Mountains #23 & #24 -- Orelle & Val Thorens

Thursday, December 19, 2013

After taking a much needed day off, which consisted of us sleeping until about 10am, breakfast around noon, lounging about, and cooking dinner for some other EpicRacers, it was time to get back on the hill.  We saved the longest check-in trek for last.

Orelle is a town that is approx. 70km away from Méribel by car. As we found out on Tuesday, it is about 21 miles away on skis, going in a fairly direct route. Up and over the first mountain, and then the 2nd mountain. We met up with some of our racer friends including Joe, Steve, and John so we'd have more company for the long day. We also picked up another racer, Jen, along the way.

Dave & Joe

Jen, John, and Steve

We got an early start right when the lifts opened at 9am. There wasn't a ton of skiing involved as it was mostly traveling from one lift to the next as we made our way over, but that left plenty of time for chatting. It took us over 2 hours to get to Orelle. Due to the lack of snow, we weren't able to ski down to the town, and instead had to download a gondola for a 25min ride into the town.  It was quite a deserted looking town, that doesn't get much (if any) direct sunlight during the winter. Luckily we made it to the tourist office before they closed for their 2 hour lunch at noon. Definitely not a place I'd want to be stuck waiting for 2 hours.

EpicRacer friends on the lift!

Once we had our stamp, it was back up the gondola for another 25min ride up the mountain.  We weren't able to go to the highest peak like our checklist wanted us to since the lifts were closed, but we were able to snap a few quick pics/videos and head towards Val Thorens.

Val Thorens
Over in Val Thorens we were all ready for lunch. We found a great little sandwich shop and some tables outside in the sun and out of the wind that were a perfect spot. They had a great combo with a sandwich, fries, soda and water for a fixed price, and a discount if you ordered 2 of the combos.  Dave and I of course ordered the 2 combos, and asked if they could switch the soda and water for a beer. They said, "no problem" -- by far the greatest lunch deal we have found this entire trip.

We took 1 run that was out of the way to try and check out the Glacier de Péclet. We couldn't really tell the difference though between what was just the mountain and what was considered the glacier once we reached the top. We did have one awesome long run back to the bottom that made the detour worth it. Then it was time to head back to Méribel. A few more lifts and a couple long runs later we had finally made it back to our hotel. A nice 42 mile round trip adventure on skis!

For our photo/video check-ins, we completed the following:


1) Bottom of the Les 3 Vallées Express in Orelle

2) Rosaël Lift

3) Near the sign for the Bouchet Lift (we couldn't do the check-in at the top since the lifts were closed.)

1) Base of the Grand Fond Gondola

2) Top of the Funitel Peclet

3) Riding the Magic Carpet

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