lovely views then!
and February half term holidays many tourists start to arrive in their own cars. This can cause havoc on resort roads, the route to the motorway and the whole way to Geneva. That’s why we leave more time during these busy weeks to get people back to the airport. Last year Morzine suffered its fair share of power cuts. Normally the power is restored quickly and doesn’t cause any problems at all, but on one particularly busy day we had a prolonged outage. We had to take emergency measures and decamp the entire office setup to someone’s apartment! It was a bit of a surprise when their girlfriend came home to see the Skiidy Gonzales office team running operations from her living room and answering customer calls from her kitchen! It’s not all work though. At the end of each weekend I wind down and try to catch up on some sleep so I can make the most of my days off. I ski and I take photos. It’s not a bad life at all!”
I’ve met some of the most interesting people of my life while driving my van. Last winter I had a 73-year-old man whose wife had recently passed away; she’d left him a bucket list of 20 things he had to try, and one of them was skiing. He had the whole bus entertained and enthralled by his stories. Unfortunately I didn’t carry him back to the airport, so I don’t know how he got on! I really love the chat with holidaymakers and the excitement they have as we head into resort can be contagious. Passengers are often very curious about the seasonaire lifestyle, how to find jobs, that kind of thing. I enjoy sharing my experiences with them and I’m a pretty useful font of local knowledge, so ask away!”
In February all eyes will turn to the Russian resort of Sochi and the start of the greatest winter sports competition on earth. It’s just four years since Team GB returned from the Vancouver games with just one medal - all be it gold coloured and won by Amy Williams in the skeleton. This time Team GB are expected to lay down a significantly improved performance and you’ll be able to watch most events live on TV. Sochi is just 2 hours ahead of France. How much do you know about the winter Games? 1 Curling is one of four winter Olympic sports contested indoors. What are the other three?
6 In which year did Eddie ‘The Eagle’ Edwards represent Team GB in Olympic ski jumping?
2 How many years is it since the Jamaican bobsled team made its debut at the Olympics?
7 Where were the first ever Olympic games held?
3 Only two countries south of the equator have won medals at the Winter Olympics. Which are they? 4 Which country has won more gold medals at the Winter Games than any other country? 5 ECSUS HowDesign muchAd01 haveCROP.pdf the Russians spent on the 11:18 Sochi ’14 Games? 1 31/10/2013
8 No country in the southern hemisphere has ever hosted the Games. True or false? 9 What will the average temperature be in Sochi during this winter’s games? 10 How many sets of medals are up for grabs in Sochi? Turn to page 26 for the answers!
Every single pair of Idris skis is hand crafted by our friend Tom and his team at their base in Chamonix. They use renewable, recyclable materials wherever possible and all components are sourced from local suppliers to reduce emissions. In their own words… ‘we don’t like synthetic materials so we use locally grown oak rather than plastic for the top sheets and side walls of our skis, and bamboo for binding reinforcements’. They’re also of the opinion that skis should last, so Idris Skis are designed with thicker bases and edges for longevity. We think they look pretty darn smart too! You’ll find more information at www.idriskis.com We’ve waited a long time for something like this to happen in Morzine. Our friends Chrigl and Matthew have opened Bec Jaune, a bar and restaurant in the centre of the resort. Beer is best enjoyed fresh, and brewing locally means they can make styles that big beer companies find unsuitable for mass-production. Chrigl and Matthew designed their brewery to give them flexibility to brew new and old style beers, ranging from American IPAs to malty English ales and French styles too. A nourishing food menu runs alongside the beers, with a focus on fresh ingredients and local produce. We’d recommend the pulled pork and mushroom pie any day of the week! As you might have gathered by now, we’re pretty obsessed with all things winter here at Skiidy Gonzales. It’ll therefore come as no surprise that we’re addicted to this web series of ski adventures. They cover dream trips to Norway, La Grave, Kashmir, Alaska, Micah, Iceland and Japan and the filmmakers show what it’s really like in these epic locations. Take some time to watch a couple of them before or during this year’s winter holiday for some inspiring descents that will have you blasting around the Portes du Soleil in no time. Check out www.askiersjourney.com. It’s very likely that you’ve clapped eyes on illustrator and artist Charlie Adam’s ‘Alp Chic’ Bungalow Graphics artwork before. Prints of his almost iconic 70’s tiki inspired, beautifully coloured work adorn the walls of chalets across the Alps and we have a nice selection on the walls of our central Morzine office too! Not only do they brighten the place up, they also put a smile on our faces when we look at them. Charlie has an everexpending portfolio of images and products in all different sizes, which could make them the perfect winter holiday souvenir. Check out www.bungalowgraphics.com for more information or visit the Papiers du Alice gallery in Morzine to see them for yourselves.
