As reported previously, this blogtrip was planned entirely using Expedia’s Snow Companion application. The facebook application allowed us to explore a number of seven day flight and accommodation packages across a range of ski destinations featured on the app, which enables users in the UK (only) to plan and book a ski holiday for a group, all within Facebook where we could each vote for our preferred package.
By using the application to book the trip, it allowed us to experience the Ski holiday ‘research and booking’ process as well as the actual seven day package. We finally ended up in the ski resort of Chamonix in the heart of the French Alps.
We were based in Argentiere, which is part of the collection of villages nestled along the Chamonix valley which runs from Switzerland into France. Our accommodation was a four star Apartment, Residence Le Cristal d’Argentiere, which was a convenient five minute walk from one of the Ski areas, Les Grands Montets, and our home for the duration of the trip.
The challenge was not only to experience Expedia’s snow travel planning tools and ski holiday options, but also to come back with fun snow related content, our personal views, experiences and tips from the trip including the destination and what it has to offer.
From Tripwolf.com, Lea Hajner (@vanilleah) and Peter Anegg (@tripwolf). From Travmonkey.com, Paul Dow (@travmonkey) and from Travelllll.com it was me.
We were all snowboarders, two Intermediate and two Advanced level. This worked really well and although all four of us boarded together most of the time, it also allowed us to split up in groups of two as to allow the Advanced boarders to tackle the more challenging runs which also provided some of the more interesting content. One example would be Aiguille Du Midi, Mont Blanc which is 3842m high. Team @Tripwolf were able to make the three hour ride down the somewhat icy Glacier Du Geant Vallee Blanche, past the snow caves and from high altitude. Peter, who is very advanced, was also able to comfortably move around to film the group and enjoy himself performing jumps and tricks in the Snow Park.
Another really important consideration when we were planning the trip was the equipment. Logistically, it is a challenge to create content whilst doing a snow activity, especially when it risks the camera getting wet or breaking when you fall down (which you do!).
We’ve raved enthusiastically on past video posts about the GoPro video camera, so we were thrilled to have GoPro sponsor their latest Hero2 for the trip. The GoPro Hero2 is small and rugged with a wide range of mounts for helmets and snowboards, making it easy to use whilst on the snow. It has a 170 degree field of vision, which is great for capturing those panoramic views in HD and the case makes it waterproof to 100 feet.
We were all provided with six day Mont Blanc Unlimited Ski passes which gave access to the increased ski terrain in Chamonix. The six major ski areas – 410km of slopes, 124 lifts – and additionally, full access to the whole resort of Courmayeur (Italy) and to all the 4 valleys of Verbier (Switzerland).
Given that there was no set itinerary for the trip, only the ski passes and the ski areas, part of the fun was studying the map of the ski areas in the evening and planning our activities for the next day ourselves. We’d also discuss our favourite runs and review the day’s footage in the evenings when we returned from a day on the Snow. The weather conditions were great, clear blue skies and sunny with great visibility of the Mont Blanc, surrounding areas and the valley.
We visited two of the 3000+view points, Aiguille du Midi, Mont Blanc (3842m) and Les Grands Montets (3300m) for amazing views. Some of the ski areas that we tried were Domain De Balme (Le Tour – Vallocrine), Le Houches, Les Grands Montets and Brevent – Flegere.
A big thanks to the team (Lea, Peter and Paul) who made this trip so enjoyable. Also, thanks to Expedia for an unforgettable snow experience.
Images: GoPro (with help from the author) and Paul Dow @travmonkey
Post sponsored by Expedia.co.uk