The first time I skied was aged 16 on a family holiday. I remember that feeling of flying down slopes with the wind in my face and eyes streaming from the exhilaration of it all! I felt totally alive. I was immediately hooked and cried the whole way back to England when the holiday was over. I know that sounds silly, but the mountains captured my heart and the thought of going back to school in London and studying things I wasn’t remotely interested in like chemistry just didn’t make sense. I was also a 16 year old girl and I may have had a mountain crush I was sad to leave behind. Lol.
Some fifteen years later and I’m back in the mountains staying at the amazing Chilly Powder chalet in Morzine, a buzzing town in the heart of the French Alps, making friends on our first night there. A few in our group had never skied before and were feeling quite anxious about it. I cast my mind back to when I fell in love with it and offered some positive words of encouragement painting the picture of what they have to gain by giving it a go. I think learning new skills or sports becomes a bigger challenge the older we get and we tend to stick to what we know, but it’s so important to push yourself as you never know what experiences are waiting for you and how they could shape your life!
It’s dinner on the second night at Chilly Powder and the nerves of the night before have been replaced with the buzz and post-skiing glow that comes after a day soaking up the fresh mountain air, physically exhausting yourself and experiencing après!
As much as I love skiing, I am always looking for different interesting activities and adventures to broaden my horizons. There is so much you can do! From sunrise ski touring, tobogganing (serious carnage), riding a horse drawn carriage through snow covered forests (think Narnia with bells on), cross-country skiing, paragliding over snowy peaks, fat biking in deep powder, cruising mountains on snowmobiles, snowshoeing, enjoying a few drinks at Apres and visiting the spa! Over recent years I’ve had the chance to try all of these and have really taken to ski touring (for fitness, sunrise, adventure) and tobogganing (for fun).
You can do all this and more in Morzine. Maybe you don’t fancy skiing or there’s someone in your group that doesn’t do it but doesn’t want to miss out on the fun. Check out the local tourist board and think about an alternative ski holiday you could organise.
I had work to do whilst I was in Morzine, so I spent some afternoons at the stunning chalet and also took my work up the mountain for a Vitamin D boost. Chilly Powder also has a beautiful dog, Lola, who loves going for walks and playing in the snow.
Staying in Chilly Powder felt like a home away from home. The staff are incredibly friendly; nothing was too much bother to help with and every detail carefully thought about and looked after so we could enjoy our time in the mountains. The owners, Francesca and Paul, built Chilly Powder from scratch 23 years ago and have raised their three amazing kids alongside building a thriving business.
Francesca took the time to sit with us and share stories at dinner every night. I found it particularly interesting to hear how she manages family life, business and working in partnership with her husband. Hats off to you Francesca! She spoke about “Joie de Vivre” and how she maintains it. For her own mental and physical wellbeing, she gets out in the mountains four times a week and explained how important it is to guard that time for herself, no matter how busy life can get. She feeds off the adrenalin, endorphins and the chance to clear her head. You can guess we got along well!
Chilly Powder is close to Geneva airport (1 hr drive) open year round with mountain biking, via ferrata, hiking, road cycling and water sports in the summer. It’s located in the upper end of Morzine away from the hustle of the town and you can ski into the Jacuzzi! Yes, you read that right! SKI INTO THE JACUZZI. Amazing.
The business has grown by word of mouth with people coming back year after year and making friends for life not just with the people they met here, but also the people who work here.
Every night we sat down as a group to a delicious 5 course dinner that starts with the sound of a gong and canapés. Wine flows all evening and is included in the price of your booking. There’s a door-to-door service for ski hire - via All Mountain Rental - so you don’t need to queue in shops. Kids are in bed by the time adults eat and looked after by in-house nannies, so parents get their own time to relax.
Morzine is an unbelievable place to ski. We didn’t queue for lifts and got to check out the new Follie Duce in Avoriaz!
If skiing is your thing, I hope you get the chance to ski this season as the snow is epic right now but also consider summer in the Alps. Lush alpine meadows, sunshine and adventure sports galore. Enjoy!
Thank you Chilly Powder for a fantastic week can’t wait to be back in the summer and hopefully see some of you guys there!
Chilly Powder operates all year round offering extensive winter holiday packages for individuals, groups and families looking to hit the slopes and experience the vast ski terrain of the Portes du Soleil region. Winter prices start from £795 per week based on two adults sharing a standard bedroom or £2,195 per week for two adults and two children sharing a standard family bedroom. Prices are based on a half board basis with wine included in the evening meals. Childcare facilities are also available with prices starting at £270 per week and ski school for £240 per week. The chalet also run a summer program and are available for weddings and events. To book please contact Chilly Powder on firstname.lastname@example.org or 020 7289 6958 or visit www.chillypowder.com