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November 14, 2007

Great Tips on Skiing/Travelling in Megeve (h/t Megeve Mike Beaudet)

Mike Beaudet runs a private ski tour and instruction company based out of Megeve, France. Interesting concept that is missing in the states. Instead of donating $500 for a 4 hour "private" lesson to a resort, plus paying the cost of your lift tickets and gear, you pay what is essentially a private instructor (poacher) who does private lessons and helps facilitate the transaction, plus provides expert coaching. Mike is a Level 3 Certified PSIA instructor, plus has all the European certs, etc., but instead of making $10 an hour plus tips (maybe $15-20 for a Level 3), he does private bookings and group lessons. He saves you enough on the trip to more than cover his instruction fees, plus knows all the local restaurants and MULTIPLE AREA RESORTS, meaning that he can help you find the best lines at a dozen resorts instead of being locked in. Anyway, enough pimping for Mike...

Mike is doing articles at About.com on skiing and this one is a must read if you plan on skiing in the Geneva area at any of the many resorts:

From Megeve you can easily ski four ski areas in less than a 25 minute drive, (subject to weather and road conditions)! If you’re willing to push your daily drive to one hour you can ski in Italy and get to French ski areas that will give you access to Swiss Alps areas!

A nice little restaurant, at the end of the day, in each ski area you visit is not to be resisted and allows you to taste the local fare which can change due to the specificities of each region and valley!

When renting your car insist that you take possession on the Swiss side "sector" of the Geneva Airport and NOT the French side! When booking online be sure to select Switzerland as your destination country to ensure your rental is at the Swiss side.

This is most important as the car that you hire will be equipped, standard, with: snow chains, a ski rack, and a Swiss Auto Route Pass. This will save you in drop-off charges and tolls, ease of transporting skis, and driving distance as the French side is much farther to get into and out of than the Swiss side is to the destination ski areas.

Should you rent on the French side, all of the above is an extra! Also, try and gas up when possible in Switzerland as it less expensive.

Add in that Mike can find discounts on gear rentals, lift tickets, and certainly food and hotel accomodations, and it is worth talking to him before you travel.

If you are from the states, for comparable airfare costs, you can ski Europe for comparable money as skiing in the Rockies (and comparable travel times from the East coast). And that is with the premium on the Euro due to the Dollar's drop in exchange rate. With some help and planning, you can ski Europe with private lessons, transportation, lodging, food, and an expert guide for far less than it would cost anywhere in the states, even at a budget destination. Have some wine and enjoy some great food at off mountain prices, plus ski a variety of resorts.

I keep saying I am going to Europe to do just that, but it looks like another season is lost for me travelling. Just too much going right now to take the time. Next winter, I am certain that short of financial catastrophy, I will head to Europe for a week. I am also considering a summer trip to Chile. That is actually even more reasonable if you are willing to "slum" it, you can do it for next to nothing. Hostel style living in Chile, but upscale in Europe.

Posted by Justin at November 14, 2007 10:08 PM

Comments

I love skiing and when searching last season for ski jobs across Europe, I came across Scott Dunn who required people with
varying skills for winter season jobs in their ski resorts. They are a luxury tailor made holidays company and found them to be excellent in finding me the right job in the right location.

Posted by: Born4thesurf at November 16, 2007 03:55 AM

Skiing in Megeve is fantastic. I love France! I've been skiin mostly in Chamonix, but there are many other great resorts in France, such as Megeve.

Posted by: Marko Pyhajarvi at November 19, 2007 11:44 AM