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Poster: A snowHead
Sun 10-12-17 13:33
Replies: 86
Adding to this thread as it’s the first chance I’ve had to use my BMW M5 in the snow with its winter tyres and slightly smaller wheels. Disaster! It was good in reverse (as that’s effectively turning it into a front wheel drive!) but useless forward. So I would not recommend anyone use a rear wheel drive car in snow even with winters.
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Tue 31-10-17 11:42
Replies: 917
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name.
Mon 30-10-17 17:57
Replies: 33
New version posted at the top of the page, with more resorts and in a different format. Resorts now listed geographically (e.g. Tarentaise valley all in one group) and then by A-Z, not just A-Z. There were too many airports to have a column for each one and still get it to fit on one page, so instead the columns are just "Option 1", "Option 2", etc. Any SnowHead transfer provider recommendations which do offer shared transfers but don't have a public price list, I've listed briefly at the bottom. @MountainIdiot: no public price lists for Alpybus / Easybus, but have listed at the bottom. Alpybus prices are on their homepage. Ok they list 'from', but that's because their prices vary by how far in advance you book, same as ChamExpress (which are on the table). Alpubus to Chamonix: 19.50 - 28.50EUR e/w, based on a quick look at their site. I normally pay about 25eur each way. Easybus exactly the same as above - variable prices, cheaper the further in advance you book. To Chamonix: from 5EUR to 20EUR e/w. ChamExpress prices, no idea where you got the 66eur, a quick look on their website throws up: 26.50EUR - 37.50EUR e/w (plus apparently an extra 1EUR for either a normal bag, or ski/board bag?!). And for all the above the prices are the same to Les Houches, Chamonix Town, and Argentiere. Only difference ie Easybus only have 1 fixed stop in Chamonix town, they don't go anywhere else. The others are to the door/specified address. Just watch out that some companies, such as ChamExpress, quote their prices HT (Hors Taxe I presume) and then (as you say) bags on top... They also swap busses along the way, so Courmayeur to Geneva could stop at Les Houches like it did for my sister. So much for "no extras"!
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Mon 30-10-17 10:05
Replies: 33
@denfinella, great idea. I'd second that Skiidy are great for PdS. Always have offers for returning customers and typically 15% off in advance - just had an email now in fact. Used 4 times, range of private and shared. Always great. Once we missed our shared transfer and they were great at getting us on the next one (only 2 of us mind, but still good service).
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Tue 24-10-17 8:46
Replies: 51
I used to work for a fantastic family run and family orientated ski Chalet in Prodains called Chilly Powder. (There is a telecabin across the piste from the chalet that takes you straight up to Avoriaz) I cannot recommend them highly enough. They can have everything booked up and arranged to make your first family ski holiday zero stress, fun and enjoyable including booking a good value safe transfer (1.5 hr from Geneva airport). Not to bang the anti-Morzine drum as I do like the place, however, I have done the last two New Years in Morzine/Avoriaz and it was really poor. I know people say that you can get up to Avoriaz, but that just gets really busy and you just end up with sheet ice. I would temper that by admitting it's a very quiet week, but if there's no snow... I have also heard great things from a work colleague re Chilli Powder, but it's doubtful you'll be able to book last minute as they are so popular. Given that you're not looking at a peak week being before xmas, I would look at waiting if you can. If you're dead set on booking then we went to Courmayeur last year a week earlier than that (booked the week before) as it was the only place that had any snow in the entire northern Alps (i.e. < 1.5hrs from Geneva) apart from Verbier. It was full of the kiddies ski schools from France, but otherwise completely dead. But a great little town, lovely Italian hospitality etc. Easy to self drive as it's autoroute all the way to the Mont Blanc tunnel and then through the other side. I suppose you would have to take the kids up a gondola though, which is a consideration. I think a lot of the hotels will be cheap and do transfers to the gondola - we stayed in the Gran Baita and it was lovely with a good pool. Hope that helps.
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Sun 22-10-17 19:26
Replies: 18
Verbier. Chamonix. How have you managed to get 8k posts just replying Verbier to every thread?!
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Fri 20-10-17 23:11
Replies: 69
Heel is often very tight calves. I have had full planta and last year a painful heel. Saw proper sports physio a for both and required different treatment. The former was strapping and taping, after physio, and the latter was calf work. It in doubt then pony up the £30 for a physio.
