Opening Day!

OK, the likes of Tignes, Val D’Isere and Val Thorens might have been partially open for some time now but for the bulk of resorts, the middle of December brings the opening weekend of the winter season. Cool Bus were out in force yesterday with the full fleet of 24 vehicles on the road. This year it was a little bit special as for the first time ever we actually managed to get every van fully sign written before the start of the season, largely down to the efforts of Bry! Driving back early from Geneva passing a Cool Bus every 20 minutes in full livery was truly a sight to bring a tear to the eye!

10421312_886765234680396_4350405180771709253_n

The first week of the season for us is largely filled with providing transport for the Festival de Cinema Europeen des Arcs – lesarcs-filmfest.com. Now in its 6th year the festival sees the best of European cinema brought together for a week in Les Arcs. Its a bit like the Cannes Film Festival with a little less glamour and a bit more snow!

Screen Shot 2014-12-14 at 14.24.31

Cool Bus have been involved right from the start and are the official transport suppliers. For us this means ferrying around lots of VIP’s (obviously we think all of our customers are VIP’s!) as we bring in the film producers, directors and actors represented by the featured films. This year the focus is on Irish cinema which is great as its means at least half the films being shown are in English! We are particularly excited about seeing Frank – http://frank-film.com/#/, a new film by Lenny Abrahamson which is in the running for an award. Remember Frank Sidebottom from the ’80’s (the man with a massive head!), yeah he’s in it!

images

Opening Day Snow Conditions

There’s been plenty of press already about the lack of snow in the Alps and there’s no denying that conditions are far from ideal but we thought we’d take a chance here to focus on the positives and give you a rough idea of what’s open in this valley and while we’re at it lets not forget that the avalanche risk is at a record low for this time of year!

Tignes has been open for some time and has the best snow in the valley due to its high altitude. Access between Tignes and Val d’Isere is possible. Around half the lifts and a third of the runs in Espace Killy as a whole are currently listed as open. Val is currently showing around half its pistes and lifts as running.

Les Arcs and La Plagne both opened on time with limited skiing in both. Les Arcs has the 2000 bowl open with good piste skiing plus some shorter runs in 1800. The link between Les Arcs and La Plagne is due to open next weekend on the 20th December.

Screen Shot 2014-12-14 at 13.57.41

Some skiers in Les Arcs yesterday!

Over in the 3 Vallees, Val Thorens is offering the best skiing as you would expect given its high altitude and the majority of its pistes and lifts are up and running. Les Menuires is open with a limited area. Meribel is partially open but there are only very limited runs currently accessible in Courchevel.

 Outlook

After a very mild november the weather has turned much colder. Snow cannons have been running round the clock to boost snow cover. The forecast for next week is currently showing snowfalls for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday! Bring it on!

For more detailed info try the links below:

Val D’Isere – http://www.valdisere.com/valdisere/fr/glisse/pistes_remontees/ouvertures_pistes_remontees

Tignes – http://www.tignes.net/en/skiing-in-tignes/ski-area-932.html

Les Arcs – http://www.lesarcs.com/domaine-skiable.html

La Plagne – http://www.la-plagne.com/en/winter/news/snow-forecast/weather-forecast.html

Val Thorens – http://www.valthorens.com/hiver-fr/val-thorens/infos-live/plan-interactif-des-pistes.426.html

Les Menuires – http://en.lesmenuires.com/slopes

Courchevel – http://www.courchevel.com/winter/en/snow-cover-n563.html

Meribel – http://www.meribel.net/ski-2011/outils/ouvertures-pistes.html

Doing Our Bit for Sochi!

As you may have read in this season’s most thrilling on-board magazine (The Cool Bus Magazine!) we’ve been getting excited about the imminent 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games for some time now and they start in just over a weeks time!

sochi logo

Team GB have a great chance of getting some medals from the likes of freeskiers James ‘Woodsy’ Woods and Katie Summerhayes amongst others. This last week we picked up some of the GB Paralympian team and took them up to Tignes and back for some last minute training.

