Highway to hell - a necessary evil

Long transfers - a hard sell for any group leader. Quite how a corporate ski trip planner sells the idea that the pleasure of the trip is punctuated either end is a refined art.

Corporate ski trips tend to be routinely cut short by a return to the office and any time out of the office is often deemed best spent on the slopes or the seat of an apres ski bar. Apart from injuries & heavy heads, the transfer would appear someway down the list of ski trip highlights. Winding roads, snoring colleagues and a VHS playing Top Gun aren't trip features that appear in the brochures. Apart from Innsbruck where it is feasible to walk from the arrival lounge to a ski lift (albeit still 4 or so miles) then transfers are inevitable. The airstrips at Meribel, Courchevel or Megeve offer immediate access to accommodation but don't expect to see a 737 skimming the local hotel roofs. So the reality in almost all cases is a road transfer and for corporate ski groups of a fair size, this will mean a coach transfer. The irony of coach transfers from regional airports in the Alps is that the big hitters in France and Switzerland such as Val d'Isere or Zermatt are also at the end of some of the longest transfers of any resort. Both resorts are high but it is the geography of each region that has made the resorts distant from the regional airport hubs. Narrow valleys and massive peaks mean these top destinations are remote. But corporate visitor numbers for each ski holiday resort are testimony that both Zermatt and Val d'Isere are mighty popular despite the commitment required to get from the airport to the resort. First timers to either Zermatt or Val d'Isere will be in for a lot of wondering what all the fuss is about as countless valleys are passed. To compound the complications and duration of getting to Zermatt is the fact that the very last section of the transfer has to be done by train (and then possibly an electric taxi to the hotel), no matter how the group gets to Täsch, the end to the road connection to Zermatt. Yet those with experience of either Zermatt or Val d'Isere know that the long resort transfer is but a necessary evil. Far from being a highway to hell, the roads or tracks lead to paradise - epic high altitude skiing, iconic scenery and legendary apres ski & evening entertainment await the many who flock to these distant Mecca's of the Alps. You also have to credit the judgement of those corporate ski trip planners who aim for these world-beating resorts - they know that 30 minutes, maybe an hour more in a coach will pay off over 2,3,4 days as the group members are let loose in some of the greatest ski and resort terrain anywhere in the world. Get a book, a piste map or iPad, sit back and enjoy the ride - in the case of Zermatt and Val d'Isere the resort transfer is merely the agony before the ecstasy.

Important note: This website uses cookies. I UNDERSTAND, CONTINUE