A contender for ‘most beautiful bicycles ever made’, we’re huge fans of these titanium and steel bikes with their cantilevered frames. Bunditz Bicycles are the lightest, fastest and most elegant city bikes in the world, and they’re hand made for each customer. When Paul Bundnitz created his own bike back in 2002, people would stop him on the street to ask where they could buy their own. “When you own a bicycle that makes you look good, and that you have fun riding, you’re going to spend a lot more time on that bicycle” and we couldn’t agree more! View the full range at www.budnitzbicycles.com Our lovely friend and ski buddy Kate is not only an awesome skier, but a very talented artist across many forms. After art college and some property development she moved to Morzine and in between her wildlife art production, private commissions and set design for the truly amazing Gifford’s circus, she produces wonderful screen printed designs inspired by her travels, the mountains and skiing. Or in her own words “I have inspirations that need airing. Insights to be shared. Hands that want to work. With all that and more I make exclusive, limited edition hand pulled screen prints in the shadows of the mountains.” Have a look at her web shop at www.indigoknott.com and order yourself a print or two from her ever evolving portfolio. 18
Mobile Ski Delivery Service www.bluebirdskirentals.com
Ardent, Montriond 0033 (0)450759626 SPA de MONTAGNE
Mobile Massage Therapy Massage and spa treatments in the comfort of your chalet
RESERVATIONS : +33 (0)4 50 83 30 23 email@example.com www.sourcesdaulps.com We also have a spa in Ardent, Montriond, complete with Hammam - Outside Sauna - Jacuzzi - Body treatments 19
Onesies are the biggest fashion statement around, a blank canvas for a feast of sartorial salaciousness. Think of them as the power suits of the ski slopes. Yes, they would look more at home with an eighties fro and a mouthful of Hubba Bubba, but don’t they just light up those slopes? Who wants to be the dandy in black when you could be sporting a luminous one-piece? As it happens, there’s a whole host of benefits available to the onesie wearer. The one-piece isn’t just de rigeur for the style-savvy man or woman gracing the slopes. Its advantages in the area of comfort and warmth make it appeal to a whole range of skiers and snowboarders across the spectrum. It’s comfortable, warm and well-sealed against snow. Of course, it would be a travesty to make a beeline for 80s ski styling while ignoring the other decades and their offerings which might appease the style-obsessed skier. Throughout the last century there have been some super rad developments in the world of ski sartorial. Why not channel a little early 20thc glamour and astound the crowds in a floor length woollen skirt constructed from thick woven wool? Or choose a pair of colourful 1950s ski leggings, complete with stirrups! Whatever decade it hails from, retro dressing serves to soften some of the difficulties faced by the fashion conscious man or woman. After all, one of the worst things about getting dressed on a ski holiday is that you don’t get any choice about what to wear. Not only does skiwear have to be practical (and practicality is, as we all know, the downfall of the snappy dresser) it also has to be wearable, year after Gore-Tex infused year. At the end of the day, who during these times of austerity can afford to invest in entirely new kit for use on only one or two weeks of the year? Enter Kyle Dickinson and his band of Retro Revolutionaries. They emerge over the nearest snow-covered summit clad in neons chanting “Give us the 80s and give it us now!” Kyle and his friends champion the fashions of the days when Britain had an economy almost as explosive as the newly invented boom box, happier times when a supermodel could fill out a bikini and fondue was a dinner party favourite. They’ve set up Retro Rentals, hiring out secondhand 80s onesies to couples, families and groups looking to hit the slopes in wicked-cool kit. They even dressed the kids from Made in Chelsea for their knees-up in Verbier last year. The Retro Rentals mission is to paint the life of the modern skier with a little more colour and a whole lot of fun.
