Does Anyone Have Spare Touring Skis in Serre Chevalier?
Wanted touring skis! If you have any going spare, you can sell them in Serre Chevalier, where seasonaires are on the hunt for second hand touring gear, anything to get them up the mountain without having to shell out €855 - €1025 for a season's pass...Here in the Serre Che valley there has been a serious hike in costs for passes with no early season discount as per previous years - and as in most other French ski resorts.
The increase in lift pass cost is enough to put some off skiing here in Serre Chevalier which, for us, is great news if it means quieter pistes but it's not the best marketing ploy for the resort. Many who live here or regularly visit are talking about skiing in Montgenevre just over the border in Italy where a season's pass is €542 and/or having pay-as-you-go Holiski passes instead of the full season.
And, then there's always ski touring for free uphill access.
The lift pass price increase has certainly caused quite an upset among Serre Che seasonaires, and is especially unfair for those working in the resort who have already been priced out of any decent accommodation because of the current preference and financial benefits of Airbnb-ing for apartment landlords.
On the whole, most other ski resorts have managed to keep their ski passes down to pre-Covid prices. How long will this last, though, with the fuel shortages? We hear SCV increased the lift costs here in Serre Che because their past years' electricity pricing arrangement came to an end.
And currently, however fuel self-sufficient ski resorts would like to be, we're a long way from a few wind turbines being able to power one lift let alone a whole resort.
With rising fuel costs there's the knock on effect not only for ski passes but also hotels and restaurants. Add to this the increase in staff salaries especially with the rise in their accommodation costs and the post-Brexit lack of gap year Brits working for a pittance, and it won't be long before skiing is once again the sport of kings and those with money to burn (one way to help the fuel crisis). Check out The Future for Skiing and Snowboarding 2023 - and Beyond.
$300 DAY SKI PASS
Yeah, I know, in the U.S. one day's lift pass can be the equivalent of a month's heating bill. Compared to Europe, where the most expensive day pass is €67 in Solden, Austria, the highest priced in North America is Homewood Mountain Resort, near Lake Tahoe, charging a whopping $279 per day. Vail resorts can be as high as $275 and Steamboat can cost you $269. So not far off that $300 day pass.
But discounts abound depending on whether you buy ahead online and what day of the week or month it is and the colour of your ski jacket. There are, also, Epic and Ikon multi-resort passes offering reduced prices.
WHEN A SKI PASS IS PRICELESS
So we'll bite the bullet and buy the Addict pass in Serre Chevalier for €1025 each, which gives the additional benefit of &Joy, priority lift access.
It's not that we use the lifts that often during the season as we prefer ski touring (and, soz, I don't have any spare touring skis) but when there is fresh snow we're certainly not adverse to taking a lift or two to access the slackcountry - or score freshies on the piste.
There was one day last March when we had around 30cms overnight and so were queueing at the 9am lift in the morning. With the &Joy extra on our ski passes we jumped in front of all the early bird powder groups and were on the first chair and, therefore, making the first tracks down Casse du Boeuf (see Ken in the main image).
For powder days like this, such a ski pass is priceless.