Ski Holidays

Lost & found: Secrets of a chalet lost property box

by Kelly Taylor | 1st August 2020

People lose all sorts of things on chalet holidays; ski poles, helmets, gloves, goggles, their dignity. Sadly, sometimes these items are lost for good, never to be seen again.

If you’re lucky though, your misplaced items will end up in the chalet lost property box, patiently waiting until the day they are claimed. At this point, your friendly resort manager will rescue your item and take it to the local post office where it will begin its journey home.

Not every item will be successfully reunited with its owner though. The chalet lost property box can be a pretty surprising place. Think it’s all gloves and goggles in there? Think again.

We’re lifting the lid on the chalet lost property box to find out what lurks in its depths, and how much it will cost you to get it back.

Lost Item: Skis

How they are lost

People generally lose their skis in one of the following three ways:

  1. Theft
    Usually from a piste-side bar or restaurant (and anywhere you find a Folie Douce).
  2. Nitwitage
    A fellow chalet guest (with completely different sized feet and colour skis) takes your skis and wonders why they keep unclipping whenever they lean to the left.*
  3. Yard Sale
    Usually the result of a poorly executed trick in the park, or spectacular overconfidence in approaching a steeps/moguls.**

Cost to return

Around £100 depending on courier and level of insurance cover.

How to avoid losing them:

  1. Theft – If you’re going to leave your skis unattended, we recommend you buy a decent ski lock, or avoid the Folie Douce like the plague. If they are hired skis, take out all the insurance you can. It’s extremely pricey to replace lost hire skis.
  2. Nitwitage – Ski lock? Or perhaps a big sticker that says ‘BRIAN’S SKIS’ taped to each one.***
  3. Yard Sale – Stay within your limits on the piste and in the park – no one likes a showoff and we will all point and laugh as your equipment goes sliding down the piste without you.

* No one’s judging you by the way, I’ve done this.
** Unless you are extremely unlucky, you can usually reclaim your equipment after a yard sale. You may just have to sheepishly ‘bum-shuffle’ your way down the piste to collect your belongings (all the while hoping that your errant skis haven’t taken out a ski school lesson on the way down). No one likes being shouted at by the ESF.
*** Only effective if your name is Brian.

Lost Item: Poles/Gloves/Helmets/Goggles/Wallet/Phone

How they are lost

In the league table of lost items, all these little blighters hold strong positions at the top of the table. Loss of these items is mainly due to:

  1. Overconfidence or ‘larking about’ on chairlifts
    I don’t think there’s a skier in the world who has not watched a lone glove soar gracefully off a chairlift, only to land in either a 15 ft deep snow drift (au revoir and see you in June) or lodge itself in such a precarious position you’d need to be a fully trained member of mountain rescue to retrieve it.
  2. Hangover or lateness induced panic
    Pre-kids/no kids/post kids: You know who you are. After having flagged midweek, you suddenly realise it’s the last night and it’s time to go hard, or go home. The following morning, with your transfer less than 30 mins away, you are wandering round the chalet brandishing a bacon baguette and wondering if it’s possible to pack a suitcase via telekenesis.
    With kids in tow: You took your eye off the ball. I mean, who can blame you? Red wine on tap throughout dinner and a week of no cooking or washing up. You’d totally be forgiven for forgetting quite how long it takes to FIND ALL THEIR STUFF. With your transfer less than 30 mins away, they are still refusing to put on clothes, you’re at least one snowboot down, and you’ve just fished one small sock out of the hot tub.

Cost to return

  1. Chairlifts – I suspect that these items are rarely ever returned. In fact, when it gets to the end of April and all the seasonnaires are bored of talking to each other, they keep themselves busy counting the poles, gloves and even skis as they begin to emerge with the spring thaw.
  2. Hangover/panic – These are amongst the most common items in chalet lost property boxes and we will be happy to return them to you. A pair of gloves or even a helmet could be as little as £10-20 to post to the U.K. Costs increase if the item is valuable and needs to be insured.

How to avoid losing them

  1. Chairlifts – Remain cool whilst on the chairlift, don’t get overexcited. Don’t try to text, rock the chair for a laugh, take selfies or decide that it’s the perfect time to rummage through your rucksack looking for something that you don’t even need.
  2. Hangover/panic – Sorry, we have no useful advice here.

Lost Item: Passport

How they are lost

This one is always due to downright absent mindedness. Possibly with a bit of hangover/lateness induced panic thrown in. Almost always found in the wardrobe or at the very back of the nightstand, forgotten passports are more common than you might think. In fact, speak to any of our friends in the airport transfer game they’ll tell you that at least once a week someone gets halfway to Geneva before the vision of their passport sitting snugly in a nightstand drawer hits them like a snowboard in the face.*

Cost to return

N/A – where are you going without one? The cost of a missed flight and a private return transfer back to the chalet though, could easily set you back £100s.

How to avoid losing them

What sort of person doesn’t frantically check their passport 17 million times before leaving for the airport, and another 27 million on the way there? If that’s you, you deserve to lose your passport. Work on upping those paranoia levels.

*I’ve never forgotten my passport but I have been hit in the face by a snowboard, so again, no judging here.

Lost Item: Socks/Pants

How they are lost

We find them everywhere. EVERYWHERE. Literally all over the place. In beds, in wardrobes, in the boot room, in hot tubs, on chalet roofs. The least said about how they get there, the better.

Cost to return

Don’t even bother, we’re not returning them unless they are made of solid gold. Any maybe not even then.

How to avoid losing them

Count them back into your suitcase, use a laundry bag, glue them to your person? Anything will do. And don’t remove them in questionable places.

Lost Item: Your Dignity/Your Self-Respect

How they are lost

You will in all likelihood lose this at least once during your holiday. Either:

  1. On a black run/mogul field/couloir
  2. At après

Cost to return

We are neither therapists nor philosophers, this is a question only you can answer.

How to avoid losing them

Just don’t fight it, it’s bound to happen at some point.

Kelly Taylor

Guest Services

Kelly’s main focus is on after-sales services, and is always ready and waiting to help make sure your holiday is relaxed and hassle-free. So, if you’ve got a question about our resorts, chalets or service – pick up the phone.

 

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