Alp Venture first set up business in Alpe d'Huez at the beginning of last winter and since then have been going from strength to strength.
Before their second winter season takes off, we managed to catch up with joint owner, Lee Cartwright, who tells us a little more about the business and shares some tips for anyone coming to Alpe d'Huez on holiday.
Hi Lee, Tell us a little bit about Alp Venture, how it started out and where you're based
We fell in love with the Oisans region over three years ago and then decided to set up our business so we could settle here. We are based in the market town of Le Bourg d’Oisans which offers easy access to the ski resorts and airports.
How long have you been with the company?
We have been operating the business for more than a year now and we’re looking forward to our second winter season.
What makes Alpe d'Huez a special place for you?
It has spectacular natural surroundings, a great choice outdoor activities and friendly people.
What are the best bits about your job?
Being able to meet new passengers on a daily basis and helping them to enjoy their holidays.
And the worst bits?
Fitting snow chains, in a blizzard, at -10⁰C with no feeling in your fingers. Brrrr!
What is in store for the future with your business, are there any exciting projects in the pipelines that you can share with us?
We are increasing the number of vehicles we operate so we can offer more transfers at competitive prices
What are your personal and professional goals for the future?
Personal goals are to become technically a better skier to try ski touring and also snowboarding. Professionally I would like to develop the business with more vehicles so we can cover more transfers.
What would you suggest people try for food or drink when they come here?
What's your favourite piste or off-piste area?
My favourite piste is the 16km Sarenne black run when my legs are up to it.
Your personal favourite place for lunch or dinner?
What has been your best ever day in Alpe d'Huez?
Any fresh powder day with bright sunshine and fantastic mountain views.
Do you remember your first trip to Alpe d'Huez?
Yes, I first came to the resort in the summer months and I cycled to the top of the 21 switch backs which was extremely tough. The sun was shining as it generally does in this resort, and I stopped for a well-deserved lunch at the top.
What's your favourite thing to do in resort when not skiing?
Sitting in the sunshine with a cold drink taking in the atmosphere.
What do you do in the summer?
We continue operating our transfer business over the summer months catering for the many mountain bikers, road cyclists and outdoor enthusiasts who visit the area. Many of them enter the numerous competitions and events available in the region. Personally I’m a keen road cyclist so I try to ride as often as possible and I also follow the Tour de France when it’s in the area.
Which is your favourite shop in resort?
I like mooching around all the ski shops to see what new gear is available.
Where are we most likely to find you for après-ski?!
Bar les Bergers is a good place to catch up with friends over a beer.
Skiing or snowboarding? What's your preference & why?
I only ski at the moment as I wanted to try ski touring but I’m planning on trying snowboarding this year as it looks more fun on fresh powder.
If someone was coming here for the first time, what would you suggest they absolutely must do or see in resort?
Ski the Sarenne black run to test their stamina and visit La Folie Douce to see a real party.
Alp Venture offer affordable and reliable airport transfers to Alpe d'Huez. Get in touch with them for a quote for your next holiday.