Megève vs. Aspen: The Best of Both Worlds

In truth, I was in Geneva for the Baselworld watch fair and my company’s own CHARRIOL watch salon held this year at the Le Richmond hotel in Geneva. But when a friend’s birthday celebration was scheduled for this past weekend in Megève, France, I could not resist the temptation to extend my business trip for a last gasp of skiing in my favorite Alpine village while basking in some of my childhood memories in our family chalet and enjoying a truly decadent few days of the best après-ski that Europe has to offer (thanks to the birthday boy!).

The other option would have been to finish work and return to New York, and then spend the Holy Week just before Easter vacationing with my kids and husband in Aspen. So the question my editor asked me to consider is this: is it better to ski in America or in Europe?

Wow, how spoiled this must sound, deciding between enjoying the last moments of the ski season in arguably the best American ski town and the best in the French Alps! What can I say, except that I am lucky to have parents who invested in these two idyllic ski resorts decades ago.

So, is Megève too low altitude to have good snow, especially so late in the season? Or did I make the right choice in heading back to the French Alps, eschewing the tacking glitz of Aspen with cougars and trophy wives? The truth is that both are ideal in their own ways, and neither are the clichés that one might believe.

The weather this past weekend (the last in March) dispelled the principal cliché against Megève, namely that it is too low in the Alps to offer good skiing, especially early and late in the season. While my friends in Aspen were texting their condolences to me for missing a foot of fresh powder in Colorado, Megève was experiencing its own vrai tempête de neige (a real snow storm) off and on from Friday night through Sunday afternoon! While it was probably a bit less than Aspen’s snowfall, and down in the lower altitude of the village there were some rain showers, the storm produced wonderful quantities of fresh powder high up on the ski areas of Rochebrune, Mont d’Arbois, and the Cote 2000.

We skied excellent terrain—groomers with plenty of powder at the top of the trails and, of course, mushier conditions at the lower altitudes. But contrary to the common perception of there not being enough snow in Megève, our only complaint was there was too much at times, which caused us to seek the comfort of the various alpine restaurants to stay warm, get overfed, and drink too much!