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Wed 18-10-17 11:15
Replies: 40
And anyone who doesn't have an Amex is missing out on free stuff. I cannot fathom why so many people who want to travel more neglect to equip themselves with one. Agreed. I've done multiple first class trips over the last few years. Input from Avios using Amex and Tesco has saved me from Club or worse. Not to derail the purpose of this thread, however, me and the other half started shuffling cards about 4-5 months ago and collected over 100k avios in this short time. I got the BA card and got 25k avios for spending £3k in 3 months. Referred partner, so i got 9k avios. She hit the target and got 26k avios. I now have a supplemental card and we're merrily working towards the £10k spend in 12mths that gets you a 2-4-1 avios redemption - saving for a 2-4-1 business trip to NYC. In between the above I also got a Amex Gold and got 20k avios in 2mths before referring the other half, getting another 9k to me and then she got 20k. Waiting 6 months before she'll refer both cards back to me... Meanwhile I have picked up the Lloyds card (referenced above) as this gives you a Mastercard in addition to the Amex and also doesn't charge FOREX on overseas spend. Already used 18k avios to fly to Zurich over new year for £35 each inc baggage. Bish! Bash! Bosh! ps. yes, I am an accountant!! ;) pps. THIS IS NOT FINANCIAL ADVICE and is not straight forward.
Then you'll get to see more forums.
Thu 12-10-17 17:02
Replies: 1513
I imagine there must be quite a few nervous ski resort managers out there praying for a good start to this season after a run of poor early seasons. Equally future UK participation levels in snow sports must be uncertain now given how expensive alpine holidays are becoming? Is there a risk of our sport becoming unaffordable and therefore less relevant to younger people, in a similar way to golf :~/ People are giving up golf in order to fart around on bikes, go very slowly and eat cake. In fact, I should add that cyclists spend far more than they did when they golf. The reason they've given up is that golf is too hard and people were only doing it to get away from the family - so now cycling offers the same escape and anyone can actually ride a bike! Then they sit around offices all day crapping on about gear sets or somesuch instead of losing weight, which would make them go far faster!
And post your own questions...
Wed 11-10-17 12:17
Replies: 54
No offence, but this is a massive waste of everyone's effort! Most have remarked that the prices often change, but surely it's not beyond the skills of people to use flight comparison websites and look at the different date and airport options. [/endgrump]
which other snowHeads love to answer.
Wed 4-10-17 13:34
Replies: 53
i was thinking of driving not train. gives more flexability. accomdation likely to be outside of st anton. 2 adults, 2 kids, 4 cases, skis, self catering...not great on trains. plus getting to shops etc once in accomdation is easier. Fair enough. Easy drive in that case (when I've done taxis from Ischgl, which is further, it didn't feel troublesome). Motorway all the way. Presume you'll need to pull over and get the Austrian motorway vignette before crossing the border? Having said that. What would the cost of taxis be if you had to use them to and from resort or to ski buses plus train to and from Zurich, vs car hire for the week? Not sure myself but worth looking at? I personally like minimising what I have to do.
And they're a friendly bunch.
Wed 4-10-17 11:15
Replies: 53
anyone ever flown to zurich then driven to st anton ? flights to innsbruck are silly prices. Friedricshafen not convenient. zurich has good times and costs from Luton at the moment for jan / feb 2018 Surely the train, train, train! One quick change at Zurich city station then off to St Anton plus a couple of beers. Splendid.
You know it makes sense.
Tue 19-09-17 10:26
Replies: 1513
@Strax, IT does not matter which way you look at it, this season will cost you more. You have to factor in what the rest of the year has cost you in rising prices , stagnant wages, inflation. Really clutching at straws now!
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Mon 11-09-17 20:08
Replies: 10
@DDBEAU, great place. Everything on your doorstep. If skiing down, follow the run down to Silvretta and not Fimba as it will miss the last sheet ice section. Do 4pm session in each of the Trofana Alm and Kustahl. Don't leave you skis unlocked as drunk people will accidentally or thieves will take (both happened on last trip). Watch the ski show. It's great. Do the tobogganing. Enjoy!
