Friday 18th January 2013
With an empty chalet, 2 days off owing and my poorly leg we decided to head off in the campervan whilst our colleagues in resort stayed behind to enjoy the fresh snow and peace and quiet before our next groups arrive. Early evening on Tuesday Dave put on the snow chains and we gingerly made our way down the valley only for him to have to ‘whip them off’ again at the bottom where the roads were snow free. I say ‘whip them off’ like it’s a doddle – it’s not and I hope never to have to do it myself!
We parked up in the centre of Cluses, our nearest main town, and found the Turkish restaurant we had spotted on a previous drive through and enjoyed a lovely Iskender kebab (sliced meat on bread with a yogurt and tomato sauce). Back in the van we settled down for the night – waking up to yet more fresh snow the next morning.
The main roads are normally kept really clear and once the sun and traffic had cleared the remaining slush we ventured over to Sixt-Fer-a-Cheval. The name refers to the huge limestone amphitheatre which forms the eastern end of the Giffre valley with steep 700m cliffs. The area is also famous for its abundant waterfalls of which there are over 30 in the area.
Sixt is a pretty little village, surrounded by these high mountains and is also the end point of a 14 km blue run called Cascades (waterfall) which starts at the Les Grandes Platieres at the top of the Grand Massif skiing area. Probably one to aim for once I am back on my skis and more experienced. Dave got out on a few of the lifts from Sixt while the sun was shining – it’s a quiet area but served well by a free ski-bus back to Samoen and Morillon.
We stayed overnight in the Telecabine car park at Morillion (along with 3 other hardy campers). It was a very cold night but with the heater on full blast, extra duvets and bed socks we were snuggly and warm. The view was amazing but the downside of stopping in an otherwise empty car park is that the local youngsters use it as a skid pan normally at about 1am in the morning – and tonight was no different! They always sound really close and you pray that they are experienced enough to do whatever it is they are trying to impress their friends / girlfriends with and avoid sliding into the van!