Wine, cheese, and impossibly deep snow in the French Alps.
In December 2012, SKI Mag editor Kevin Luby hopped an Air France 747 to the foot of the Haute Savoie and the famous French ski resorts of Espace Killy and Les 3 Vallées right as a 10-foot storm smashed into the Alps. He came back with tales of delicious French dining, rich local wines, and an unforgetable amount of faceshots.
Once in a lifetime, you find your perfect (mountain town) match.
After 25 hours of traveling across Europe and a cold, sleepless night on the floor of the Milan Central train station, I landed in La Grave, France late last January. It was early evening as I rolled down La Grave’s main drag. The town was quiet and mostly closed, save for the low din of guffaws coming from the Le Bois des Fees bar. Though the Meije, the 13,068-foot peak that overlooks the valley, was obscured by clouds and darkness, I could sense that it was there, somewhere above me. It had the gravitational pull of the moon and had drawn me, over many years and miles, into its orbit.
Can you count the continent’s best resorts on one hand? Maybe not, but you could make a pretty good start. Five countries, five landmark resorts that define the European experience. American skiers, beware: The spells they cast may enthrall you forever.
Ten minutes from café to adventure: a place like this leaves a mark on you.