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RAMPAGING RAMPTON AT SNOWBOXX - DAY THREE - James Rampton, Snowboxx - Avoriaz
Tuesday March 20, 2018 - Email this article to a friend

PlanetSKI's roving rampaging reporter is in Avoriaz. Hold on, No! He's at a pop up stage across the border in Champery, Switzerland. NEW



Snowboxx goes Swiss.

The Snowboxx Festival is held in Avoriaz in France, right?

Er, not always.

Yesterday, the excellent Alpine music festival, which is running all this week, took a day-trip to Switzerland - and PlanetSKI followed them across the border.

France or Switzerland?France or Switzerland?




















One of the many joys of the Portes du Soleil ski area is its sheer scale.

The largest connected ski area in the world, it encompasses 650 km of pistes across 12 diverse resorts in two countries.

Quite understandably, each resort in the Portes du Soleil is keen to be part of the fun.

So Snowboxx has come up with a solution quite brilliant in its simplicity.

It helicopters one of its stages to a concert in a different resort every day.

Moving stage today it's in SwitzerlandMoving stage - today it's in Switzerland
















The five gigs comprise a festival-within-a-festival called "Rock the Pistes".

That is why yesterday we at PlanetSKI found ourselves doing the exhilarating hour-long cross-border ski from Avoriaz to Champery in Switzerland.

No matter how many times you have done it, there is always something quite thrilling about skiing past a sign saying "Bienvenue en Suisse."

Heading to SwitzerlandBienvenue - Heading to Switzerland














On the way into Switzerland, we went past Le Pas de Chavenette or "Swiss Wall" - one of the steepest and most challenging slopes in Europe.

Beginning on the border at 2,151 metres above sea level, the Swiss Wall has a vertical drop of 331 metres over one kilometre.

It is rated as "orange" (the classification for those who find black runs way too easy).

I can't say I was too unhappy when our guide suggested we give the Swiss Wall a swerve.

Once at "Rock the Pistes" in Champery, we were able to enjoy the Anglo-German-Canadian singer-songwriter Alice Merton.

She sang plangent songs from her new album, "No Roots," which mirrors the transience of "Rock the Pistes".

There were many other delights on offer at the gig.

For example, we sampled a delicious meat and vegetable soup cooked over an open fire in a giant copper pot straight out of the Asterix stories.

Vegetable soup in Asterix style hot potVegetable soup in Asterix style hot pot



















The soup was made by the staff of the local Restaurant Coquoz, the oldest high-altitude eaterie in the Portes du Soleil region.

The owner proudly told PlanetSKI that the restaurant has been a family business since it was built and opened by his father-in-law in 1950.

In another corner of "Rock the Pistes", PlanetSKI also relished throwing a few ill-judged shapes as a group of wandering troubadours - another echo of Asterix - played an infectious brand of oompah music.

Wandering troubadoursWandering troubadours




















Wandering troubadoursWandering troubadours



















Later in the week, "Rock the Pistes" audiences can lap up The Horrors in Morzine-Les Gets, Oscar and the Wolf in Avoriaz and FFF in Morgins

Arriving back in France tired but happy, PlanetSKI was able to reflect on the fact that Snowboxx is a terrific festival, whichever country it happens to take place in.

Snowboxx Portes du SoleilSnowboxx Portes du Soleil




















Alice Merton sings from her album, No Roots:

Read more on Rampton's Trip to Avoriaz -

Day 1:  Rampton Rampages at Snowboxx

DAY 2: Fatboy Slim

Day 3: Champery pop up stage


View the full Snowboxx lineup

Tickets for Snowboxx start from £229 for accommodation and a festival wristband.

Flight packages starting from £369.

Lessons and ski hire are available from just £73.

Snowboxx 2018Snowboxx 2018













See here for the main PlanetSKI news page with all the latest stories from the world of snowsports.

For the Spirit of the Mountains - PlanetSKI: No1 for ski news




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