The magnificent 3983m peak of La Meije, with its legendary backcountry glacier and ski area, is not a bad office view. It’s what Robin and Marlon wake up to as owners of the Auberge Edelweiss.
The centuries old coaching inn with one of the most stunning views in the Alps, situated in the heart of the 12th century French Alpine village of La Grave, is well-loved for refined food, extensive wine list and warm hospitality. Robin tells us why he has one foot in La Grave.
So what made you choose La Grave?
First time I was with ice climbing friendsI didn't know there was skiing here,but I tried the skiing and loved it. When Marlon and I met in 1997 I showed her La Grave, she loved it,too.
What kind of ski/boarder comes to La Grave?
Adventurous experts from round the world.
What is so special about the Edelweiss?
It has a unique multinational atmosphere- around 50 different nationalities stay with us, plus of course they come for the food and wine.
Which is the room with the best view?
The terrace overlooking La Meije - no reason you should stay in a room to look at the amazing view.
How often do you get out on the hill?
Depends on the time of the season and how busy the Auberge is; from six times a week to twice here and also nearby resorts.
Guess you know La Grave like the back of your hand? What’s your favourite route?
Best? After a big dump difficult to beat a straight line through the forest from 2400. Otherwise any of the Girose glacier routes to the valley floor.
Do you have any advice for first timers doing La Meije?
Hire a good guide.
When is the best time to come?
Any time from early January to late April. Each period has its plus points.
Is there anything else to do in the winter in La Grave?
Ice climbing, snowshoeing, cycling (!) or road trip to, for example, Italian resorts an hour or so away.
So where do you go on holiday?
Usually mountain biking in Asia - there are plenty of mountain ranges with at least the same height difference that we get here in the Alps.