Don’t fancy taking on the head-to-toe retro thing? We hear ya! Though onesies are quite the thing for the more adventurous dresser, there is a range of options for incorporating a nod to the retro revolution into more conservative ski style. Try adopting a fabulous oversized 80s jumper into your repertoire for Christmas dressing - all the pout without too much clout. Or seek out a slim 80s sweatband to put the retro cherry on an otherwise modern cake. Alternatively, simply don a pair of aviators and get to work on your handlebar moustache. Of course Kyle and his merry band are the one stop shop if you’re keen to don a onesie for a day. But what if your retro aspirations are of a longer term bent? Charity shops in both England and France are famously onesie-rich and there are some pretty sweet retro separates to be picked up as well. Head to vintage stores such as Oxfam Originals for insane accessories and the all-important Christmas jumper. Beware of imposters though; you wouldn’t want to find that your supposedly vintage robin red-breast sweater was actually churned out by Topshop in 2008. Beyond the many website offerings at the altar of retro and vintage ski sartorial, eBay is an unmissable stop for everything old-style. The best stuff comes from the States so leave adequate delivery time. After all, who wants to cruise the slopes in the knowledge that their nan back home has adopted the leather-wrap sunnies that arrived just too late?
The one piece ski suit, perfect for the modern family - as seen on Made in Chelsea Things to watch while wearing a onesie: 1. Beware of increased visibility whilst attempting potentially embarrassing manoeuvres. 2. Avoid spontaneous combustion of highly synthetic materials by always lighting your cigarette in close proximity to snow. 3. Anticipate toilet trips in advance of necessity to sidestep chilling accidents. Check www.retro-rentals.eu for all your onsie requirements this winter
Whether you’ve skied too hard or can't face going to a restaurant or the supermarket, we can cater for you. From that one-off special dinner to a fully catered week, we can help make your self catered chalet holiday a holiday for everyone Our fully catered package includes 3 course dinners with wine served on 6 evenings, 7 breakfasts (6 served), 7 afternoon teas all left for you to help yourself to Menu 1 - Fixed Menu
Menu 2 - Choose You Own Menus
€220 per person per week, one off dinners charged at €35 per person per night
€265 per person per week, one off dinners charged at €45 per person per night (examples, more dishes on request)
Piedmont peppers & garlic bread Lasagne & salad Tiramisu
French onion soup Tartiflette with salad, cured meats & pickles Lemon sorbet & citrus fruit salad Merguez sausage, chickpea, mint & cucumber salad in a lemon vinaigrette Lamb tagine with Mediterranean vegetables & Moroccan cous-cous Mango & lime cheese cake Nacho chips with guacamole & sour cream Chilli con carne with wraps, grated cheese & salsa salad Chocolate brownie with chocolate sauce Spring rolls & sweet chilli dipping sauce Thai Green chicken curry & vegetable pad Thai noodles Meringues with kiwis & passion fruit coulis Poppadoms with mango chutney & onion relish Chicken & vegetable madras with rice & minted yoghurt Banana samosas & coconut ice-cream
Call us today for more information
Sautéed poached pear slices & blue cheese salad with a balsamic split dressing Bayonne ham & celeriac remoulade & truffle infused olive oil Caramelised onion & goats cheese tart Wild mushroom risotto topped with rocket & parmesan Trio of smoked fish with blinis & crème fraîche, lemon & dill dressing Goats cheese & bacon lardons on mixed leaves with a warm honey mustard dressing French onion soup with a gruyere crouton
Mains Coq au vin with Savoyard potatoes Beef Bourguignon with mashed potato Confit duck on braised red cabbage Fillet mignon of pork with Armagnac cream sauce Dijon & tarragon roast chicken with wild rice mix Slow roast belly pork with a cassoulet of white beans Local trout fillets with a rice pilaf
Desserts Tarte tatin with vanilla ice-cream Vanilla creme brulee & shortbread Lemon tart with black currant sorbet & crème fraîche Bread & butter brioche pudding with crème anglais Sticky toffee pudding with toffee sauce & custard Crepe suzette with caramelised oranges, orange sauce & vanilla ice-cream Chocolate rum pots, chantilly cream & langue de chat biscuits Call Sarah on +33 (0) 6 47 82 98 89 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org You’ll find more information on our catering services on our website – www.chaletchefs.net 21