Some of the GB Paralympian Team with Cool Bus driver Niall!

Some of the GB Paralympian Team with Cool Bus driver Niall!

They are heading off to Russia in the next few days and we wish them all the very best of luck!

Here’s to 2014!

First of all we’d like to wish all a Happy New Year from the Cool Bus team. Hoping everyone enjoyed the festive period and all the best for 2014!

Well, it’s been our busiest start to a season ever and it all kicked off with the Les Arcs Film Festival. Going from strength to strength each year, the Festival du Cinema European des Arcs attracts the best of film and cinema to our home resort of Les Arcs. Over 70 feature films all originating from European countries were showcased to industry professionals and the public a like in seven cinemas across the resort. It was a great success once again and we look forward to being an official partner again next year.

cool bus

Official vechicles of the Les Arcs Film Festival!

cool bus

Waiting for film goers after the VIP opening event of the Les Arcs Film Festival

Obviously, Christmas and New Year are busy times for everyone in the French Alps with most resorts at full capacity and although there’s not been a massive amount of snowfall so far this winter, it seems people are still keen to hit the slopes. As of this weekend, things will start to calm down a little until the Febuary half-term onslaught so it will be time for us to enjoy the fresh snow that is forecast to fall in the next few days! 20cm+ is forecast for Saturday evening so those travelling out this weekend might just have timed things perfectly. Enjoy!

 

It’s All Go at Cool Bus HQ

As you know, winter is just around the corner and yes, there has been the odd snow flurry. In fact, there’s been loads of snow and resorts like Tignes, Val d’Isere, La Clusaz, Courchevel and Val Thorens have already opened their snowy doors to the public to varying degrees. This weekend sees the huge Espace Killy area open for business for the season but despite the snowfalls, we’ll still have to wait until 14th December to ski Les Arcs though.

Winter is here!

Winter is here!

Here at Cool Bus we have been busy, not just with getting people to the slopes and seasonnaires to their seasons, but with pre-winter preparations, official paperwork and dealing with the Swiss authorities, a new Cool Bus staff house, the new website, new magazine, the list is endless! It’s all change this winter…

Stickers!

Stickers!

Probably the most important job of all is getting the Cool Buses ship shape and looking fresh ready for the Christmas onslaught! This year as well as Sweet Protection, Orange Bikes and Dupraz Snow we’ve joined forces with Planks Clothing! Planks is a British based company that has now made a name for itself across the ski world. A ski specific clothing brand, Planks provides quality kit for skiers who like to look the part. They’ve recently launched a ‘Ride In’ range of toasty thermals and an eyewear line to keep the Alpine sun out of our eyes whilst driving! Also, look out for the Funi mentions too, check out the swish new website and make yourself a new hat while you’re there!

The Boss is a dab hand at stickering by now!

The Boss definitely loves stickers the most!

Welcome Planks Clothing!

Welcome Planks Clothing!

Funi make excellent knitwear items.

Funi make excellent knitwear items.

Thanks to Orange Mountain Bikes for their continued support!

Thanks to Orange Bikes for their continued support!

At the moment, we’re eagerly awaiting a delivery of Sweet Protection goodies including more helmets and super tech riding gear to keep us safe and dry on the hill. Even though it’s definitely winter now here in the Alps, we couldn’t help but order ourselves a few new trusty, Halifax built steeds from Orange too! And once the winter kicks off we’re hoping to get our hands on one of Dupraz’s new split boards, the D-Tour, for some backcountry exploration.

IMG_2671

We all do!

 

Even the Cool Bus Subarau is representing!

Even the Cool Bus Subarau is representing!

Be sure to let us know what you think!

Cool Bus on the Telly!

Last night we made our television debut in the first of a new series of BBC 3′s intriguingly named show Snow, Sex & Suspicious Parents!

CoolBus in Val

Check us out on TV!