Poster: A snowHead
Wed 6-09-17 22:24
Replies: 18
@faceplanter, just smash the Khustal (sp) and Trofana then get takeaway pizza from by the Burger King.
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Wed 6-09-17 9:14
Replies: 1513
@PaulC1984, in their defence the EU has to try and show that it can't just allow any member states to pick and choose the bits they want. Likewise, the U.K. has to show that it would rather want Hard Brexit than a poor deal. No doubt another 12months of posturing and, like in the real world, a deal will get struck once the deadline catches up with everyone. Or not... who knows! Either way all parties will have to move on and I doubt it will be a disaster either way. Humans are adaptable creatures.
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name.
Wed 6-09-17 7:45
Replies: 1513
@PaulC1984, Dont you think they shoud not be. Their livelyhoods are being ruined. Maybe in the short term, but business comes and goes. The economic winds are constantly changing. If it's not Brexit then it's oil prices or some such. To respond the the thread title, yes, some things might be more expensive next year but not by much. More likely the year after if a few companies go bust, especially in the British owned French chalet businesses. Clearly it's slightly more expensive in Austria, Italy and Switzerland due to forex movements. However, I remember going away in 2007/8 and it was almost parity then due to the relative cycles of the Euro and £ economies. Will it get worse than parity? Who knows? Until Brexit is sorted one way or another the current movements are just traders (and mainly quants) speculating due to imperfect knowledge. To answer the 'non' thread title re whether Brexit is a good thing; who knows. None of the MPs, press or general population nor the Eurozone really understand it fully. I'm getting somewhat bored of Remainers arguing that they are some enlightened elite and that being in Europe is somr nirvana. Likewise, i dislike the Brexiter belief that leaving Europe will somehow remove the shackles that have held us back for years. For me it's a self determination view in that we need to decide whether we are part of the Greater Europe project and I do think that most of the UK don't want to be. Unfortunately the referendum was voted on, as always, selfish views on all sides (wages, cost of living, ski holiday costs?!) My guess is that both sides will posture until the 2 years is up and then a deal will be done, probably with a 2 year transition. All of which won't do much and can hardy make worse as the current rate has baked in hard Brexit imo. Either way, none of this is any worse than it was 10 years ago so hey ho. Anyone just has to make 3 choices: - go to cheaper hotel/resort for same £ price - pay more than last year for same hotel - don't go. Build a bridge and get over it.
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Tue 5-09-17 20:53
Replies: 41
I've never known of it to happen on any airline, not to me nor anyone I've ever known. I think there are always tales of it happening occasionally though.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Mon 4-09-17 23:42
Replies: 41
Has anyone had experience with Swiss Air? They say you can take swap your checked baggage for ski carriage (one set of skis, poles, helmet and boots in separate bag) https://www.swiss.com/us/EN/prepare/baggage/special-baggage As long as you keep within your checked baggage limit which is 23kg - OK with all of this so far But as part of the checked baggage allowance it says that the total dimensions cannot exceed 158cm being width + depth + height https://www.swiss.com/us/en/prepare/baggage/checked-baggage So does this checked bag size limitation also applied to the skis as they would then need to be very short skis??? I can't think so but its not clear. Apart from that has anyone got 2 pairs of skis and Poles in one ski bag. Is this allowed? If found would they not allow it or count out as two of your checked bags used up? Or don't they even check? It's saying you can take generic sports equipment for free so long as the cumulative total of your bags doesn't exceed you kg limit. However it says you van choose to buy an extra sports bag abd not be restricted by the cumulative limit. E.g. Golf bag If you look at ski/snowboard it tells you that you get an additional bag for free if it's for winter sports. I've been a few times on Swiss ( note, not Swiss air) and taken a free ski bag.
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Mon 4-09-17 17:00
Replies: 4
What's the Mont Blanc tunnel like on transfer day? We are arriving in Geneva on Saturday 13th January at 8.30am and will get a private transfer and will want to getting in by midday, ideally, to ski the pm.
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Mon 4-09-17 13:24
Replies: 18
@faceplanter, to be honest I find all Austrian restaurants have an almost identical menu - and I've been to quite a few! Additionally most guests do half board. Unless you're looking for high end, just book anywhere that takes your fancy from your first walk up the town.
