CAN I QUIT FLYING?
the travelling to the ski resort that's important, not what the resort is doing to minimise your environmental impact when you arrive. (Although every little bit helps: see the panel on green ski lifts opposite.)
But here's a final consolation: when you do arrive in the resort, wherever it is and however you got there, the likelihood is that you'll be producing less CO2 skiing all day than in your regular life back home. Ski lifts use comparatively little energy, skiing is good for your health and the mountains good for your soul. There are few better places to think about what's really important in the world.
One person taking the train from London to the Alps creates about 14kg of CO2. One person flying to resort, plus transfers on either side creates over 100kg of CO2, one way, while driving creates around 225kg per car. It can be pretty expensive and take longer if you don’t live near London, but taking the train does mean you don’t have to worry about luggage restrictions, airport queuing and you get more leg room.
You can get the Eurostar direct ski train leaving London St Pancreas direct to Bourg St Maurice on a Friday overnight train, returning the following Saturday, however the price when I looked was £238 return (compared to a return flight at £80). You could make it cheaper, having 3 changes £128.10 from London - Bourg St Maurice, plus the additional bus, train and tube I'd need to take from my door to get to London St Pancras
Journey time - 08:00 - bus to local station, train to London, tube across London to St Pancras, train from St Pancras to Bourg St Maurice (3 changes including metro across Paris). Arrival in Chamonix 20:49. Total 12 hours 49 minutes, 6 changes.
If you took the direct, much more expensive option, the total hours would be c.15h from door to door but on an overnight train with 3 changes in total.
Cost - direct bus, train £238, tube, train
changes - bus, train, tube, train £128.10, coach
No luggage restrictions, airport queuing and you get more leg room.
coach = 55kg carbon
drive = 225kg per car
Journey time - 14:25 - Bus to airport, flight, communal transfer to resort. Arrive in Chamonix 22:00. Total 7h 35 mins, 2 changes.
Cost - bus, flight, baggage, transfer
What have I learnt?
- Be more organised and look for train tickets well in advance. If still too expensive, consider driving.
- Budget for a more expensive transport option within the overall holiday price.
- I've also bought a map which shows the train connections for the 100 most popular ski resorts in the Alps so I can plan more easily.
- Choose a green ski resort