overwhelmed Sometimes this beauty. All of a sudden and in the middle of the ski slopes, there’s nothing you can do about it. Then you stand still, allow your gaze to wander, enjoy the views of the four-thousand-metre peaks, touching the sky and the soul.

One of the snow-capped summit stands out: the Mont Blanc with 4810 meters, the highest mountain in the Alps, the king among the giants. A few kilometers away and as close to the action.

Normally, people go skiing because they love the Sport. The movement in nature, the speed, the lights of the sun and the snow. In Les Contamines in the Montjoie valley, around 70 kilometers Southeast of Geneva, you can still find a lot more: good snow, wide, empty pistes and varied runs, hardly any waiting times at the lifts. And the high-Alpine Panorama, which looks like painted.

most of The skiers here are regulars, many of them families. A gondola brings you from the valley station to the ski area in the Haute-Savoie. It is 1200 to 2500 meters high and extends over a vast Mountain basin, on the South-, West-, North – and East facing slopes seem to lose the skiers. A Lift connects the Mountain basin with the Slopes of Hauteluce in Savoy. On the other side of the Montjoie valley, a nature reserve, with its glaciers, perfect for ski touring, behind the four-thousanders. The eye travels, here in Les Contamines-Montjoie.

A calm ski resort

The first ski club in the valley was founded in 1911. “Our ski resort is grown organically, in harmony with nature,” says Didier Mollard, 48. The former world-class ski jumpers competed in three winter Olympic games, in 1993, he finished in seventh place in the overall world Cup. Today Mollard works as Director-General of the Lift-operating company of Les Contamines. His grandfather, Placide was a mountain guide and ski instructor, he knew the best slopes around the village and where the first Lift should be, in 1937, went into operation. This is where it started.

“Our company was not designed for a long time on the Expansion,” says grandson Didier Mollard. “We never wanted to be big.” In the Winter the Lift company has 150 employees, with an annual turnover of ten million euros.


Of giants surrounded by the terrace of the Auberge la rose lette

©Gilles Lansard

skiers will be in 25 ski lifts and 120 kilometres of pistes spread over 46 ski runs. For three decades, the company built no additional lifts, but replaced only Sit on the old faster with more. In addition, it invested in snow cannons, Restaurants and Hotels.

It is a calm ski resort. Les Trois Vallées has more kilometres of pistes, Val d’isère, more Après Ski, sophisticated Megrève and Chamonix offer more posh. But the Panorama that has no other. It is accompanied by the day of skiing: at the time of departure, in the chair’s Log Croisée, or La Ferme de la Ruelle, two rustic huts with regional dishes, a lift, after lunch in La. Then you step outside, strap on the skis and continue. The high mountains in view. to invest

Interview climate change in the mountains “In snow cannons of madness” By Till Bartels

Even down in the village. Les Contamines is located on approximately 1160 meters, at the foot of the Mont-Blanc massif, the adjacent mountains reach up to almost 4000 meters high. The separated 1200 inhabitants, the village has grown over a long time, some of the houses are more than 300 years old, many of the Chalets are now rented out to guests. The Baroque Church of Sainte-Trinité in the centre, the mountain river Bon Nant, the rushes wild and impetuous through the village farms, where it still smells of cow dung,.

“First the village was created, then the ski area”

ends a Few kilometers behind Les Contamines, the valley and the road. The Church of Notre Dame de la Gorge from 1699, is a popular destination for skiers and hikers.


At the end of the valley, leads the cross-country ski trail at the Church of Notre Dame de la Gorge is over

©Gilles Lansard

unlike the retort villages of Les Arcs, La Plagne and Courchevel, Les Contamines from eyesores is spared. No Concrete buildings, no high-rise buildings, wooden Tranquility Chalet-style. “First the village, then the ski area was not, Vice-versa,” says mayor Etienne Jacques, 49. “The traditional architecture has been preserved.” to create

accommodations for the guests, used to the old houses, especially as the apartments, hardly than Hotels. Today apply for new buildings in the centre strict requirements: they must fit into the street image, must not be higher than 18 meters, 40 percent of the facade must consist of wood, from pine, larch or untreated Douglas fir.

The change in seam

Actually, Les Contamines itself could be enough. Could everything stay the way it is. But on views, and Tradition alone, you don’t want to leave here. “Currently, we are planning to open three new Hotels in the traditional style,” says mayor Etienne Jacques. The largest to be built in the village center and a vacant lot at the old town hall close. The rooms are spread over three buildings.


The village of Les Contamines-Montjoie is over the centuries

©Gilles Lansard

the ski resort of Les Contamines is to be expanded, the characters are now here on growth. As in most other regions of the Alps, a merger to secure the future of the winter resort: A 3.5-kilometre-long Lift will connect from 2023, the mountains around the village with the ski resort Espace Diamant, which extends almost to Albertville. Cost: expected to be 15 million euros. “Then Les Contamines is at the gateway to one of the largest ski areas in France with more than 300 km of slopes,” said Etienne Jacques.

You can see it also the other way around: Espace Diamant is the gateway to Les Contamines. One of the most beautiful panoramas in the Alps.

+++ you can also read the Interview on the topic of climate change in the mountains – “to invest In snow cannons of madness” +++


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