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Mon 4-09-17 8:49
Replies: 18
Burger King Then downstairs for "dessert"?!
Then you'll get to see more forums.
Sun 3-09-17 21:58
Replies: 19
Sadly ischgl is a pain to get to unless you're 6 people and can fill a transfer. Obviously it's far cheaper from Innsbruck, but not if your flights are £200 more!! The reality is that you've not much wriggle room on this. Maybe hire a car. Accommodation in Austria is all about the Tourist Office website, sending them an email or using google maps to get email addresses of hotels.
And post your own questions...
Sat 2-09-17 15:56
Replies: 4
Thanks both. Looks like it could well be a goer then as we don't mind faff to open up the km and we aren't going to be doing mega apres, just late night drinking in local bars.
which other snowHeads love to answer.
Sat 2-09-17 10:37
Replies: 4
Hi Snowheads Just sorting a 3 night break in mid January for a group of 5 guys. All good skiers preferring staying on the posteva covering miles. We also want a nice 4 star hotel with a pool and found a decent option in La Thuile, which is the sister hotel to one we stayed in last year in Courmayeur. What's the ski area like for 3.5 days - link to La Roserie easy and what about access to Courmayeur, which I think is on the pass or you get 1 day? Thanks in advance as always! BB
And they're a friendly bunch.
Thu 31-08-17 21:58
Replies: 5
In Austria the tourist office website is your friend. "A few days" may be tough this far in advance though.
You know it makes sense.
Fri 25-08-17 8:49
Replies: 31
@adithorp, @Daishan, yes, fair point. I suppose what I meant is if I'm pottering around not really off piste, but I guess you're right in that you've either got all the gear or none of the gear.
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Fri 25-08-17 7:25
Replies: 31
@JoyZipper, thanks for link. I'm looking at getting my first kit - initially I just wanted the transceiver only as I'm not taking about major off piste and don't want to lug a bag and shovel around all day - just more peace of mind. Is this plan just a waste of money/effort unless I get the whole kit and commit to use it?
Poster: A snowHead
Thu 24-08-17 14:09
Replies: 91
@under a new name, assume I'm not missing a P take, but yes :) we now do that for all short breaks. Check out on the last day at 9am, drop bags at reception, return at 3pm to shower etc in the spa facilities and then transfer around 4.30-5.30 back to Geneva for a 9/10 pm flight. Bosh. A lot of quite average/cheap hotels will have such facilities - especially Austria where sauna/steam room/jacuzzi are prevalent. But also many family run affairs in France. e.g. Les Bruyeres Chalet hôtel Morzine - we stayed over NY (sadly sans neige) and it was €135 p/night for a twin room. Basic rooms of course and not an amazing breakfast, but who cares? Pool and spa. Central location. Bosh.
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Thu 24-08-17 12:35
Replies: 91
@ChrisP3, use Skiidy Gonzales - used them 4 times and no issues ever - I was late once by an hour and they put us on the next transfer. Easybus takes a hammering. Apparently franchised and they sub out the work and then only refund you the ticket price if the transfer falls through. For hotels, we went on the tourist office last time and looked for hotels with a spa/pool so that we could shower on the last day. Or use googlemaps and email directly.
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name.
Wed 23-08-17 7:41
Replies: 91
I'll add my "vote" for Morzine, so long as you go between mid Jan and early March to be sure of snow. It's near to Geneva, Skidy Gonzales do rapid and cheap shared transfers - never have to wait and they don't come too early on the return leg. We always do a sat am flight and on the slopes by 1pm, skiing the Morzine/les gets side. Then a full day on the les gets side on Sunday. Monday get the bus to prodains and do the Avoriaz side before doing whatever we fancy on the Monday, before a 4pm transfer for the 9/10pm train. All this nonsense spouted about bottlenecks etc would be ignored if you're sensible enough to plan your short break to miss holiday season. I like variety, so I'm probably doing La Clusaz next. But just my tuppence and I'm sure you can do similar in any other resort, but that's my itiniary. Where it really works is for numbers under 4 as the shared transfers are so cheap.