As co-owner of one of the busiest airport transfer companies in the Alps, Ro doesn’t get as much time as he’d necessarily like to ski during the winter season. After sixteen years of dreaming about Alaska, Ro finally got the chance to drop out of helicopters, charge down epic descents and experience near total remoteness. If you’re planning your own ski trip of a lifetime, read this! ‘Alaska is the mecca of big mountain skiing and we based ourselves in a tiny little town called Haines in the south east of the country. From there the heli base was 33 miles in the direction of Canada, between a trucker’s diner and a petrol pump. It couldn’t have been more different to mid-season Morzine, yet I met up with former Morzine residents Matt, Mark, Cory and Kate. What are the chances of that? The Portes du Soleil is a great, huge ski network with loads of off piste and some great tree skiing. I really love the area. However, it doesn’t come close to Alaska in terms of the scale and the type of skiing available. Different places offer different types of riding and Alaska is pretty unique. Many years of reading ski magazines and watching ski films, plus being a little bit of a ski geek, has given me knowledge of some pretty special places to ski. My ‘epic ski trip list’ includes Alaska, Kashmir, Japan (AKA Japow), Patagonia and Arctic Norway. One down, four to go…
I’ve mentioned that I’m a bit of a ski geek, and my Alaska trip was 16 years in the planning. The Noah Salasnek Alaska section in an early ‘Totally Board’ film blew me away. Dean Cummings and the Gaffney brothers skiing an Alaskan peak called The Meteorite in a film called Breathe also inspired me. I couldn’t (and still can’t!) get over the sheer remoteness and terrific beauty of the mountains, or how powder snow sticks to such steep faces. Coupled with the seemingly lawless, gun ho, high risk, high reward attitude of the early Alaskan skiing and snowboarding pioneers; I knew I had to get there one day. 22
During my years of research I kept coming across this one character called ‘Sean Dog’. He was mentioned in articles and features as a fisherman who organised helicopters for his mates. Eventually he started taking paying clients and his company Alaska Heli-skiing (AH) was born. Unlike the other companies, he never got into the world of fancy lodging, gourmet dinners and farming powder (keeping clients skiing corridors next to each other so groups can lap, reducing heli flight costs). Their accommodation is basic, and it’s all about the skiing. They are obsessive about enabling people to ski super steep powder, challenging themselves and having the best days of their lives. AH has a pretty impressive guide structure and many safety protocols so you feel safe. You’ll ski in small groups that work as teams to look after each other under the guide’s instruction using snow analysis, historics, safe spots, lines of sight and radios. It really inspires confidence, which is just as well
when you drop into a run and the world falls away beneath your feet while you’re flying down 1000m of vertical. You need every bit of focus you can muster! At the end of the day, there is a high degree of risk associated with jumping in and out of helicopters to ski some of the least accessible terrain in the world. All the experience, expertise, planning and risk management abilities of the guide team are great, but things can go wrong. When they go wrong somewhere this remote, they go wrong very quickly, as our guide Rob, who’d given us the greatest day of our trip, tragically learned a year later.
Part of the game in Alaska is watching the weather and dealing with down days. At 7am each day we’d phone the heli base to be told told whether we’d be flying that day. If the answer was no, then we’d spend our time reading, drinking coffee, bear spotting and walking around frozen lakes. Mobile phones don’t work up there, so it was a real break from normality and a lesson in relaxing and not worrying about work. Actually, I really enjoyed the down days too! People often ask me about the best moment of the trip and there are always too many to mention. One stand out moment was the day that all five of us from Morzine loaded into the heli and went skiing. We only got a couple of runs together, but it was awesome. Good friends, deep snow and a helicopter, it was certainly a change from our regular meeting point in Lindarets!
Another highlight was a very long day with our guide Rob. I remember it as pretty much the best day I’ve ever had on skis. We did seven heli drops and seven huge descents in bottomless snow on super steep terrain. We had the freedom to charge as hard and fast as we wanted. We also skied a couple of lines that I’d seen in those early films, including some incredibly steep spines with huge run outs. Quite a few of my dreams came true on that day! On the flight back to base Al, our pilot and Vietnam veteran started getting a bit loose with the heli, dropping the nose and diving over ridges, throwing in a few fast, hard, banking turns. We were smiling and buzzing for hours after landing!
If you’re dreaming of a similar trip, my one tip would be to make sure that you’re up to it. You don’t want to go all that way, to be told after the first assessment run that you’re heading back to base. Also, book your flights separately and be prepared for stop overs and connections to bring the price down significantly. It’s also not worth getting hung up about your accommodation. It’ll likely be on the basic side, but that doesn’t matter. Save money and put it into your heli budget – the bigger it is, the better!
