Good accommodation and hospitality is an important element to all winter holidays and even more so during a bad weather period when the great outdoors can become the great indoors!
Mountain Tracks is celebrating over 10 years of off-piste skiing in St Foy. We are also celebrating over 10 years of with our trusted accommodation partners Andy and Sue at the Auberge sur la Montagne in St Foy at the heart of the Tarentaise. Personally I have spent many weeks ski guiding from the Auberge during which I have made good friends and memories. A great number of Mountain Tracks guests have stayed in the Auberge over the years, and many have come back for several visits. The standout quality of the Auberge, is its ‘home from home’ appeal. Andy and Sue have created a relaxed and friendly environment coupled with the highest standards of service. Meal times are special occasions each and every evening and chalet guests are regularly wowed by chef’s attention to detail. Indeed, the Auberge is a special place and I always look forward to each visit.
St Foy is in the heart of the Tarentaise valley which is famous for its snow sure winter resorts. St Foy is within easy reach of the big names – Val d’Isère, Tignes, Les Arcs, La Plagne and La Rosière (with its link to the Italian La Thuile) – as well as Sainte Foy Tarentaise itself. St Foy is often referred to as the “best kept secret in the French Alps” and offers extensive off-piste and touring opportunities. It has built up a cult following amongst off-piste skiers who revel in the extensive powder fields where it’s still possible to make fresh tracks days after a snowfall. This is where the local ski instructors choose to ski on their days off! Prized descents include the infamous Fogliettaz North Face, Col Grenier and the descent to the deserted summer farming hamlet of Le Monal. The series of steep couloirs descending from the top ridge will get the adrenalin flowing for even the most adventurous off-pisters, whilst the easily accessible, gentle powder fields between the pisted runs offer an ideal training ground for those new to the delights of off-piste skiing. A little further afield there are plenty of classic descents to be explored: the North Face of the Bellecôte at La Plagne; the Vallon de la Sache at Tignes; Cugnai at Val d’Isère; or, Grand Col at Les Arcs to name but a few..
Sue and Andy Mac have a 25 year association with the area, in fact they met while both doing seasons in Tignes in the late 80’s. Testament to this there is an entertaining pin board in the Chalet hall displaying their old lift passes, some of them going way way back. Andy and Sue are both accomplished skiers (although very understated). Andy has explored almost every nook and cranny of the area (often alone!) extending way way into the backcountry. I am always grateful for his detailed recommendations for route choices, both well informed and locally intuitive.
The building was built in 1975 by a local restaurateur who used the materials from two derelict granges still stand 500m away from the current site. The bar ceiling is constructed from the floor of the barn and the walls of the restaurant are made from the original stone from the granges. Andy and Sue bought the Auberge in summer of 1995 as a renovation project and restored it to its present rustic splendour.
Over the years their business has expanded further, and they now manage a portfolio of 15 catered and self catered chalets in the area.
At the Auberge there’s a real attention to detail. Everything is ‘on-hand and in-house’. There’s a ski tech room along with 160 sets of rental equipment – and 15 sets of skis equipped with Diamir Fritschi touring bindings along with skins and ski crampons. During our weeks at the Auberge we have an informal seminar with the Auberge's ski technician on ski tuning and servicing techniques. There’s a state of the art outdoor hot tub with bar service (with a vast whisky selection!). There’s also a sauna. The Auberge has a TV room, which is used by the guides for video. The best feature of the Auberge though is the quality of the food. Rarely in our travels have we come across such a high standard of cuisine?
Thanks to Sue and Andy for the fantastic welcome given to Mountain Tracks groups over the years. For those of you who haven’t yet been to our St Foy base, we whole heartedly recommend the Auberge for your winter base.
See you there...
IFMGA / UIAGM / IVBV
The IFMGA / UIAGM / IVBV symbol is the logo of the International Federation of Mountain Guides Association.
Nick, Olly and Matt are all fully-qualified UIAGM Mountain Guides and members of the British Mountain Guides Association.
The International Ski Instructors Association is the world body for professional ski instructors.
The ISIA was formed in 1971 and there are currently 39 member nations representing the very best in ski instruction around the world.