The art of living as a Chave

Publication date 15 March 2022,

If you are reading this article, you probably know La Clusaz.

You have already come to slide on these snowy mountains, or perhaps come to walk in these pastures in summer. What is certain is that you have already experienced unforgettable moments in the land of Reblochon.

But, what you have experienced, some of you live it on a daily basis. And this daily life is an art, an art of living.

A little look back in time

Indeed, before being a ski resort, La Clusaz is above all a village, marked by its history and its inhabitants. 
To begin with, this small hamlet, situated at the foot of the Aravis massif, is not called La Clusaz without reason. Its name comes from the word "Cluse", in Latin "clusa" which means closed. Yes, this is what characterized the access road to the village which passed through the gorges at the beginning of the 18th century.
It was only in 1832 that the road was widened by cutting a gap in the rocky bar. At that time, life in the village was harsh and agriculture difficult.
It was not until 1902, with the opening of the col des Aravis road, that the village began to welcome its first visitors. Travellers passed through La Clusaz to reach the col des Aravis and admire the Mont Blanc.


And skiing in all this ?

It was at the beginning of the 1930s that skiing became important, thanks in particular to a certain Joseph Bertone.
In 1935, the first cable car was put into service and the euphoria of skiing was already being felt.

More and more tourists came to discover the thrill of skiing in La Clusaz. 21 years later, the resort became a must-see thanks to the new Beauregard cable car, which enabled the plateau to be reached and the beauty of the Aravis chain and Mont Blanc to be admired.
Mastering the art of entertaining and sharing traditions, La Clusaz became the place where life is good and travellers understood this, as they were more and more to go and join the local "Chaves" (inhabitants of La Clusaz).

For the more curious

We even managed to fit the entire history of the village into a chalet. The Hameau des Alpes is today the temple of the history of skiing and we advise you to meet Gisèle, the guardian.

By the way, why are the inhabitants of La Clusaz called "Chaves"?


So what is this famous art of living ?

A busy local life.

Ah, the art of living, now that you know the history and origins of the village, you will understand what the art of living at as Chave is. 
It is this alchemy between tradition and modernity. The trades of the time are still present today, such as the art of making Reblochon cheese, or formerly "Reblocher" (to milk the cow a second time) was necessary to survive, it has become today an exceptional cheese which is no longer considered as a fraud in the village farms.

Woodworking continues to be passed down from generation to generation at the Agnellet sawmill.
The art of building chalets is still very much alive. You can admire the architecture of the houses, with all these "tavaillons" chalets, which decorate the roofs of the houses making the charm of the village.

Meeting with 2 architects, who have been changing the village's lines for nearly 12 years.​


With the arrival of tourism, new trades have developed in the village.

With more and more travellers curious to discover mountain life, the resort's hotels, accommodation provider and restaurants have developed the art of hospitality. Thus, they continue to share the values of the village on a daily basis. And it is not the numerous ski instructors of the resort who will say the opposite. They have been passing on their passion for teaching skiing for generations.
But eating well and sleeping well are not enough to have an unforgettable stay. Thanks to the slope service teams who in winter and summer allow you to enjoy the beauty of our mountains thanks to a unique know-how to maintain and secure the slopes. From master avalanche controllers to first aiders, they do everything to guarantee you safe skiing days on the slopes of La Clusaz.
Finally, last winter, you had the chance to discover the village as before 1936, when the ski lifts did not yet exist. This little flashback took us back in time to the evolution of the ski lifts, from the installation of the first cable car to the last Télémix du Bossonnet inaugurated in 2015.
And to make this mountain life wonderful, you can count on the many shopkeepers in the resort, who make your daily life easier. In La Clusaz, you will find everything you need all year round. Bakery, butcher, cheese shop, supermarket, doctors, chemist, cinema, library, school, nursery, bowling, swimming pool, skating rink, shops... There is even a coworking space to set up your office in the mountains!
Besides, who better than Yvette Perillat, the village's emblematic figure of style, to tell you about the Art of Living as a Chave? 

They are completely "Chave".​

It is therefore all these men, women and children who are nicknamed "the Chaves" and who actively participate to the village life on a daily basis, cultivating this art of living. And the only thing to do to contribute to it is to enjoy it with originality.

To give you an example, all they need is a slope and a lake to invent a national sport. Jesus may have walked on water, but they slide on it, and we have the pictures to prove it... 

If you find it hard to believe, we invite you to see by yourself on 24th April 2022.

Finally, the best thing we can say about the Chave art of living is to come and taste it, "tout-vite" (as soon as possible) !


Good bye

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