Mar
17

European Gay Ski Week 2018 (38566)

Event Overview

European Gay Ski Week (EGSW) is the largest LGBT+ skiing and snowboarding event in Europe, with more guests and bigger parties than any other. EGSW is also the only ski week that travels to different resorts, so that skiers and boarders can explore new pistes and nightlife across the whole of the French Alps. 

EGSW 2018 will be a new event for ODL. It’s being offered so that ODL members have a choice of resorts to ski and board in 2018.

Book your place at EGSW 2018 and you’ll get a fantastic €50 discount per person off the price, plus OutdoorLads will get a £31 donation from EGSW. (Full details and exclusi...

European Gay Ski Week (EGSW) is the largest LGBT+ skiing and snowboarding event in Europe, with more guests and bigger parties than any other. EGSW is also the only ski week that travels to different resorts, so that skiers and boarders can explore new pistes and nightlife across the whole of the French Alps. 

EGSW 2018 will be a new event for ODL. It’s being offered so that ODL members have a choice of resorts to ski and board in 2018.

Book your place at EGSW 2018 and you’ll get a fantastic €50 discount per person off the price, plus OutdoorLads will get a £31 donation from EGSW. (Full details and exclusions below)

Your leader, Neil, has been both a member of ODL and a volunteer Snow Host / ski guide at EGSW for many years, and is really excited to have been chosen to be the ODL Event Leader at EGSW 2018. Neil says "I’m looking forward to welcoming you at what I think is one of the most fun weeks of the year." 

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Meeting & Times

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THE EVENT

The 10th EGSW will take place from 17th to 24th March 2018 and is returning for only the second time to les Menuires. If you want pretty Alpine charm, then this isn’t the resort for you. It’s more Preston bus station than Heidi’s chalet, but from its position in the centre of the 3 Vallées, we can explore the challenging +3,000m high mountains above Val Thorens, cruise the red & blue pistes of Méribel or spend a fortune on a single espresso in a Russian bling-tastic slope-side restaurant in Courchevel.

Les Menuires is also one of the best resorts for any ODL member who’d like to learn to ski. There are friendly, English speaking ski instructors and dedicated beginners’ slopes in the heart of the resort. As usual, EGSW will offer beginners’ classes that are exclusively for their LGBT+ guests, so you can learn with other ODL members and EGSW guests, whilst having fun and making friends along the way. I first learnt to ski at an EGSW, so this is highly #RECOMMENDED#

The skiing and snowboarding is only half of what EGSW offers. Once the lifts close, the après begins on a terrace in the centre of les Menuires, with live music, DJ’s, go-go boys, Drag Queens and fireworks that exceed anything put on by Folie Douce. For many (including me), the après are the highlights of each year’s EGSW 2018, so I’ll use the après event for our daily meeting spot, giving us ODL members a time and place to get together to talk about what we’ve done that day on the slopes and to plan our evening.

After après, sensible skiers & boarders go home for something to eat and then go to sleep. After après, EGSW goes to party. Each night, we can choose from organised fondue & raclette dinners, cabaret shows, pool parties, themed clubs with DJ’s from across Europe or the afterhours venue (until 5am).

Skiing and boarding isn’t cheap. To make this event accessible, EGSW is offering every ODL Full Member a €50 discount off their booking (full details and exclusions below).

In addition, for each ODL Full Member that books using this discount, EGSW will give ODL a further £31 donation, to support the ongoing work of OutdoorLads.

Further information about EGSW 2018 can be found at EGSW 2018

GETTING TO LES MENUIRES

By train

If you’re based in mainland UK, then travelling to les Menuires by train can be as quick door-to-door as flying. It’s often cheaper and is usually more relaxing. The nearest train station is Moûtiers, which is a simple 45 minutes transfer from les Menuires

  • There’s a lot of information about travelling by train to the Alps at The Man in Seat 61 .

 

  • Direct Eurostar ski trains from London St. Pancras to Moûtiers are now on sale at Eurostar ski train:
    • An overnight Eurostar leaves London at 19:42 on Friday 16th March and arrives into Moûtiers at 05:34 the next morning. It currently costs from £75 outbound. #RECOMMENDED#
    • A daytime Eurostar leaves London at 09:45 on Saturday 17th and arrives into Moûtiers at 18:27 that same day. It currently costs from £123 outbound.
    • A daytime Eurostar (departing Moûtiers at 10:14 from £123) #RECOMMENDED# and an overnight Eurostar (departing Moutiers at 22:54 from £75) are available for your return on Saturday 24th March.

 

  • You can travel indirect with a Eurostar then changing in Paris (across the city by Metro) or Lille (across the platform) to a SNCF TGV. These will go on sale from late December at Voyages SNCF.

