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A truly “gold” standard school ski holiday in France

When Carole Montillet proudly carried the French tricolour at the opening ceremony of the Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City, could she imagine that 2002 would really be “her year”? Plagued by injuries in her early skiing career, Montillet persevered and began to make her mark in World Cup / World Championship events throughout the 1990’s as well as the 1994 (Lillehammer) and 1998 (Nagano) Olympic games where she finished 14th in the Super G (grand slalom) event.

But finally, it was at Salt Lake City where she scored her first major triumph; winning gold in the women’s downhill race – the first Frenchwoman to do so for over thirty years.

Montillet was born in the village of Corrençon and became a member of the well-respected Villard de Lans ski club in the neighbouring resort. Villard de Lans and Corrençon are both charming alpine villages situated at the foot of the majestic Mont Grande Moucherolle. The area is part of the chain of impressive rocky mountains which make up the Natural Regional Park of Vercors, and provides an ideal destination for a school skiing trip to France.

With an impressive 125km of quality slopes, the resort of Villard de Lans offers the largest skiing area in the whole of the Vercors region. Boasting 50 slopes in total, it includes 12 green and 12 blue slopes offering a lot of choice for novice and less experienced skiers which typically make up the majority of school parties. Furthermore, at an altitude of 1050m (Villard de Lans village) to 2050m (top station) it is the highest resort in the region meaning you are virtually guaranteed good snow cover on the slopes.

The Villard de Lans resort has benefitted from considerable investment, with new slopes developed and new ski lifts (27 lifts in total) added for your convenience. It also offers excellent après ski activities including swimming, ice skating, and ever-popular bowling. There is even a dedicated tubing park where school age children can spend an afternoon speeding downhill in an enormous rubber ring.

But despite this recent investment, Villard de Lans remains delightfully unspoilt as a resort. It retains its tranquil village atmosphere. Skiers of all abilities will appreciate its wide powdery slopes which make their way through gorgeous wooded areas and stunning panoramas.

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