The French hills are alive with the sound of the tourist industry gearing up for opening in around seven weeks time with all the optimism of Julie Andrews skipping over the hilltop meadows. And with no mention of the pandemic war...
Two press packs have pinged into our Style Altitude inbox, this week, both singing the praises of summer in the mountains for 2020 like Jule Andrews skipping over the hilltop meadows.
Yes the French hills are alive with the sound of the tourist industry gearing up for opening in around seven weeks time.
The digital press packs from Les Arcs and Serre Chevalier, both extol the virtues of a summer holiday in the mountains this July and August. Now, as Style Altitude HQ is in Serre Che, where we are during winter and beyond since the resort closed and lockdown started on 17th March, we can only agree. The fresh mountain air and scope for outdoor exercise is probably the healthiest environment on the planet. Just what the doctor ordered for everyone who's been cooped up during the global pandemic.
There is no mention of the 'c' word
But - and that's a big but - will it be holiday business as normal for France and the rest of Europe from July? Will there be flights? Will hotels and restaurants open?
A browse through the press brochures would make you assume, yes. Les Arcs confidently states opening from 4th July to 29th August, the brochure featuring mountain activities including swimming in the new outdoor pool area and, also, events such as trail races, MTB night relay and music festivals.
Like Basil Fawlty not mentioning the war, there is a distinct avoidance of referencing the global pandemic war. Don't mention the 'c' word as in coronavirus appears to be the command for the tourist industry although the blurb from Les Arcs does state: 'Climate change, health crisis, economic upheaval, changes in work methods and a new family structure… We are living through a time where everything is changing and we, too, must reinvent ourselves'.
Serre Chevalier's press pack, featuring a Julie Andrews-esq figure dressed in folksy Alpine dirndl and apron on a sunny green hill (main image) also doesn't actually mention the 'elephant in the room' because, let's face it the word, 'coronavirus' would bring a downer to the positive prose and the idyllic image it's portraying. But there is a nod to lockdown; 'After weeks of confinement, let's all aspire to one thing: the great outdoors'. So, yes, they do use the 'c' word as in 'confinement' but you can hear the copywriter whispering, 'I think I got away with it!
Breaking away from your daily life
Instead of the 'c' word, it seems we have the 'r' word. Les Arcs enjoys the alliteration of Reunion, Rupture, Recharging and Responsibility. Rupture? It's a strange 'r' to use but it's not actually about rupturing yourself mountain biking but about 'breaking away from your daily life of the past few months, your habits and cares'.
Serre Chevalier also repeats the 'r' word, reunion, with the slogan, Nos Retrouvailles (Our Reunion). Yes, it's Vera Lynn not Julie Andrews who is actually the theme tune to summer in the mountains 2020 where it's all about reuniting and We'll Meet Again.
What other incentives do you need to come out to the mountains for the summer? Well, there are offers for booking early from Les Arcs with 20 percent off their 'Hero' activities before the end of May.
Full refunds for summer and autumn reservations
Serre Chevalier goes further with a promise that they will give full refunds for summer and autumn reservations up to 15 days before arrival 'whatever the reason for cancellation' Meanwhile, Club Med in Serre Chevalier is offering holidays from 6th July with savings of up to €700 per person with credits for 18 months if holidays are prevented due to Covid-19.
So it seems that keep 'calm' and 'carry' on are the 'c' words to describe the summer holiday situation here in the French mountains.
And here's an 'o' word, optimism...
Search the Site
MOUNTAIN VIEWS: Weather Reports & Webcam
Views from the mountain WebCam along with weather reports and conditions...more
Another day, another great ski tour in Japan. It's so easy to fall into a rhythm every day of skinning up, skiing down, soaking in an onsen, having a beer, eating traditional Japanese food. And, then, waking up to repeat it all over again...more
From 15th December French ski resorts will be open but no lifts so ski touring and cross country / Ski de fond et le ski de randonnée could be an option as long as they are not banned as people could well end up in Hospital putting a strain on resourcesmore
ONE WOMAN AND HER AVY DOG. Being a ski patroller, avy bomber and dog handler in France while being British AND a woman is a dramatic true story, in the first place, and now Caroline Elliott, has used her experiences to write a book for children based on the life of her beloved avalanche dog, Fjord. more
GRAHAM BELL GETS HIS SKATES ON .Out of the snow and his comfort zone, Graham Bell is taking part in Dancing On Ice, 2021, But he told us in our interview about Stylish Skiing that one of the most important things to wear skiing is a smile. So will he be smiling on the ice? more
NATIONAL SNOW SHOW LAUNCH. The phoenix has risen out of the ashes of the fallen Telegraph Ski & Snowboard show which closed, last year,even before the effect of Covid-19 on the ski industry. A new exhibition, the National Snow Show will open at the NEC in Birmingham, a two day event from 23rd-24th October, 2021...more
The cycling season for me would normally start in late March but 8 weeks of confinement meant I could only cycle within a one km radius of home, so other strategies were required to get cycling fit...more
There are now less than 70 days before the start of December and first lifts opening in the Northern Hemisphere ski resorts (just don't mention the 'c' word as in Covid-19). So time to get ski fit ?...more