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Three steps to Heaven; Step 1 - James Cove, Grand Bornand
Sunday July 28, 2013 - Email this article to a friend

There is no finer place for a summer holiday than the mountains. James Cove and his 14-year old son, Max, have been in the Lake Annecy Ski Resorts. Or should that read Summer Resorts?

Most British people head to the beaches of Europe for their annual summer holiday.

Not us here at PlanetSKI - we go to the mountains.

With the current heatwave across Europe conditions could hardly be better. Mediterranean temperatures in the day, but cool at altitude and during the night.

Last week I was doing some fairly serious mountain biking in Les 2 Alps followed by glacier skiing. 

Now it is the other end of the spectrum - a gentle and relaxing holiday with my son, Max, in the family resorts of  La Clussaz, Grand Bornand, Marigod and Saint Jean de Sixt. 

It was a chance to relax and unwind.

Or so I thought.

Son and FatherSon and Father













Little did I know I would be cross-county mountain biking again, sliding along zip wires high up in the trees and hurtling down toboggan runs on rails.

In the evening there were motor-bike displays, concerts, fireworks and more besides. 

Alpine summer holidays are now a long way from gentle strolls in alpine meadows full of wild flowers.

Adrenalin and excitement are the order of the day.

Day One

We started as we meant to go on. The first activity was climbing - nothing too difficult but just some gentle bouldering in the centre of Grand Bornand on the specially installed climbing walls.

They were part of the Aravais and Co week-long festival.

Climbing highClimbing high













Each of the villages puts on a series of free events during the day for families and Grand Bornand had cleared its main square for climbing, zip wires and talks by mountain guides.

Music played out and there was a carnival atmosphere.

Walking the lineWalking the line













Riding the lineRiding the line











As I saw swarms of children enjoying and learning about the mountains in the summer it struck me that the snowsports could learn a thing or two to ensure kids are introduced to skiing and snowboarding in a similar way.

Give them a taste and they'll hopefully come back for more in later life.

The future?The future?













The week-long series of events were mostly free and for other activities you could buy a pre-paid card and put as much or little cash on it as you required.

Not only was it more convenient than cash but also it came with discounts.

Again something resorts could learn for the winter.

There was something for all ages - including one of the more bizarre roundabouts I had ever seen.

Merry go round with a differenceMerry go round with a difference













In the distance mountains was the evidence of an epic winter - normally all the snow has melted by this time of year, but they were still skiing here in June.

The snow remainsThe snow remains













In the evening we headed to the neighbouring village of Saint Jean de Sixt for some evening concerts with a theme of fire. 

A troupe of dancers dazzled us.

Evening entertainmentEvening entertainment

















Then a firework display lit up the night sky as the sound of explosions echoed around the valley.














Tomorrow is  set to be just as busy: cross-country mountain biking.

For a video of what is on offer at the family festival then see below.

For more information about the resorts featured in the trip follow the links below:

Grand Bornand

La Clusaz


St Jean de Sixt

For the spirit of the mountains

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