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La Grave !

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
I'm firming up some plans to finally get to La Grave next February, but I'll only be there for a few days and looking for a place to stay on a budget... So, while I've heard great things about La Chaumine Skiers Lodge, I was just wondering if there are any other recommendations (from the tourist office web site I was thinking of L'Edelweiss - does anyone know it?).

BTW, if anyone happens to be a La Grave regular and knows the guides there, by all means recommend someone you think is good, I think the cost of a guide is always worth it if a) you do something harder than you thought you could do and b) you learn something new...
post #2 of 4
Interesting pen name - what does it mean?
I've skied La Grave a couple of times, staying at L'Edelweiss. Simple straightforward little hotel, friendly ownership (at least it was when I was there last, about 8 years ago), in the character of the resort itself which is very rudimentary.
The hotel has certainly been popular with ski groups from the UK over the years.
I can't advise on guides. The main skiing doesn't require one, though nothing is marked or groomed. There are two main routes down the mountain.
If you want to ski further afield then a guide is essential. A friend of mine died there some years ago, skiing with a guide down a couloir, and I'm always very wary of French guides who over-estimate the fitness or capability of skiers. Maybe find out who Chaumine use, and book independently. Don't ski there too early in the season - you need big accumulations of snow to get the best out of the place. March is probably best.
post #3 of 4
I've skied La Grave on three different vacations, staying at La Chaumine twice and L'Edelweiss once. L'Edelweiss is French owned and operated with very good food and nice cozy rooms with private(ensuite) bath.L'Edelweiss is in town, within walking distance to the lift. The only downside is that town(La Grave) is dark and cold in February. La Chaumine is located in Ventelon a few kilometers up the hill from La Grave on the sunny side of the valley facing La Meije and the ski area. Spectacular views, good food, funky rooms, and lousy beds. They have their own guides(mainly Swedes) all great and UAIGM certified who know the terrain intimately. They not only guide but provide transport to the skiing, whether at La Grave or neighboring areas when La Grave isn't going off. La Chaumine is British owned and Swedish run. I understand that they have done a recent remodel and/or expansion with some better rooms? If you want to really experience the skiing use a guide , especially if it is snowing and you can't navigate visually. My one experience with a French guide was outstanding. His name was Xavier Cret. Very safety concious, good English, great skier. Good Luck, DonnyB
post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 
Thanks DonnyB, I've found M. Cret's name on the list of La Grave guides, so I'll send him a fax! I'm only "passing through" La Grave, but I'm hoping at least to scope the place, and maybe visit Skiers Lodge the following season.

Dave, Antoine Roquentin is a character in a Sartre novel who spends his time gripped by existential angst (of course). The relevance is Sartre's definition of existentialism: "l'homme n'est rien d'autre que ce qu'il se fait" ["man is nothing but for what he does"]. But I want to push myself at La Grave, not get killed you know!!
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