An Afternoon at Altitude

Arriving in a ski resort is a funny experience.

It has, inevitably, taken you forever to get there.

You still feel a little sick from the long, winding drive up the mountain.

If you’re anything like me you probably slipped on ice getting out of the car and landed spread eagle in front of your hotel.

But you’re finally there! And your whole trip spreads out in front of you like the most incredible, heavenly buffet.

Mountain light is different to any other light.

It’s bluer, dazzling, incredibly flattering, and you really feel it, deep down inside.

The air is clear, dry, and you can’t get enough of it. (Quite literally for the first few hours at altitude!)

Everything smells like fresh air and toasty pine, largely thanks to the wooden houses freckled around the slopes.

We checked into our hotel, The Fitz Roy.

Nothing fancy, but a great location… and nothing’s that fancy in Val Thorens anyway.

We ditched the gear and raced off, set on exploring our side of the mountain.

With only a couple of hours of sunlight left there was no point in trying to get lift passes in time to ski, so we set off on foot.

There’s nothing quite like that first crunch of snow under foot.

Except perhaps that first glance of a cheese wheel bigger than your arm span.

That’s pretty special too!

We climbed up above the town for a better look at the place.


White cardigan (similar) // Cashmere poloneck

Suede belt // Suede bag (on sale!)

White jeans

Snow boots

Before racing back down again to say hello to a particularly cute passing boy.

Naturally I kept my cool…

…and he let me get a tickle in.

There’s something fascinating to me about pictures of ski slopes from afar.

Maybe it’s the stance of the skiiers, but they look like little toy soldiers.

Soldiers left unattended by a little boy who’s sister came along and painted them in better colours.

That or a poor imitation of a Slim Aarons photo.


Snow balls, of course.

We slipped back down into the village in search of wine.

Who needs skis anyway?

We made camp on the hotel’s terrace.

Bottoms kept warm with shaggy sheepskin, hands toasting on vin chaud.

The sun set soon after our second cup.

The temperature immediately plummeted and we headed below ground.

Deep down.

Into to the spa.

White swimsuit

Much, much later we trotted up the mountain like two very hungry little goats.

Up to supper in La Cabane.

A wood panelled, cosy little spot with a table saved beside the fire, just for us.

For not our first fondue of the season!

And it certainly won’t be our last!

We rolled back down the hill much faster than we’d climbed it!

Our path lit by the light of the moon and the stars glistening above us.

Off to our beds, where we’d be far too excited to sleep thinking about skiing in the morning…

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  • Such a beautiful place … I love skiing and seeing such fabulous scenery as this makes me want to drop all my gift wrapping present duty and head out to ski the next day. :). Simply gorgeous as always! 🙂
    Merry Christmas.

    ❤LA BIJOUX BELLA❤ | BY MIA | A Creative Lifestyle Blog

    • Rosie

      Sounds like a good plan to me, Mia! 😉 xx

  • Viviane Feeney

    Looks like a dream… fondu, jaw-dropping lanscapes, cool hotel with a pool, that ‘cute passing boy’ of a dog… everything! No blog has ever stuck to my interest and kept me coming back for more like your’s, Rosie. Keep being fantastic!
    Love from Australia xo <3

    • Rosie

      That’s really lovely to hear, thank you V!
      I read all of my comments and I can’t tell you how much I appreciate the time it takes to stop and say something kind.
      Now before I get too soppy, have a wonderful Christmas! xxx

  • Eeeeeep! This looks absolutely magical Rosie! What wonderful snaps too. It makes me super jel of all my pals out doing seasons right now. Uh I could do with another cheese fondue right about now… Immy x

    • Rosie

      Ugh, wouldn’t a full season just be dreamy?
      I always wanted to do one but never got around to it.
      Not sure I’d keep up with the drinking now! x

  • I love these shots of the mountains! I have always wanted to go ski on fresh snow- travel goals for the future!

    • Rosie

      Defo one to consider one winter!

  • This makes me want to go skiing so bad! Lovely photos. X

    • Rosie

      Thanks N x

  • Beautiful location and what a gorgeous sunny day to discover the area! Stunning pictures as always!


    • Rosie

      We’ve really been so lucky with the weather! A little more snow wouldn’t hurt, but the blue skies really are marvellous! x

  • ahhhh this has got to be one of my favourite posts from you! I went to Val D’Isere in February this year and you’re making me miss it so badly. My favourite place on earth

    • Rosie

      Fav place on earth is a big shout! I’m so please you think I’m doing it justice! x

  • Well this all sounds like the absolute dream. I’ve never been skiing but I visited the Dolomites in the summer a couple of years ago and fell in love with the alpine charm of the area. I can’t even imagine how fantastic it is during winter. Hopefully I’ll be able to go and experience something like this soon 🙂 xxx
    Lucy @ La Lingua | Life, Travel, Italy

    • Rosie

      My boyfriend doesn’t ski either, but he comes along to enjoy the villages and the spas! Maybe you could do that? xx

  • The photos are breathtaking!x

    • Rosie

      Thanks J, the surroundings make it very easy! x

  • Wow it looks like a fairytale!! So gorgeous. And I love the white-on-white 🙂
    Katie Actually

  • This is a really beautiful post! All looks gorgeous – can’t wait to get on the slopes! x

  • Your pictures are absolutely incredible! Love your outfit and love this trip…..even though I hate the cold you make me want to visit!


  • CHG

    Rosie, I’m so curious about the snow conditions! In the States, we know that we can usually expect hard pack (sometimes icy) conditions in Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. Then light fluffy powder in Colorado, Utah, and California, and then heavier/wet snow in the Northwest mountains (but they get a ton of it). I have Japan and Switzerland on my bucket list for skiing – how are the conditions in the French Alps?

  • Kari Guastella

    What an absolutely stunning place to visit!

  • We’ve been lucky to go skiing a few times this year, to Kitzbuhel and Val d’Isere but I’ve not yet been to Val Thorens – sounds like you had a lot of fun!

    Suze | LuxuryColumnist

  • I love the photos especially with all the tiny skiers on the slope. You look beautiful in all white.

  • This place is gorgeous! and I love the outfit too 🙂

    The Fashionista Bubble

  • Yvonne

    Stunning photos. i would love to be there right now! I’m really missing some snow. Perfect boots to keep warm! Have a wonderful Christmas!
    xo Yvonne

  • I love winter whites so I was naturally drawn to your look! Adore the shot of the cheeses.
    Hugs Adele xoxo

  • Joules

    Love your ski bunny style! This whole place looks lovely!

    Style by Joules

  • We go skiing every year but haven’t made it to Val Thorens yet – what were the runs like? x