 

  • You can transfer from Moûtiers Gare Routière to les Menuires by:
    • Public bus costing €22.10 return. This should be booked in advance and is on sale from late December at Altibus #RECOMMENDED#.
    • EGSW coach costing €20 each way. This should be booked in advance at the EGSW website.
    • Private taxi costing approximately €160 return. This can be booked in advance at Alp-Line .

 

By plane

Geneva (GVA) is my preferred airport, if I'm flying from the UK to les Menuires, but it’s a horrible place to transit through during ski weekends. A realistic transfer time from baggage collection in GVA to les Menuires is at least 4 hours.

  • EGSW offers exclusive direct coach transfers between GVA and les Menuires #RECOMMENDED#:
    • Outbound on Saturday 17th March leaving GVA every hour from 12:00 midday to 18:00.
    • Return on Saturday 24th March leaving les Menuires at 10:00 and 16:00.
    • These can be booked in advance on the EGSW website and cost €49 each way.

 

  • Ben’s Bus provides shared transfers between GVA and les Menuires throughout Saturdays. The transfers are usually in mini-buses, so are #NOT RECOMMENDED# for anyone prone to travel sickness. They can be booked in advance at Ben's Bus. EGSW bookers will receive in their booking confirmation email, a 5% off discount code.

 

By car

It’s possible to drive to les Menuires from the UK or by hire car from GVA, but the car will need to be winterised and drivers should carry and know how to fit snow chains. Details of paid-for covered parking and free open air parking can be found at les Menuires car parking.

 

 

The €50 discount / HOW TO BOOK

ODL Full Members can receive a €50 per person discount off the price of an EGSW booking. To be entitled to the discount, each person must:

  • Be an ODL Full Member at the time of booking and during EGSW 2018 (17th to 24th March 2018)
  • Book one of the accommodations offered on the EGSW website
  • Book an EGSW Event Pass
  • Book a 6 days (or more) 3 Vallées Lift Pass on the EGSW website

The discount does not apply if you book one of the EGSW promotional offers like the Shared Accommodation package and it cannot be combined with other discounts.

To benefit from the exclusive ODL Full Members discount at EGSW, you should:

  • Click on the BOOK NOW link on this ODL page and record that you’re GOING to the event.
  • Go to the EGSW online booking page at EGWS online booking.
  • Enter and validate discount code "OutdoorLads171027" in the box on the final page of your EGSW booking.
  • Pay a deposit of 20%, not the full amount.
  • Send an email to info@egsw.eu that includes your EGSW booking reference and the full names and ODL usernames of everyone in your booking who are claiming the ODL Full Members discount.

By claiming the ODL Full Members discount at EGSW 2018, you consent to ODL sharing with EGSW, the status of your ODL membership.

For each ODL Full Member that books using this discount, EGSW will give ODL a further £31 donation, to support the ongoing work of OutdoorLads.

Tips for making your EGSW even better

  Below are some of my tips, that might help to make your EGSW even better (or cheaper)

  • Swiss are my preferred airline for flying into Geneva (GVA) with flights from Heathrow, London City, Gatwick, Birmingham and Manchester. They carry your ski and board equipment free of charge, in addition to your checked-in luggage allowance. Details of that offer can be found here - Swiss - free ski and board equipment . You can also get £25 off London to GVA flight purchases of more than £95, by using discount code -  SWISSUKLONGVA17

 

  • Like most ski resorts, les Menuires is built on the side of a mountain, so getting around can initially seem to be a challenge. A map of les Menuires can be found here - les Menuires resort map. The red, orange and turquoise lines show the routes of the free resort buses that operate until early evening. In addition to these, EGSW will provide a further two shuttle buses that will operate until the afterhours club closes at 5am.

 

  • From après to afterhours, most of the evening events at EGSW will take place in and around La Croisette area of les Menuires (yellow on the map above). A lot of EGSW accommodation is in that area or in the neighbouring Brelin complex, so that's where I’m staying #RECOMMENDED#. Whilst the la Sapinière and Bruyères areas are a little bit further away, they're both walkable to and from la Croisette if you’ve just missed a shuttle bus. Reberty 1850 and 2000 are literally half way up the side of a mountain.

 

  • EGSW provides a token system for buying food & drinks. You buy plastic tokens in advance from the EGSW crew (€3, €10 & €30 value), then pay for food & drink in accepting bars and restaurants. Using these, you’ll get 10% off the price of your food & drink and you’re supporting the bars & restaurants that are supporting a gay event. In previous years, this system was a bit fiddly, but it worked really well last year, and I saved a lot of money by using them #RECOMMENDED#. Any tokens that I had left over at the end of the week were simply handed back to EGSW in the envelope given to me at check-in. EGSW then credited my bank account with the value within a week.

Event Reference No:
38566