Welcome back to our travel blog! Instead of the usual info-packed and excellent itineraries Matthew has pumped out in the past weeks, today you’re gonna have to deal with a full-on sarcasm-packed one of my own! Sorry in advance…
It’s early 2022 and me and my friends found this cool festival: Rise! This festival takes place high in the French Alps and promises crisp mountain air and a face full of the white stuff, snow of course. This week-long mountain festival takes place in December right before Christmas and to say the least, me and the boys were excited as hell for the promised (literally their tag-line) : Party on top of the world! But here’s the kicker! This is not the usual festival, why? It takes place at the second-oldest ski resort in France! Boasting 220km of amazing pistes, the largest skiable glacier, world-renowned beginner slopes and home to the most extensive & award-winning snow park on the continent, Les 2 Alpes is one of the premier ski & snowboard destinations on the planet.
So let’s give credit were credit is due, Rise offers AMAZING package deals, which we were able to get a hold of very early in the year due to their excellent year-long offers and early-bird packages. These packages range from a single-person to group-packages, all containing lodging, food, ski or board rentals, ski-passes, ski/board lessons, lift-passes and tickets for the festival itself. And I know what you’re thinking, sound pretty expensive. But I have to say, the reasonable prices shocked me when we first started planning!
Other than the amazing deals we were able to get, we were also stunned at the blistering line-up of DJs and acts announced after already having bought the tickets. Moreover the festival offers a lot of adventurous experiences, at an extra-cost of course, which in hind-sight we should have taken advantage of, like helicopter tours, dog-sleds, mountain-biking, snow-mobile hires, paragliding and more.
The village in which all attendees stay is a truly magical alpine experience, old cottages with a fire going constantly, some even on every table. The eateries available ranged heavily from classical and rustic, Michelin Star French cuisine spots to a good old-fashioned American Cheeseburger (all expensive as shit) In addition to all the food, the countless amount of bars (which are literally transformed into clubs during the night) became an alcohol-poisoning hazard. But we lived to tell the tale.
After all that it’s hard to believe the title isn’t it, even I’m asking myself what went wrong while writing this. So time to get into the not so great stuff.
Like all ski resorts, the weather plays a very important part in your overall experience and sure, you can’t blame the festival for the terrible weather, but it’s still a very valid point to consider. Rise Festival is marketed as the most scenic and picturesque festival in Europe, but this all falls flat on its face when the weather decides that your day at the resort is gonna be grey and clammy. During our week’s stay at the famous Les 2 Alps, we enjoyed 5 days of fog, extreme cold and damp air. Moreover, whenever it rained even a tiny bit, the beginner slopes became icy and unsafe. It wasn’t fun to walk around, wasn’t comfortable to ski and the worst of it all, we felt cheated. BUT, during the 3 sunny days with which we were blessed, were full of laughs, drinks and stories.
Another thing that bugged me was the accommodation. 3 rooms, 1 bathroom, 1 shower, 4 beds, 1 sofa…6 PEOPLE. The rooms us attendees were given compared to the ones marketed are a far cry. Do I even need to say more.
Since the festival takes place in the literal Alps, getting there was a bit of a drag, about 20 hours from leaving Malta to entering our room. Needless to say, this hindered our first day at the festival. That, and one of our friends tearing his MCL going down a pro-level slope , 45 minutes into strapping on skis for the first time ever. We love you Tristan.
My personal experience throughout all this was one of exhaustion, we spent the whole day skiing, drinking and enjoying what we could from the village and slopes, followed by whole nights of partying and interacting with people, only for us to sleep for a couple of hours and wake up to do it again. For. 7. Straight. Days. I think I’m getting to old for this shit.
The only thing that was exclusive to Rise 2022, which is my favorite part of the whole trip, was the fact that the FIFA World Cup was going on at the same time while we were there and the matches were shown on the big-screen with all the bells and whistles. The video I’ve attached is from the match between England and France (at a festival whose attendees are mainly either British or French) Enjoy the scenes!!
So that’s all I have to say about my journey to the top of the world, I would travel again to go to a festival, and I’d travel again to go to a ski resort. But I will never do both those thing in unison again! I hope you enjoyed this rant and if you are ever interested in going to Rise Festival and have any question about how we got there or any other thing, don’t hesitate to contact us! That’s me, have a good one.