Ski & Snowboard Carriage • • • •
door-to-door delivery of your equipment & luggage weight allowance up to 30kg per bag discounts for group bookings & seasonaires BIKE CARRIAGE DURING SUMMER SEASON
Weekly Delivery Service • • • • •
small parcels to large items 1kg-1,500kg pallets - up to 1000kg per pallet light removals storage
UK Supermarket Deliveries Unit R9 | MK:2 Business Centre | Milton Keynes | MK2 3HU Tel: +44 (0)1908 821210 | Mob: +44 (0)7780 727187 For more information on Alaska Heli-skiing visit www.alaskaheliskiing.com
The best pop rock bar in Morzine playing music from the 70’s ‘till now
Open from 2pm to 2am every day Happy hour every day from 4pm – 6pm
Follow us on Facebook - /Tibetan-Café-Morzine Follow us on Twitter - @TibetanMorzine
+33 (0) 4 50 75 90 84 www.tibetan-café-morzine.com
Live music with great bands and musicians Live DJ every evening All sports shown on a large screen
The Alpine Dream Typically it all starts with a ski holiday. As you wander through your resort of choice, you’re drawn to the window of an estate agent, curious about property prices. As the week continues you might meet some friendly locals, who’re keen to tell you about their home in the Alps. The seed of thought has been planted. This is how many people find themselves here in the mountains. Steven Downs at ECSUS Design has met many such folk. His company specialise in designing and constructing highly insulated, cost effective, high quality homes in the Alps. Using pre-made panels known as SIPS (structurally insulated panels to you and I), they are designed and fabricated off-site. ‘Our houses can be built in days using timber frame panels that are so well insulated, in some cases they can eliminate heating bills altogether’.
You’ll just need some land to put it on. Local estate agent Morzine Immobilier have a range of plots for sale in the local area, starting from around €195,000 for a 795 sqm plot in the pretty village of Montriond on the outskirts of Morzine. Move further from the resort centre, to a hamlet such as La Cote d’Arbroz or the bustling village of St Jean d’Aulps and you’ll get a larger slice of the alpine dream for your euro. By contrast, a sunny, South facing plot measuring 1520
sqm and overlooking Morzine is likely to set you back around €395,000. ECSUS Design offer a couple of different solutions for the would-be alpine house builder. A fully managed project means Steven, an architect by trade, and his team construct your home, or as an alternative you can choose their self build solution. Find out more at www.escusdesign.com and www.morzine-immo.com
The Skiidy Gonzales team spends a lot of time at Geneva airport each winter. Here are our top tips for arriving and departing from Europe’s busiest winter sports airport.
security restaurants & snack bars main departure boards
Enregistrement other airlines check-in easyjet baggage drop
skiidy gonzales desk
look out for the sombrero
3 You’ll find the check-in desks and luggage drops of all the major airlines on Floor C. For the Easyjet baggage drop area, turn left and head to the far end of the concourse.
6 After security there are a few designer shops and a large duty free at which (depending on the exchange rate) you can stock up on cosmetics, perfumes and cigarettes. There are a couple of snack bars too.
1 Bring a €2 or 2 CHF coin with you for a luggage trolley. Sometimes a 2p coin will work too. It’s an eight minute walk from the arrivals hall to your transfer vehicle.
4 The restaurants and snack bars, including a Burger King and Starbucks are on the floor above check-in, before you go through security.
7 Some of the gates are quite a walk from the central departure lounge. Check the departures board as soon as you clear security in case you need to head directly to your gate.
2 Keep your passport handy, either in your hand bag or in your coat pocket during your journey to resort.
5 It can take a long time to pass through security at the airport, especially on busy days. Leave plenty of time! 25
Summer in the mountains used to be one of the best-kept secrets in travel. Nowadays you’ll find as many activities for families, groups and couples in our glorious corner of the Alps, as you will in any Mediterranean beach resort. Road Cycling Cycling and in particular road cycling has seen an unprecedented rise in popularity over the last few years across many countries. From our own experience we’re seeing more and more British people coming to the continent and the French Alps in particular with their bikes during the summer months. And how right they are! It’s a wonderful activity full of exercise, challenges, camaraderie, thrills and hard work. It gives you huge personal satisfaction to achieve something special on a bike. There’s nothing better than cycling up and down these incredibly beautiful mountains in the summer sunshine.
Velovation – Morzine based day rides, classic climb weekends and Route du Grande Alpes week trips. If you want to ride mountains and get the most out of it then Mark and his team are the people for you. See www. velovation.co.uk for more information. Ride and Seek – A fantastic company offering week and month long cycle tours along cultural and historical themes. These tours really are a bit special as they do more than simply take you from A to B on a bike. Check out www.rideandseek.com.