We had the task of sneaking the suspicious parents out to Val d’Isere from Grenoble Airport where we dropped them off in order for them to start spying on their children whilst they are on a ski holiday in one of the world’s most famous ski resorts. Famous for it’s après, Val d’Isere is always going to be messy on a night out…

The program makes for pretty cringey yet amusing viewing and we think it’s safe to say that the parents did indeed have reason to be suspicious! Perhaps there is a lesson to be learnt for all of us who enjoy the après that little bit too much. Or, maybe not!

passengers in coolbus

Spacious & comfortable travel in the Cool Bus!

If you missed it, catch up here on iPlayer.

New Website Dropping Soon!

Nice wheels!

Seen as though the Cool Buses have been servicing the Tarentaise and beyond for a while now, we thought it was about time that we got around to modernizing our website! Well over a decade has passed and times have changed so the brand new site will be much better looking and more user friendly. Easier on the eye one might say. We hope so anyway because we think it looks amaaaazing!

New site snippets...

New site snippets…

We’ll let you know when it’s live so you can go on and see for yourselves!

Looks Like Snowboarding is the Way Forward This Winter

Last year it was skiing, this year snowboarding looks like making an appearance on the front cover of The Cool Bus Magazine!

Still work in progress and still time to get involved!

Still work in progress and still time to get involved!

Do you have a business in the Tarentaise or beyond? Need a bit more exposure? Try 16,000 Cool Bus passengers…And for those who just simply want a good read, it’s not long ’til winter now…

Contact amie@origami-media.com for more details.

The Mavic Trans-Provence 2013 Is Upon Us!

Once again for the fifth year of the Mavic Trans-Provence, a number of Cool Buses have headed south for the start of this epic mountain bike race.

Camp preparation is under way and the racers will be arriving imminently to get organised for the six race days ahead of them which will see them cover 292km of ground, incorporating 8355m of vertical ascent and a massive 14,731m of vertical descent!

Logoed and ready to race!

Logoed and ready to race!

The Cool Buses are on hand to give the seventy-two racers (including twenty of the world’s top Enduro athletes) uplifts at the start of each day and picking up camp, dropping it again at the finish of each daily stage. Starting near Sisteron in the  Alpes-de-Haute-Provence area, the race weaves it’s way down through miles and miles of singletrack, finishing this year in Menton on the Mediterranean coast.

Look out for our regular updates on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram once the race kicks off on Saturday 28th September.

 

The First Post-Summer Snowfall…

Last night it snowed down to 1800m in some parts of the French Alps! As the clouds swirled around the Tarentaise there were flashes of the white stuff not too far up on the hills.

A drive up the Col du Petit Saint Bernard confirmed that winter is trying pretty hard  to break through. Temperatures were below zero and the road had actually been ploughed at the top! Beautiful scenery and dramatic as every first post-summer snowfall, the question is, has this snow got us excited for winter? Sure has! Although temperatures are set to rise again next week and a bit more summer sun would be nice for now.

Here are the pictures to prove it!

mountains snow

Cold and windy just over the Italian border, but amazing nonetheless!

Moody.

Moody.

Just down the road it was 25 degrees!

Just down the road it was 25 degrees!

The Cool Bus Onboard Magazine 2014

Once again for this coming Winter we will offer our customers an onboard magazine to enjoy at their leisure whilst travelling onboard the coolest buses in town. Last year’s mag was a popular read for many of our customers who travelled with us to and from the airport and the ski resorts of the Tarentaise.

coolbus customer

One of our customers was so riveted, he couldn’t put it down even when we stopped at the bakery!

For Winter 2014 we are offering the same format of interesting and informative editorial content including loads of local area information, hints and tips for the incoming holidaymaker. Check out last year’s mag here if you haven’t read it already.

If you have a business in the area and wish to promote it to 16,000+ potential customers then please contact amie@origami-media.com or call +33 (0) 6 43 80 65 82.