Winter is coming


Samoens’ Facebook cover image

It was a beautiful autumn day here in the Alps today, crisp and clear, the colours starting to turn in the forest across the valley and snow dusting the peaks higher up. Meanwhile my twitter timeline is already filling up with tweets hashtagged #WinterIsComing and there are less than 90 days to go till the start of the winter season.

What are French ski resorts doing to make the most of this inter-season and turn our attention to the winter that is just around the corner? A recent post from Slopefillers highlights a couple of good examples of how US ski resorts are making the transition from summer to winter. I thought it would be interesting to do the same over on this side of the pond.

The first example that sprang to mind was Samoëns’ Facebook cover image, above, which is similar to the mashups created by Copper Mountain in the Slopefillers post. Except it is actually a blend of two different views of the town and it is not actually new – it has been up for a while.

What is new are these #WantToSki teasers from Val Thorens, which it is encouraging people to post up and then featuring on its YouTube channel.

That’s the first one of three so far and they are…. quirky, while at the same time, of course, promoting its early opening day.

Another resort doing something a little bit different is Les Orres, which, instead of having two different home page options (winter and summer) like most resorts, has three: winter, summer and autumn. It has been promoting the fact that it has kept its bike park and access lifts open during weekends in September.

home page

Screenshot of Les Orres’ home page

Two other examples, both videos, are more straightforward winter season teasers rather than referencing the changing seasons, but they caught my eye anyway:

One is from Vars, which quite simply posted a video recently on its Vimeo channel that plays to its strengths:

The amount of buzz I’ve heard in the past year about Vars as a resort for freestyle skiers since it held the Vars Tournament is quite remarkable, so this video makes good sense.  I see the event is back for more in March 2014 (although the website for it was still showing last year’s event as I wrote this…).

The other – also a video – is this extensive, swooping aerial view of the ‘Seven Wonders’ of Paradiski, the domain that encompasses Les Arcs, Peisey-Vallandry and La Plagne.

It makes the ski area look vast, which is topical in Europe at the moment, as many resorts are facing something of a media storm following a recent study alleging they are exaggerating the length of their pistes.

Any other resorts you think are doing something innovative to grab our attention this pre-season? Any comments welcome. #WinterIsComing …


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