27th December 2014 – The Worst Transfer Day on Record?

There we all were, moaning about the lack of snow and then it came, seemingly in a matter of minutes… At around 3.30am on Saturday morning some Cool Bus drivers were setting out to work, from Bourg-Saint-Maurice up to nearby resorts, snow free roads all the way, only to be met by carnarge on the way back down the valley en-route to airports servicing the area – Geneva, Lyon, Chambery and Grenoble.c985b04a976d2fb1361d87c7761ef54ec954bbbc43346cec71fb104c01125a63 The day had only just started and for many it would (hopefully) be the longest day and in fact weekend of the year! Quite frankly, we’ve never experienced roads like it. The main routes to and from the Tarentaise – through Moutiers and Albertville particularily, were gridlocked. Perhaps those worst affected were holidaymakers starting out their journeys on Saturday morning to the airport from Tignes, Val d’Isere and Ste. Foy. Reports say that a bus crashed and blocked the Ste. Foy road which then created mass queues on the only road that services these resorts – no way out, literally. It was TWELVE, yes TWELVE hours later that some vehicles got down to the end of the valley, a drive that would normally only take an hour at most!6fdb5a80f8cd6664133b36590a8882cc19afdbe2ec7786efd7fa751ffe342de8 The knock-on effect from such incidents was the main cause of problems throughout the day, that and drivers getting stuck here, there and literally everywhere including the fast lane of the motorway, before it was standstill! It is so important to be prepared for travel to the mountains in the winter, to actually know how to put snow chains and to not leave it too late in the event of snow on the roads but equally, not drive on snow-free roads at 20km/ph with chains on… Together with the sheer volume of traffic that is inevitable on this weekend of the year (between Christmas and New Year) and this instant snowfall, the motorways of the Savoie and all connecting roads to ski resorts were riddled with accidents, blockages and queues.5e1a26898e6f1d2294ab333bfc5c9b96976b46e97b9fb29efa0333d2250d433e What many people don’t know and without giving too much away, there are some excellent back road shortcuts that we here at Cool Bus use when times are hard on the main roads. Wherever possible, we tried to use every ounce of our knowledge and experience to bypass the jams and even though there were indeed some journey times well into double figures, we’ve had some greatly appreciated feedback from many of our customers – some of whom made their flights and others who weren’t so lucky. Getting people to their destination safely is our main priority and we are glad to report we were 100% successful.

“Just wanted to say a huge thanks to Emily for getting us to Geneva yesterday . The conditions were atrocious. We hope Emily got back safely. She was a trooper and was very helpful and always positive,” Robert, Donna, Izzy, Jakey.

“We just wanted to say how fantastic Wayne was when we were stuck in all the chaotic traffic en route from Lyon to Val d’Isere yesterday. He tried every possible short cut and had endless patience even with two young children and four adults in his load. We would not have got through without his skill and knowledge. He kept his good humour in spite of a very long day. Thank you,” Alice and Ian Herve.

“Firstly want to thank our skilled driver Will for getting us safely,courteously and patiently to Les Arcs yesterday,” Damian McManus

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank her (Sheryl) for her amazing driving yesterday. She drove fearlessly for 6 gruelling hours in a snowstorm that stopped many others in their tracks. She took short cuts and made quick-thinking decisions to avoid the huge jams and blockages on our way. Luckily, our flight was delayed to allow us to fly home but without her skilful driving we would be either stranded or injured. Please pass on my huge thanks to her and wish her and Ivan a very happy future together-Sheryl is one of life’s “good guys” and I was privileged to have met her,” Alicia Syson

“Please thank Niall for his epic back way driving. Please let us know that he got home safely,” Sally

“Can I just pass on my thanks to your team for getting us back to Geneva last night? It must have been a chaotic day, but your driver Lauren was extremely good – a fast but safe and smooth driver who was a pleasure to deal with,” Janet Bettle

“My family and I travelled into Geneva from Belfast yesterday and were due to be picked up by a private transfer arranged by Ski Lifts …. Due to the chaos, their driver ran out of hours and your driver Robyn Maddison very kindly came to the rescue as he was transferring another family to Le Plagne and offered us a lift and as it turned out a life line, as without his tenacity and determination we would still be in Geneva. I must compliment you and your firm on the quality of your vehicles and drivers ….. Robyn was simply magnificent. He knew all the back roads and got around the Autoroutes that had simply become carparks …. Robyn drove us for over 10 hours and would not give up, networking all of your other drivers on the road and your control for every ounce of intelligence as to what was drivable and what was not …. Eventually crawling up the Le Plagne hill through 21 hairpin bends, to drop us at the front door of our hotel….. Remarkable … When most other skiers were spending a night on the floor of the local school or town hall and he still had a two hour drive home to negotiate Please pass on our thanks and best wishes to all your team …. Truly brilliant, above and beyond the call of duty service yesterday …. Well done…” Lee Callow

“I just wanted to say thank you to our wonderful driver (Wayne). He got us to the airport yesterday with 6 minutes to spare and we made it on to our plane ( with a little bit of queue barging) !!” Mary Ann Rolfe and Family

“I just wanted to email to say a huge thank you to you and particularly to Sam who picked us up from Les Arcs yesterday for our transfer to Geneva airport. It was an horrific journey and he was absolutely brilliant, bearing in mind he was transporting 3 children for nearly 10 hours!! He is a credit to your company. Please pass on our thanks to him again, we really appreciate his calmness and humour as well as his safe and careful driving in really awful conditions. Thank you again for a second year of well organised transfers. Hope to be in touch again next year!” Jackie Jeffries and family

Thanks to all of our drivers for their hard work and patience and here’s hoping we don’t see another weekend like this for at least another 15 years!2048d6be20ff44feee94e047ba491deb1f3c8e6ce6fe4f6cd56f2f84f435bc33

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…



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.


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!



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.


Snow Still Lingering in The Alps!

Those of you who holidayed in the Tarentaise this winter will surely agree that the snow conditions were generally awesome. In fact the total cumulative amount of snow was said to have been seven and a half metres! Col roads in the valley took longer than usual to open after the season finished as snow was being cut through and snow walls were so high they were super unstable and the risk of avalanche was still high well into June!

mountain road

The cols are now open after an initial delay. It’s as beautiful as ever up over the Cormet de Roselend.

Since the winter season finished at the end of April though, we have had some fine weather, much like the heat wave in the UK recently! So you’d expect the snow to be gone by now right? Wrong! Many mountain bike and walking trails in Les Arcs up above 1800m are just becoming fully rideable and it’s mid July! There is still a lot of snow up there and ‘fresh tracks’ can be seen in the Grand Col area where a super keen skier has refused to let go of winter.

mountain snow

Still loads of snow up near the top of the Transarc lift in Les Arcs!

The Summer season is now definitely in full swing however, and Bourg-Saint-Maurice is bustling with visitors. The Paradiski area seems to be busier with mountain bikers and we are certainly busy with airport transfers and uplifts. The Tour de France heads along parts of our airport routes tomorrow, Friday and Saturday so it would be rude not to go and show our support. Look out for a Cool Bus on the TV coverage if you’re a fan!

mountain road

We have been over to Alpes d’Huez a few times already this Summer and Le Tour will be going up here twice tomorrow!