How to Make Your Ski Holiday Eco-Friendly

Ski holidays are not always synonymous with being environmentally friendly. However, choosing to travel abroad and enjoy the mountains doesn’t have to be in contrast with being eco-friendly. There are a variety of different ways you can lessen your impact on our planet, even whilst on a skiing. Here are a  few ways to make your ski holiday eco-friendly.

The Best Way to Travel

…is by train. Straight from London St Pancras to Moutiers the ‘snow train’ departs weekly on Friday evening and Saturday morning. You can take it overnight and gain an extra day of skiing. We recommend checking out the Snow Carbon website. It’s a great resource for everything you need to know about train travel to the Alps.

However, we recognise that the snow train might not make sense for everyone. Maybe you have small children or are just too far away from London. If you do fly into the Alps, opt for a shared transfer. This way, there are more bums in seats on your ride up to the mountain from the airport, and fewer transfer vans on the roads. Also, let’s not forget they’re cheaper than private transfers!

Also, choose your transfer company consciously. There are companies such as Vanoise Prestige who are doing their part to be more eco-friendly.getting to the alps train

Conscious Ski Gear Consumption

Ski gear is a necessity for a ski holiday – there is no getting around that. However, you don’t have to go to the shop to buy something brand new.

  • Rent – Renting gear is great for first-time skiers. You may not know if you’ll enjoy it and don’t want to invest in clothing for a one-off holiday. Luckily, there are a few options for renting ski gear these days. Ski Chic offers pick-up in Courchevel of ski jackets, trousers, goggles & gloves. They have high-quality kit from brands such as The North Face and Peak Performance. And, you can save some space in your suitcase with this option!
  • Repair – Get a bit old fashioned and sew up your holes and tears. If you have a jacket or pair of salopettes that are a bit worn, find a seamstress or get out your sewing machine and sew it up. This YouTube video has some helpful tips.
  • Buy Used – New-to-you gear can be just as good. One Sleeve is a local organisation based in Courchevel, that is giving new life to barely-worn gear. They receive ‘damaged’ kit from ski brands, that they cannot sell for full price, repair the small damages and re-sell it for a fraction of the price.
  • Share – Sharing ski kit is great for children (and adults!), but especially little ones who are constantly growing. Find a friend or family member who can lend you their clothing for the week.

Choose Eco-Friendly Companies

When you do make purchases, choose companies that are trying to contribute back to the planet rather than just take from it. Did you know EasyJet offsets their carbon emissions for each flight? Then there is Patagonia who is the gold standard for clothing with a purpose. And here are ten more green ski brands to check out.

Keep Doing Your Small Part

Although you’re on holiday, you can still make the small personal choices that you do at home.

  • Bring a reusable water bottle. For your travel days and on the slopes. It’s also a good way to save a bit of cash on not having to buy water.
  • Be responsible with your rubbish & recycling.
  • Use public transit where possible. La Tania has a free bus system that connects with every village in Courchevel. Opt for this over a private taxi or in-resort transfer.

ski holiday eco-friendly

Get Involved

Is this something you’re passionate about? There are many skiers and snowboarders who are working hard to protect our mountains through the organisation Protect Our Winters UK. If you want to get involved there are a number of ways you can do so.

At the end of the day, we’re here because we love the mountains, and when you are out skiing in them, you really appreciate all they have to offer. Perhaps that will lead you to make small choices that help protect the stunning Alps that we get to play in and enjoy.

What’s Happening in the 3 Valleys?

This time of year we often have an update on the ski lift and resort changes the 3 Valleys are working on over the summer. They work hard to ensure all of their services are always in tip-top condition.  We know of a couple of projects taking place at the moment.

In Courchevel they have started work on the piste for the World Cup, which will take place in 2023.

The third sector of Plattières in Mottaret is being modernised this summer.  They are replacing the bubbles with a new chair lift. The old bubbles went on sale at the end of April for 500 Euros each.   The sale raised 22 500 Euros for three charities.

The Three Valleys does an amazing job keeping all the lift systems up to date year on year.

Looking ahead to both summer and next winter, there is much to look forward to. Here’s what’s happening in the 3 Valleys.

Hiking French Alps river flowers mountain views

Summer 2020 in La Tania

The ski lifts will be opening this summer!

Courchevel and the 3 Valleys have confirmed that the ski lifts will be opening this summer from 5 Jul – 28 Aug 2020. This is great news for the resort. We’re pleased that people will be able to enjoy mountain biking and hikes throughout the mountain. They will of course be implementing appropriate social distancing measures, but no specifics on this have been announced yet.

There is still no news on when restaurants, cafes and bars will be reopening in France, but this should be announced by the French government by the end of May. We’re hoping we can still enjoy a summer lunch on the sunny terrace at Le Bouc Blanc if the government deems it safe to do so.

Tour de France in our backyard

The Tour de France dates have been moved to a late August start, which is good news for many in that it is still going ahead. And this year, they are riding their way to the very top of La Tania at the Col de la Loze (the top of Dou des Lanches chair). The riders will actually come up the Meribel side, starting in Brides les Bains and make their way up the steep mountain. Last summer a new road up to the col was erected, for what many (rightly) guessed was in anticipation of a future Tour route. They will ride this route on 16 Sept as the 17th stage of the Tour.

