Perfect timing at the perfect Courchevel ski resort

The dining room is bright and quiet, the gray-uniformed servers moving with cultured efficiency among us. It is lunchtime at Le Chabichou in the French Alps. I am supposed to be skiing the slopes of Courchevel, but fate has placed me here instead, to my resonant satisfaction.

The heavy snowfall has lifted, revealing perfect, sheet-white slopes, the vista crowned by Mont Blanc, in the far distance. With my American wife, German-American son and two British cousins, I have come at just the right moment to Courchevel, which, together with the rest of the Three Valleys, is the largest ski area in

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