Mountain Biking If you hadn’t already heard, downhill, cross-country and enduro mountain biking are a big deal around these parts. During certain summer weeks the resorts of Morzine and Les Gets are packed with bikers who use the local lift network to access purpose built trails across the area. The mountain biking season begins with the Pass’Portes du Soleil, an 80km trek across the whole Portes du Soleil area, which brings with it a fantastic atmosphere across the three resorts. This summer it takes place on 27th, 28th and 29th June.
Family Fun Each summer across the Portes du Soleil there’s a MultiPass card that gives you free or seriously discounted access to some of the regions top attractions. Not only do you get to ride on all the ski lifts within the MuliPass price, you can also climb around the treetops at Indiana Park or enjoy the swimming complexes in Morzine and Avoriaz at a reduced rate. Other MultiPass activities include tennis, ice-skating and lake swimming. Thrill seekers will also enjoy the many water sports available locally. The local River Dranse passes through the centre of Morzine, and during the spring and summer months it can be a raging torrent of white water. Expert local companies offer rafting and canoeing, while it’s also possible to gorge walk with a local guide. Undoubtedly one of the main reasons the Alps are so popular in the summer is for hiking. The local tourist offices produce a fairly comprehensive, free guide to local walking routes across the area, which are graded in terms of their difficulty. There’s something for everyone, and hiking is the best way to take in the stunning views. During the summer months the local bus network also operates a reliable and well-timed service, meaning you can explore neighboring resorts and villages without having to rely on a car.
Fancy 10% off your next Skiidy Gonzales airport transfers? Simply quote ‘Mag14’ while you’re booking your summer airport transfers on our website. We also carry bike and other sports equipment for free! 26
ANSWERS (1) Hockey, figure skating and speed skating (2) 22 3. Australia and New Zealand (4) Norway (5) $50 billion (6) Calgary 1988 (7) Chamonix, France (8) True (9)10°c (10) 98
Why not bring yourself, your family, your friends or even your work colleagues for a week or weekend to cycle some iconic routes and put a smile on your face. Here at Skiidy Gonzales we’re all keen cyclists with a wide variety of abilities, from the social to the serious. We are all in agreement that everyone should experience classic and historical routes in the French Alps and across Europe. There are many options but here are two of very best.
HCMAG VS AMIENS
HCMAG VS VILLARD
HCMAG VS GAP
HCMAG VS EPINAL
HCMAG VS STRASBOURG
HCMAG VS BRIANCON
HCMAG VS DIJON
HCMAG VS CAEN
SKODA ARENA I 502 ROUTE DU PALAIS DES SPORTS 74110 MORZINE I TEL.+33.(0)18.104.22.168.21 I INFO@HCMAG.FR
We are qualified Chartered Surveyors from both UK and France. We boast market expertise second to none, thanks to over 25 years of hands-on experience in the Alps and throughout the Haute Savoie T: +33 (0)4 50 79 13 09 | F: +33 (0)4 50 79 15 67 | E: email@example.com | W: www.morzine-immo.com
Morzine Immobilier, an estate agency specialised in the sale and rental of ski resort properties in the French Alps and more particularly in the heart of the Portes du Soleil region. We offer a range of chalets, flats, farms, new builds and land for sale or rent in the Morzine, Les Gets, Montriond, Saint Jean D’aulps, Seytroux, Essert Romand, Côte d’Arbroz and Le Biot region. Feel free to visit our office in the centre of Morzine, on the roundabout by Super Morzine telecabine if you would like any further details or just some professional & friendly advice on the property market. Sale Properties for
€2,500 - €6,800
Price - €2,895
Ref – Pruger
Luxury 5 bedroom chalet 5 minute walk to centre Ski in ski out from 100m
Part of our luxury collection (concierge service) Stunning newly renovated chalet, 6 bedrooms (sleeps 12) Sauna, hot tub, garden.
€1,300 - €2,200
Price - €945,0
Ref – Tavillons
Lovely 5 bedroom chalet Huge potential for refurbishment Large garden, 5 minute walk to centre
Fabulous 3 bedroom apartment Sleeps 8 Great location in Morzine
Price - €235,0
€450 - €1,750
Ref – Pleney A1
South facing large 1 bedroom apartment Shared garden, 42m², potential for 2nd bedroom Great rental return
Ski in Ski out apartment on Pleney Renovated 3 bedroom apartment Sleeps 8, 2 minutes from centre
Morzine Immobilier | 210 Route de la Plagne | Morzine | Siret: 504 372 038 000 19