James Chapple hits the slopes, refuels on hearty local cuisine and tries out some new snow-based activities.
It’s 7.30pm. My boots are strapped tightly to my calves, skis to my feet, poles in hand. Night skiing is new for me, but it’s been a feature for Manigod – La Clusaz’s cutesy neighbour – for the past five seasons. The snow is dense and well compacted, with a loose dusting on top. It’s perfect.
“It’s going to be a good night,” grins our guide, Pierrick, from under his helmet as we take Le Chevreuil chairlift up to Manigod’s highest point, La Tete de Cabeau (1,650 metres), meandering between trees lit up by the floodlights and the moon overhead.
After a couple of gentle blue runs under lights, we strike out by moonlight alone, cautiously seeking out the fleeting shafts of light that illuminate our way. It’s about as uniquely primal an experience as you can have on skis and an exciting introduction to Manigod and nearby La Clusaz, where we are staying.
Set in the Aravis mountains backing onto the Chamonix valley, it’s just an hour’s transfer from Geneva – great for clients not keen on a long transfer, or who want to self-drive.