Eurofest 2018

Trip Report Harford Ski Club
February 24 – March 4, 2016

Your Excellency, Honorable Officers, and Distinguished Members,

I am most pleased to report the Results of another successful Expedition by several brave and stalwart Members of the mighty Harford Ski Club. Our Trek took us to the legendary Alpine Site known as Les Trois Valléesin the Savoy Region of the ancient Land of France. Our small Band consisted of Lord Gary, Lady Karen and young Lady Julia, Ladies Pat and Alena, Sir Steven, Sir John, Mistresses Deb and Karen, and myself.

Owing to the distant and remote Location of Les Trois Vallées, and the sheer Size of the Domaine Skiable, the Club entered into Partnership with like-minded Brethren from seven other Organizations within the Blue Ridge Ski Council. Together, we fielded a mighty Host of One Hundred and Twenty-Three bold Adventurers.

To assure our smooth Entry into the Land of France, Lord Gary, Lady Karen, and Lady Julia departed in advance of the Main Party to establish a Presence in the Capitol City of Paris. They arrived in the City of Light on the 21st of February, where they were greeted by frigid Temperatures and frosty Parisians. Undeterred, they explored many cultural and historical Sites, including the world-renowned Louvre.

A second advance Team was scheduled to reconnoiter our Staging Area in the City of Lyon, beginning on the 22nd of February. Sir Steven accomplished this Mission admirably, despite the arctic Conditions and the Absence of Sir Bart, who fell Victim to an ill-timed Malady mere Days prior to our Departure. Our Prayers for his full and speedy Recovery will surely not go Unanswered!

The Main Party gathered at the Dulles Docks in the Commonwealth of Virginia on the 24th of February, where Ladies Alena and Pat, Sir John, and I, along with many Worthies from the BRSC, boarded a worthy Airship for our Voyage across the storm-tossed Atlantic Ocean. We arrived in good order at the Lyon Docks on the morn of February the 25th, but alas, our Baggage Train did not. Nevertheless, we proceeded by Coach to the Village of Brides les Bains, situated at the Base of Les Trois Vallées, from whence a twenty-five minute Ascent by Gondola was required to reach Meribel, the primary Embarkation Point for the Lifts. By early Evening, the entire Expedition, including Mistresses Deb and Karen who had travelled by somewhat more circuitous Routes, had gathered in the picturesque Town. Our Baggage Train arrived somewhat later in the Night.

Our Lodgings at the Hotel Mercure were clean and comfortable, if not quite the four-star Accommodations that we expected. Once everyone was settled in their Lodgings, the entire Expedition gathered for a formal Welcoming. The Fare included fine Wine and Lager of continental manufacture, as well as many of the local Delicacies.

Our initial disappointment with the Lodgings was soon forgotten in our Delight at theRepast prepared for our Evening Meal. The sumptuous, three-course Dinner required nearly two Hours to consume, a Pattern that would repeat each Evening. In keeping with the Spirit of Exploration, we endeavored to sample all of France’s most famous Cuisines during the Expedition, including Escargot, Duck Fois Gras, Tiramisu, Chocolate Croissants, Lamb Shanks, Tartelettes, and everyone’s favorite: Shoulder Butt (an alleged Meat dish of unknown Species).

The following Morning, after a hearty Breakfast, we began our Assault on Les Trois Vallées, the World’s largest Domaine Skiable. Over the next six Days, we repeatedly ventured into the Mountains, skiing from high Ridges to low Valleys, pushing the Limits of Human Endurance. Les Trois Vallées offered our Troupe an awesome variety of Terrain to navigate, much larger than any of the Venues we’ve previously explored in North America. Great Skiing could be found above and below the Tree Line, and the Alpine Vistas are unmatchedin Beauty and Grandeur in my Experience.  We were shocked and amazed at the large Number of fellow Explorers traveling in the Mountains, until we learned that our Venture coincided with a general academic Holiday on the Continent. Conditions varied from frigid Cold early in our Adventure to warming Sunshine at mid-Week, followed by a heavy Snow toward the end of our Trip. Visibility was limited, indeed challenging, for most of the Week, and the Snow was often icy. Nevertheless, we escaped the Mountains with no serious injuries, although two Members of another Club were knocked out of Action during the Week.

Members of our Expedition also ventured beyond our Base Camp at Brides les Bains, boarding Coaches to explorenearby historical Villages in the Savoy Region, including Annecy, Grenoble, and Chambery. Luckily, sufficient Sprits were available to ward off any cases of Frostbite on these Adventures. Some among our Company developed a fondness for the local Rose, while others inexplicably favored a local Spirit known as Chartreuse.

On the 27th of February, the entire Host boarded Coaches and travelled to the Village of Meribel for an Evening of exploring and fine dining. Unfortunately, the local Tavern I selected for our Troupe was not up to Task of prompt Service, and it required the entire Evening to satisfy our Hunger.

On March 1st and 2nd, we were heartened by the Appearance of two former Members of our distinguished Club, Sir Bob and Lady Jane, who now reside in the Land of Italy. They made the perilous Journey over the Alps to join us for a few Days of Comradery and Skiing, evoking Memories of earlier Times.

All good Things must come to an End, and the whole Host gathered for a grand Farewell Party on March the 3rd, during which copious Amounts of fine Wine and Champagne were consumed, although the general Mood was somewhat dampened by Awareness that our Coaches would depart for the Lyon Docks at the abominable Hour of Two O’clock in the Morning. Undeterred by such minor Inconvenience, the stalwart Members of the Harford Ski Club outlasted our Brethren, and we shutdown the Dance Floor at the Midnight Hour.

Bleary-eyed and still suffering the Effects of excess Consumption, we boarded our Coaches in good order and made our way to the Lyon Docks without Incident. Our string of Good Fortune nearly ended on the Docks, however, as your humble Servant was struck down on an Escalator by a Cascade of Bodies and Baggage. Perhaps due to a certain looseness of Carriage imparted by the Evening’s imbibing, I managed to escape relatively unscathed.
More Chaos ensued in the Docks, but we eventually made our Way to the mighty KLM Airship that transported us in relative Comfort to the Dulles Docks, and thence safely to our Homes and Loved Ones.

Your most obedient servant,

Steven Landry
VP and Trip Leader