The beginning (2007 & 2009)
Our first ski trip was in 2007 and with an organisation called Sportura we went with a bus towards Saint Francois Longchamps departing from Gent. Something we would do for 2 years before switching to driving by car ourselves. The freedom, shorter trip duration and comfort cannot compete with a bus trip according to us.
This year we both set our first winter sport steps and had chosen for the snowboard as this was very popular at this moment. As this is the first year, the number of slopes was very limited and we only did the few green and blue slopes in the center of the village. In opposite of skiing we think that most part of the time you are sitting down or trying to get up. It’ s quite heavy to learn in properly. And our wrists and knees suffered from the many falls. Luckily we had good protection.
After visiting another village in 2008 with mixed feelings, we came back in 2009. For Marie-Claire it was her 3rd year of snowboard and for Tom it was his second year of ski. However, with the accident in 2008 this was in fact a second start on skis. Nevertheless, for our second year in Saint-François-Longchamps we were able to discover bigger parts of “Le Grand Domaine” by going in the direction of Valmorel.
As this was the beginning, it is still the plan to go back someday, to look back at the slopes who looked insane and undo able at that time. I guess that after 10 years of ski we would do just fine. On the other hand we might want to keep the idea alive in our mind. We’ll see if we ever made it again to this location.
The village exists out of 2 parts, which are Saint-Francois-Longchamp 1450 and Saint-Francois-Longchamp 1650. In 2007 we stayed in the 1650 part in a chalet in a big complex. There were some restaurants on the ground floor, but for bars we had to go more to the center.
The second time, in 2009 we were in Saint-Francois-Longchamp 1450 in “Le Village Gaulois” where we had with our group of friends 2 separate chalets. By the years in France we learned to book over sized chalets. Meaning if you are with 5 people book a 7 persons chalet. Otherwise 2 people will end up sleeping in the living area which is very annoying in the morning or in the evening.
You have approximately 150 km of slopes of which 25 km are green, 85 km are blue, 27 km are red and only 15 km is black. This makes Saint-Francois-Longchamps a very good place for beginners but experienced skiers might miss the challenge. Now, being honest, we went there in our first years as beginners, so we can’t really assess the slopes as experts. And the village does have connection with a way bigger ski area, which we did not explore that much.
At that time, you could not really speak about after ski. There were some restaurant and bars, but no party places. The only bar you had which was close to some after ski was “La Grotte Du Yeti” operated by Dutch people in order to try to bring Austrian like after ski into France. But nothing to be compared with top resorts in Austria.