It seems Italians, or at least the guys I’m with, really don’t like French food all that much. So getting Paolo and the guys from LEAP to hang out in Chamonix is of limited success. Paolo suggested we head back to Italian environs and enjoy the Aosta Valley region (encompasses an area of Alps still at the feet of Mt. Blanc, but more Italiano.)
I was game, so Paolo and the Sucai Torino (who hosted my presentation) came up with accommodations at the Pensione Perret in the valley Valgrisenche, village of Bonne. They heli ski here, which has the potential of continuing the Chamonix area mob madness, but the area is used for quite a few excellent ski tours as well, and both mechanized and human powered are said to coexist however tenuously (Wasatch, anyone?). Check it out.
As for the Aosta region food, I still heard a lot of talk from the Italians about how “different” it was. Hard to please these guys, but that’s okay because back home they have nearly supernatural eats, which I’ve been heartily enjoying during this trip.