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Thu 17-08-17 14:02
Replies: 25
Can anyone recommend good resort with accommodation next to the children's ski school? Preferably high and pretty. Any advice much appreciated. :D Pepi Gabl through Esprit Ski in St Anton. High and pretty? Matter of opinion - pretty snow sure and a great ski area. It's in the "family" end of town and next door to a shop with the ski lockers and then up some stairs to the school.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Wed 9-08-17 15:23
Replies: 1513
Long term average is 1.25. Meanwhile UK stock markets bounce off all time highs, unemployment falls to lowest rate for many years and number of jobs in UK at all time high. Chocksaway smiles and books another season's ski holiday. TBF it has been below 1.20 since June last year and shows no signs of being much higher than 1.15 for the foreseeable future. Whether that bothers anyone is another matter. The stock market is traditionaly high when the pound is low, because most major companies in the FT500 make more money abroad than they do from the UK. The exchange rate boosts their profits. The jobs thing is not good news. Anything less than 5% unemployed is considered to be 'full employment'. This means that any increase in activity puts very direct pressure on wage levels as companies struggle to service the demand. This creates inflation. This is something the BoE have become increasingly concerned about and interest rates are under much more pressure than they were in May 2016. As the EU work force slowly repatriates without being naturally replaced, we will find wage pressure from an economy that is actually shrinking. In my sector, construction, the industry is predicted to be serviced by over 30% EU immigrants. My own company had over 60% EU workers in June last year, that is now just over 50%. Many have left because they have simply 'done their time' away from families, some because they no longer want to live here after the referendum and quite a few because the fall in sterling value means the money they send home is now worth much less. Those that had 'done their shift' away from home were always replaced by new entrants, but we are finding it harder to recruit and are moderating our workload to suit. We aren't the only ones doing this. And the FTSE also rises because the shares become relatively cheaper for overseas large investors to purchase, due to the exchange rate.
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Tue 1-08-17 23:06
Replies: 27
Update. Thanks for all the input. My avios points cleared this morning so I've booked the flights to Zurich and booked up an overpriced hotel in Klosters for 3 nights. Can't wait!
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Tue 1-08-17 10:29
Replies: 24
@Dublinfella, personally, I'd recommend using an tour operator for your first trip with a kid. We always do DIY, but felt that the safety net of using a specialist would be good for the first time; and we were happy with that decision in the end. Little things like the baby listening service with Esprit plus being able to pay very little for baby sitting was a real plus when it's potentially the first time you've left a young kid. Now we've done one trip we're back to DIY - helps that the kids will both be over 1 next year, which means we can use a number of Austrian hotels that have free childcare that kicks in from age 1 (although most are 2 or older).
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Mon 31-07-17 14:36
Replies: 24
My few pence: - Short transfers are helpful with very young kids - Look for childcare in your actual accomodation (some creches are shared by a few chalets and it's a pain to decamp to drop them off imho) - Avoid hotels/chalets where young children can eat with adults (pet and very personal hate of mine - when I went with a 11 month old (who wasn't always sleeping through), I enjoy having some peace and quiet without being subjected to the elder kids who do run riot all day! Some of the Esprit hotels have recently changed their policy) I think that what you want for a young child will be somewhat different to elder kids who are more self sufficient - hence my first 2 points above. Also, they will be in your room so the additional costs are less of a factor - once you've got 2x kids needing a flight and another room between them, ski passes etc... Not looking forward to that!
Then you'll get to see more forums.
Wed 26-07-17 12:39
Replies: 38
Isn't it better to do Saturday to Tuesday/Wednesday, so that you're not messing up 2 weeks of bookings for an owner?
And post your own questions...
Mon 24-07-17 19:28
Replies: 128
@NickyJ, when I'm the UK's benevolent dictator I'll enforce the rule from age 11. Happy?
which other snowHeads love to answer.
Mon 24-07-17 18:35
Replies: 128
@dp, not that you need my approval, but I agree 100pc. Add to the disruption in the week after a non scheduled absence as little Jonty doesn't follow anything. Loss of respect for education/rules in general, parents know best etc etc etc rant rant.
And they're a friendly bunch.
Thu 13-07-17 12:52
Replies: 12
I've had a pair since 2010, bought due to their fit as the only reason. Since then I've been away twice a year and enjoyed them. Yes, they might appear flimsy but they've proven to have been robust. Had one buckle sheer off But easily fixed once I found somewhere in St Anton to sort it.
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