Looking Forward: Courchevel & La Tania Winter 2020/21

Although winter is still a little way off, Courchevel has released its winter opening dates and the 3 Valleys have released lift pass prices.

La Tania Ski Resort Dates 2020/21

La Tania will be open from 12 Dec 2020 – 17 Apr 2021. Courchevel 1850 will open one week earlier on 5 Dec as it has for a number of years, however this is usually just a handful of chair lifts and gondolas.

3 Valleys Lift Pass Prices 2020/21

The price for a six day 3 Valleys ski pass for 2020/21 season is 321€.  All our guests who purchase with us, receive the Tribu Rate, which means a 3 Valleys ski pass costs 306€, a saving of 15€ per pass. A one day pass is 64,50€. Both of these are a slight increase on last year’s prices. There are also lower rates for the first and last week’s of the season. You can find all the details on the 3 Valleys website.

three valleys

COVID-19 Impacts on Next Winter

December is still months away, and the COVID-19 situation will certainly change in those months. However, Courchevel is likely already preparing how to to meet any new safety requirements necessary.

There are a number of other ski resorts in the French Alps that offer summer skiing on the glaciers. These resorts are setting in place social distancing measures for glacier skiing, which we anticipate will help shape winter ski resort safety measures. Many resorts will be looking to see how well things worked, and take note. We will keep an eye on this and share more when we know more.

Nonetheless, we are confident we are all going to enjoy another amazing winter in the Alps, and we hope to host you when you do come to visit La Tania. We’ll be sure to keep you updated as we know more.

Recipes: Dishes From the Alps to Make at Home

Whilst we are all spending more time at home, undoubtedly there is more cooking happening as well. If you’re looking for something to mix up your usual cooking routine, or are missing the delicacies of the Alps, here are some mountain recipes you can make at home.

You can have local specialities such as fondue, tartiflette and raclette at home with just a little bit of ingenuity. All of these consist of simple mountain fayre ingredients – cheese, meat and potatoes – but are transformed into delicious meals. Along with that, we’ve outlined a few local beverages and a dessert to round off your Savoie meal.

Savoie Aperitif (Apero)

A classic French meal always starts with an aperitif – a pre-dinner drink. Each region in France has its aperitifs that are local to the area. In Savoie, the classic local apero is a ‘kir Savoyard’. Made with cassis liqueur and a Savoie white wine, this is a sweet and fresh drink to kick off the evening with.

Tartiflette

Tartiflette is a favourite amongst many who come to the Alps regularly. It’s a very filling dish, which consists of sliced potato cooked with bacon, onion cream and Reblochon cheese. The entire dish is baked in the oven and comes out with a nice crispy layer of cheese on the top. The Reblochon cheese is really what gives this dish its unique flavour.

Of the three classic cheesy meals, tartiflette is the easiest to replicate at home because it doesn’t require any special equipment. You can find our tartiflette recipe here.

Raclette

Raclette is a local hard cheese, which is melted at the table under a grill, and then scraped onto your plate. It’s eaten with boiled potatoes, charcuterie and small pickled gherkins. A salad also pairs nicely with this. In a restaurant, you’ll usually see half a wheel of raclette stuck under a heat lamp, which then melts and allows you to scrape it off during the course of the meal – right onto your plate!

You can purchase these raclette machines, along with an alternative style where you put slices of cheese on small paddles and inside a grill on the table to cook. If you’re really into raclette, investing in a set-up might be an option for you. However, we understand that might not be realistic or ideal for many people – which is where you need to get creative. Here are some alternative options for making raclette at home either in the oven, microwave or on an open fire.

Fondue

Fondue is a little harder to replicate without a proper fondue pot. This gooey cheese dish is a favourite among many. It’s melted cheese mixed with local wine, into which you dip pieces of bread. It’s kept in a specific fondue pot which sits over a flame (or there are electric versions as well) to keep the cheese gooey for the entire meal.

You can make fondue in a regular saucepan on the stove and just place it on the table to dip straight from. However, you’ll definitely have to eat quickly before the cheese goes hard. Or if you want, get yourself a fondue machine. Here is a classic Savoyard fondue recipe.

where to eat in la tania

Tarte Aux Myrtille

If you have room for dessert after all that cheese, round off your meal with the classic ‘tarte aux myrtilles’ – a tart made from local bilberries. Here’s a recipe to give it a whirl.

Genepi

No mountain meal is complete without genepi to finish it off. Genepi is a local liqueur made from the genepi plant that only grows above a certain altitude in this region. It is considered a digestif to have after a heavy meal, to help break down all that cheese in your belly! It has a strong menthol flavour and is light yellow/green in colour. You will either love it or hate it – there is no in-between with genepi.

You can order it in the UK if you want a taste of this local digestif at home.

Hungry yet? We hope you give some of these alps recipes you can make at home a go!

And whenever you’re ready to book your next ski holiday (and come enjoy this delicious mountain fayre in the Alps) we’re ready to welcome you. We’re now taking bookings for 20/21 winter. See our availability here.